Administration, Legal, Risk, Compliance & Government Affairs, Nonprofit and Social Impact, Social Justice and Advocacy, Women and Girls, Youth Development and Educational Equity

National Legal Director

  • Equal Rights Advocates
  • Location Flexible

This position has been filled.

About Equal Rights Advocates

Equal Rights Advocates, ERA, is a national civil rights organization founded in 1974 to expand economic and educational access and opportunities for women and girls. ERA embraces an inclusive and intersectional view of gender justice, inclusive of trans, non-binary and gender expansive people. As we combat the patriarchy, we also challenge racist power structures and inequities compounded by ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, age, and other identities. Since its inception, ERA has been on the front-lines of advancing gender justice through a combination of impact litigation, policy advocacy, public education, and direct legal services, bringing visibility to the experiences and voices of the people we represent.

Our talented and fierce team includes litigators, policy reformers, and movement builders working at the state, multi-state and national level promoting gender equity and racial justice, expanding economic security, and growing community power. ERA’s legal initiatives include the Initiative to End Sexual Violence in Education (including a pro bono network of volunteer attorneys), and several campaigns chaired by ERA and led in partnership with hundreds of partner organizations across the country driving gender justice reform and enforcement. These include the New American Majority Family Security Initiative, Equal Pay Today campaign, the Women’s Agenda Initiative, the Network of States to Stop Harassment, and the Stronger California Women’s Economic Security Campaign

ERA’s home base is in San Francisco, California, with team members also located in Washington D.C. and other locations.  Our annual operating budget is $3.7 million, and we have prioritized significant growth in the near future.

For more information on Equal Rights Advocates, please visit its website.

The Opportunity

Equal Rights Advocates (ERA) is seeking an experienced and dynamic National Legal Director at a pivotal time of growth and high impact for the organization centering the experiences of communities of color. The position presents an exciting opportunity to build on the extraordinary momentum of a legal team which has successfully advocated for 30 policy initiatives in recent years benefiting 30 million people, led groundbreaking litigation resulting in progress for working women, and defended the civil rights of students. The National Legal Director will oversee ERA’s robust and expanding legal programs and initiatives based both in San Francisco and Washington D.C. and contribute to long-range strategic planning building ERA’s national impact. ERA seeks candidates with significant experience and success leading workplace and/or school reforms, and national and/or multi-state legal programs. A demonstrated commitment to building racial and/or gender justice preferred.  The National Legal Director will guide a 8-member legal team that includes senior staff managing major program areas. As a member of the Executive Leadership Team of ERA, the National Legal Director will also contribute significantly to national network building, fund and business development, programmatic thought leadership, and organizational strategic planning and management.

The National Legal Director’s responsibilities include:

Legal Program Execution, Management, and Evaluation (60%)

  • Identify, build, and nurture national and state partners and networks, as well as advocacy, policy, and litigation opportunities. Represent ERA in key networks and coalitions, along with other senior legal staff.
  • Work closely with other senior legal team members to seek opportunities to initiate impact litigation in federal and state courts that will help achieve the organization’s strategic priorities and goals, including system change in workplaces and schools across the country.
  • Work in partnership with key ERA Directors and staff to implement integrated advocacy campaigns and high impact strategies utilizing legal, strategic communications, public education, legislative and community mobilizing programs.
  • Recruit, and manage and provide direct supervision to legal team members with the utmost professionalism, supporting leadership growth and job satisfaction, guiding/evaluating performance, and ensuring inclusive, and equitable and effective management practices.
  • Develop and oversee the legal team budget, including expense and revenue projections and tracking, in close consultation with other senior directors.
  • Ensure regular robust program evaluation is conducted, including the development and tracking of evaluation metrics on an annual basis. Leverage evaluation results to inform strategic program decisions.

Legal Program Strategic Visioning (20%)

  • Provide strategic direction for ERA’s legal programs, projects, and enforcement efforts.
  • Develop and implement goals and priorities for the legal program, including national and multi-state growth, to further the strategic plan approved by the Board of Directors.
  • Participate actively in long-range strategic planning and impact evaluation with senior leadership and the Board of Directors.

Organizational Leadership & Fund Development/Reporting (20%)

  • An active member of and contributor to ERA’s executive leadership team, contribute to overall organizational planning and management. Staff various internal and external committees and represent the legal team at meetings of ERA’s Board of Directors.
  • Work closely with ERA’s Leadership and Development teams to advocate for sustainability and growth of bold programming, including with funders. Manage legal team’s role in grant applications, grant deliverable tracking, and reporting.
  • Advocate for civil rights and gender justice and serve as a spokesperson for ERA both with media and as a public speaker, as appropriate.
Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate will have most, if not all, of the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics:

  • Passion for gender and racial equity, reflected in a clear and inspiring commitment to the mission and growth of ERA.
  • J.D. from an accredited law school and membership in good standing;
  • Senior experience working within federal government/administration networks and D.C.-based partners;
  • The ideal candidate will be a proven legal visionary and strategist, with 10+ years experience managing, building, and/or growing legal teams and programs with a national footprint, including representation of workers/student in discrimination matters.
  • Demonstrated success building and/or contributing to national coalitions and networks aligned with ERA’s mission.
  • Prior legal director and multi-location management experience preferred.
  • Substantive knowledge and understanding of constitutional law and civil rights issues related to ERA’s mission, and a demonstrated commitment to the preservation and vigorous enforcement of the civil rights of women and girls.
  • Proven ability to work with other senior legal staff and other counsel developing and implementing short- and long-term litigation strategies in trial and appellate proceedings in both state and federal courts. Proven ability to serve as lead counsel and support other staff in lead counsel roles.
  • Extensive familiarity with the working and operation of state and federal government, with federal policy and/or government relations experience preferred.
  • Exceptional research, writing and analytical skills; excellent oral communication skills; proven ability to clearly communicate complex legal issues both in the courtroom and to the public.
  • Demonstrated experience serving as a spokesperson and thought leader on social justice issues. Prior media experience preferred.
  • Experience managing legal budgets and enthusiasm for and proven ability to develop funds and business to further organizational goals and to manage grant deliverables.
  • Proven ability to successfully manage and mentor employees, a commitment to the values and principles of diversity and equity, and experience working with and engaging diverse communities, clients and coalition partners including non-attorneys.
  • Strong interpersonal, collaboration, and influencing skills; inspires and motivates.
  • Multilingual and multi-cultural capabilities are always a plus.
Compensation & Benefits

The National Legal Director position has a salary range of $130,000-190,000, dependent on experience and skill set.


Trisha Sutrisno, Amber Gomes, and Shelby Woods of Koya Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role please submit your materials here. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.


ERA is proud to be an equal opportunity employer that will consider all applications equally without regard to sex, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, medical condition, religion, sexual orientation, differing ability, veteran status, marital status, arrest or conviction record, or any other characteristic protected by law. Applicants with differing abilities will be reasonably accommodated during the search process.

ERA’s Equal Opportunity Employer Policy applies to all aspects and phases of employment. Through this commitment, ERA strives daily to maintain an equitable and accessible work environment that is supportive to all and free from discrimination.

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part of the 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

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