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Lambda Legal seeks a staff attorney

Lambda Legal seeks a staff attorney to engage in cutting-edge impact litigation, public policy advocacy, and education furthering Lambda Legal’s mission.  This position will be based in the Midwestern Regional Office, in Chicago. The attorney will devote approximately 50% of his or her time to the national work of the HIV Project and the other 50% to work in Lambda Legal’s other priority areas in the Midwest Region.

Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people, and people with HIV, through impact litigation, education, and public policy work.  Founded in 1973 and headquartered in New York City, Lambda Legal has regional offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta and Dallas. 

Lambda Legal’s law reform, policy, and education work encompasses a wide range of areas critically important to LGBT people and those living with HIV, such as federal and state constitutional law issues; relationship protections, including the freedom to marry; child custody, visitation, assisted reproduction, and adoption; foster care and juvenile justice; sexual orientation, gender identity, and HIV discrimination in employment, schools, youth in out-of-home care systems, health care, identity documents, the criminal justice system, and other areas; asylum and immigration policy; and anti-LGBT harassment and violence.  Lambda Legal has been involved in numerous landmark United States and state Supreme Court cases, including Lawrence v. TexasRomer v. EvansBoy Scouts of America v. DaleBragdon v. Abbott, University of Alabama v. GarrettIn re Marriage CasesVarnum v. BrienBenitez v.  North Coast Women’s Care Medical Group, and Brandon v. County of Richardson.  For more information about Lambda Legal, visit 

Lambda Legal’s HIV Project filed the first HIV-related discrimination lawsuit in this country and since then has helped maintain and expand protections across the country for people living with HIV. The HIV Project has played a key role in interpreting and enforcing the Americans with Disabilities Act and continues to achieve significant victories on behalf of people experiencing HIV discrimination in many areas of their lives, especially in employment and public accommodations.  Recent litigation includes a victory in the Eleventh Circuit on behalf of an HIV-positive man denied employment as a City of Atlanta police officer, a settlement from an Arkansas assisted living facility that ejected a man after learning of his HIV status, an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court arguing the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act as a method of correcting insurance market failures and addressing discrimination against people living with HIV, and an amicus brief to the Board of Immigration Appeals that helped prevent the deportation of an HIV-positive immigrant convicted of solicitation for oral sex.  The HIV Project achieves law and policy reform through impact litigation, extensive policy advocacy with federal and state government officials, and public education initiatives.  

Responsibilities:  The Attorney will devote approximately 50% of his or her time to the national work of the HIV Project and the other 50% to work in Lambda Legal’s other priority areas in the ten states in the Midwest Region (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin), and increase Lambda Legal’s presence as a force for civil rights there.  The attorney will handle all aspects of litigation in precedent-setting cases, as well as engage in education efforts and policy advocacy.  Litigation responsibilities include devising litigation strategies to produce the greatest positive impact most efficiently, conducting each stage of litigation in trial and appellate courts, writing amicus briefs, organizing amicus strategies, supervising Lambda Legal cooperating attorneys, assisting with the screening of requests for legal assistance, and investigating and developing potential new matters. 

In addition, attorneys on staff often consult with private lawyers who are handling matters related to Lambda Legal’s areas of expertise, advocate with government agencies and officials, and advise policy makers.  The attorney will engage in public speaking, write for a variety of audiences, and help implement education strategies to advance public knowledge and change dialogue about sexual orientation, gender identity and expression and HIV-related legal issues.  The education work involves frequent interviews with print, radio, television, and web reporters.  Some travel is required.

Qualifications: Applicants are expected to possess experience sufficient to allow them to work with substantial independence in furtherance of Lambda Legal’s mission in all areas of our work.  Applicants should have a minimum of four (4) years experience as a practicing attorney, including litigation experience that prepares the applicant to handle law reform litigation.  

All applicants should have a high level of independence and initiative, excellent speaking and writing skills, the ability to produce the highest caliber legal work, creativity, good judgment, and a willingness to work with others toward the most effective strategies and initiatives to advance civil rights.  In addition, the successful candidate will have the ability to talk and write about legal and other complex issues in clear, persuasive terms for non-lawyer audiences.  

Working at Lambda Legal requires a demonstrated awareness of and commitment to the concerns of the communities Lambda Legal.  Prior work on behalf of the LGBT community and/or people living with HIV is highly desirable, as is fluency in Spanish and/or other languages in addition to English.

Salary: Salary is commensurate with experience within the guidelines of Lambda Legal scale.  Excellent employer-paid benefits package including medical, dental, life and long-term disability insurance and generous employer contribution to retirement account. Generous vacation.

Application: The position is open until filled, and may start as soon as January 2, 2014.  Interviews may start as early as November 29, 2013.  Send resume, brief writing sample (preferably including discussion of a constitutional, discrimination, federal courts or other complex issue), and a letter or email explaining your interest in the position and how you learned of the job opening to:

Graciela Gonzalez
Lambda Legal
105 W. Adams, Suite 2600
Chicago, IL 60603

Include the words “Staff /HIV Project Attorney position” on the first line of the address of the envelope or the subject line of the email transmitting your application materials.

No calls please. Due to the high volume of applications, Lambda Legal will not accept phone calls about the position and does not notify applicants of status except when an interview is granted.

Lambda Legal is an equal opportunity employer. People of color, women, transgender people, and people with disabilities, including HIV, are encouraged to apply.

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