Senior Attorney, Impact Litigation Unit
JOB ANNOUNCEMENT – JULY 2022
Senior Attorney, Impact Litigation Unit
The Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR) seeks a senior attorney to join our impact litigation unit to help challenge unconstitutional practices of the criminal legal system through federal and state litigation in Alabama and Georgia.
SCHR is working for equality, dignity, and justice for people impacted by the criminal legal system in the Deep South. SCHR fights for a world free from mass incarceration, the death penalty, the criminalization of poverty, and racial injustice.
Over our forty-six-year history, SCHR has litigated precedent-setting cases in the South, in hostile climates, against all odds. SCHR has forced county, state, and federal governments to make significant improvements in prisons and jails to reduce overcrowding, provide adequate medical and mental health care, and abate violence and abuse. We have argued and won five death penalty cases at the US Supreme Court, four of which challenged profound race discrimination in capital trials. Our combined litigation and policy advocacy helped bring about the creation of a statewide public defender system in Georgia. For more information about SCHR, see our website at www.schr.org.
The Impact Litigation Unit (ILU) challenges unconstitutional practices of the criminal legal system through federal and state litigation in Alabama and Georgia. Over the last decade, the ILU’s work has included cases on behalf of people experiencing poverty and are being denied attorneys for their criminal cases, people who have faced the criminalization of poverty and debtors’ prison practices, incarcerated people who are subject to unacceptably high levels of violence, overcrowding, or other barbaric conditions, and people who have been harmed by police. Many ILU actions represent classes of people, though the ILU does take on individual representation from time to time. Frequently, our clients are exposed to discrimination and abuse because of their race, religion, LGBTQ identity, mental health challenges, physical and developmental disabilities, and histories of trauma.
About the Position
The Senior Attorney will work in the Impact Litigation Unit. The eleven-member ILU consists of seven attorneys (director, two senior attorneys, three staff attorneys, and one fellow) and four investigators. The Senior Attorney’s specific duties will include supervision of lawyers and investigators in prison and jail conditions litigation and other Section 1983 litigation. The candidate will be involved in the day-to-day aspects of class action litigation, including drafting complaints, briefs, litigation correspondence, and discovery documents; taking depositions; preparing for and conducting evidentiary hearings; conducting settlement negotiations; and monitoring and enforcing consent decrees.
The candidate must have excellent writing and oral advocacy skills and a proven ability to think strategically and creatively about litigation. SCHR seeks an attorney who takes initiative, responds to rapidly changing demands with flexibility, has skill and comfort working collaboratively with a team, ably balances working on multiple cases and assignments at once, and has a demonstrated track record of grace under pressure. Experience managing litigation teams and providing supervision to junior staff and investigators is essential. A positive demeanor and excellent interpersonal skills are critical to performing well in SCHR’s culture.
The successful applicant will have a demonstrated dedication to working with people with low incomes and communities of color, a keen awareness of the class and racial issues underlying the criminal legal system, and a commitment to antiracism and the continued fostering of SCHR as an anti-racist organization.
Experience and Other Requirements
Attorneys with substantial litigation experience, including in a supervisory capacity, are invited to apply. Experience in Section 1983 litigation in federal court is required. Driver’s license is required, and frequent travel within Georgia and Alabama will be required. Start date is negotiable with a strong preference for as soon as possible.
Salary and Benefits
Salary is commensurate with experience, within SCHR’s modest, public interest salary range of $75,000 – $90,000. SCHR offers an excellent, 100% premium paid benefit package including medical, dental, vision care, and life insurance. Additional benefits include modest stipends for transportation and wellness, access to a flexible spending account, and childcare assistance (if eligible).
SCHR’s office, located in downtown Atlanta, was recently reopened in the spring of 2022. Staff members have returned to work in the office. Hybrid and remote work arrangements are available where feasible. SCHR provides PPE for employees and has a mandatory safety protocol. Employees must be fully vaccinated to work in person.
Submit a letter of interest, resume, writing sample, and contact information for three references to Terrica Ganzy, by email at careers (at) schr.org. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis as SCHR seeks to fill this position as soon as possible. NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE.
The Southern Center for Human Rights is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, which welcomes qualified applicants of all races, ethnicities, genders, gender identities, and sexual orientations, as well as those who have been system-involved.