National Legal Director

San Francisco County, California and/or candidates willing to be Bi-Coastal
Salary will depend on experience. The salary range is $120,000-150,000.
Sep 02, 2020
Oct 02, 2020
Job Function
Position Type
Full Time
Degree Level
Willingness to Travel
25 - 50%
Experience Level

The Position

Equal Rights Advocates seeks an experienced and dynamic National Legal Director to lead ERA’s robust and expanding legal programs and initiatives. With legal programs based both in San Francisco and Washington D.C., ERA seeks candidates with significant experience leading workplace impact litigation, federal policy reform, and national and/or multi-state legal programs. The National Legal Director will also support an extraordinary legal team that includes senior staff guiding major program areas. The National Legal Director will contribute significantly to national network building, fund and business development, programmatic thought leadership, and organizational strategic planning and management. 

The Organization

Equal Rights Advocates (ERA) is a national civil rights organization founded in 1974 to expand economic and educational access and opportunities for women and girls. ERA embraces and inclusive and inter-sectional view of gender justice, inclusive of non-binary and gender non-conforming people. As we combat the patriarchy, we also challenge racist power structures and inequities compounded by ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, age, and other identities. 

Our talented team includes litigators, policy reformers, and movement builders working at the state, multi-state and national level promoting gender equity and racial justice, expanding economic security, and growing community power. ERA’s legal initiatives include the Initiative to End Sexual Violence in Education (including a pro bono network of volunteer attorneys), and several campaigns chaired by ERA and led in partnership with 70+ partner organizations across the country driving gender justice reform and enforcement. These include the Equal Pay Today campaign, the Women’s Agenda Initiative, the Network of States to Stop Harassment, and the Stronger California Women’s Economic Security Campaign.


  • Provide strategic direction of ERA’s legal programs, projects, and impact litigation.
  • Develop and implement goals and priorities for the legal program, including national and multi-state growth, to further the strategic plan approved by the Board of Directors. 
  • Affirmatively seek opportunities to initiate litigation in federal and state courts that will help achieve the organization’s strategic priorities and goals, including system change in workplaces and schools across the country.
  • Identify, build, and nurture national and state partners and networks, as well as advocacy, policy, and litigation opportunities.
  • Work in partnership with key ERA Directors & staff to implement integrated advocacy campaigns and high impact strategies utilizing legal, strategic communications, public education, legislative and community mobilizing programs.
  • Ensure regular robust program evaluation is conducted, including the development and tracking of evaluation metrics on an annual basis. Leverage evaluation results to inform strategic program decisions.
  • As a member of the Executive Leadership Team, develop and oversee the legal team budget, include expense and revenue projections and tracking, in close consultation with other senior directors. 
  • Recruit and manage legal staff with the utmost professionalism, supporting leadership growth and job satisfaction, guiding/evaluating performance, and ensuring inclusive and equitable and effective management practices.
  • Work closely with ERA’s Development Director & staff to develop and nurture funding opportunities. Manage legal team’s role in grant applications, grant deliverable tracking, and reporting.
  • Advocate for civil rights and gender justice and serve as a spokesperson for ERA both with media and as a public speaker, as appropriate.
  • An active member of and contributor to ERA’s executive leadership team, contribute to overall organizational planning and management. Staff various internal and external committees and represent the legal team at meetings of ERA’s Board of Directors.

Required Qualifications

  • .J.D. from an accredited law school and membership in good standing with the California Bar – or admission to the California Bar within one year of hire – is required.
  • The ideal candidate will be a seasoned legal visionary and strategist, with  7+ years experience managing, building, and/or growing national legal programs and teams. They will have demonstrated success building national coalitions and networks related to ERA’s mission. Prior legal director and multi-location management experience preferred.
  • They will be an experienced civil litigator with substantive knowledge and understanding of constitutional law and civil rights issues related to ERA’s mission, and a demonstrated commitment to the preservation and vigorous enforcement of the civil rights of women and girls. 
  • They will have extensive familiarity with the working and operation of state and federal government; exceptional research, writing and analytical skills; excellent oral communication skills; proven ability to clearly communicate complex legal issues both in the courtroom and to the public; and proven ability to work with other senior legal staff developing and implementing short- and long-term litigation strategies in trial and appellate proceedings in both state and federal courts.
  • They must have 5+ years representing workers in impact/class litigation combating workplace discrimination; and a proven ability to support other staff in lead counsel roles in such cases.
  • Federal policy and/or government relations experience preferred.  
  • They will have demonstrated experience serving as a spokesperson and thought leader on social justice issues. Prior media experience preferred.
  • They will have experience managing legal budgets. They will have enthusiasm for and proven ability to develop funds and business to further organizational goals, and the ability to manage grant deliverables. 
  • They will have the proven ability to successfully manage and mentor employees, a commitment to diversity and equity, and experience working with and engaging diverse communities, clients and coalition partners including non-attorneys. 
  • Success in this position will require strong self-motivation, a demonstrated capacity to work in a timely and professional manner under multiple deadlines, and the ability to coordinate with and manage legal staff, other organizational employees and leaders, and outside partners. 
  • Ability to drive and travel as required by the position, once health restrictions are lifted.

Compensation: Salary will depend on experience. The salary range is $120,000-150,000. ERA also offers a work environment that values work/life balance and a competitive benefits package that includes employer paid group medical and dental coverage for team members and dependents; Flexible Spending Plan; generous vacation, paid personal time off, and paid sick leave; 13 paid holidays per year; and an optional a 403(b) retirement plan, with potential employer matching opportunity after one year of employment.

How to Apply

Are you ready to join our team at ERA? Submit your current resume and a cover letter describing your interest in this particular position, connection to ERA’s mission, and where you found the job posting to Please include “2020 National Legal Director” in the subject line of your email. Incomplete applications will not be considered. The position is open until filled. Applications will be reviewed immediately and will be accepted until the position is filled. To ensure consideration, submit application materials by September 30. Qualified candidates may be asked to submit additional information, including performance samples and references from people they have worked with in the past.

An Equal Opportunity Employer with a Commitment to Diversity

ERA advances equity and inclusion in the workplace by providing equal employment opportunity to support a work environment free from discrimination on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age (over 40), sexual orientation, military and veteran status, arrest or conviction record, and any other basis prohibited by law. The organization also provides reasonable accommodations for qualified applicants and employees with disabilities. This equal employment opportunity policy applies to all aspects of employment, including recruitment, selection, advancement, training, problem resolution, and separation from employment. Through this policy, ERA strives to establish and maintain an equitable and accessible work environment that is supportive and free from discrimination.