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Managing Attorney (Litigation Program)

Animal Legal Defense Fund
Posted Feb 08
Part Time
Cotati, California

Job Description


Who We Are

The Animal Legal Defense Fund’s mission is to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system. The Animal Legal Defense Fund accomplishes this mission by filing high-impact lawsuits to protect animals from harm, providing free legal assistance and training to prosecutors to assure that animal abusers are held accountable for their crimes, supporting tough animal protection legislation and fighting legislation harmful to animals, and providing resources and opportunities to law students and professionals to advance the emerging field of animal law.

What You’ll Be Doing

The Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Litigation Program accomplishes the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s mission by filing strategic high-impact lawsuits against government agencies, individuals, and industries that exploit animals, including factory farms, puppy mills, and roadside zoos that seek to expand the protections for animals under the law.

Managing Attorneys within the Litigation Program have primary responsibility for all aspects of their assigned strategic area of work, including responsibility for coordinating and supervising all assigned cases and legal matters, and the development and achievement of civil litigation goals and strategies in the Litigation Program’s business and strategic plans. This includes ensuring that strategic objectives and tactical goals as assigned by the Litigation Program Director are achieved by Litigation Program staff.

Managing Attorneys are directly responsible for managing and supervising Senior Staff Attorneys and Staff Attorneys, and for directing those attorneys’ management and supervision of Litigation Fellows and Law Clerks, who all collectively carry out day-to-day case development and litigation. Managing Attorneys also manage the assignment, supervision, and professional development of all Litigation Program staff, as well as assist in developing new cases and long-term goals.

Managing Attorneys work closely with the Litigation Program Director to manage the day-to-day operations of the Litigation Program. Managing Attorneys also assist the Director and the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Leadership Team in facilitating and developing cross-programmatic and external relationships as needed.

You will be responsible for

  • Work with Litigation Program Director to develop effective litigation goals and strategies, including identification of key areas of the law to be developed, theories of strategic impact litigation, and novel causes of action that support the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s mission and strategic goals.
  • Manage and supervise Senior Staff Attorneys and Staff Attorneys in the day-to-day performance of their jobs, including all aspects of civil litigation research and cases within their respective defined strategic envelope as identified by the Litigation Program Business Plan and delegated by the Litigation Program Director; delegation of tasks to contract and pro bono attorneys, fellows, and clerks; and confirmation of progress on all projects.
  • Directly manage and supervise all aspects of Staff Attorneys and Senior Staff Attorneys, including responsibility for quarterly reviews, compliance with HR policies, and mentorship.
  • Assist Litigation Program Director in developing an annual program budget, annual business plan, and strategic plans, and monitor day- to-day program operations to assure program, timeline, strategic objectives, and budget goals are met within assigned areas of law.
  • Provide reports to Litigation Program Director on program activities and finances on a quarterly basis or whenever required.
  • Evaluate the work product of Senior Staff Attorneys, Staff Attorneys, Litigation Fellows, other staff, contract and pro bono attorneys, and Law Clerks to ensure that competent, professional, and high-quality work is produced on behalf of Animal Legal Defense Fund.
  • Provide general management, leadership, and administrative supervision of the Litigation Program, including by supervising, managing, and professionally developing the Litigation Program’s staff.
  • Work with Litigation Program Director to develop short and long-term strategies for the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s litigation work, and actively contribute to maintaining a culture of teamwork and mutual respect within the Litigation Program consistent with the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s core values.
  • Participate in cross-programmatic, leadership, and strategic decisions and meetings as necessary to advance the goals and objectives within assigned strategic areas.
  • Work with Communications and other departments to answer questions on civil legal issues and procedures, and to propose, draft, proof, and/or edit content on cases and legal developments.
  • Coordinate, as needed, with other programs, including with Criminal Justice Program on cases that have, or could have, both civil and criminal components, Legislative Affairs Program, Animal Law Program, and Pro Bono Programs.
  • Prepare and deliver presentations for professional conferences, fundraising events, etc. when needed.
  • Provide in-house expertise for staff on questions concerning Litigation Program cases, animal law civil cases in general and civil procedures and legal strategy.
  • Perform other duties as assigned to advance the Litigation Program and the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s strategic objectives and mission.


