National Legal Director

22 Dec, 2020


National Legal Director

Equal Rights Advocates (ERA)
San Francisco, CA

Reports to:      Executive Director
Classification: Full-Time, Exempt
Location: ERA’s main offices are located in San Francisco, CA, with remote work so long as demanded by COVID-19. ERA is able to offer a moving stipend to the Bay Area, and/or consider candidates from the NY-DC corridor who are willing to be bicoastal.

Compensation:  Salary will depend on experience. The salary range is $130,000-160,000. ERA also offers a work environment that values work/life balance and a competitive benefits package that includes employer paid group medical and dental coverage for team members and dependents; Flexible Spending and Commuter Plans; generous vacation and personal paid time off, and paid sick leave; 13 paid holidays per year; and an optional 403b retirement plan, with potential employer matching opportunity after one year of employment (based on organizational budget and discretion of the Executive Director).

The Opportunity

Equal Rights Advocates seeks an experienced and dynamic National Legal Director at a pivotal time of growth and high impact for the organization. The position presents an exciting opportunity to build on the extraordinary momentum of a legal team which has:

  • successfully advocated for 30 policy initiatives benefiting 30 million people
  • led groundbreaking litigation resulting in progress for thousands of working women
  • defended millions of students from civil rights rollbacks by the Trump Administration
  • established movement building campaigns engaging hundreds of partners across the country.

The National Legal Director will oversee ERA’s robust and expanding legal programs and initiatives based both in San Francisco and Washington D.C., and contribute to long-range strategic planning building ERA’s national impact. ERA seeks candidates with significant experience and success leading workplace impact litigation, federal policy reform, and national and/or multi-state legal programs. A demonstrated commitment to building racial and/or gender justice preferred.  The National Legal Director will guide a 8-member legal team that includes senior staff managing major program areas. As a member of the Executive Leadership Team of ERA, the National Legal Director will also contribute significantly to national network building, fund and business development, programmatic thought leadership, and organizational strategic planning and management.

The Organization

Equal Rights Advocates (ERA) is a national civil rights organization founded in 1974 to expand economic and educational access and opportunities for women and girls. ERA embraces an inclusive and intersectional view of gender justice, inclusive of non-binary and gender non-conforming people. As we combat the patriarchy, we also challenge racist power structures and inequities compounded by ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, age, and other identities.

Our talented and fierce team includes litigators, policy reformers, and movement builders working at the state, multi-state and national level promoting gender equity and racial justice, expanding economic security, and growing community power. ERA’s legal initiatives include the Initiative to End Sexual Violence in Education (including a pro bono network of volunteer attorneys), and several campaigns chaired by ERA and led in partnership with 70+ partner organizations across the country driving gender justice reform and enforcement. These include the Equal Pay Today campaign, the Women’s Agenda Initiative, the Network of States to Stop Harassment, and the Stronger California Women’s Economic Security Campaign.

ERA has a total of 20 staff members, including one located in Washington D.C. ERA’s annual operating budget is $3.5 million, with significant growth prioritized in 2021.


Legal Program Strategic Visioning (20%)

  • Provide strategic direction for ERA’s legal programs, projects, and impact litigation.
  • Develop and implement goals and priorities for the legal program, including national and multi-state growth, to further the strategic plan approved by the Board of Directors.
  • Participate actively in long-range strategic planning and impact evaluation with senior leadership and the Board of Directors.

Legal Program Execution, Management, and Evaluation (60%) 

  • Affirmatively seek opportunities to initiate impact litigation in federal and state courts that will help achieve the organization’s strategic priorities and goals, including system change in workplaces and schools across the country.
  • Oversee and participate in impact litigation.
  • Identify, build, and nurture national and state partners and networks, as well as advocacy, policy, and litigation opportunities. Represent ERA in key networks and coalitions, along with other senior legal staff.
  • Work in partnership with key ERA Directors and staff to implement integrated advocacy campaigns and high impact strategies utilizing legal, strategic communications, public education, legislative and community mobilizing programs.
  • Recruit, and manage and provide direct supervision to four legal team members with the utmost professionalism, supporting leadership growth and job satisfaction, guiding/evaluating performance, and ensuring inclusive, and equitable and effective management practices.
  • Develop and oversee the legal team budget, including expense and revenue projections and tracking, in close consultation with other senior directors.
  • Ensure regular robust program evaluation is conducted, including the development and tracking of evaluation metrics on an annual basis. Leverage evaluation results to inform strategic program decisions.

