For many years, Columbia Legal Services and its predecessor organizations have represented some of the most marginalized people in Washington. We use every legal tool available on their behalf. Our role to serve people and use advocacy that might otherwise not be available makes our work an integral part of the Washington Alliance for Equal Justice. As a proud member of the Alliance, our vision of justice is when people have the necessary tools and opportunity to achieve social and economic justice, a more equitable and inclusive society is possible. Every day, our legal teams engage in large-scale litigation, policy reform, and innovative partnerships intended to make a lasting difference so that all people can be meaningful members of their communities. We share a deep commitment to serve and advocate alongside our clients as we seek justice together. The ideal candidate for any position at Columbia Legal Services will be able to articulate their role in the achievement of that vision.
Columbia Legal Services seeks a full-time Advocacy Director to oversee all statewide litigation and advocacy projects. The Advocacy Director serves as Deputy Director within our organization, and plays a key role in shaping the future of our organizational priorities and direction. This position requires a strong leader, a trustworthy advocate, and a highly capable, strategic manager. The successful candidate will be a consensus builder and creative thinker, with a collegial style and a passion for our work. This position reports to the Executive Director and is based in Seattle (negotiable), with statewide responsibilities.
Oversee the advocacy acceptance process to ensure that the mission, criteria, and quality of advocacy and related projects are consistent with program values and standards of systemic and multi-forum advocacy. Our Advocacy Director must model courage and creativity, experiment, try new approaches, and take risks while maintaining fidelity to our mission and vision.
Supervise the Policy Director, Communications Director, and five Directing Attorneys to provide oversight, guidance, and coordination for our five project teams across five statewide offices. This position consults on litigation strategy, ethical matters and advocacy, as well as training protocols and plans, administrative policies, professional development and management coaching for Directing Attorneys and Policy Director.
Collaborate with the leadership team to develop long-term priorities, oversee implementation of a strategic vision, and ensure success of cross-project campaigns.
Create and maintain an enthusiastic work environment where all staff contribute to a unified mission of achieving social and economic justice for all, and assume key responsibility in transitioning CLS towards a culture of intentionality surrounding organizational decision making and cohesion.
Work with internal and external stakeholders to advance our racial justice initiatives and integrate meaningful community engagement, race equity principles, and an anti-bias critical lens into all aspects of our work and organizational culture.
Cultivate and maintain key external partnerships, including the development and maintenance of strong community and pro-bono relationships with law firms, cooperating attorneys, allies and partner organizations, key funders, board members, coalitions, and the media on a on a state and national level.
Work with Communications Director to develop and lead staff in creating and executing a comprehensive communications plan that contributes to CLS’s strategic plan and supports program, advocacy and funding goals, produces publications and blogs, and develops talking points on key organizational issues.
Must have a sense of humor, a healthy self-awareness, be comfortable with managing change, and enjoy leading and supporting a positive, high-performing organizational learning environment.
Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, cultural competence, understanding of and principles of intersectionality, and experience working with low-income client communities.
Must be a member of the Washington State Bar or seek admission as soon as possible after employment.
At least 7 years of experience in complex litigation (including at least 2 years of significant class action experience.) and other demonstrated experience in appeals, policy work and administrative advocacy.
Demonstrated significant experience supervising legal teams and administrative leadership, professional development, mentoring, performance management, and coaching of individuals and teams.
Enthusiasm, initiative, creativity, passion, commitment, and proven track record of working on anti-poverty and race equity issues.
Excellent research, writing, negotiation, and analytical skills.
Willingness to travel and to work flexible hours.
CLS offers a competitive compensation package including generous holiday, paid time off, and healthcare benefits. Salary is commensurate with experience and will range from $105,000 - $115,000.
Application deadline is June 23rd with a preferred start as soon as feasible. Please note that due to the volume of applications received, CLS is unable to respond to every application. We will contact you if we decide to pursue your application. No phone calls please. To apply, submit your cover letter, resume, writing sample, and three references to the address or e-mail address below. Include Advocacy Director in the subject line of electronic submissions.
Trisa Kern, Director of Program Administration
Columbia Legal Services
101 Yesler Way, Suite 300
Seattle, WA 98104
Columbia Legal Services is committed to a policy of pluralism and equal opportunity in an environment free of barriers and discriminatory practices for its client communities, Board and staff. Pluralism refers to the active promotion of mutual respect, acceptance, teamwork and productivity among people who are diverse in work background, experience, education, race, color, national origin, sex, age, religious preference, marital status, sexual orientation, sensory, mental and physical abilities, veteran status, or any other perceived differences. The resulting diversity is both a source of program strength and a matter of fundamental human fairness. If you need a reasonable accommodation for the application process, contact Amanda Buse at 206-464-1122 or email@example.com.
Columbia Legal Services is a civil legal aid organization that believes that a more equitable society is possible when everyone has the tools and opportunity to achieve social and economic justice. As a statewide impact advocacy program, we use every legal tool available, including strategic litigation, policy reform, communications, and innovative partnerships to reveal and end actions that harm... the communities we serve. Our advocacy makes a difference for communities of low-income people, especially children and youth, prisoners and ex-offenders, immigrants, and low-wage workers.