What Skills & Experience You’ll Bring To Us

  • Understand and be committed to the vision, mission, and core values of the Animal Legal Defense Fund.
  • Managing Attorneys should have at least six years of experience successfully developing and litigating (as measured by both direct and indirect benefits) significant cases or projects, ideally as part of an organization engaged in strategic impact animal protection litigation or similar strategic impact litigation.
  • Must have a Juris Doctor degree, excelled in law school, and be admitted to practice law in their state of residence.
  • Must have significant supervisory and management experience of staff, including prior responsibility for recruiting and selecting staff, performance management and evaluations, compliance with HR policies, and mentorship.
  • Must have ability to manage managers.
  • Must have demonstrated expertise in a specific area of law or animal exploitation that contributes meaningfully to ALDF’s docket, strategic plan, and mission. We currently have a preference for candidates with significant complex environmental litigation experience or significant trial and litigation experience in other subject matter areas that involve complex expert and fact discovery issues.
  • Must have excellent organizational and prioritization skills and be able to meet deadlines.
  • Must have excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Must have excellent interpersonal skills and be able to communicate effectively, including with members, supporters, co-workers, and other counsel.
  • Must have a positive attitude and be able to work cooperatively with others and function well in a team-oriented work environment.
  • Must travel as needed to fulfill litigation obligations, or for professional conferences, meetings, or other events as required.

We Offer Competitive Compensation with Excellent Benefits, Including:

  • Starting annual salary of $119,002 for most geographic locations.
  • For candidates located within 25 miles of Washington D.C., Cotati, CA, and Los Angeles, starting pay is $125,265
  • For candidates located within 25 miles of New York City and San Francisco, starting pay is $131,528.
  • To ensure salary equity, we do not negotiate salary outside of the published starting rate. Rate is determined by role, using set geographical factors.
  • Comprehensive health care, dental, life, and vision benefits (100% employer paid); Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and Dependent Care Account (DCA) are also available;
  • Generous paid time-off provisions:
  • 192 hours of PTO;
  • 17 paid holidays;
  • 1-month paid sabbatical after 5 years of continuous employment;
  • 401k plan with a 5% employer contribution after one year of employment;
  • Alternative work schedules (at manager’s discretion);
  • Maintaining a healthy work/life balance is a core value for the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

Additional information:

The application deadline for this position is March 4, 2024

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, so we encourage applicants to apply early as we may make a decision before the deadline closes. Applications are accepted through Paylocity. We prefer applicants combine their cover letter, résumé (including 2-3 professional references), and original writing sample, into one PDF and submit via the Paylocity portal. Please ensure your last name and first initial are contained in the file names for any documents you save to Paylocity ( e.g. , SmithJ resume or SmithJ application).

This is a U.S. based position. In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete the required employment eligibility verification form upon hire. Hired individuals will also be required to provide a personal United States address and to work primarily from that address.

We are asking all staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as defined by the CDC and present acceptable proof of vaccination by the date of hire as a condition of employment, subject to any applicable state or local laws. We will consider requests for reasonable accommodations or exemptions from this policy in accordance with applicable laws.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) is an equal opportunity employer and committed to providing an employment environment which is welcoming of persons from diverse backgrounds and free from unlawful discrimination and harassment, and in which all legal rights of our employees are recognized and protected. ALDF conducts all internal and external operations, programs, and employment-related decision making (including hiring decisions) without regard to actual or perceived race, ancestry, color, religion, national origin, citizenship, immigration status, sex or gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions), gender identity or expression, political affiliation, disability or medical condition (including physical, intellectual, or psychiatric), sexual orientation, marital status, military or veteran status, genetic information, age, or other protected category, and in compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local anti-discrimination and anti-harassment laws.

Consistent with the organization’s mission, our offices and events are free of animal products and byproducts.