Senior Attorney/Chief Counsel - ABA Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence, Washington, DC

The ABA Commission on Domestic & Sexual Violence is seeking a full-time Senior Attorney in its Washington, DC office. As part of the Commission’s Training & Technical Assistance Unit, the Senior Attorney will plan, develop, and host national and regional, multi-day, in-person and virtual continuing legal education programs for attorneys representing victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual violence, and stalking violence.

This position will entail high level substantive legal work. The Senior Attorney will conduct in-depth and complex legal writing and research, manage, and support Commission projects, direct educational activities, and provide technical assistance to attorneys across the country. The Senior Attorney will also engage in grant development and fundraising. 

The Senior Attorney is an expert on domestic and gender-based violence (often considered a national expert). The Senior Attorney may supervise the work of other attorneys and staff. Another attorney at this level may collaborate with and supervise this position.

Essential Job Functions and Responsibilities (listed in order of importance and/or time spent)

  • Serve as a principal ABA expert and trainer on law, policy, and best practices in the field of domestic and sexual violence. Conduct legal and policy research and facilitate meetings; develop recommendations and memos. Includes contacts with government entities including officials and with media.
  • Design and update substantive curricula and materials for events, develop model documents, and conduct trainings.
  • Develop, edit, and publish written resources.
  • Provide technical assistance to attorneys in the field, attorney members, or ABA.
  • Coordinate virtual and in-person trainings and events, including coordination with training sites and vendors.
  • Identify and recruit subject-matter experts as training faculty, and for technical assistance provision.
  • Develop publicity and registration materials.
  • Manage contracts with consultants.
  • Write memoranda, recommendations, speeches, articles, including for publication
  • Analyze laws, regulations, court rules and policies/policy proposals.
  • Manage substantive/legal aspects of a project.
  • Research, draft, author, review, and critique legislative/rule/policy or regulatory text.
  • Manage policy adoption process.
  • Manage budgets.
  • Identify and develop grant funding opportunities
  • Compile data for drafting and submitting funder reports.
  • Performs other related duties as required.

Required Education, Qualifications, Experience

  • Doctoral Degree (JD, PhD).
  • Minimum of 6 years of practice or other experience in relevant specialized area of law.
  • Substantial experience and high level of skills in policy analysis and scholarly writing, public speaking, other professional legal writing.
  • Grant administration and supplemental subject matter experience may be required.
  • Excellent research, writing, speaking, organizational, and interpersonal skills.

Preferred Education, Qualifications, Experience

  • Deep commitment to ending gender-based violence and an understanding of how interpersonal and institutional power, privilege, and oppression affect the lives of domestic and sexual violence survivors.
  • Bar admission in at least one U.S. jurisdiction.
  • At least 6 years of legal experience (preferably representing victims of domestic & sexual violence in contested litigation).
  • Experience enriching and supervising a diverse team and working collaboratively with individuals from differing backgrounds.
  • Excellent Microsoft Office skills Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook) and Google Suite skills (Jamboard, Google Docs, Google Drive).
  • The ability to be self-directed and capable of managing multiple projects under tight timelines, and with unexpected twists.
  • The skills and experience to work effectively with experts to create training materials for attorneys to provide high-quality representation to victims of domestic and sexual violence in civil protection order cases, custody cases, and related civil matters.
  • Experience with conference or large-scale event planning.
  • Familiarity with United States Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women-funded programming.
  • Experience with public speaking and training adult learners.
  • Working with victims from traditionally excluded, underrepresented, and/or underserved communities; in particular, victims who are BIPOC and/or LGBTQI+ and living at multiple identity intersections.

Physical Requirements

  • Typical office work environment.

Extent of Travel Required in the Job

  • Ability to travel required.

Salary range: 

  • $85,900.00-97,660.00

Location & Loan Forgiveness:

  • ABA employees are eligible to apply for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF).

COVID-19 vaccination is required as a condition of employment (requests for reasonable accommodations for medical or religious reasons will be considered).

The American Bar Association is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, minorities, veterans, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. In compliance with the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA), if you have a disability and would like to request an accommodation in order to apply for a position with the American Bar Association, please call 312-988-5188.

Apply via Job Posting Link


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