Director of Programs (Legal Director)

Status: Exempt, Full-time

Compensation: $140,000 to $165,000 annually depending on experience

Reports to: Executive Director

Location: Currently remote, with San Francisco office open as an option. Hybrid remote/office likely in future. Must reside in the Bay Area.

Are you an attorney who is passionate about strategic visioning, program evaluation, supervision, relationship management, and supporting advocates doing racial, economic, and immigrants’ rights work to dismantle oppressive systems?  We invite you to consider joining us! 

About You

LCCRSF is seeking a creative and resourceful lawyer with proven litigation and other civil rights advocacy experience to become its next Director of Programs. In collaboration with the Executive Director, the Director of Programs will advance the organization’s dynamic civil rights and legal programs, particularly in the areas of racial justice, economic empowerment, and immigrant and refugee rights. The Director is responsible for managing and directing all program teams as they pursue litigation, policy advocacy, lobbying, direct services, and other program offerings in pursuit of the organization’s mission. Managerial and coordination responsibilities include strategic thinking and problem-solving with program staff, personnel management, program evaluation, and grant funding and relationship building with funders, law firms, and nonprofit partners. In addition, the Director of Programs will be part of the Management Team of the organization, which includes providing leadership and serving as an active partner in organizational development. 

About LCCRSF 

As one of the most enduring civil rights institutions on the West Coast, LCCRSF works to dismantle systems of oppression and racism and to build an equitable and just society. Formed in 1968 to bridge the legal community and the Civil Rights Movement, we’re known for advancing the rights of people of color, immigrants, refugees, and low-income individuals. We also invest in legal fellows and support a network of over 1,000 active pro bono attorneys and volunteers. We are in this work for the long haul. Our goal is to make this work sustainable, to rest as needed and take care of each other and our communities, so we can be fierce in the face of power through our core issue areas of Racial Justice, Immigrant Justice, Economic Justice, and Educational Justice. Learn more at lccrsf.org

About LCCRSF’s Program Teams

Racial Justice (Impact Litigation, Policy Advocacy, Small Claims Clinics):  

The Racial Justice team takes an integrated advocacy approach by combining cutting-edge impact litigation with targeted advocacy campaigns designed to achieve measurable wins in the fight for racial and economic justice—with a focus on police brutality, law enforcement misconduct, and oppressive fines and fees systems designed to target low-income Black and Brown communities. Recent litigation and advocacy victories include:  

  • COH v. SF, a California Court of Appeal decision that is the first nationally to declare that poverty tows—the practice of seizing and selling low-income people’s vehicles just because they cannot afford to pay late parking tickets—is unconstitutional. This litigation victory dovetails with ongoing legislative advocacy in the form of AB-1082, a bill we are sponsoring to end poverty tows and reform traffic ticket collections; 
  • Debt Collective v. Judicial Council of California, a case against the California courts for running a scheme that extracted hundreds of millions of dollars from low- income Black and Brown Californians for profit; our litigation and advocacy helped galvanize AB-199, a new law that eliminated more than $1billion in illegally imposed court debts; 
  • Coalition on Homelessness v. City and County of San Francisco, securing a historic preliminary injunction against San Francisco’s draconian practice of policing homeless residents who have committed no crime but sleeping in public amidst the City’s massive affordable housing shortage; 

Immigrant Justice (Impact Litigation & Direct Asylum Representation):  

Since 1983, LCCRSF’s Pro Bono Asylum Program has secured free legal representation for thousands of asylum applicants seeking refuge in the Bay Area by providing direct representation as well as training and mentorship to pro bono attorneys on hundreds of asylum cases for individuals in immigration detention. Our program also includes regular Asylum Seminars and trainings, often for MCLE credit, that provide a valuable opportunity for immigration law practitioners, pro bono attorneys, and our partners at non-profit organizations throughout the Bay Area to develop their expertise in asylum law and other immigration topics that directly impact the communities we serve. We also litigate strategic impact litigation cases that attack pernicious immigration processing and detention issues. Recent litigation victories include:  

  • Vega v. Management and Training Corp., defeating a summary judgment motion and establishing that long-term solitary confinement violates ICE standards and is eligible for punitive damages under the Accountability in Detention Act in California.  
  • ZepedaRevas v. Jennings, prevailing in settlement enforcement proceedings in ICE detention class action, because ICE had refused to evaluate and release immigrants with heightened vulnerability to COVID-19 from the for-profit Mesa Verde detention facility.​  
  • I.T. v. United States, pursuing damages on behalf of separated families in novel FTCA litigation against the U.S. government.   

Economic Justice (Direct Business/Transactional Representation & Policy Advocacy):  

Our Economic Justice Team is working to innovate state and local economic policies that strengthen economic opportunities for historically marginalized communities in the Bay Area, guided by our direct services providing hundreds of small businesses with transactional legal assistance in communities of color. Over just the past two years, our Legal Services for Entrepreneurs program (LSE) has served more than 700 clients with commercial tenancy representation, structuring and protection of intellectual property rights, and business and corporate formation. Meanwhile, our policy team focuses on building power for grassroots coalitions advocating for policies that will help close the racial wealth gap both on local and statewide levels. Current major projects and offerings include:  

  • Working to create state and local public banks in California, as part of a public financial system that invests in our communities rather than in Wall Street, and is accountable to Californians; 
  • Incubating and launching the first contracting cooperative for Black, Brown, and women-owned contractors, designed to create increased power to win government contracts that have traditionally been harder for minority contractors to get; 
  • Advising land trusts and economic justice nonprofits on entity formation, land use, and other business legal issues, expanding capacity within the movement for fairer financial systems. 

