Senior Attorney - Debt Free Justice

Position Description

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. Current issues can be found here.

Position Purpose

The Senior Attorney will be an integral part of Juvenile Law Center’s team working 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 research and writing, state policy organizing, and technical assistance to state teams working to abolish fees and fines, as well as supervision of staff attorneys engaging in this work. The position may also include legal research and writing 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.

This is a three-year, grant funded position. Renewal is dependent on additional grant funding.

Essential Functions (include, but not limited to)

  • Engage in policy research and analysis, including analyzing statutes and regulations and conducting fiscal analyses to support state legislative efforts

  • Provide leadership and technical support to state teams working to abolish fees and fines in their jurisdictions

  • Testify in state legislatures or participate in other state advocacy activities as needed

  • Engage in legal and policy research and writing for amicus briefs, litigation, and national reports as needed

  • Engage in strategic communications, including drafting blogs or op eds, speaking with press, and engaging in media outreach as needed, in collaboration with Juvenile Law Center’s communications team

  • Engage in project management and provide supervision for staff attorneys

  • Present at national conferences, convenings, and meetings

  • The position may involve travel beginning in 2022


    • J.D.

       • Seven years law and policy advocacy experience required

Required Skills

  • 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 legal and policy research and writing 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

  • Experience with state policy advocacy and background in fines and fees reform preferred

  • Minimum seven to ten years of experience with demonstrated leadership, project management, and initiative

  • J.D. required

    Additional Skills and Experiences Preferred

• Experience in state policy advocacy and fiscal analysis preferred

Note: Juvenile Law Center has a commitment to professional development and will actively support candidates in further developing their skills in these areas.

Responsibility Level

The Senior Attorney reports to Juvenile Law Center’s Senior Managing Director. The Senior Attorney may supervise staff attorneys and other members of the economic justice team.


Salary is commensurate with experience. The minimum starting salary for an attorney with seven years' experience is $80,064.

Juvenile Law Center offers excellent benefits, including employer paid health, dental and vision insurance for employees and their family, short- and long-term disability and life insurance, and employer contributions to 403b retirement plans. Paid time off includes fifteen (15) vacation days, five (5) personal days and twelve (12) sick days. Juvenile Law Center is closed for twelve holidays and for the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Office Location

Juvenile Law Center’s physical office in Philadelphia is closed through January 18, 2022. We anticipate a hybrid work schedule in the new year. Juvenile Law Center’s office is open to use only by employees who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19. This position may be remote or in person. Once the office reopens, individuals working remotely will be expected to travel to Philadelphia on a regular basis to be determined based on the needs of the position as identified by the individual’s supervisor and the needs of the organization. All remote working employees will be expected to travel to Philadelphia a minimum of once every other month.

COVID-19 Policy

At Juvenile Law Center, we believe that we must do all that we can to protect the safety, health, and well-being of employees, youth advocates, guests, our communities, and others with whom we interact. All offers of employment are contingent on the candidate showing proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to pass the pre-employment requirements. Individuals in need of an exemption from this policy due to medical reasons, or because of a sincerely held religious belief may request an exemption from this policy. Accommodations will be granted where they do not cause Juvenile Law Center undue hardship or pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others.

Application Process

Round 1: Submit your application by completing this form and email a single PDF containing your resume, list of three references and a writing sample to Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Round 2: Candidates will be invited to schedule a 45-minute video interview with members of the hiring team.

Round 3: Finalists will be invited to two 45-minute interviews with members of the hiring team, the Chief Operating Officer, and staff from the relevant departments for the position. Following this round of interviews, candidate references will be checked.


Equitable/Inclusionary Hiring Practices

Juvenile Law Center seeks to minimize bias and the impact of structural racism in the fields we work in within our hiring practices. To that end, we focus on relevant skills and experience, and aim to de-prioritize information that can allow for implicit bias.

Juvenile Law Center is committed to advancing equity both internally and in our advocacy work. We recognize the urgency and necessity of actively building and supporting diverse leadership at Juvenile Law Center and in the field more broadly. We are committed to actively recruiting and hiring from communities most impacted by our work.

Applicants working to advance equity and who identify with these impacted communities are strongly encouraged to apply and self-identify during the application process.

Juvenile Law Center’s mission is to advocate for rights, dignity, equity, and opportunity in the child welfare and justice systems. The diversity of our staff is critical to fulfilling this mission.


Juvenile Law Center is committed to cultivating an inclusive space that affirms and celebrates the backgrounds, learned and lived expertise, whole identities, and individual perspectives of our staff. We are committed to the diversity of our staff as it pertains to race, color, ethnicity, class, sex, marital or parental status, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, size, disability, religion, national origin, and/or child welfare or juvenile or criminal justice involvement, including prior record of arrest, adjudication, or conviction. Applicants of all backgrounds and experiences are encouraged to self-identify during the application process.

Juvenile Law Center is an equal opportunity employer.