Senior Staff Attorney and Staff Attorney, Children’s Rights
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Website: Southern Poverty Law Center
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a leader in the fight against hate and bigotry in the United States, is seeking nominations and applications for a Senior Staff Attorney (SSTA) and Staff Attorney (SA) focused on Mississippi in the significantly expanding Children’s Rights practice group. Joining a highly-talented team that uses impact litigation and policy advocacy as its primary tools to pursue justice and equal rights, the Senior Staff Attorney and Staff Attorney will support the development and implementation of SPLC’s work in Mississippi to protect and advance the rights of children in the state and nationally.
As fear, division, hatred, and economic uncertainty persist in the American consciousness and manifest in discriminatory policies, speech, and actions, individuals across the country are reigniting their commitment to justice for all. The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Legal Department is growing in response to the increased demand to protect those whose civil rights are being threatened across the country. Over the last 12 months, the growth of this team has been unprecedented.
Under the direction of Legal Director, Rhonda Brownstein and Deputy Legal Director, Zoe Savitsky, the Children’s Rights practice area is growing to meet the increased demands for justice for children across the South and nationally, with a clear focus on ensuring that vulnerable children in the Deep South have access to the resources they need—particularly education and mental health services—to grow and thrive, and that they are neither excluded from nor denied such resources due to their background or characteristics. Vulnerable children in SPLC’s focus-states are pushed into the school to prison pipeline at disproportionate rates, attend school in under-resourced education systems, and often have little or no access to vital mental health services. And in these states, the forces of deregulation and privatization are working to destroy the most important institution for building a democratic society, public schools.
The Senior Staff and Staff Attorneys for Children’s Rights in Mississippi will work in collaboration with the Deputy Legal Director and Senior Supervising Attorney to execute SPLC’s vision and strategy for children’s rights work in the state. Reporting to the Senior Supervising Attorney, Christine Bischoff, the SSTA and SA will work alongside other attorneys, policy counsel, and advocates. Together, the team is challenging the privatization of public education and the structural inequalities that disproportionately direct vulnerable children from the classroom and toward prison, educate them in unjustly inadequate schools, and prevent them from accessing the services they need to flourish in their communities.
Specifically, the Senior Staff Attorney and Staff Attorney will be responsible for developing and litigating complex civil rights cases in state and federal courts, at both trial and appellate levels. The SSTA and SA will engage in litigation and public advocacy related to children’s rights issues, particularly relating to educational equity, including school funding, privatization, school vouchers, segregation/re-segregation, and other critical issues of equity in Mississippi.
The ideal candidates will be exceptionally talented impact litigators and strategists with a deep personal passion for pursuing justice on behalf of vulnerable children. They will have an understanding of the challenges facing children in southern states or states with similar demographic, social, and legal contexts and a natural intellectual curiosity to pursue new learnings and knowledge. Ideal candidates for SA will bring at least two (2) years and the SSTA will bring at least five (5) years of litigation experience and be barred or willing to sit for the next bar exam in Mississippi.
This search is being conducted with assistance from Katherine Jacobs, Callie Carroll, and Javier Garcia of NPAG. Candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Please send nominations and/or applications including cover letter describing your interest and qualifications, your resume, and where you learned of the position to the following email address: SPLC-CRMS@nonprofitprofessionals.com. Southern Poverty Law Center is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.
Katherine Jacobs, Ph.D.
As a trained psychologist, teacher, researcher, and consultant with twenty years of experience both in the U.S. and abroad, Katherine guides organizations through change with particular expertise in founder transitions, facilitation of Board and executive level decisions, and the implications for growth and strategic talent development.