Senior Policy Analyst/Attorney

You are here

Job location
1200 18th Street, NW
Suite 200
Washington, DC 20036
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
CLASP
Street address: 
1200 18th Street, NW, Suite 200
City: 
Washington
State: 
District of Columbia
ZIP: 
20036
Job type: 
Policy Development/Advocacy
Position Description: 

The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)—founded nearly 50 years ago in Washington, D.C.—is a nonpartisan, nonprofit anti-poverty organization advancing federal, state, and local policy solutions for low-income people. We view all of our work through a racial equity lens, addressing the barriers people face because of race, ethnicity, and immigration status. Low-income people are under greater than at any time in CLASP’s history, making our work more urgent than ever.

CLASP’s income and work supports team is seeking a senior policy analyst/attorney to strengthen our work in two critical areas that affect low-income people (particularly immigrants and people of color).

First, the senior policy analyst/attorney will provide additional capacity on immigration and economic justice policy. This includes a particular focus on public benefits, such as health and nutrition programs. CLASP recently strengthened its longtime focus on immigrant families by hiring a senior policy analyst for immigrants and immigrant families on our early childhood team. As threats ramp up, we are continuing to expand our focus in this area, including partnering with the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) on an advocacy campaign to defend and protect access to health care, nutrition assistance, and other supports for low-income immigrants and their families. Initially, the new senior policy analyst/attorney will spend up to half-time on the campaign, providing policy expertise, co-leading working groups, and collaborating with senior CLASP staff to provide support and overall direction.

Second, the senior policy analyst/attorney will help us strengthen our capacity to partner with organizations that pursue litigation to defend low-income people against executive branch actions. This builds on CLASP’s origins in public interest law; however, because our focus in recent years has been on public policy analysis, advocacy, and technical assistance, we think effective partnerships will require targeted attention from an attorney with strong policy experience. While our focus will depend on which actions the executive branch takes, we anticipate significant activity around Medicaid, SNAP, TANF, and other core work supports. Depending on the skills and interests of the individual hired, there may also be opportunities to work on child support enforcement, the excessive use of fees and fines in the criminal and civil justice systems, and the collateral consequences of involvement in the justice and immigration enforcement systems.

The income and work supports team, one of five policy centers at CLASP, brings together talented advocates. Some have decades of experience, while others are recent college graduates. The team advocates for greater political will, better policies, and more investment in programs that stabilize low-income people—allowing them to meet work and thrive economically. Our work covers Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and the Child Tax Credit (CTC). Moving forward, it may include additional programs such as Child Support Enforcement or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), depending on opportunities to make a difference in the lives of low-income people.

Our work is designed to get results—both short-term policy changes and long-term innovations that change the way thought leaders approach issues. Specific activities can include policy analysis, identifying policy opportunities, understanding state options, monitoring and responding to state and federal legislative and regulatory activities, writing reports and commentaries, providing technical assistance to state and local advocates and policymakers, and public engagement. We also expect staff to work closely with their colleagues on other teams, including the senior policy analyst for immigration and immigrant families, to seize opportunities for change that cut across policy areas as well as strengthen CLASP’s internal capacity on racial equity and data analysis.

SUPERVISOR: Elizabeth Lower-Basch, Director of Income and Work Supports

DUTIES:

The senior policy analyst/attorney will:
• Participate in—and providing significant input into—a broad campaign to protect access to benefits for immigrants and mixed-status families. This includes but is not limited to:
o Staffing the steering committee as it sets direction and priorities for the campaign and fundraises to support its activities;
o Co-leading one or more campaign working groups (e.g., legal analysis, policy and advocacy, technical assistance, state engagement, etc.);
o Contributing to fact sheets, commentaries, and other written materials in support of the campaign’s advocacy goals; and
o Providing technical assistance and guidance to campaign partners and program administrators as needed.
• Provide leadership to CLASP in building relationships and identifying ways to collaborate with organizations that use litigation to advance anti-poverty efforts.
• Expand CLASP’s capacity to strategize and coordinate across CLASP teams on issues related to litigation, civil legal aid, and criminal justice.
• Advance low-income people’s ability to access and keep public benefits, particularly immigrants and their families. This will include:
o Tracking and analyzing legislative and regulatory developments at the federal and state levels in areas of focus.
o Providing technical assistance and briefings to advocates and policymakers on ways in which programs could be improved.
o Writing and speaking to diverse audiences (federal, state, and thought leaders) about key ideas and lessons through papers, briefings, convenings, presentations, and web content.
o Representing CLASP and playing a leadership role in outside meetings, as well as coalitions and networks, and responding to media inquiries.
• Work closely with, mentor, and supervise the work of junior staff within the income and work supports team, as well as collaborate with others in the organization.

Requirements: 

The successful candidate will have a passion for driving change on behalf of poor and excluded people and the commitment, skills, and experience to work with an extraordinary team to make that change happen. Candidates should have:
• Demonstrated commitment to CLASP’s mission of reducing poverty and improving the lives of low-income people and to understanding the structural implications of income, racial and ethnic inequities on communities, families, and individual lives.
• Demonstrated commitment to equity and reducing racial and ethnic disparities.
• Outstanding written and oral communications skills, including an ability to synthesize and effectively communicate ideas persuasively and creatively to influence diverse audiences.
• Considerable knowledge of one or more major income or work support benefits programs and a general understanding of other programs. We are particularly interested in candidates with expertise in the interaction of immigration status and benefit programs or in child support enforcement policy.
• Demonstrated capacity to build strong external and internal relationships, thinks strategically, and advances a policy agenda, including as part of a broad coalition. Previous experience working on issue campaigns and in coalitions is strongly preferred.
• Understanding of the ways litigation can complement other advocacy strategies.
• Strong policy analysis skills, including the capacity to understand and use data to assess the strengths and weaknesses of policy options.
• Strong existing networks with immigrant-serving and immigrant rights communities as well as experience working with senior policymakers at the state and/or federal levels. These are pluses but not required.
• Language skill in Spanish or another language relevant to immigrant communities. This is a plus but not required.
• Capacity to work both independently and collaboratively as part of a team, with a drive to contribute original work.
• Effectiveness under pressure, including the abilities to manage complex and multiple tasks, set priorities, and juggle multiple deadlines successfully.
• At least 5 years of relevant experience. We also expect the successful candidate will have a law degree. However, we will consider applications from others with extensive experience with public benefits in a legal services or legal advocacy organization.

To apply: 

Please send a resume and a cover letter by mail or e-mail to [email protected] CLASP, 1200 18th Street NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20036 and reference job position in the subject line.

Resumes will be accepted until the position is filled. NO PHONE CALLS, PLEASE. The Center for Law and Social Policy is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age.

CLASP offers exceptional benefits, including health insurance, dental insurance, life and long-term disability insurance, long-term care insurance, a 403(b) retirement program, flexible spending accounts, and generous vacation, sick leave, and holiday schedules.

Salary range: 
Salary is commensurate with experience.
Expiration date: 
Friday, December 1, 2017