Wednesday, November 09, 2005

 

PUERTO RICAN LEGAL DEFENSE AND EDUCATION FUND - LEGAL DIRECTOR

Since 1972, the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc. (PRLDEF) has promoted justice for Latinos by using the law to support the Latino community in a broad range of civil rights issues. PRLDEF’s litigation in the areas of education, employment, housing, voting rights, as well as immigrant rights, seeks to ensure the fundamental rights of all people to quality education, meaningful employment and economic opportunities, the right to vote and fully participate in democracy, and the right to a fair judicial system. PRLDEF is also highly recognized for its Legal Education programs, its continuous efforts to cultivate Latino leaders, and for diversifying the legal profession by reducing barriers to Latinos’ access to law schools, the bar and judiciary. PRLDEF’s work seeks to generate full civic participation of Latinos, and to create bridges between newly arrived and more established Latinos. Based in New York City, PRLDEF has a staff of 15 and is governed by a 20-member Board of Directors.

Primary Responsibilities
Management: The Legal Director is a member of PRLDEF’s senior management team. S/he reports to PRLDEF’s President and General Counsel and manages a legal staff of three full-time and two part- time attorneys, as well as a legal assistant. S/he contributes to the overall strategy for advancing the mission of the organization and participates in its administration. The Legal Director is responsible for providing supervision and leadership to the legal staff. S/he also oversees PRLDEF’s Summer Intern Program and Pro Bono outreach activities.

Litigation: The Legal Director directs and facilitates all litigation undertaken by PRLDEF. S/he has primary responsibility for selecting cases based on organizational priorities and ensuring their effective execution. S/he will also be an active litigator for PRLDEF. Cases include class actions involving constitutional and civil rights in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate levels, through both direct representation and amicus briefs. The Legal Director builds relationships and works closely with other public interest advocates, including pro-bono counsel. S/he maintains his or her bar admission in good standing.

External Relations: The Legal Director is a key public spokesperson for the organization. As appropriate, s/he serves as a liaison with the media and assists the Communications Strategist with raising and maintaining PRLDEF’s public profile. The Legal Director assists the Development Department's fundraising efforts by occasionally participating in meetings with major donors and other funders, speaking at donor forums and events, cooperating with Development staff as needed in drafting grant proposals and reports, and ensuring that the legal staff prioritizes and contributes to development efforts.

Required Qualifications
• Demonstrated professional commitment to civil rights issues;
• Minimum of 6 years of federal and state litigation experience handling complex litigation including class actions;
• Effective communicator in writing and orally, including excellent public speaking skills for both formal and extemporaneous presentations;
• Excellent interpersonal and supervisory skills;
• A history of collaborating successfully with a broad and diverse range of communities and individuals;
• Detail oriented; able to prioritize and delegate multiple tasks and responsibilities;
• Proficient in Spanish.

To learn more about PRLDEF, please visit http://www.prldef.org . The Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (PRLDEF) is an equal opportunity employer and considers all applications without regard to race, color, religion, creed, gender, national origin, age, disability, marital or veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other legally protected status.

To apply for the position, please submit a substantive cover letter, current resume, and list of case litigation via e-mail to: Lauren I. Gumbs, Senior Partner Gumbs + Partners lauren@gumbspartners.com



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