Legal Advocacy Director
Disability Rights Maryland
August 8, 2022
Disability Rights Maryland (DRM), a private, non-profit law firm, is a leader in disability rights and the Congressionally mandated Protection and Advocacy organization for individuals with disabilities in Maryland. We help people with disabilities pursue opportunities to participate fully in all aspects of community life, and champion their rights to self-determination, dignity, equality, opportunity, and freedom from discrimination and harm. We provide free legal services to persons with disabilities in Maryland and engage in systemic litigation and public policy advocacy to positively impact people’s lives. DRM’s issue areas span criminal justice and prison reform efforts, education, monitoring of facilities to investigate abuse, neglect and rights violations, voting, housing, transportation, assistive technology, health care, and the right to appropriate services, among others, on behalf of Marylanders with all types of disabilities. DRM envisions a world where people with disabilities are fully included in all aspects of community life.
Legal Advocacy Director Position:
The Legal Advocacy Director works closely with the Executive Director and Litigation Counsel to identify, shape and guide DRM’s broad-based, high-impact advocacy efforts. The Director leads DRM’s policy and legislative initiatives, guides the organization in its development of priorities and its collaboration with disability communities, and has primary responsibility for managing and training DRM’s legal staff. The Director helps to develop new litigation, plays a role in ongoing litigation, and assists with training junior staff on litigation and strategies.
• Develop and implement, in conjunction with DRM’s leadership team, litigation, policy and legislative initiatives to promote civil rights of individuals with disabilities.
• Lead DRM’s federal and state legislative education and advocacy, and provide direction for public and media relations.
• Collaborate with external coalitions, organizations, associations, and local, statewide and national legal advocacy programs.
• Recommend DRM’s priority goals and objectives for development of annual DRM program priorities, based on identified client and community needs.
• Serve as a resource for professional responsibility and ethical issues for attorneys.
• Supervise and evaluate the performance of Managing Attorneys and provide substantive guidance, training, consultation, and technical assistance to Managing Attorneys and other legal staff as may be required.
• Juris Doctorate from an accredited law school is required.
• Licensed to practice law in Maryland or eligible for out of state admission.
• A minimum of seven (7) years of legal work experience in positions of increasing responsibility.
• At least two (2) years of experience directly supervising legal work.
• Ability to analyze complex legal issues and execute a variety of advocacy strategies.
• Ability to communicate complex legal issues clearly and effectively both orally and in writing.
• Ability to work independently, successfully manage multiple work priorities and allow availability for consultation, technical assistance, and guidance to management and other staff as may be required, and work under deadlines.
• Ability to mentor and develop legal skills and talent of DRM legal staff.
• Strong interpersonal skills and ability to establish and maintain effective working relations and collaborate with DRM staff and colleagues in a team environment and motivate and direct staff.
• Ability to maintain confidentiality and exercise sound judgment in the handling of all advocacy, supervisory, and management activities.
• Computer literacy and proficiency with software utilized to carry out job functions.
• Strong commitment to advancing the rights of persons with disabilities.
• Sensitivity to persons with disabilities and individuals from culturally diverse communities.
• Ability to travel throughout the State of Maryland.
• Experience in the administration and management of a law firm or legal services organization.
• A demonstrated interest or background in public interest work, particularly related to disability rights issues.
• Life experience with a disability.
• Fluency in American Sign Language or Spanish.
• A minimum of five (5) years of litigation experience, with experience in both state and federal courts.
• Experience working with people with disabilities and diverse communities.
Full description: https://disabilityrightsmd.org/careers/
The annual salary range is between $82,480 to $103,402, depending on education level, experience, and special skills.
DRM offers a generous benefits package which includes excellent medical insurance, employer- paid dental, prescription, vision, life, and disability insurance, as well as pre-tax savings plans, a retirement savings opportunity with generous employer contributions, and opportunities for telecommuting policy. DRM offers employee reimbursement for the cost of spouse or partner- paid health insurance premiums up to an established maximum amount. DRM also offers generous paid time off, including vacation, holidays, sick time, and more.
Our staff are collaborative, collegial and committed to the well-being of the communities we serve and one another. Our workplace is flexible and we place a high value on diversity and inclusion.
How To Apply
E-mail resume, cover letter, a writing sample to Jobs@DisabilityRightsMD.org with “Legal Advocacy Director” in the subject line. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Positions remain open until filled with priority given to applications received before September 2, 2022.
We are looking for thoughtful, personalized cover letters that demonstrate the applicant’s qualifications, work style and interest in being part of a team working to advance the civil rights of persons with disabilities in Maryland.
DRM is an equal opportunity employer. People of color, individuals with disabilities, and LGBTQIA+ individuals are especially encouraged to apply.