The Director of Litigation will play an essential leadership role in the agency’s pursuit of systemic and institutional reform and will be responsible for leading DLC litigation efforts in areas which involve systemic issues affecting a broad class of DLC clients. The Director will report directly to the Executive Director and will be a part of the Senior Leadership Team at DLC. The Director of Litigation will regularly meet and consult with the Director of Advocacy and staff to identify systemic issues affecting DLC clients. The Director will supervise a small dedicated staff of attorneys.
The Director’s work is at the administrative, trial, and appellate levels; and in state as well as federal court. The Director may serve as lead counsel, co-counsel, consultant, amicus curiae, or provide technical support. This position is exempt, and requires a willingness to work beyond the standard work week, including evening or weekend meetings or events, as needed. Ability to travel to locations across the state, as necessary.
Develop, manage and supervise DLC’s individual and systemic litigation:
Work with members of the Senior Management Team to develop, prioritize, and manage a list of issues that provide substantial barriers to justice for DLC clients.
Consult on a regular basis with DLC staff to identify and discuss issues of systemic importance that may be suitable to address through litigation.
Ensure the ongoing development of litigation on disability rights issues.
Oversee all aspects of DLC’s litigation activities, including investigation, research, discovery, motion practice, trial work, and appellate practice.
Review pleadings, briefs, letters, presentations, and other attorney work product.
Ensure that attorneys are seeking attorneys’ fees where appropriate.
Produce legal research and writing for the Executive Director and advisory memoranda for staff on issues of systemic importance.
Maintain an active caseload of representation on behalf of people with disabilities on disability-related civil rights issues in state and federal court.
In accordance with DLC’s goals, priorities and in consultation with executive team staff, determine cases to be opened and assigned to DLC attorneys.
Draft requests for, and assist with the production of, amicus briefs, as needed.
Respond to or participate in appropriate class action litigation brought by others.
Leadership and Supervision:
Support and supervise a team of unionized senior staff and staff attorneys.
Ensure high-quality representation by attorneys through regular case review, advocacy skills training, and other quality assurance mechanisms. Ensure DLC’s legal work incorporates best practices.
Assist the Executive Director in developing and implementing DLC’s priorities, including the development of litigation strategies, budgets, and resource development.
Provide orientation, training, supervision, mentorship, and evaluation of attorneys and others as assigned, Ensure ongoing professional development.
Lead regular meetings of DLC’s legal staff to discuss issues impacting people with disabilities and develop creative legal strategies.
Prepare reports of litigation activities for the Executive Director, the Board of Directors, and funders.
Cultivate strong relationships with members of the legal community and diverse organizations, both locally and nationally.
Help facilitate smooth functioning of the office and develop a solid understanding of office protocols and culture.
Other duties and managerial tasks as assigned.
Work collaboratively with the DLC’s Director of Advocacy on DLC’s systems change efforts; coordinating policy and legal advocacy tactics, and developing financial resources to grow.
Participate in traditional media appearances (TV and radio), social media activities, and other communication efforts, including drafting press releases and newsletters related to DLC’s litigation.
Develop and expand relationships and collaborations with other agencies and private firms, both in Massachusetts and in other states, which pursue impact litigation.
Stay current with relevant changes in state and federal law.
Attend trainings to maintain and improve or refine advocacy skills and substantive knowledge.
While no one person will embody all of the qualities enumerated below, the successful candidate will bring many of the following qualifications and attributes:
Ten years or more of trial and appellate litigation experience at the state and federal levels, including complex civil or impact litigation, with a strong background in civil rights, racial justice, and public interest law.
Demonstrated commitment to enforcing and expanding the rights of people with disabilities across Massachusetts or other state(s) through individual and/or systemic litigation consistent with the mission and goals of DLC.
Strong analytical and strategic skills and experience developing litigation strategies to advance the law and address systemic problems.
Proven management ability, including experience in supervising attorneys and support staff.
Superior ability to plan effective strategies, establish realistic objectives, maintain momentum, and evaluate progress.
Excellent organizational and time management skills to manage one’s own work as well as others, and to assure completion of assignments and project.
Exceptional skills in drafting complex briefs, pleadings, and motions, conducting depositions, and trial work.
A demonstrated ability to write clearly and precisely. The ability to communicate effectively with plaintiffs, opposing counsel, staff, volunteers, and the general public
A demonstrated commitment to diversity and building an equitable and inclusive work environment.
Familiarity and/or experience with raising funds from foundations and in solicitations of donors.
Competence in the use of office computer applications, electronic databases, and electronic legal research.
Massachusetts Bar Admission is required. An attorney not admitted to the Massachusetts Bar shall seek admission as soon as feasible and be admitted within a year of employment.
This position is based out of the Boston office.
A deep personal commitment to and passion for advancing civil rights.
Demonstrated experience working with people with disabilities.
Demonstrated ability to work independently and as a member of a team.
Exemplary professional workplace behavior, unimpeachable integrity, and a commitment to the values of reliability, respect, accountability, and compassion.
A creative thinker with an ability to recognize and maximize opportunities for the organization.
A team-building and collegial management style, including effective communications skills, a warm personal style that commands respect and a sense of humor.
Experience working in nonprofit settings that are governed by a volunteer board of directors.
Bilingual fluency in Spanish and/or American Sign Language (ASL), preferred.
Internal Number: 1
About Disability Law Center
The Disability Law Center (DLC) is the Protection and Advocacy agency for Massachusetts. DLC is a private, non-profit organization responsible for providing protection and advocacy for the rights of Massachusetts residents with disabilities. DLC receives federal, state and private funding but is not part of the state or federal government.
DLC’s mission is to provide legal advocacy on disability issues that promote the fundamental rights of all people with disabilities to participate fully and equally in the social and economic life of Massachusetts. In order to achieve this mission, DLC provides a range of services including information, referrals, technical assistance, trainings as well as individual representation and systemic advocacy regarding legal rights and services for people with disabilities.