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Director of Advocacy

The Northwest Justice Project (NJP) is the State of Washington’s primary legal services program with a staff of 150 attorneys in 18 regional offices, making it one of the largest law firms in the state. NJP receives state and federal funds to serve low-income communities across the state, including migrant farm worker and Native American communities. NJP’s mission is to combat injustice, strengthen communities, and promote human dignity. NJP carries out its mission through high quality, impactful advocacy that promotes the long-term well-being of low-income individuals and communities across the state. 
The Director of Advocacy is a member of NJP’s executive management team and is responsible for leading, motivating, inspiring and facilitating excellence in pursuit of NJP’s mission to combat injustice, strengthen communities and protect human dignity through legal representation and advocacy on behalf of client communities statewide. The Director of Advocacy brings strategic vision to NJP’s work - to break down barriers to opportunity caused by economic inequity, discrimination, implicit bias, disability, language access, and other circumstances that systemically impair access to opportunity, wherever the barrier exists. The Director of Advocacy carries out these responsibilities through close collaboration with and supervision of NJP’s advocacy leadership team and regional managers and by serving as an expert, supportive counsel, and resource to all NJP advocates statewide.  
The Director of Advocacy is also responsible for fostering and maintaining relationships with advocacy leaders in the broader access to justice, public interest and legal communities; is the chief spokesperson for communicating NJP’s strategic advocacy goals to partners; and, works collaboratively with Alliance for Equal Justice partners and supporters to develop and promote comprehensive approaches to achieving advocacy goals. Toward this end, the Director of Advocacy will be engaged in state, local and national equal justice community-wide activities that promote NJP’s advocacy goals and be a visible leader within the public interest/access to justice advocacy community.  
The Director of Advocacy reports to the Executive Director. The position is located in NJP’s central administrative office in Seattle.  
The key functions of the Director of Advocacy at NJP are as follows: 
  • Provide dynamic, enthusiastic and motivational leadership for high quality, impactful, and innovative legal representation and advocacy to a committed team of highly capable attorneys throughout the state of Washington. 
  • Identify emerging advocacy needs and help to develop and support collaborative advocacy teams to accomplish systemic change that improves the lives of NJP’s client communities. 
  • Develop and oversee NJP’s advocacy related policies and protocols and advocacy related compliance with NJP’s program policies and funding regulations, e.g. legislative advocacy, rulemaking advocacy, appeals approval, etc. 
  • Participate as a member of NJP’s executive team to identify program needs and respond programmatically to enhance advocacy related professional development systems, opportunities to develop new advocacy leaders and to support and lead NJP’s race equity and other mission focused strategic advocacy initiatives.
  • Lead the process for identifying and implementing NJP’s Strategic Advocacy Focus initiatives and other advocacy goals set out in NJP’s Strategic Plan.
  • Support and directly supervise NJP’s Regional Managing Attorneys, Client Access Manager and Statewide Advocacy Coordinators to ensure that they effectively carry out their responsibilities, which include, promoting and supporting systemic and individual advocacy opportunities and goals, facilitating program-wide collaboration to strengthen NJP’s statewide law firm culture and to ensure effective client access, supporting  advocate professional development systems, case service priority setting, caseload guidelines and community engagement, facilitating development of self-help resources, and other advocacy related matters.
  • Communicate NJP’s advocacy objectives and successes both internally and to the external community as part of NJP’s overall communication and development strategies to encourage and enhance popular support for NJP’s work and mission.
NJP has an organizational commitment to fight racism and to incorporate equity and inclusion in both the work we do and work environment we create. All staff are expected to uphold this commitment and approach their role with a desire to learn and grow in this area.  NJP expects the Director of Advocacy to support and promote these efforts and be willing to identify, address and combat personal and organizational blind spots. 
Qualifications for the position: To be successful in this leadership position, the Director of Advocacy will have many of the following qualities and competencies as demonstrated by specific experience:
  • Member in good standing of the Washington State Bar Association or other state bar association and the ability to become a member of the Washington State Bar through APR 3(c). 
  • A minimum of ten years of litigation and related advocacy experience in a legal aid program or equivalent experience in a social justice or public interest organization, or in a law firm that has a recognized commitment to pro bono and public interest litigation/advocacy for the common good.
  • Experience in complex litigation at trial and appellate levels of state and federal courts or the equivalent in other adversarial tribunals, e.g. administrative tribunals  
  • Recognized as a leader in the public interest and/or equal justice communities, legal community, local not-for-profit community, race equity or other similar social justice focused community of advocates, service providers, supporters and others pursuing social and systemic change to combat injustice, strengthen communities, protect human rights and/or promote human dignity.
  • Cultural competence and ability to work in a diverse environment with highly skilled lawyers and advocates with a broad range of backgrounds, experiences, racial, cultural, religious, sexual orientation, and other identities in a workplace that embraces equity and inclusion in all aspects of its work and organization. 
  • Ability to communicate strategic intent and to lead teams to identify, develop and implement strategic advocacy initiatives and other systemic advocacy goals.
  • Flexibility, patience, commitment to develop and mentor new advocacy leaders through training, experience, teamwork, and ensuring professional opportunity that is inclusive of advocacy staff statewide and throughout specialized practice areas and units.
NJP offers an attractive overall compensation package, which is competitive within the Washington state Legal Aid community. 
Interested candidates should send a letter of interest, current resume that specifically identifies impactful advocacy leadership and experience, and writing sample to: Karen Holland at Letters of interest and subject line should clearly reference Director of Advocacy position. Cover letter should include description of any past experience and competence, personal or professional, working with low income or other marginalized communities. 
Position will remain open until filled. NJP will begin reviewing applications November 6, 2018.  
NJP is committed to a policy of equal opportunity and fosters an environment free of barriers and discriminatory practices. NJP actively promotes mutual respect, acceptance, teamwork and productivity. NJP is committed to maintaining an organization whose staff, Board and clients are diverse in background, experience, race, color, national origin, gender, age, religious reference, marital status, sexual orientation, sensory, mental or physical abilities, veteran status, and other qualities that strengthen the program while reinforcing its commitment to basic fairness. People of color, people who identify as transgender, lesbian, gay, or bisexual, and those with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. Individuals needing a reasonable accommodation for the application or interview process or for more information about the project should contact Karen Holland at (206) 707-0802.