State Policy Advocate: Debt Free Justice Campaign

Position Purpose

Juvenile Law Center advocates for rights, dignity, equity and opportunity for all youth in the child welfare and justice systems.

Founded in 1975, Juvenile Law Center is the first non-profit, public interest law firm for children in the country. Through litigation, appellate advocacy and submission of amicus (friend-of-the-court) briefs, policy reform, public education, training, consulting, and strategic communications, we fight for children who come into contact with the child welfare and justice systems. Widely published and internationally recognized as leaders in the field, Juvenile Law Center has substantially shaped the development of law and policy on behalf of youth. We strive to ensure that laws, policies, and practices affecting youth advance racial and economic equity and are rooted in research, consistent with children’s unique developmental characteristics, and reflective of international human rights values. 

The state policy advocate will play a leadership role in Juvenile Law Center’s campaign to end fees and fines in the juvenile justice system, collaborating in a highly collegial atmosphere with attorneys, communications, development, and operations staff, and in partnership with colleagues around the state and country. The work will include policy advocacy, public education, media advocacy, legal and non-legal writing, training, technical assistance, and coordinating reform efforts including organizing and facilitating meetings, and other duties as assigned. Juvenile Law Center is committed to equity and inclusion internally and in our work. We value youth voice and the candidate must be able to work alongside youth advocates to further our mission. The position may be filled remotely.  

This is a two-year position, with renewal dependent on additional grant funding.


Essential Functions (include, but not limited to):

  • Coordinate the work of the advocacy team in multiple jurisdictions, in collaboration with the Senior Managing Director
  • Engage in research and analysis, including analyzing statutes and regulations, conducting stakeholder surveys and interviews, and conducting fiscal analyses to support state legislative efforts
  • Support state teams in coalition-building and legislative outreach and work with Senior Managing Director to coordinate funding for state teams
  • Provide public education at conferences, convenings, and meetings
  • Supervise outreach coordinator in collaborating with youth and family to build coalitions and shape advocacy strategy
  • The position may involve travel beginning in 2021.


Responsibility Level

The Policy Advocate reports to the Senior Managing Director. This position supervises the Outreach and Communications Associate.



  • Demonstrated commitment to civil rights, racial justice, economic justice, and children’s rights
  • Proven ability to work independently and engage in project management including a demonstrated ability to prioritize requests, track and manage multiple tasks simultaneously, and meet deadlines, and support team members
  • Excellent judgment, diplomacy, and professionalism including the ability to work well with people from different backgrounds, life experiences and levels of training and formal education
  • Outstanding policy analysis, writing, and verbal communication skills
  • Superb analytical, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills
  • Curiosity and eagerness to continue learning new skills, grow professionally, and take an optimistic approach to new challenges
  • A minimum of five years of policy advocacy work experience.
  • M.P.P, J.D., MSW, or equivalent experience.



This is a full-time position. The salary range for this position starts at $67,500. Juvenile Law Center offers excellent health care benefits, disability insurance and life insurance.


To Apply:

Send cover letter describing interests and experience, a resume, list of three references and a writing sample in a single PDF to:


Human Resources
Subject Line: State Policy Advocate Application


As an equal opportunity employer, Juvenile Law Center strives to be an inclusive space that affirms and celebrates the diverse backgrounds, learned and lived expertise, and individual perspectives of our staff. We are committed to building a culturally diverse staff and are dedicated to uplifting the voices of under-represented communities as it pertains to race, color, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, marital or parental status, disability, religion, national origin, and/or child welfare or justice system involvement. We do not discriminate or exclude prospective employees based on criminal backgrounds or ex-offender status.

Applicants striving to advance equity for youth in the child welfare and justice systems, who fit into any under-represented group, are encouraged to apply and self-identify during the application process.


Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.