Program Director

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Job location
315 W 39th Street, Room 507
New York, NY 10018
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
Street address: 
315 W 39th Street, Room 507
New York
New York
Job type: 
Policy Development/Advocacy
Position Description: 

Employment Opportunity Program Director

Reports to: Managing Director
Latest update: November 1, 2017

The International Legal Foundation (ILF),, a leading global advocate for the right of the indigent accused to legal representation and a provider of legal aid services in post-conflict and transitional countries, is hiring a program director to lead its public defender initiatives worldwide. Driven by the belief that every person accused of a crime, no matter their ability to pay, deserves to be represented by a well-trained lawyer the ILF currently has public defender programs in Afghanistan, Myanmar, Nepal, Tunisia and the West Bank. In addition to its ground up work establishing the right to defense, the ILF also performs high-level world-wide advocacy, pushing countries, international institutions, and donors to prioritize legal aid as a fundamental human right.

The ILF seeks a lawyer with substantial criminal defense experience (preferably as a public defender) and a strong commitment to the mission and values of the ILF to fill the position of program director. The program director will lead the ILF’s efforts to establish proactive, skilled and effective defense lawyers in the countries in which the ILF works, and build more effective indigent defense systems. The ideal candidate will be a self-starter and a team player with strong legal skills (including appellate experience) who enjoys traveling and working with people in other countries/ cultures.

Key Responsibilities:
• Strategize with the ILF’s Managing Director, ILF program staff and relevant country office staff to develop legal strategies and policies that will advance the rights of the criminally accused.
• Develop effective litigation strategies, including pre-trial motion practice, trial strategy and appellate strategies to address entrenched violations of the rights of the accused, and gaps between the law as it is written and actual practice.
• Oversee the updating of the ILF’s practice manuals and training guides for existing country programs and/ or develop practice manuals in new countries that will assist in the mentoring of the local staff and identify key issues to be litigated under the specific laws of the country.
• Provide support to the ILF’s International Fellows Program which places volunteer lawyers in our country offices to provide intensive mentoring to lawyers and management teams.
• Assist in developing and overseeing the ILF’s monitoring and evaluation systems, including the case management systems used by the ILF’s country programs, in an effort to ensure accountability and to track continuous improvement and impact.
• Assist in supervising, supporting and mentoring the management teams at ILF’s country offices, both individually and as a group both on-site and long-distance.
• Help guide growth, expansion, development and eventually sustainability of each country office’s legal services.
• Work effectively with the ILF’s Executive Director and Managing Director, and program and communications staff as necessary and appropriate, in supporting country office staff.

• Assist with report writing as well as the research and development of publications that further ILF’s advocacy efforts.
• Represent the ILF globally, as requested by the Managing Director and Executive Director.


Skills and Experience:
• Law degree and at least 5 years (preferably more) of practical experience in criminal defense
• Strong preference will be given to candidates with appellate and recent (within the last 3 years) public defender experience
• Strong and demonstrated commitment to the ILF’s mission and goals necessary
• Familiarity with case management systems utilized by public defender offices preferred
• Practical lawyering skills training experience preferred
• Intensive case based mentoring experience preferred
• Familiarity with performance standards and guidelines for quality defense representation
• Excellent interpersonal communication skills
• Excellent written communication skills
• Ability to work independently as well as in teams
• Ability to work within strict timelines and handle multiple tasks
• Experience working in an international setting preferred
• Ability and willingness to travel to post-conflict/transitional countries
• Ability to travel for extended periods of time to the ILF’s country office locations
• Knowledge of French, Arabic or Spanish preferred.

To apply: 

Please submit your resume and thoughtful cover letter by December 15th to:
HR Manager at [email protected] or 315 West 39th Street, Room 507, New York, NY 10018
No telephone inquiries please. Only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.
The International Legal Foundation is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate in its hiring practices.

Equal Opportunity Employer
Submission deadline: 
Friday, December 15, 2017