ABOUT PUBLIC COUNSEL
Public Counsel is a nonprofit public interest law firm dedicated to advancing civil rights and racial and economic justice, as well as to amplifying the power of our clients through comprehensive legal advocacy. Founded on and strengthened by a pro bono legal service model, our staff and volunteers seek justice through direct legal services, promote healthy and resilient communities through education and outreach, and support community-led efforts to transform unjust systems through litigation and policy advocacy in and beyond Los Angeles.
Public Counsel operates eight legal projects: Children’s Rights, Community Development, Consumer Rights & Economic Justice, Homelessness Prevention, Immigrants’ Rights, Veterans’ Rights, the Audrey Irmas Project for Women & Girls’ Rights, and our impact litigation project, Opportunity Under Law.
Public Counsel has a full-time staff of over 150. We are committed to building a diverse staff and encourage applications from people of color, people with disabilities, and people of all gender identities, gender expressions, and sexualities.
Reporting to the President & CEO, the Director of Policy and Coalition Building provides leadership and direction for Public Counsel’s multi-faceted policy analysis and advocacy across its eight legal projects, while honoring, supporting, and amplifying the expertise within each legal project. The Director will work closely with Public Counsel’s Leadership Team, Director of Litigation, and Director of Social Work to promote and guide a cohesive and coordinated organizational approach to impact policy advocacy and coalition building across the organization.
The Director of Policy and Coalition Building must support Public Counsel’s values of equity, inclusion, and client- and community-centered advocacy. A passionate, collaborative, and effective leader, the Director will expand the visibility and impact of Public Counsel’s policy advocacy work.
ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES
Policy vision and agenda setting
- Collaboratively develops and advances an articulated and coordinated strategic vision and goals to support a robust policy agenda for Public Counsel that transforms unjust systems, augments litigation and direct services strategies, and builds durable community power.
- Works with Directing Attorneys and project staff to co-design systems change goals and policy platforms across eight legal projects.
- Creates public-facing materials to promote Public Counsel’s policy agenda.
- Develops tools to evaluate Public Counsel’s policy goals, strategies, and outcomes.
Internal policy coordination
- Enhances internal guidelines and resources to advance Public Counsel’s policy work, including guiding principles, typologies of policy work, best practices, and resources.
- Improves and manages internal policies and procedures concerning policy advocacy approval, grant compliance, lobbying reporting, case management, timekeeping, and other compliance and disclosure requirements.
- Manages cross-project coordination and collaboration on key policy issues, including convening and facilitating staff policy advocacy working groups.
Partner and government relations
- Builds and nurtures relationships with grassroots coalitions and community-led policy campaigns, promoting and growing a model of community lawyering at Public Counsel that supports such movement-led policy initiatives.
- Builds and maintains relationships with public officials and their staff in support of Public Counsel’s policy advocacy.
- Recruits pro bono volunteers and academic institutions to provide outside expertise in support of Public Counsel’s policy advocacy.
- Serves as a spokesperson for Public Counsel’s policy priorities with public officials, media, and partner organizations.
- Provides policy analysis and advises clients and community partners on the implications of proposed policies.
Policy design, advocacy, and research
- Provides in-house technical assistance to identify policy opportunities, develop policy proposals, and craft legislative and advocacy strategies.
- Provides direct support to staff working on policy advocacy campaigns, including legal and policy analysis, drafting legislation, meeting with elected officials, designing and executing advocacy strategies, and collaborating with coalition partners.
- Works with staff to create opportunities for Public Counsel clients and community partners to play a leading role in designing policies and executing advocacy strategies that are responsive to client and community needs.
- Leads the development of new policy campaigns that support Public Counsel’s clients and advance Public Counsel’s mission.
- Manages and expands an internal policy advocacy resource library.
- Guides quantitative and qualitative research on policy issues and publishes policy briefs and white papers to promote and advance Public Counsel’s advocacy efforts.
Visibility and impact
- Partners with the Communications team to elevate visibility and impact of Public Counsel’s policy initiatives.
- Represents Public Counsel publicly, including through panels and conferences to uplift Public Counsel’s policy work and forums with elected officials, community partners, stakeholders, funders, and the general public.
Organizational capacity building
- Collaborates with Directing Attorneys and staff to identify policy-related training needs and facilitates or conducts those trainings.
- Makes recommendations and proposes action steps to fill gaps and build capacity for policy work and coalition building.
- Collaborates with Management to develop a strategic fundraising plan and identify and pursue funding opportunities that will support the growth of policy advocacy at Public Counsel.
- Collaborates with Management to inform, enhance, and execute agency-wide policies and initiatives.
- Collaborates with Management to further diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as trauma-informed services, within the organization.
- Works with Leadership and Development staff to further grants and donations for policy advocacy, as well as trainings.
- At least 10 years of legal experience;
- Must be a member in good standing of the State Bar of California;
- Significant management and mentorship experience in the non-profit and legal services sector;
- Significant experience and expertise with policy advocacy, including analysis and research;
- Significant leadership experience and vision for—as well as demonstrated commitment to—challenging systemic injustice by working in coalition with external partners and community stakeholders;
- Significant experience with and commitment to community lawyering practice;
- Demonstrated commitment to anti-oppression, racial and economic justice, and advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace and in the communities Public Counsel serves;
- Demonstrated commitment to trauma-informed legal advocacy;
- Experienced and effective communicator who works cooperatively across teams, levels, and functions within the organization;
- Excellent written and oral communication skills, with a preference for experience communicating with the press;
- Excellent interpersonal, management, and organizational skills;
- Collaborative, transparent, and compassionate management style.
JOB TYPE AND BENEFITS
- Full-time, Exempt position
- Salary range is $100,000-$130,000 and commensurate with abilities and experience
- Public Counsel offers a competitive benefits package including:
- Medical, dental, and vision coverage with both HMO and PPO options,
- The option to enroll in a Flexible Spending Account,
- A 403(b) retirement plan with elective contribution and a discretionary employer contribution after a year of employment, and
- Employer-paid life insurance and disability plans.
- Generous paid time off and compensatory time up to 40 hours per calendar year
- On-site parking or public transportation reimbursement available
HOW TO APPLY
We value lived experiences and experiences working with clients across a range of settings. Please discuss such experiences in your cover letter, especially if they are not reflected in your resume.
Resume and detailed cover letter requested. No references required at this time.
PUBLIC COUNSEL VACCINATION POLICY AND COVID-19 PROTOCOLS
Public Counsel requires vaccination against COVID-19 for all employees, including new hires. Pursuant to federal and state laws, Public Counsel will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified employees with disabilities or sincerely held religious beliefs, unless doing so would pose an undue hardship.
Public Counsel is generally office-based, but remote work has been permitted during the pandemic. All employees with Public Counsel are required to work in the office at least one day per week, at the discretion of the head of department. This policy is subject to redesign by leadership. Public Counsel will work in a manner consistent with public health and local and state emergency orders.
PUBLIC COUNSEL EEO POLICY
Public Counsel is an Equal Opportunity Employer that does not discriminate against employees or prospective employees on the basis of union membership or activity, race, religious creed, religious observance, ethnicity, color, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information or predisposition, military service, military and veteran status, pregnancy, child birth and related medical conditions, marital and family status, national origin, ancestry, age, medical conditions as defined by state or federal law, or disability, or any other basis prohibited by law.
All qualified applicants with criminal histories will be considered in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring.
Our leadership team is dedicated to this policy with respect to recruitment, hiring, placement, promotion, transfer, training, compensation, benefits, employee activities discipline, discharge and general treatment during employment.