Staff or Senior Policy Attorney

03 Jan, 2023


Staff or Senior Policy Attorney

Lambda Legal
Washington, D.C.

Position: Staff or Senior Policy Attorney

Department: Legal

Office Location: Washington, DC

Type: Requires occasional travel within region and considerable time visiting the Hill, meeting with Congressional offices and administrative agencies, attending coalition and other community meetings, attending public education events, and engaging in other in-person advocacy activities.

Report To: Deputy Legal Director for Policy

Union Status: Staff Attorney G6 or Senior Attorney G8 (on a scale of G1-G9)

Annual Salary Range: G6 = $75,919-$88,016; G8 = $95,139-$110,298

Travel: Up to 30%

FLSA Status: Exempt/Full-Time

Who We Are

Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people, and everyone living with HIV through impact litigation, education, and public policy work. Since 1973, Lambda Legal has used impact litigation and other advocacy tools to decriminalize same-sex relationships; challenge discrimination against LGBTQ+ people and people living with HIV in the workplace, in the home, in schools, in health care, and in the military; and protect LGBTQ+ families, including by winning and defending marriage equality. Clients are not charged for legal representation or advocacy and Lambda Legal receives no government funding. Headquartered in New York City, Lambda Legal has regional offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, and Washington, DC.

We believe that serving the full breadth of the LGBTQ+ and HIV communities requires cultural competency and enthusiasm for diversity of all kinds. To be successful, we must approach our work with an understanding that discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity is not the only obstacle to achieving full formal and lived equality for LGBTQ+ people and everyone living with HIV; rather, we recognize the intersectional nature of discrimination, specifically including biases based on race, religion, national origin, gender, disability, education, and class. In light of this reality, we prioritize awareness and proactive commitment to counteracting these biases and their compounding effects.

(Staff or Senior) Policy Attorney

The Policy Attorney engages in public policy development and advocacy, and public education to defend and advance the civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) people and people living with HIV, with particular attention to addressing compounding inequities faced by the communities most impacted by intertwining systems of oppression, namely BIPOC and transgender, gender nonconforming, and nonbinary people (TGNCNB). The Policy Attorney also promotes public understanding of and support for our work on these issues; builds relationships with fellow advocates, public officials, and community leaders across the country; and serves as a public policy expert within the Legal department and for the organization.


Legal Analysis and Advocacy

  • Analyze legislative and administrative policy proposals concerning the rights of LGBTQ+ people and people living with HIV at all levels of government; prepare testimony and comments on proposed legislation, regulations, and other public policy proposals; develop model legislation, regulations, and administrative guidance; advocate with government agencies and officials; and advise policymakers in diverse settings.
  • Work closely with the Deputy Legal Director for Policy and other members of the Legal department to develop and lead federal policy strategies in Lambda Legal’s strategic priority areas, specifically including court reform and democracy restoration. Advise members of the Legal department on litigation matters involving the federal government as appropriate.
  • Engage in and support state-level policy advocacy, including by partnering with colleagues based in Lambda Legal’s regional offices and Communications department to provide analysis, testimony, public education and engagement regarding policy proposals, and issue campaigns.
  • Cultivate and strengthen advocacy and community partnerships, including with organizations led by and serving BIPOC and Trans communities, and with legislative and administrative offices to enhance our federal and state advocacy, including by representing Lambda Legal at coalition meetings and convenings.
  • Provide expertise and support to national and state-based groups and other organizational partners engaged in advocacy to elected and appointed officials, government bodies, and the general public on Lambda Legal’s strategic priority issues.

Public Education and Outreach

  • Engage in public speaking, write for a variety of audiences, and help conceptualize and implement education strategies to advance public knowledge and change dialogue about sexual orientation-, gender identity and expression-, and HIV-related legal issues. The education work may involve frequent interviews with print, radio, television, and online reporters.
  • Advise and work collaboratively with the Deputy Legal Director for Policy and other colleagues in the Legal and Communications departments to develop and execute public education strategies to enhance public understanding of and support for the civil rights of LGBTQ+ people and people living with HIV, including opinion pieces, longer-form reports, other analysis and advocacy pieces for diverse publishers, and social media and other public education content on these issues.
  • Represent Lambda Legal at conferences, convenings, and associations focused on or meaningfully engaging with policy issues impacting the LGBTQ+ community and people living with HIV, and advise members of the Legal and Communications departments on how to engage with those entities to build effective partnering relationships and achieve our public education and advocacy goals.
  • Engage in other duties consistent with the above as appropriate in furtherance of Lambda Legal’s mission.


Successful candidates will welcome the opportunity to work in a racially – and gender-diverse environment and to contribute to a positive and inclusive atmosphere. Working at Lambda Legal requires a demonstrated awareness of and commitment to the concerns of the breadth of the communities that Lambda Legal serves.

  • J.D. degree
  • Demonstrated experience engaging in policy advocacy, with federal policy experience strongly preferred
  • Demonstrated legal writing and oral communication ability
  • Demonstrated ability developing and implementing strategic goals, leading and managing projects, and motivating teams
  • Demonstrated awareness of and commitment to addressing the concerns of the communities served by Lambda Legal, including the ways in which other forms of discrimination (e.g., race, color, national origin, immigration status, sex, disability, age, education, and class) exacerbate discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or HIV status
  • The ability to travel to fulfill some of the duties of this position

Additional Desirable Qualifications 

  • Experience in the LGBTQ+ and/or HIV rights movements
  • Experience working with civil rights-oriented legal and/or policy organizations, legal non-profit or civil rights legal organizations, or in government in a role related to enforcement of civil rights
  • The ability to speak Spanish or other commonly encountered language other than English


Benefits include Short- and Long-Term Disability, Life Insurance, Medical Insurance (Telemedicine included), Dental Insurance, and an Employee Assistance Program – all at no cost for the employee-only premium. Employees may obtain additional coverage for themselves and/or their families including Vision Insurance at a low cost. They also may enroll in a pre-tax Health Flexible Spending Account (FSA), Dependent Care Account, and Commuter Transit Account. Lambda Legal offers a 403(b)-Retirement Plan with a percentage match from Lambda Legal as outlined in the collective bargaining agreement between Lambda Legal management and the Lambda Unites bargaining unit. Paid time off includes the opportunity to accrue up to 15 days of vacation, 3 personal and 12 sick. Lambda Legal observes 10 holidays per year and is supportive of observance of religious holidays.


Read more about Lambda Legal’s work on our blogTwitter, and Instagram.

Lambda Legal believes in creating a more equitable playing field for applicants and values the depth of relevant skills built through successful education, work, and life experiences. If your background and skills are a close match for this position, you are strongly encouraged to apply.

Lambda Legal is committed to further building and maintaining a staff that reflects the full range of LGBTQ+, HIV-affected and allied communities, and is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. Lambda Legal encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship or immigration status, disability, veteran status, record of arrest or conviction, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law. Black people, Indigenous people, people of color, lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, transgender and gender-diverse people, women, people with abilities in multiple languages, immigrants, people living with disabilities, protected veterans, and formerly incarcerated individuals and individuals living with HIV are all encouraged to apply.

Learn more here

Job posted: 2023-01-03