Education Civil Rights Attorney - San Francisco

  • 11 Mar 2019 4:03 PM
    Message # 7213679
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Public Advocates Inc., a bold and highly-regarded civil rights law firm and advocacy organization, has an opening on its Education Equity Team for a Staff Attorney or Senior Staff Attorney, depending on experience. Our mission is to eradicate poverty and discrimination and promote thriving communities. For forty-eight years Public Advocates has used a diverse set of legal and policy tools to achieve tangible legal victories and help low-income communities of color build their power to participate effectively in public decision-making.

    Our Education Equity Team is recognized statewide for effective state and local advocacy and our ability to support our grassroots partners’ power-building efforts. Our work to ensure full and equitable funding for all students – and especially socioeconomically disadvantaged students of color – and to advance teacher quality reforms allows us to work to ensure every child has excellent educational opportunities to achieve their full potential. Visit our website to learn more about our areas of our work across school funding, diverse and prepared teachers, data and accountability, and seeding democracy through the development of meaningful student and parent voice in school communities.


    • Community Partnership & Coalition Building: Build and maintain positive relationships with diverse grassroots community partners, students and families of color and other allies; leverage legal and policy expertise to enhance capacity of community partners and build power of students and parents to impact the education system through trainings and other resources
    • Legal & Administrative Advocacy: Work on precedent-setting cases at the trial level, on appeal and before state and federal agencies, in collaboration with Ed Team attorneys and pro bono co-counsel; initiate and manage litigation and other advocacy depending on experience
    • Policy Advocacy: Develop, analyze and promote policy change at the state, federal and local levels, and sustain Public Advocates’ role in amplifying the voices of students and families of color in local, statewide and national coalitions
    • Strategy & Project Management: Help shape the strategic direction of our education program work, incorporating policy advocacy, community collaboration, media and communication, and litigation to achieve our objectives; take initiative to plan and implement work in collaboration with community partners
    • Communication: Develop and execute outreach and media strategies, including messaging, community education, writing, social media and representing Public Advocates and coalitions to the press and public
    • Resource Development: Help identify and develop funding opportunities and contribute to foundation relations


    • Experience, ability and motivation to do the highest caliber legal work; successful candidate will have at least three to eight years of active litigation and/or administrative advocacy, legal research and drafting experience
    • Excellent communication skills, including writing and including the ability to communicate clearly and persuasively about legal and policy issues to legal and lay audiences
    • Motivation and experience working with communities of color and/or low-income communities and commitment to community empowerment, self-determination and leadership development
    • Independence, initiative, creativity, diplomacy and capacity to work collaboratively both internally and with allies
    • Passion for public education with a growth mindset around becoming an expert in multiple aspects of the education landscape
    • CA Bar admission
    • Preference for one or more of the following:
      • Fluency in Spanish strongly desired
      • Experience and interest in supervising others (law clerks and fellows, junior attorneys)
      • Policy experience, generally, and education policy experience, in particular
      • Experience teaching in public schools
      • Communications and storytelling experience
      • Experience in securing program grants and other fund development, organizational planning and/or writing for publication

    Qualities expected of all Public Advocates staff include integrity, high professional standards and commitment to progressive social change and working successfully with diverse colleagues, clients and community partners. This includes active participation in promoting healthy workplace culture through our organizational diversity initiative. We value cooperation, candor, flexibility, resilience, optimism, curiosity and sense of humor.

    Compensation & Work Setting

    Competitive salary range from $72,000 (for an attorney with three years of experience) to $90,000+; actual salary is commensurate with relevant experience. Benefits include full health and dental insurance for employee and eligible family members; life and disability insurance; generous vacation; 403(b) retirement plan; and paid sabbaticals. Office located on the Embarcadero near the Ferry Building in San Francisco, convenient to public transportation (we offer access to tax-advantaged commuter benefits). Some travel likely, mostly within California, including to our Sacramento office.

    Application Instructions

    Applications welcome immediately; position open until filled. To be considered, applications must include: 1) a cover letter that a) explains your specific interest in this role and in our advocacy model, b) addresses how your identity and background have prepared you to be an effective advocate for social justice and c) describes a project or challenge you have managed that will help us understand your qualifications; 2) a resume; 3) writing sample(s) that illustrate your reasoning and communication skills; and 4) names of three references, at least two of whom have directly supervised your work. Submit your application (and/or questions) by email to

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