Senior Attorney - Litigation


Juvenile Law Center fights for rights, dignity, equity, and opportunity for youth. We work to reduce the harm of the child welfare and justice systems, limit their reach, and ultimately abolish them so all young people can thrive.

Founded in 1975, Juvenile Law Center was the first nonprofit, public interest law firm for children in the country. As an advocacy organization we now use multiple approaches to accomplish our mission: legal advocacy, policy advocacy, youth-led advocacy, and strategic communications. Our strategies are interconnected. We pair impact litigation with policy advocacy and community organizing to push for lasting and transformative change. Our policy agenda is informed by—and often conducted in collaboration with—youth, family members, and grassroots partners. Our youth advocacy campaigns respond to legal and policy opportunities in the field. In all our work, we seek out strategic communications opportunities to enhance the work and to shape public opinion. We seek opportunities across the country to work where we can respond to identified needs in the community, build on local partnerships, leverage legislative and legal reform opportunities and create momentum for change.

We strive to ensure that laws, policies, and practices affecting youth advance racial and economic equity and are consistent with children's unique developmental characteristics and human dignity.


Position Purpose

The Litigation Staff Attorney will work in our Decarceration and Eliminating Congregate Care Department. This is a new position with a primary function of developing litigation strategies to transform the child welfare and justice systems. The Litigation Attorney will work with legal leadership to continue ongoing litigation efforts and strategize on new litigation.

Projects in the Decarceration and Eliminating Congregate Care Department include affirmative civil litigation in state and federal courts around the country, appellate and amicus litigation, and policy advocacy. The work may also include public education, media advocacy, training, technical assistance, coordinating state or national reform efforts including organizing and facilitating meetings, and other duties as assigned. All our work requires collaboration in a highly collegial atmosphere with attorneys, communications, development, and operations staff, and in partnership with colleagues around the state and country.

Essential Functions (include, but not limited to)

  • Think strategically about how litigation can be used to reduce harm for children in the child welfare and justice systems

  • Use litigation to transform child welfare and justice systems to be developmentally appropriate, racially equitable, and supportive of youth, families and communities

  • Engage in impact litigation and appellate advocacy to shape the field of youth law, including drafting memoranda, motions, and briefs as well as oral advocacy and trial participation as needed

  • Provide public education at conferences, convenings, and meetings

  • Provide litigation support and technical assistance to lawyers on child welfare and youth justice issues


  • J.D. required

  • At least 7 years of experience in complex litigation, including federal, civil litigation

Required Skills

  • Demonstrated commitment to civil rights, racial justice, economic justice, and children’s rights

  • Commitment to our mission and vision

  • Significant previous experience with impact litigation at state and federal levels

  • Strong research, writing, oral communication, and legal skills

  • Highly collaborative, including ability to work effectively with external partners and internal colleagues; ability to build strong rapport and relationships; ability to work collaboratively alongside youth

  • Strong sense of professionalism, including ability to manage multiple deadlines; strong work ethic and commitment to see assignments completed thoroughly and timely; flexibility to pitch in when needed; willingness to learn new skills and improve existing skills

  • A commitment to racial equity, including: a dedication to expanding analysis and knowledge about the role that racial inequity plays in our society and a commitment to building or deepening commitment to racial justice work.

  • Ability to integrate understanding of racial equity concepts into work projects by addressing structural implications and disproportionate impacts of laws, policies, and practices.

Additional Skills and Experiences Preferred

  • Experience using additional lawyering strategies, including appellate advocacy, policy advocacy

  • Demonstrated skills in racial justice advocacy, including: a demonstrated understanding of the role of racial inequity in movement-building, a demonstrated ability to effectively manage across difference.

  • Ability to apply an abolitionist framework to design litigation, especially remedies

  • Insights into the justice and child welfare systems that bring a new perspective to Juvenile Law Center, which may be based on personal experience in the system, personal experience as a member of a historically oppressed group, and/or deep knowledge of a relevant body of law

    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

This position is a Senior Attorney level position. It will report to the Managing Attorneys and Chief Legal Officer. The Senior Attorney will have supervisory responsibilities over interns, legal fellows, and staff attorneys on litigation matters.


Salary is commensurate with experience. The minimum starting salary for an attorney with seven years experience is $103,000.

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 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 wellbeing 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

Juvenile Law Center has partnered with The Job Plugs, a diversity executive search firm, to recruit for this opportunity. Interested parties should submit their resume and cover letter to with “Senior Attorney Litigation-JLC" in the subject line.

Equitable/Inclusionary Hiring Practices

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 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 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.