Legal Director

Legal Director

Forward Justice

Durham, NC   |   July 22, 2020

About Forward Justice

Forward Justice is a nonpartisan law, policy, and strategy center dedicated to advancing racial, social, and economic justice in the U.S. South. They serve as a strategic partner for nonprofit organizations, coalitions, and networks at the forefront of movements organizing for a more just, equitable, and free South. Their work catalyzes tangible success for movements and expands democratic opportunities for people affected by injustice.

The Legal Director will report directly to the Co-Executive Directors and lead cases with other members of the litigation/legal advocacy team.

For more information on Forward Justice, please visit its website.

The Opportunity

Forward Justice seeks a Legal Director to co-lead their legal and litigation efforts in the areas of voting rights, criminal justice, and economic justice. The Legal Director is responsible for helping to set overall legal strategy to advance the mission of the organization, as well as for the day-to-day management of the legal program.

The ideal candidate will have an unwavering commitment to excellence, a deep analysis of the intersectional issues relating to racial justice and democracy, economic justice and criminal justice, and a commitment to using the law to develop creative strategies toward movement-building goals.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Design legal and litigation strategy, lead Forward Justice legal teams, including identifying and collaborating with co-counsel, and manage and conduct legal research and analysis.
  • Manage case development, which includes collaborating with state and local advocacy organizations and service providers, on-site interviews and investigations, and analysis of potential legal claims.
  • Manage litigation including the drafting of complaints, motions, memoranda, and briefs; engage in discovery; and post-litigation enforcement of judgements/settlements.
  • Collaborate with non-litigating staff to ensure that litigation is informed by and advances the goals of Forward Justice’s campaigns and movement partners.
  • Manage and conduct legal research and policy analysis related to democracy, economic justice, criminal justice and other racial justice issues.
  • Communicate regularly with Forward Justice’s clients, co-counsel, advocacy and partner organizations.
  • Policy responsibilities may include analyzing law, preparing advocacy materials, and assisting in organizing and grassroots campaign strategies.
  • Supervise outreach activities related to cases and campaigns.
  • Supervise, mentor, and manage the legal work and related tasks of team members.
  • Represent Forward Justice in public, including forums, conferences, media interviews, as needed.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Case development, including ability to manage and collaborate with national, state and local advocacy organizations, other litigators and co-counsel.
  • Excellent legal research, writing and editing skills, consistent attention to detail and the ability to manage, prioritize, and meet deadlines in a fast-paced work environment.
  • Enthusiastic self-starter, with strong project management skills and ability to multi-task at a high level.
  • Aptitude for and willingness to be a team player.
  • Initiative, vision, and a proven commitment to the struggle for racial justice.
  • Ability to work collaboratively and efficiently.
  • Strong organizational skills, follow-through and flexibility around changing priorities and deadlines.
  • Ability to work on several matters at once in conjunction with other staff.
  • Strong communication skills and creative problem-solving skills.
  • Experience working with diverse groups of partners.

Required Qualifications

  • J.D. degree; preference for NC barred attorney.
  • 7-10 years of experience generating and leading impact litigation.
  • Deep, substantive expertise in civil rights litigation or expertise in at least two issue areas related to Forward Justice’s work.
  • Management experience, including supporting goal-setting processes/performance management and establishing professional development opportunities for staff.
  • Ability to manage complex projects, including the ability to creatively problem solve, to focus on the strategic landscape, to effectively delegate, and to take responsibility for decisions.
  • Excellent analytic and writing skills.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, including the ability to develop a rapport, and persuasiveness.
  • Clear active listening skills, including the ability to understand and to show respect and empathy for others.
  • Commitment to Forward Justice’s overarching goals and objectives.
Contact

Koya Leadership Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Trisha Sutrisno and Amber Gomes are leading this search. To make recommendations or to express your interest in this role please visit this link or email [email protected] and [email protected]. All nominations, inquiries, and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

Forward Justice is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. It welcomes and encourages applications from those who will increase their staff diversity. Women, people of color, directly impacted, queer, trans folks, and individuals with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.

About Koya Leadership Partners

Koya Leadership Partners, a member of the Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.