Glide Unconditional Clinic (Direct Services & Limited Representation):  

The Glide Unconditional Legal Services Clinic provides free legal advice and referrals, with the goal of giving information to anyone in need who walks through the door. Historically, we have served over 250 clients a year, over half of whom are homeless, and nearly 75% of whom are from minority communities. The clinic is held in-person for walk-ins at GLIDE Memorial Church in San Francisco.  

Your Work, Duties, and Responsibilities  

The Director of Programs will be responsible for ensuring the health and success of each of LCCRSF’s program teams and will support the individual Program Directors running each of those program teams with tools for strategic planning, evaluation, mentorship, substantive advice, pro bono resources and support, infrastructure/management, and grant development and reporting. This position is for someone who is passionate about supporting advocates who are doing cutting-edge civil rights work by managing from a position of senior leadership. The position is not a litigation, advocacy, or direct services role, although the Director of Programs should have experience with each of those to help supervise, manage, and direct advocates leading that work. Specific goals for the position will include: 

Program Oversight, Supervision, & Management (50%):  

  • Supervise Program Directors and their programmatic offerings which include, but not limited to, managing staff work plans and performance goals to ensure high quality and mission consistent work, advising on client matters, program strategies, policy campaigns and public education efforts, and addressing various program needs.  
  • Provide Program Directors with support, guidance, and direction in carrying out litigation, direct client representation and other program services.  
  • Promote a team-oriented culture of high performance and continuous improvement that values inclusion and belonging, continuous professional growth, and job satisfaction. 
  • Collaborate with the HR team on different HR functions such as participation in recruitment processes, improving interpersonal relationships and resolving conflicts. 
  • Serve as a mentor and supporter of program directors, modeling inclusive leadership and collaboration. 

Program Evaluation & Development (20%):   

  • Work with the Executive Director, Program Directors and administrative staff to establish and maintain case management, time tracking, and reporting systems for the program teams. 
  • Work with program and administrative staff to develop external and internal program reporting systems and evaluation metrics, analyze outcomes and regularly report on progress toward broader organizational goals and mission.  
  • Work with staff to help design reporting that helps fuel development strategies in line with program and organizational priorities. Assist in the preparation of program collateral, organizational, marketing materials, and fundraising proposals and reports.  

Organizational Leadership, Strategic Visioning, & External Partnerships (30%):  

  • Share leadership responsibilities of the management team to further the organization’s short- and long-term goals, and perform other duties as may be assigned by the Executive Director.  
  • Help craft the strategic vision for the organization’s next phases of development.  
  • Make presentations and represent the organization at public events, donor/foundation events, and in various media platforms.  
  • Cultivate and maintain strong relationships with client groups, communities served, private bar, corporations, the philanthropic community, Board members, volunteers and other organizational partners focused on issues of race, economic justice, immigrant and refugee rights, and other areas as may be identified. 

Essential Qualifications 

  • Minimum of 8 years of impact litigation, direct services, and/or advocacy experience in the civil rights field strongly preferred. The primary indicator of appropriate experience will be the strength and substance of the candidate’s previous body of work; 
  • Demonstrated ability to manage attorneys and program staff, with minimum of 5 years of management level experience or working in supervisory capacity with increasing responsibility; 
  • Knowledge of and demonstrated leadership in civil rights law advocacy, particularly racial justice and experience working with/ties to low-income communities of color; 
  • Collaborative, positive, team-player who will work cooperatively across a team of people from diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives while not shying away from giving constructive feedback; 
  • Excellent mentoring skills and a demonstrated commitment to the professional development of attorneys and other legal program staff; 
  • Ability to relate to and communicate with a broad range of clients, colleagues and other stakeholders. 
  • Member of the CA Bar in good standing. 

Salary, Benefits, Work location 

This position is full-time, exempt, with a salary range of $140k-155k annually depending on experience, and reports to the Executive Director. Full benefits package includes 100% paid medical + 80% for dependents, phone and internet reimbursement, wellness bonus, 3 weeks vacation, 3 weeks sick time, paid holidays, short Fridays, and winter break (office closure during the last week of the calendar year). 

Our office is based in downtown San Francisco and we have a flexible remote policy that accommodates remote work unless our work calls for in-person meetings or outreach and communication with the clients and communities we serve. We do not yet have a target date for return to the office, but we expect to offer, at minimum, part-time remote.  

While remote, staff may not work outside CA for more than 30 consecutive days at a time. Employees must be fully vaccinated according to CDC COVID-19 guidelines for in-person work. 

General working hours are 9am-5pm, M-F. LCCRSF is woman- and person of color-led, with 35 staff. We are flexible, family-friendly, and value health, wellness and balance. We follow ADA guidelines – reasonable accommodation may be made to enable individuals with different abilities to perform the essential functions. 

Working Environment and Conditions 

The working conditions described here are representative of those that must be met to successfully perform the essential functions of this position. While performing the duties of this position, the employee must be able to remain in a stationary position, constantly operate a computer, and must have the ability to communicate information and ideas so others will understand. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the functions. 

To Apply 

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Applicants should submit: 1) a cover letter; 2) a resume; 3) contact information for a minimum of three professional references; 4) Optional: a list of litigation and advocacy matters with which you have been involved over your career as an attorney or as a supervisor or manager, including the substance of the work and a brief summary of each matter and your involvement. These materials can be sent by email to: careers@lccrsf.org (w/ “Director of Programs” in the subject line). Questions about the position can also go to that email. 

In your cover letter, in addition to describing your interest in the position and qualifications, please respond to the following question: What in your background and experience has prepared you to work for an organization dedicated to advancing racial equity and justice? Feel free to think broadly about your response, applying professional or personal experiences. 

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area thrives as an inclusive equal opportunity employer. People from all backgrounds and walks of life are encouraged to apply. 

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