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Head of Litigation

  • Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California
  • Los Angeles, CA
About Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California

As the nation’s largest legal and civil rights organization for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPI), Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California (AJSOCAL) works to advocate for civil rights, provide legal service, and build coalitions to positively influence AANHPI individuals and communities and create a more equitable and harmonious society. Founded in 1983 as the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California serves more than 15,000 individuals and organizations every year. Through direct services, impact litigation, policy advocacy, leadership development, and capacity building, Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California focuses on the most vulnerable members of AANHPI communities while also building a strong voice for civil rights and social justice.

Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPI) have long been leaders, community members, and change makers. With over 50 ethnicities and over 100 languages and dialects, AJSOCAL’s rich history intertwines with efforts for racial justice, immigration, and civil liberties. Today, AANHPI are 7.2% of the US population, 15.3% of the electorate in California, and the fastest growing ethnic population in the US. This breadth of resilience informs the way AJSOCAL continues to fight for access and equity. From the earliest immigrants in the 1800s, to building communities across nationalities and experiences, to empowering community members to vote, educating within the organization and its allies, AJSOCAL seeks to advance justice for AANHPI communities each day.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California is based in downtown Los Angeles, with satellite offices in Orange County and Sacramento.

For more information on Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California, please visit www.ajsocal.org.

The Opportunity

During a time of significant opportunity for AANHPI communities, Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California seeks a Head of Litigation to lead AJSOCAL’s impact litigation practice and align its work with the organization’s mission and goals. This strategic leader will employ a thorough understanding of AJSOCAL’s resources to best leverage the organization’s power and guide their team to successful pursue impactful litigation opportunities. The Head of Litigation will partner closely with teams internally to define the organization’s litigation priorities and proactively develop potential engagements around key issues impacting AANHPI individuals across Southern California. As an ambassador and advocate, this leader will work to initiate and participate in legal action that may result into changed laws or critical civil rights policies, and which will improve the lives of many people in the AANHPI communities.

As a key internal collaborator, the Head of Litigation will proactively partner with leadership and staff to provide key litigation support. Working across the organization to facilitate collective decision-making, this leader will design and execute litigation strategy and operations and ensure the successful facilitation and representation of all clients. In partnership with AJSOCAL’s leadership team, the Head of Litigation will be a key leader in cultivating key relationships to grow critical service partnerships, professional development opportunities, and fundraising potential for the organization.

Reporting to the CEO, this leader will oversee the Impact Litigation program staff and provide thoughtful mentorship and coaching to a dedicated team of attorneys, paralegals, caseworkers, and legal assistants. The Head of Litigation will design and lead strategic professional development that expands AJSOCAL’s staffing resources, for litigation, including developing relationships with pro bono co-counsel partners, and, in turn, grows the organization’s capacity to tackle critical civil rights issues for AANHPI communities across Southern California. 

Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate must have a Juris Doctorate and be an active member of the California State Bar or will successfully pass the California State Bar Exam upon hire. Impact litigation experience in both state and federal courts, ideally with a background in addressing social justice issues is preferred. Experience with fee generation in civil rights cases and development of innovative funding sources for litigation is highly desired. In addition, they will possess the following competencies, personal qualities, and characteristics:

Strategic Litigation Expertise and Creative Problem Solving

This entrepreneurial leader will bring expertise in deftly navigating a range of litigation engagements and cases with significant impact for marginalized communities. Utilizing a deep toolkit of litigation resources and experience, the successful candidate will employ a range of creative approaches and solutions to develop successful and impactful litigation strategies that both benefit clients and their communities and act in alignment with AJSOCAL’s mission. Unafraid to try new approaches and course correct as needed, this leader will confidently pursue a variety of litigation strategies and techniques to set and successfully achieve litigation goals and support the organization for the future.

Passion for the Mission

The Head of Litigation will have a true passion for the mission of AJSOCAL and effectively take action to advocate for and empower Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities to thrive. Possessing a deep belief in the power of impact litigation to improve the AANHPI experience and change society for the better, this leader will embody a commitment to social justice and civil rights advocacy and action that improve the lives of AANHPI communities and contributes to the advancement of AJSOCAL’s mission and sustainability of the organization and its work.

An Effective Communicator and Ambassador

The successful candidate will possess strong interpersonal and communication skills to effectively address and persuade diverse audiences, including the general public, media, lawyers, advocates, funders, donors, and opinion leaders. Employing a nuanced understanding of constituents, as well as strong written and verbal communication skills, this leader will successfully engage, influence, and inspire audiences to act in support of AJSOCAL’s mission and goals, whether that be through litigation, advocacy, education, organizing, or funding.

A Relationship Builder and Collaborator

The ideal candidate will possess a demonstrated track record of successfully forging alliances and coalitions and moving people to take collective action. With an ability to quickly establish credibility and rapport, this leader will be adept at building and sustaining excellent relationships with staff, community leaders, and partner organizations and harnessing their professional networks in support of AJSOCAL’s mission. The ideal leader will utilize experience developing effective relationships with co-counsel partners in pursuing impact litigation engagements. The successful candidate will remain comfortable in ambiguity and persistent in driving processes forward through collaboration.

Team Management

Guided by a team-centered approach to client service, the Head of Litigation will deftly balance various engagements, client expectations, and team cooperation to produce effective solutions to challenging and unique problems. This leader will work towards understanding the various roles and contributions of individual teams and mobilize resources effectively through meaningful engagement and continue building AJSOCAL’s team of highly talented and effective attorneys and contributors. Working strategically with transparency and accountability, this ideal candidate will embrace a fast-paced culture of learning and seek to be inclusive and collaborative in decision making.

Additional Qualifications
  • Minimum 4 years of previous litigation experience required.
Compensation & Benefits

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. The salary range for this role is $160,000 – $170,000 with a generous benefits package.

Contact

Koya Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Michelle Bonoan and Marisa Chock of Koya Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express interest in this role, please submit your materials here or email Michelle and Marisa directly at mbonoan@koyapartners.com and mchock@koyapartners.com. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

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.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ applicants.

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 www.koyapartners.com.

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