Organizational Leadership & Fund Development/Reporting (20%)

  • An active member of and contributor to ERA’s executive leadership team, contribute to overall organizational planning and management. Staff various internal and external committees and represent the legal team at meetings of ERA’s Board of Directors.
  • Work closely with ERA’s Development Director and staff to develop and nurture funding opportunities. Manage legal team’s role in grant applications, grant deliverable tracking, and reporting.
  • Advocate for civil rights and gender justice and serve as a spokesperson for ERA both with media and as a public speaker, as appropriate.

Required Qualifications

  • Passion for gender and racial equity, reflected in a clear and inspiring commitment to the mission and growth of ERA.
  • J.D. from an accredited law school and membership in good standing with the California Bar – or admission to the California Bar within one year of hire.
  • The ideal candidate will be a proven legal visionary and strategist, with 10+ years experience managing, building, and/or growing legal teams and programs with a national footprint, including 5+ years representing workers in impact/class litigation combating workplace discrimination.
  • Demonstrated success building and/or contributing to national coalitions and networks aligned with ERA’s mission.
  • Prior legal director and multi-location management experience preferred.
  • Experienced civil litigator in state/federal courts with substantive knowledge and understanding of constitutional law and civil rights issues related to ERA’s mission, and a demonstrated commitment to the preservation and vigorous enforcement of the civil rights of women and girls.
  • Proven ability to work with other senior legal staff and other counsel developing and implementing short- and long-term litigation strategies in trial and appellate proceedings in both state and federal courts. Proven ability to serve as lead counsel and support other staff in lead counsel roles.
  • Extensive familiarity with the working and operation of state and federal government, with federal policy and/or government relations experience preferred.
  • Exceptional research, writing and analytical skills; excellent oral communication skills; proven ability to clearly communicate complex legal issues both in the courtroom and to the public.
  • Demonstrated experience serving as a spokesperson and thought leader on social justice issues. Prior media experience preferred.
  • Experience managing legal budgets and enthusiasm for and proven ability to develop funds and business to further organizational goals and to manage grant deliverables.
  • Proven ability to successfully manage and mentor employees, a commitment to the values and principles of diversity and equity, and experience working with and engaging diverse communities, clients and coalition partners including non-attorneys.
  • Success in this position will require strong self-motivation, a demonstrated capacity to work in a timely and professional manner under multiple deadlines, and the ability to coordinate with and manage legal staff, other organizational employees and leaders, and outside partners.
  • Ability to drive and travel as required by the position, once health restrictions are lifted.

How to Apply

Are you ready to join our team at ERA? Submit your current resume, a brief original writing sample, three references (we will not contact without prior consent) a cover letter highlighting your litigation experience in federal/state courts, describing your interest in this particular position, connection to ERA’s mission, and where you found the job posting to Please include “2020 National Legal Director” in the subject line of your email. Incomplete applications will not be considered. The position is open until filled. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

An Equal Opportunity Employer with a Commitment to Diversity
ERA advances equity and inclusion in the workplace by providing equal employment opportunity to support a work environment free from discrimination on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age (over 40), sexual orientation, military and veteran status, arrest or conviction record, and any other basis prohibited by law. The organization also provides reasonable accommodations for qualified applicants and employees with disabilities. This equal employment opportunity policy applies to all aspects of employment, including recruitment, selection, advancement, training, problem resolution, and separation from employment. Through this policy, ERA strives to establish and maintain an equitable and accessible work environment that is supportive and free from discrimination.

Job posted: 2020-12-22