National Legal and Policy Director

25 Aug, 2022

Jobs

National Legal and Policy Director

The Bail Project
Los Angeles, CA

About The Bail Project

The Problem

There is no place in the criminal legal system where money more clearly buys justice than bail. People who can’t afford bail remain in jail before trial, while those with money buy their liberty. Tying freedom to financial ability upends the presumption of innocence, tears lives apart, and perpetuates racial and economic disparities. It is also a key driver of mass incarceration. Each year, an estimated 2.5 million people sit in jail cells across America because they cannot afford bail.

The Response

The Bail Project is a national nonprofit that provides free bail assistance and pretrial support to thousands of low-income people every year. We are on a mission to combat mass incarceration and demonstrate that a more humane, equitable, and effective pretrial system is possible.

The Model

The Bail Project uses a national revolving bail fund to pay bail for individuals who are legally presumed innocent, and whom a judge has deemed eligible for release. We then provide court reminders, transportation, and work with local partner organizations to connect our clients with voluntary social services and community-based programs. We call this model Community Release with Support, and it has proven highly effective in helping people make their court dates. As our clients’ cases close, bail comes back into the fund where it is recycled to help additional people. The goal of The Bail Project is to work ourselves out of a job by gathering human stories and data from our ground work to advance legislative and policy change to end cash bail and invest in Community Release with Support (aftercashbail.org).

The Team

We are a community of advocates committed to ending mass incarceration and advancing racial and economic justice. Our organization consists of a central support hub and a growing network of client advocates or “Bail Disruptors” who work in their local communities to provide bail assistance and help advance advocacy efforts on the ground.

Job Summary: 

The National Legal and Policy Director is responsible for the direction and execution of the Policy and Legal Departments’ strategies and objectives, including overseeing the programmatic legal work of the organization, legislative advocacy, and policy initiatives in support of TBP’s mission to reduce pretrial detention and other carceral approaches and to eliminate cash bail or significantly reform aspects of the pretrial system. This Senior/Executive position oversees a staff of 9 and reports directly to the CEO as a member of the TBP Leadership team.

 

Responsibilities

  • Lead development and execution of TBP’s legal and policy strategies, including overseeing legal and legislative advocacy, as well as policy initiatives in support of TBP’s mission to reduce pretrial detention and other carceral approaches and to eliminate cash bail or significantly reform aspects of the pretrial system.
  • As a member of the Senior Leadership team, attend, speak on behalf of, and advocate for the Legal and Policy Team at management team and board meetings; make business decisions with a significant impact on business operations; participate in organization-wide strategic planning; support contract negotiations; and oversee the development of policies and procedures.
  • Direct and assist with local advocacy to influence the environment for pretrial reform and the organization’s ability to operate effectively through grassroots campaigns and issue advocacy, including building partnerships with local organizations and advocacy groups to collaborate and advance shared advocacy goals.
  • Lead a team of attorneys responsible for the programmatic legal work of the organization, including identifying and evaluating the viability of new sites, providing legal support to existing sites nationwide, and supporting litigation.
  • Lead a team of policy experts responsible for developing short- and long-term campaigns to achieve systemic reforms of the pretrial system at the federal, state and local levels, utilizing a diverse array of advocacy strategies and tactics.
  • Supervise the Legal and Policy Team; participate in staff selection and hiring; provide internal mentoring and capacity building; and conduct performance management and staff reviews.
  • Work alongside state-based staff around the country, partner organizations, and impacted communities.
  • In coordination with the Director of Communication, develop and coordinate messaging, initiate press conferences, and represent TBP publicly through media interviews, public speaking, presenting at conferences, and other forums. and drafting op-eds.
  • Attend conferences and other networking events relative to TBP’s mission and priorities.
  • Collaborate with General Counsel to monitor lobbying activity compliance.

Qualifications: 

  • Juris Doctorate degree from an accredited school in the United States highly preferred. MPA, MPP, or other relevant graduate degree a plus.
  • 7+ years of experience in pretrial or criminal legal policy, which includes but need not be limited to legislative advocacy, issue campaign strategy and development, or litigation work preferred.
  • Minimum of 3 years of management experience (preferred).
  • Significant experience working to dismantle mass incarceration, ideally related to decarceration, bail reform, pretrial reform, or criminal legal system reform through a racial justice and equity lens.
  • Ability to think and plan strategically regarding complex policy reform efforts and demonstrated experience in executing effective short and long-term policy agendas.
  • Ability to serve in a decision-making role requiring careful consideration of the political, strategic, policy, and organization-wide implications of positions and strategies.
  • Experience in legislative advocacy, coalition building, and/or analyzing and drafting legislation (required).
  • Effectiveness and credibility in impacted communities, along with ability to develop relationships and work collaboratively and successfully with all key internal and external constituencies, including policy makers and system stakeholders from diverse backgrounds and ideological positions.
  • A team player who works well with others and can manage multiple projects and devote time and energy to the most important responsibilities, and to lead others in doing the same.
  • People management experience, particularly working with colleagues in other parts of the country and a commitment to professional development and promoting equity and inclusion.
  • Experience as a unit or department head, or other demonstrated experience operating with great autonomy, agency, and discretion over key departmental priorities, preferred.
  • Applicants must be willing to work in a collaborative, entrepreneurial, team-based environment and possess an innovative spirit, sense of humor, and willingness to adapt to the change inherent in a growing organization.
  • Ability and willingness to travel.

We require vaccinations or weekly testing for any in-person work and this position will require regular in-person work, including travel. 

Currently all roles perform some or all of their work from home. The Bail Project will provide equipment to support work from home but staff must provide their own reliable internet access.

This is a full-time exempt, out-of-unit position. The Bail Project offers benefit programs including competitive Health Insurance, Dental Insurance, Vision Insurance, Flexible Spending Account (FSA), Health Savings Account (HSA), Life Insurance, Supplemental Life Insurance, Disability Insurance, Employee Assistance Program, Paid Parental Leave, a generous Vacation and Sick Leave policy, and a 401(k) plan. 

How to Apply:

Interested applicants should submit a resume and cover letter. In the cover letter, please address the following:

  • Why do you want to work for The Bail Project?
  • Please share 2-3 experiences that highlight why you would be a strong candidate for the Legal and Policy Director position.

No faxes, emails or phone calls please. Applicants will be notified regarding whether or not they have been selected for an interview. Applications without cover letters will not be processed.

The Bail Project is proud to be an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and actively seeks the candidacy of people of color, women, LGBTQIA+ people, and formerly incarcerated individuals. We are committed to inclusive hiring and dedicated to diversity in our work and staff.

Job posted: 2022-08-25