Staff Attorney for Impact Litigation
JOB ANNOUNCEMENT – March 5, 2021
Staff Attorney for Impact Litigation
The Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR) invites applications for a Staff Attorney to join its Impact Litigation Unit (ILU).
The Southern Center for Human Rights 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-five-year history, 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 United States 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. Our advocacy has advanced significant decarceration reforms in the Georgia General Assembly. Today, SCHR embraces multifaceted strategies in its fight for a world free from mass incarceration, the death penalty, the criminalization of poverty, and racial injustice. For more information about SCHR, visit www.schr.org.
About the Position
The Staff Attorney will join the thirteen-member ILU, consisting of eight attorneys (managing attorney, two senior attorneys, three staff attorneys, and two fellows) and five investigators. Specific duties will include supervision of investigations in prison and/or 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; and so on.
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.
Experience and Other Requirements
Attorneys with a minimum 4+ years of litigation experience are invited to apply. Experience in Section 1983 litigation in federal court is highly desired.
SCHR seeks applicants who are highly motivated, detail-oriented, well-organized, communicate well with others, have strong writing skills, and have a deep commitment to SCHR’s work. The candidate should be both a strong team player and able to work independently. The ideal candidate is someone who has prior employment or volunteer experience with under-served communities. A willingness to venture into new situations and tenacity are also desirable characteristics.
Applicants must be:
- willing to travel extensively by car in Georgia, Alabama, and elsewhere;
- trustworthy with confidential information;
- committed to serving low-income communities and/or other communities targeted by the criminal legal system; and
- dedicated to uprooting anti-Black racism and working to advance SCHR’s commitment to antiracism.
A driver’s license is required. People with direct personal or familial experience with the criminal legal system are deeply welcomed to apply.
Commitment and Compensation
SCHR seeks a commitment of a minimum of one year. Start date is negotiable with a strong preference for as soon as possible. Salary is commensurate with experience, within SCHR’s modest, public interest salary range of $60,000 – $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, remains closed for business at this time due to COVID-19. We hope to reopen in the late summer or early fall of 2021. All staff members are working remotely, though some fieldwork is currently being conducted by staff members who opt-in to participate. SCHR provides PPE for employees and has a safety protocol that staff members must abide by.
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until position is filled. Those who are interested are encouraged to apply immediately. NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE. Email [email protected] with the following:
- Statement in the subject line of the e-mail that you are applying for the Staff Attorney position;
- Letter of interest;
- Legal writing sample; and
- Contact information for three references.
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.