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Staff Attorney or Senior Staff Attorney Lambda Legal National Headquarters (New York)

Lambda Legal seeks a Senior Staff Attorney or 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 National Headquarters in New York. While the attorney will work across the range of our mission, a key component of the position will be further development of Lambda Legal’s work with LGBT communities of color.  The attorney will focus significantly on the intersection of HIV, sexual orientation, and gender identity with other characteristics such as race, immigration status, and class, in the context of civil rights advocacy.


Lambda Legal is a national nonprofit organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (“LGBT”) people and those 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, adoption, and foster care; 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; harassment and violence; and anti-LGBT ballot initiatives.  Lambda Legal has been involved in numerous landmark United States and state Supreme Court cases, including Lawrence v. Texas, Romer v. Evans, Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, University of Alabama v. Garrett, In re Marriage Cases, Varnum v. Brien, Benitez v.  North Coast Women’s Care Medical Group, and Brandon v. County of Richardson.  For more information about Lambda Legal, visit


Responsibilities:  The Senior Staff Attorney or Staff Attorney will help serve the National Headquarters region (Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, and Washington D.C.) 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.


This position is intended to contribute particularly to Lambda Legal’s advocacy and litigation that focuses on ways in which discrimination is compounded by intersections of HIV, LGBT identity, race, class, immigration status, and a range of other personal characteristics.  Examples include work relating to the relatively high rate of HIV infection in African-American gay and bisexual men, or the compounded “closeting” of immigrants who are undocumented and LGBT and/or living with HIV.


Qualifications: Applicants for the Senior Staff Attorney and Staff Attorney positions should have a minimum of five years experience as a practicing attorney, including litigation experience that prepares the applicant to handle law reform litigation.  Senior Staff Attorney applicants are expected to possess experience sufficient to allow them to work with substantial independence in furtherance of Lambda Legal’s mission, require little direct supervision, and may have supervisory responsibility and other significant Legal Department responsibilities in addition to handling an individual docket.


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 represents.  Prior work on behalf of the LGBT community and/or people living with HIV is highly desirable.  Additionally, as this position will focus on further developing Lambda Legal’s docket and resources serving LGBT communities of color, an interest in working with these communities is essential, and prior experience working in this area is a plus.  Spanish language fluency is highly desirable.


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.  Initial interviews may be scheduled starting May 20, 2013.  Send resume, brief legal writing sample (preferably including discussion of a constitutional, discrimination, or other complex issue), and a letter or email explaining your interest in the position and how you learned of the job opening to:


Katy Tokieda

Legal Administrative Manager

Lambda Legal

120 Wall Street, 19th Floor

New York, New York 10005


Include the words “Senior Staff Attorney/Staff 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 cannot return 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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