Deputy Advocacy Director for Children’s Rights
Maryland Legal Aid
August 3, 2023
Maryland Legal Aid (MLA) provides life-changing civil legal assistance to eligible residents in every part of the State. Since 1911, MLA has provided high-quality legal services to low-income and marginalized individuals and communities–helping them remedy their civil legal issues and become empowered to overcome challenges, achieve stability and independence, and an overall better life.
MLA is dedicated to preserving the basic human needs and basic human rights of clients, particularly as they navigate the justice system. MLA staff, pro bono attorneys, community partners, and general supporters all play important roles in ensuring that the legal playing field is leveled so that those most in need achieve equal access to justice. It is because of this diverse support that MLA is able to be a voice to tens of thousands of economically disadvantaged and vulnerable Marylanders every year.
MLA’s children’s rights work includes representing vulnerable children in Child In Need of Assistance (CINA) proceedings, otherwise known as child welfare proceedings. Via this work, MLA attorneys also secure housing, benefits, and educational opportunities for their clients, among other things.
MLA’s Statewide Advocacy Support Unit announces an immediate opening for a Deputy Advocacy Director for Children’s Rights, a full-time position reporting to the Advocacy Director for Children’s Rights.
The Deputy Advocacy Director (DAD) will collaborate with the Advocacy Director (AD) on matters relating to representation, legislation, policy, and appellate work, including working with MLA’s staff, other legal service providers, community partners, and other stakeholders. This individual will be physically located in Baltimore while providing statewide support to MLA legal staff.
The position includes advocacy, training, and supervision, along with collaborating with colleagues on data collection, analysis, and dissemination of information. For example, the DAD will coordinate the creation of curriculum and training materials for new attorneys and other MLA legal staff around the state who will provide legal assistance and representation. In addition to training, this individual will provide critical support to MLA’s legal team to assist with legal issues, trials, and appeals. The DAD will work closely with the Advocacy Director for Children’s Rights to develop motion templates, guide attorneys on cases, and create a community of advocates working on children’s rights issues.
Through training, policy, and other avenues, the DAD will help shape MLA’s reform efforts within the child welfare system and beyond, s including the disproportionate impact of the system on low-income people, African Americans, and other minority and marginalized communities. The DAD will work with MLA’s current Task Force structure and will seek to identify new ways to ensure that MLA is a thought leader in this area of law and service to the public.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
Work with MLA leadership and other thought and community partners to develop and meet priorities and program goals.
Alongside the AD, train, mentor, and support MLA’s attorneys.
Support MLA attorneys statewide on client representation, appeals, and trials.
Develop training materials, handbooks, and motion templates.
Keep up with and advocate for legislative and regulatory changes as appropriate while adapting the work to a fluid regulatory environment and communicating the legislative and regulatory changes to colleagues.
Prepare reports as needed for both internal communication and funder compliance.
Provide direct representation or co-counseling as needed, including for appeals.
Work with community groups, attend meetings and accept speaking engagements as assigned by supervisor.
Participate in professional development and education by attending MLA and other sponsored trainings and programs.
Other duties as assigned.
Admitted to practice in the State of Maryland or admitted to another jurisdiction and eligible for admission in the State of Maryland.
Ability to use a computer, web-based applications, and computer programs such as Office 365, including Word, Outlook, Excel, and PowerPoint.
Excellent research, critical thinking, writing, and communication skills.
Self-starter who can juggle multiple priorities and meet regular deadlines in a fast-paced environment while balancing a full workload.
Experience in child welfare law, including courtroom and trial experience.
Ability to provide quality legal advocacy and representation for CINA clients.
Ability to travel locally and regionally in Maryland as needed.
Demonstrated attention to detail and ability to track and consistently meet deadlines.
Demonstrated ability to train, supervise, and mentor volunteer attorneys and maintain quality program control.
Demonstrated commitment to understanding and addressing issues facing low-income and vulnerable individuals.
Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with diverse groups of people.
Demonstrated understanding of the impact of race, bias, discrimination, and differential treatment of communities disproportionately composed of Black, Indigenous, and people of color, individuals who identify as LGBTQ or other sexual minorities, individuals with disabilities, immigrants, limited English-speaking persons, and others who have been historically marginalized in rental housing markets and in the law and justice system.
Creative problem-solving and mediation skills.
The salary range for this position is $90,000 – $110,000. In addition, MLA provides employees with a generous benefits package that includes health, dental, vision, life insurance, a 401(k)-retirement plan, two weeks paid time off, paid sick leave, 14 annual paid holidays, and more! Future flexibility regarding a hybrid work arrangement is possible after the onboarding period. Eligibility to apply for the Maryland Janet L. Hoffman Loan Assistance Repayment Program (LARP).
Please submit a resume, legal writing sample, and cover letter describing your interest and qualifications with your online application.
References will be required at the time of the final interview.
No telephone calls, please. The position will remain open until filled.
Maryland Legal Aid is committed to equity, justice, and inclusion. As an equal opportunity employer, MLA seeks to hire individuals from diverse backgrounds and perspectives that are reflective of the communities we serve, including people with disabilities, people of color, women, and members of traditionally underrepresented groups.
How To Apply
Apply for Deputy Advocacy Director for Children’s Right using the link below: