Director of Litigation and Advocacy

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Job location
64 New York Avenue, NE
Suite 180
Washington, DC 20002
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
Neighborhood Legal Services Program of the District of Columbia
Street address: 
64 New York Avenue, NE, Suite 180
District of Columbia
Job type: 
Legal - Civil
Position Description: 

Neighborhood Legal Services Program of the District of Columbia has an immediate opening for an experienced litigator with a deep commitment to lawyering in the public interest to serve as our Director of Litigation and Advocacy.


Neighborhood Legal Services Program (NLSP) is a federally funded, non-profit, civil legal aid law firm that provides free legal information, advice, and representation to low-income District of Columbia residents. We help with problems involving housing, family, domestic violence, public benefits, and other economic security matters. We also provide advice on some consumer issues and assist with preparing wills and advance directives. Our neighborhood-based, service delivery model -- which includes offices in Wards 5, 7 and 8 -- allows us to bring dedicated legal services attorneys and enthusiastic pro bono lawyers into low-income communities across the city to provide legal help while they learn first-hand the myriad, daily challenges faced by residents living in poverty.

The Director of Litigation and Advocacy serves as the chief lawyer for the firm and is responsible for overseeing all of the legal work of a team of 28-32 staff attorneys, post-graduate fellows and loaned associates. The successful candidate for this position must be an experienced, legal services litigator with a strong track-record of training, mentoring, and supervising junior attorneys in a dynamic law firm environment. The Director of Litigation and Advocacy also oversees the firm’s appellate work, impact litigation and our broad-based advocacy efforts.
The firm’s four Managing Attorneys (Intake/Brief Services Unit, Housing, Family, Economic Security Unit) all report directly to the Director of Litigation and Advocacy. The Director of Litigation and Advocacy reports directly to the Executive Director, serves on the Senior Management Team, and is actively involved in all aspects of law firm management including setting case acceptance priorities, attorney hiring, budgeting, development (including grant-writing) and long-term, strategic planning.

• Serves as the firm’s chief lawyer and oversees all of the direct, legal services work of the firm at the trial and appellate level, including all affirmative and impact litigation.
• Directly supervises the day-to-day legal work of the staff attorneys, post-graduate fellows and loaned associates in the firm’s veterans and consumer law practices. The Director of Litigation and Advocacy may also directly represent clients and/or co-counsel matters with NLSP attorneys.
• Identify, shape and guide NLSP’s broad-based, high-impact advocacy efforts.
• Play leadership role in developing and implementing litigation skills and substantive training programs.
• Ensure adherence to program and case handling standards, funder requirements and the highest, professional standards.
• Collaborate closely with other legal services providers locally and nationally to identify opportunities to better serve our shared, client community and to pursue, shared advocacy goals.
• Serve as a resource on professional responsibility and ethical issues for attorneys.
• Establish and implement firm program policies relating to legal work.
• Work closely with NLSP’s Pro Bono counsel to promote community engagement strategies and use of volunteers in a manner that furthers NLSP’s overall advocacy goals and strengthens its capacity to serve clients.
• Other responsibilities as assigned by the Executive Director.

Benefits package includes employer-paid medical, dental, and vision insurance; employer-subsidized family health coverage; paid vacation, holidays, personal days and sick leave; 8-week parental leave for birth or adoption of a child; employer-paid life and long-term disability insurance; 403(b) Thrift Plan (voluntary retirement savings program); and tax-free transit benefits.

Established in 1964, NLSP pioneered the concept of a law office rooted in the neighborhoods that it serves and established landmark precedents which have retained their vitality and relevance. NLSP remains embedded in D.C.’s most low-income communities, builds its work on strong partnerships with community-based organizations, and seeks to achieve lasting change for its clients and their communities by using a full range of advocacy tools. Its diverse, multi-lingual, and passionate staff embrace an explicitly anti-poverty mission and share a deep commitment to securing meaningful access to justice.


• Must be an active member of the District of Columbia Bar or eligible to immediately seek admission.
• At least seven (7) years of legal services experience with preference shown to candidates with substantial litigation experience in Housing, Family or Economic Security Law. Must also have experience supervising attorneys in a litigation setting.
• Experience with complex litigation (state and/or federal) and appellate advocacy desirable.
• Demonstrated commitment to lawyering in the public interest and a familiarity with the local, legal services community

To apply: 

Open Until Filled. For best consideration, applications should be submitted by March 31, 2023.
Interested persons should submit a current resume and a cover letter (no longer than one page single-spaced) expressing your qualifications. Submit all requested documents to Karen A. Newton Cole, Executive Director at [email protected]

NLSP IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER It is the policy of the Neighborhood Legal Services Program that no employee or applicant for employment or services will be discriminated against because of race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, disability, sexual orientation, political affiliation, family responsibilities or family status, veteran’s status, or any other basis prohibited by law, including the D.C. Human Rights Act and Language Access Act.
Salary range: 
Competitive salary starting at $125,000/year.
Submission deadline: 
Friday, March 31, 2023