Job Announcement: Legal Director/Policy Director, National Center for Access to Justice
The National Center for Access to Justice at Fordham Law School is one of the leading data and advocacy nonprofits in America fighting to increase access to justice, improve the civil and criminal justice systems, and support the movement for a more just and equitable society. The ability to understand the law and obtain its protection – access to justice – often makes a critical difference in people’s lives, enabling families to stay together, save their homes, defend their savings, secure their physical and emotional safety, assure their liberty, and hold even powerful antagonists accountable to the rule of law. In recent work, we have published the following three reports: Justice Index 2021, Working With Your Hands Tied Behind Your Back: Non-Lawyer Perspectives on Regulatory Reform, and Tracking Outcomes: A Guide for Civil Legal Aid Providers and Funders. Recognizing that people facing life challenges commonly experience the American justice system as a source of oppression, our work helps support the movement to transform the justice system into a refuge from oppression.
The Legal Director/Policy Director will have a leadership role in creating and carrying out NCAJ’s projects and in supporting the growth of the organization. Current projects include using NCAJ’s Justice Index to help secure change that reduces governmental reliance on excessive fines and fees. We are also using the Justice Index to help advocates increase access to justice for people without a lawyer, people with disabilities, and people with limited proficiency in English. We are also researching how state law prohibitions on the unauthorized practice of law interfere with efforts of individuals and communities to obtain civil legal aid from qualified advocates who are not credentialed as lawyers. The Legal and Policy Director will also have opportunity to develop and work on new projects, and to participate in other NCAJ initiatives that may include: i) supporting Sustainable Development Goal 16 in the United States, ii) bringing together civil and criminal justice system activists in common cause, iii) creating and promoting metrics for tracking and expanding civil justice, iv) expanding access to justice research and scholarship, and v) teaching the A2J Seminar at Fordham Law School and supporting the A2J Initiative at Fordham Law. The role involves a high degree of ownership and independence; it also offers an opportunity to acquire professional skills important in leading a nonprofit organization; and it is especially distinctive for the opportunity it provides to combine an interest in data and in policy advocacy with a passion for justice.
- Carrying out research projects from conception to completion
- Writing high quality reports, news articles, blog posts, and other publications
- Speaking publicly, communicating with reporters, taking on roles at conferences and other gatherings
- Working in partnership with policy experts, attorneys, court officials, technology consultants, representatives of community based organizations, and others
- Supervising law students
- Contributing to new program initiatives, shaping grant proposals and reports, and supporting fundraising endeavors
- Assisting with the quarterly Board of Directors' meetings and with other NCAJ and Fordham events
- Participating in administrative and other responsibilities important to NCAJ.
Experience and Qualifications:
- Five+ years of experience in a critical field – such as law, policy, research or advocacy. Applicants with fewer than five but at least three years’ experience may be considered if their experience is exceptional.
- Experience with policy analysis, research and data, including with presentation of data.
- JD and/or other pertinent graduate degree preferred
- Knowledge of the civil and/or criminal justice systems
- Experience with fines and fees reform is a plus
- Remote work is possible.
- Excited to transition into a leadership role at a leading advocacy organization
- Passion for NCAJ’s mission to expand access to justice, and an instinct and ability for identifying problems and solving them
- Excellent research, writing, communication and interpersonal skills
- Enthusiasm for working with allies at all levels, including in community based organizations, the legal community, the private sector, the academy, and government
- Knowledge of social media and other digital tools and resources, including excel
- Attention to detail and to the design elements of presentation
- Enthusiasm for learning and supporting all activities important in a nonprofit organization (programmatic, administrative, communications, technological, and development)
- Excellent judgment and good sense of humor
Compensation package based on experience. The Legal Director/Policy Director is a full-time exempt position reporting to NCAJ’s Executive Director.
Please send an email cover letter, resume, and two writing samples, with subject line “Hiring Committee," to firstname.lastname@example.org. NCAJ’s work environment is safe and open to all employees and partners, respecting the full spectrum of race, color, religious creed, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, political affiliation, ancestry, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, and all other classifications protected by law. For more about NCAJ please visit our website.