Director of Legal Strategies

Employer
Dēmos
Location
New York, NY or Washington, DC
Posted
Jun 01, 2021
Closes
Jul 01, 2021
Position Type
Full Time

Dēmos is a public policy organization working for a democracy and economy rooted in racial equity. Demos develops ideas and strategies that change systems. Our work is organized around a particular point of view about power and about what is required to create a society where Black and brown communities are fully thriving. In doing so, Demos helps create the conditions for all of us to thrive. Demos moves ideas powerful enough to improve the lives of everyday Americans through the full cycle of change. We champion over-the-horizon policy solutions, shift the narrative to clear the way for their acceptance, and advocate until they take effect. We use the right strategy for the right moment, whether it’s research or communications, supporting organizers, or litigating. This commitment to the full cycle of change has resulted in real victories, from landmark credit card reforms to over 3 million new voter registration applications from low-income citizens. Throughout all of our work, Demos is advocating not just for people, but for the very idea of the people—of one nation, united by a shared fate.

Director of Legal Strategies. We are looking for an ambitious, innovative leader, excellent manager, and brilliant legal policy strategist motivated to lead the Demos Legal Team on its nationally recognized program of policy development, legal strategies, and litigation. The Legal Team works to achieve structural democracy reform that builds political and movement power with Black and brown communities. The Director of Legal Strategies will have a well-developed understanding of the progressive movement and policy landscape, and how to bring fresh legal strategy ideas to further the goals of the organization. The Director of Legal Strategies will manage multiple legal staff, lead the strategic development of policy goals and new work areas, and oversee and develop new litigation and other legal initiatives. The Director of Legal Strategies works closely with, and reports to, the Executive Vice President, and is a member of Demos’ Director Team, and will work closely with our Democracy issue experts, thought leaders, and partners.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Develop and drive a comprehensive legal strategy based on Demos’ strategic priorities.
  • Lead the development of Demos’ legal strategies and related policy goals, including the development of new work areas under advisement of the Executive Vice President and other senior leadership at Demos.
  • Bring a racial equity lens and analysis of structural racism to all of Demos’ legal strategies work and initiatives; centering race and conducting racial equity interventions with partners, coalitions, campaigns, and within the organization.
  • Hold responsibility for overall effectiveness and mentorship of Legal Strategies team, including overseeing team work plans, systems and processes that drive toward organizational goals; maximizing impact and growing team member skills; directly supervising members of the team including managing to individual work plans, administering reviews and providing mentorship and support for professional development; ensuring that other team supervisors effectively manage and support their staff; periodically managing work done by consultants, including management of contracts and deliverables.
  • Build coalitions with other organizations and advocates at the local, state and national level and with academics, private law firms and attorneys, and others in carrying out Demos’ goals.
  • Conducting and overseeing legal and policy writing for diverse audiences to advance Demos’ goals.
  • Fundraising, including grant writing and reporting, building strong relationships with foundation staff and individual donors, and locating new sources of funds across the full breadth of the Policy and Research team’s portfolio.
  • Bring a racial equity lens and an analysis of structural racism to Demos’ legal work and initiatives.
  • Serving on Demos’ issue-specific teams to help plan, coordinate, and execute project deliverables such as policy development, research reports, legal advocacy, and litigation strategies.
  • Engage in public education representing Demos in public settings including public speaking engagements, conferences, media appearances, blog posts, op-eds; directing and managing the work of the Legal Team, including all aspects of litigation from trial through appellate and Supreme Court practice, amicus participation, and other legal work.
  • Other duties as assigned by your supervisor from time to time.

The successful candidate must have the following skills and experience:

  • High level of legal strategies experience, including legal policy writing, litigation, and other legal aptitudes. You have at least 10-12 years of legal experience, with demonstrated success in leading sophisticated legal policy initiatives and litigation from start to finish, superior legal writing and research skills, achievement of high standards in quality of legal work, developing and implementing new strategic litigation, and increasing responsibility over course of legal career. Active membership in one or more state bars is required.
  • Ability to Lead Efforts to Advance Racial Equity. You are committed to leading on racial equity with Demos and our external partnerships, with a sophisticated understanding of how structural racism, white supremacy, and anti-Blackness influence supervisory relationships, organizational culture, partnerships, campaigns and coalition work; understanding of how systemic racism affects present-day systems and ability to advance racial equity goals through legal strategies; demonstrated history of successfully intervening in problematic dynamics and deepening a racial justice approach within an organization, team, partnership, or campaign; and commitment to Demos’ culture of respect, shared responsibility, and consistent feedback.
  • Ability to lead and manage a team. You know how to lead a team, manage tough situations, encourage innovation, and work within an organization to set a vision and execute it effectively. You know how to achieve your goals in collaboration with others and are skilled at nurturing talent and supervising staff. A sense of humor is a plus.
  • Excellent strategic thinker and movement orientation. You have successful experience in the legal strategies field, either at a think tank, advocacy organization, or political campaign and are very familiar with the progressive field. You can navigate the terrain of being a non-partisan and credible think-tank while advancing strong progressive values and policies. You work effectively with grassroots partners and advocates at the state and national level; you understand the importance of, and have experience with, building respectful relationships with other progressive organizations, advocates, and leaders in one or more areas of Demos’ work.
  • Experience with Core Demos Issues. You have expertise or experience within Demos’ core issue areas, particularly Democracy reform, which includes voting rights, reducing the role of money in politics, and shifting power of federal and state courts from engines of oppression to engines for justice and equity for Black and brown communities.

The most competitive candidates will also demonstrate one or more of the following skills, experiences, or perspectives:

  • Strong Existing Network. You are known and respected in the progressive movement and legal field, bringing existing relationships that will facilitate expansion of our work.
  • Ability to Write Effectively for Broad Audiences. You have experience writing effectively for broad audiences through blogging, op-eds, reports, briefing papers, or other similar outlets.
  • Public Presentation. You are a skilled public speaker who is experienced with presenting to groups and at conferences, and comfortable with engaging in media interviews or appearances on our issues.
  • Fundraising Experience. You have experience engaging with and/or cultivating relationships with individual donors and/or foundations to solicit funds to support program work.

Candidates need to bring a strong commitment to excellence and an ability to work in a fast-paced environment. The position is full-time.

Salary and Benefits:  The salary range for this position starts at $130,000 and is negotiable depending on experience. We have a generous benefits package which includes health insurance, dental and vision insurance, 10 paid holidays, 18 vacation days per year, 5 floating holidays per year, paid time off Dec. 25- Jan. 1, 12 sick days per year, and a voluntary 403b plan.

More information about Demos may be found at: https://www.demos.org/

This search is being led by Allison Kupfer Poteet , Julian Jackson, and Sarah Hecklau of NPAG. Due to the pace of this search, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Candidates may submit a thoughtful cover letter, outlining their interest and qualifications, along with their resume via NPAG’s website.

Demos is an Equal Opportunity Employer--people of color, people with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. We are committed to a diverse workplace, and to supporting our staff with ongoing career development opportunities.

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