About Lone Star Justice Alliance
Lone Star Justice Alliance (LSJA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit legal organization with offices in Austin and Dallas, Texas. Since its launch in 2017, LSJA has been committed to systemic change in the broken and flawed justice system for youth and emerging adults. LSJA’s far reaching and unwavering voice of change extends from local communities and its youth partners to the halls of the Texas State Legislature.
LSJA envisions a justice system that uses developmentally appropriate responses to behavior and treats youth and emerging adults with equity and dignity to promote resilience, conserve costs, and increase public safety. LSJA boldly addresses systemic failures in the justice system through advocacy and innovative evidence-based programs that improve life outcomes for youth and emerging adults. LSJA’s holistic approach to systemic reform is one of advocacy and action!
While advocating for legislative and policy reform, LSJA has also successfully launched innovative and scalable evidence-based grassroots community programs that manifest a more equitable and humane justice system for youth and emerging adults. From local courtrooms to the United States Supreme Court, LSJA seeks to create a path for a more equitable and humane justice system for youth and emerging adults in Texas and across the country.
LSJA has relationships with academia including institutions such as University of Texas - Austin, Southern Methodist University, and Cornell. These relationships, and similar future relationships, contribute to LSJA’s nationwide impact.
For more information on the Lone Star Justice Alliance please visit its website at https://www.lonestarjusticealliance.org/.
The Lone Star Justice Alliance (LSJA) is seeking an experienced attorney with litigation experience to direct its growing legal staff. The perfect candidate is a change-maker who is interested in leading the field of criminal and juvenile justice reform in Texas and will be highly motivated, hard-working, and embrace LSJA’s mission and program goals enthusiastically. With experience in trauma-informed lawyering and crafting client-centered narratives, the Legal Director will hold responsibility for the following:
- Developing the legal and policy strategies for the JustSentening Department by implementing LSJA’s mission, accomplishing LSJA’s goals and adhering to LSJA’s values;
- Supervising a team of 3-5 attorneys and 10-12 legal interns;
- Conducting intakes, providing legal advice and support, making strong referrals, and taking on cases for representation as appropriate;
- Advising, counselling, and representing child clients with legal matters;
- Conducting depositions, producing interrogatories, and generally engaging in contested discovery matters;
- Staying up to date on state and federal laws and policies pertaining to criminal and juvenile justice, the school-to-prison pipeline, and collateral consequences in the criminal justice system;
- Maintaining organized client files, case notes, and database systems for caseload as determined with the Chief Executive Officer;
- Supporting PR, development, communications, and storytelling projects as needed;
- Preparing written reports on matters of national and statewide importance to reform efforts;
- Supporting the development team by contributing to grant applications and reports, newsletters, website updates, and action alerts and by cultivating individual donors;
- Conducting administrative tasks as needed.
The ideal candidate will have most, if not all, of the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics:
Strong research and writing skills, excellent interpersonal and communication skills, and an abiding commitment to social justice are essential for this position.
The attitude of a team player. The Director will be supervising a dynamic group of people that make up the legal team. LSJA’s team is growing, and the Director will be instrumental in that growth. The Director needs to be an outstanding legal technician, and an excellent leader and supervisor. LSJA is a strong believer in the team approach and the LSJA office is a team environment. The Director must enjoy mentoring and teaching to succeed in this role.
LSJA believes that high energy and enthusiasm for the work (and life in general) is needed for success in this role. The Director will need to be able to work fast and change gears quickly. They must be able to think on their feet and make smart decisions. The Director must be willing to go the extra mile to get the job done right the first time. In LSJA’s practice getting it done right the first time for clients is very important and everyone works with this goal in mind.
The Director must, must, must have emotional intelligence and empathy. They must have compassion for LSJA’s staff, clients, and for humankind. The Director cannot be someone who does not take criticism well or cannot deal well with people. Some of LSJA’s clients have bad days, can be royal pains, and do not always make good life choices. Clients are dealing with a complex and confusing legal system – on top of everything they encounter in their daily lives. Sometimes they take it out on their lawyer. If you do not think that you are up to the challenge of helping sometimes difficult clients, this is not the job for you.
To put it simply, LSJA wants a Director to do good work and lead LSJA’s team to rally around the clients to help solve their legal problems. LSJA wants people who want to fight for human rights, the rights of children, and opportunities for all.
- Passion for social justice, criminal justice, and community-oriented work required;
- J.D. degree required; licensed attorney, active and in good standing, in Texas – or able to become licensed quickly;
- At least 8 years of experience representing clients in criminal and/or civil legal matters;
- At least 3 years experience supervising attorneys, developing legal strategy and leading teams;
- Excellent oral and written communication skills;
- Trauma-informed training preferred;
- Proactive communicator with strong problem-solving skills;
- Ability to develop creative solutions, speak up regularly with new ideas, thoughts, concerns, and incorporate feedback and direction;
- Demonstrated ability and willingness to zealously pursue creative and collaborative legal services and strategies;
- Excellent time management; ability to produce high quality work on tight deadlines;
- Demonstrated ability to take initiative;
- Demonstrated level of cultural competency relating to victims;
- Enthusiasm for working at a new organization;
- Excellent professional judgment;
- Ability to hit the ground working, multi-task, and work independently.
Compensation & Benefits
This is an in-person position, with office available in Dallas, Austin, or potentially Houston (preference Austin). Salary range for this position is $90,000-$110,000.
LSJA offers a comprehensive employee benefits program, including:
- Option to enroll in a 100% employer paid premium, major medical policy as well as, 100% employer paid dental/vision/ life insurance policy;
- Employer-paid long term disability insurance and group life insurance;
- Option to enroll in a 401k retirement program;
- Generous time off, including 10 holiday days, 10 days personal leave, and 10 days vacation within the first year and 15 days thereafter. LSJA also supports a company-wide sabbatical program, which provides an additional 30 days leave every five years of employment.
Amber Gomes of Koya Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express interest in this role please submit your materials – cover letter and resume - by filling out the Talent Profile or email Amber directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.
Please note that your cover letter should specifically address these three questions: (1) What does justice reform mean to you? You should be detailed in your response, but don't go over two paragraphs. (2) Why do you think you would be a good fit for this nonprofit. (3) Finally, in brief, what is your favorite children’s book and why?
Koya Partners is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals living with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual living with a disability and need assistance expressing interest online, please email NonprofitSearchOps@divsearch.com. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.
The Lone Star Justice Association is an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without discrimination against race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran or disability status. People with a criminal record are encouraged to apply.
About Koya Partners
Koya Partners, a part of Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.
For more information about Koya Partners, visit https://diversifiedsearchgroup.com/koya-partners/.