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US Vacancies

- Staff Attorney / Criminal Justice (Oakland, CA), USA

Staff Attorney / Criminal Justice (Oakland, CA)

100% FTE
Salary commensurate with experience

This professional-level position, available immediately, is an exciting opportunity to join the staff at PolicyLink. PolicyLink is a national research and action institute advancing racial and economic equity by Lifting Up What Works®.  Please visit our website at: www.policylink.org.

Position Overview

PolicyLink seeks an experienced attorney (3-8 years’ experience) to join its newly created public interest legal program, PolicyLink Legal.  The attorney will develop litigation and legislative approaches to advance racial and economic equity in the criminal justice system.

PolicyLink Legal utilizes legal strategies to accelerate equity campaigns, deepening and expanding the capacity and effectiveness of organizers and advocates.  Established by Julian Gross, the inaugural PolicyLink James O. Gibson Innovation Fellow, PolicyLink Legal provides legal representation, analysis, and strategies to community-based coalitions working toward equity in economic development and criminal justice. PolicyLink Managing Director and attorney Anand Subramanian co-directs PolicyLink Legal, bringing his extensive experience as an advocate on police accountability and other criminal justice issues.

In its first year of operation, PolicyLink Legal provided legal representation and assistance to many community-based coalitions, local government allies, and other equity advocates. These included negotiation of community benefits agreements, partnering with community advocates to advance police reform, and assisting local governments in developing equitable development strategies in several cities across the country.

Depending on qualifications, our new Staff Attorney’s responsibilities may include:

Collaboration with other public interest legal programs and private counsel to advance impact litigation in the criminal justice field, including issues such as:
imposition of excessive fines and fees;
police officer accountability, and transparency and effectiveness of discipline systems;
advancement of “private prosecution” models, through which private firms advance criminal and civil actions against low-income populations;
power of police unions to impede reform efforts through misuse of state and local labor laws; and
collaboration of local officials with ICE and other federal authorities.
Representation of community-based organizations in local policy reform efforts.
Working in coalition with criminal justice advocates on state and local legislation to reform the criminal justice system.
Education efforts to bring successful strategies to communities of advocates around the country.
Working with PolicyLink staff and allies to develop new and innovative advocacy and reform strategies to advance racial equity in criminal justice.
Public speaking and authorship on issues of racial and economic equity.


Membership in the California bar (or membership in another state and willingness to take the California bar examination).
At least two completed years of legal practice, including impact litigation.
A demonstrated understanding of and commitment to racial and economic equity.
Strong oral and written communication skills.
Policy advocacy and/or organizing experience.
Applicants with litigation experience, especially related to criminal justice issues, will receive the strongest consideration.

To Apply

Email Résumé, Cover Letter, and Writing Sample (addressed to Jennifer Brown, at PolicyLink), detailing your interest in the position and background in working on issues of racial and economic equity to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (include subject line: “[Your Name] (Staff Attorney/Criminal Justice)

OR fax to (510) 587-1123

OR mail to:

PolicyLink –Search Committee (Staff Attorney/Criminal Justice)
1438 Webster Street, Suite 303
Oakland, CA 94612

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis and the position will remain open until filled. Salaries and benefits are strongly competitive and commensurate with experience.

Please note: No phone calls please. Only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

PolicyLink is committed to maintaining a diverse, multicultural working environment.

Job posted on 11th September 2018
Please mention Policy Jobs when applying to this position