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 trans, non-binary and gender-expansive people. As we combat the patriarchy, we also challenge racist power structures and inequities compounded by ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, age, and other identities. Since its inception, ERA has been on the front lines of advancing gender justice through a combination of impact litigation, policy advocacy, public education, and direct legal services, bringing visibility to the experiences and voices of the people we represent.
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 hundreds of 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’s home base is in San Francisco, California, with team members also located in Washington D.C. and other locations. Our annual operating budget is $3.7 million, and we have prioritized significant growth in the near future.
For more information on Equal Rights Advocates, please visit its website.
Equal Rights Advocates (ERA) is seeking an experienced and dynamic Senior Legal Counsel, Litigation 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 led groundbreaking litigation resulting in progress for working women and students facing gender, racial, LGBTQI+ injustice.
The Senior Counsel will supervise 2-3 team members and will identify opportunities for strategic litigation, develop a high impact litigation docket in coordination with organizational goals, lead and participate in state and federal litigation, and guide direct service programs to strategic impact goals.
The Senior Legal Counsel, Litigation responsibilities include:
- Develop, conduct, and lead cutting-edge individual and class action impact litigation in federal and state courts and administrative agencies, including through amicus briefs that will help achieve the organization’s strategic priorities and goals, including system change in workplaces and schools across the country.
- Develop and maintain relationships with pro bono and other co-counsel (e.g., private plaintiff-side firms and public interest groups). Identify, build, and nurture national and state partners and networks to develop litigation opportunities. Represent ERA in key networks and coalitions, along with other senior legal staff.
- Help to continually evolve and direct the implementation of the strategic vision for litigation and legal services as a critical complement to policy strategies in coordination process with the National Legal Director and Policy Director, Deputy Legal Director.
- Supervise and support the professional development of staff attorneys on litigation matters, as well as fellows and clerks working on litigation.
- Collaborate with other legal services providers, plaintiffs’ attorneys, and advocacy groups by participating in task forces and coalitions, making presentations, and attending conferences.
- Serve as a public thought leader on the issues central to ERA litigation and strategic enforcement efforts.
- Engage in the broader advocacy work related to ERA litigation and legal services by working with the policy and communications teams.
- Strategize with the National Legal Director, the development department, and other managers on funding for litigation and legal services, including through attorneys’ fee awards, cy pres awards, and institutional sources.
The ideal candidate will have most, if not all, of the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics:
- 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.
- 7+ years of experience conducting all aspects of civil trial and appellate litigation in state/federal court, including case development and filing, discovery, evidentiary proceedings, appeals, and settlements, litigation financial accounting, with a strong background in civil rights, public interest law, and impact litigation. Proven ability to serve as lead counsel and support other staff in lead counsel roles.
- 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 and/or disadvantaged communities.
- Possess strong legal skills and ability to analyze system-level problems and develop creative solutions using legal, policy, educational, and media strategies.
- Must have a proven track record of developing and implementing a vision and strategy for litigation.
- 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 ability to inspire, lead and support the growth and development of a team of attorneys.
- Exceptional interpersonal skills and ability to work cooperatively within ERA and network effectively with and engage external stakeholders, including government officials, service providers, lawyers, advocates, community partners, and directly impacted individuals
- Exceptional work-ethic and sense of responsibility; detail-oriented, with focus quality and accuracy; resourceful at getting to the root of problems and then finding solutions
- Committed to equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism
- Multilingual and multi-cultural capabilities are always a plus
Compensation & Benefits
The Senior Legal Counsel, Litigation position has a salary range of $115,000-125,000+, with pay and title flexibility for more experienced candidates.
Trisha Sutrisno and Shelby Woods of Koya Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role please submit your materials here or email firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com directly. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.
ERA is proud to be an equal opportunity employer that will consider all applications equally without regard to sex, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, medical condition, religion, sexual orientation, differing ability, veteran status, marital status, arrest or conviction record, or any other characteristic protected by law. Applicants with differing abilities will be reasonably accommodated during the search process.
ERA’s Equal Opportunity Employer Policy applies to all aspects and phases of employment. Through this commitment, ERA strives daily to maintain an equitable and accessible work environment that is supportive to all and free from discrimination.
About Koya Partners
Koya Partners, a part of the Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.
For more information about Koya Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.