Legal Aid at Work – Wage Protection Program Director

Company Intro
Legal Aid at Work (LAAW) partners with people to help them understand and assert their workplace rights, and advocates for employment laws and systems that empower low-paid workers and marginalized communities.

LAAW has seven core program areas: (1) Community Legal Services; (2) Disability Rights; (3) Gender Equity & LGBTQ Rights; (4) National Origin and Immigrants’ Rights; (5) Racial Economic Justice; (6) Wage Protection; and (7) Work & Family. Through these programs, LAAW:

Provides free, individualized legal advice and counsel throughout California to thousands of low-income workers;
Pursues targeted enforcement and impact litigation to strengthen and clarify the law;
Conducts community outreach and education for workers, their advocates, their families, and their health and social service providers; and
Advocates for laws, regulations, and policies at the local, state, and national levels to strengthen civil and workplace rights.
As a social justice organization, Legal Aid at Work’s mission is rooted in the firm belief that all people deserve respect, dignity, and self-determination at work, at school, and in their communities. Structural and systemic racism—with the oppression of Black and Indigenous people at its core—and other forms of injustice shape the society and the civic, political, and legal systems in which we work and live. Legal Aid at Work is committed to developing and nurturing an organizational culture that will dismantle systems of oppression, uplift people from underrepresented communities, and create a workplace that is truly equitable and inclusive. As such, we strongly encourage candidates from underrepresented communities to apply.
Job Description/Duties
The Wage Protection Program aims to help build a just economy where all workers are empowered to win fair wages and dignified workplaces through legal representation and advocacy.

We believe that building worker power is fundamental to achieving our mission. As lawyers, we strive to ground our legal advocacy in community-led efforts because we know that without the strength and backing of organized and informed workers, legal gains will not last. For this reason, we often work in partnership with worker centers and other community-based organizations. Our commitment to our clients includes not just legal representation but ensuring that they are educated and empowered through the process. We strive to center and prioritize the most marginalized workers in predominately low-wage industries, because an economy that works for them will help all workers. We also aim to bring litigation that has the potential to improve industry practice, by targeting powerful actors within a particular market or common practices that employers use to evade wage-and-hour liability.

Legal Aid at Work seeks a Program Director for our Wage Protection Program with a deep commitment to advancing workers’ rights to assume significant responsibility in impact and enforcement litigation and other advocacy efforts on behalf of low-wage workers.

Responsibilities
The Program Director will work within and across teams to further the goals of the Wage Protection Program, with an emphasis on setting and executing against the Program’s strategy, managing the litigation docket, and overseeing a team of Staff Attorneys, a Senior Paralegal, and fellows and law clerks.

The Program Director is responsible for:

Developing strategy for the program in partnership with the VP of Programs and Litigation and the other attorneys on the team;
Overseeing the Program’s litigation docket, including class actions, representative actions, individual actions, and amicus work;
Overseeing the Program’s collaborations with worker centers and other community partners;
Overseeing the Program’s direct services work, including limited and full legal representation in unemployment insurance matters;
Managing the Program administration, including preparing the program budget, coordinating program projects, supervising Program attorneys and staff, timekeeping, and assisting with the preparation of grant applications and reports.
Job Criteria
The following list of core competencies and experiences is provided to share insight into the requirements of the role and the general level of experience we seek in candidates. We encourage all qualified candidates and those with relevant or transferable experience to apply, even if you do not bring experience in all of the areas noted below.

Candidates must be active members of the California State Bar, or be willing to take the next California Bar Examination if currently a member of another state bar. LAAW will consider candidates located anywhere in the state of California. Legal Aid at Work offers employees the flexibility to work primarily from home, contingent on business needs and professional responsibilities. Strong preference will be given to applicants with personal or professional experience working with impacted communities.

Demonstrated commitment to social justice and civil rights work; a passion for Legal Aid at Work’s mission of seeking justice for low-wage workers;
8+ years of litigation experience; a minimum of 3 years of supervisory experience strongly preferred;
Demonstrated track record setting and executing against programmatic strategies;
Experience working with low-wage worker and/or immigrant communities;
Experience with investigation, case development, and litigation including discovery, motion practice, hearings, trials and/or appeals in California and federal courts;
The ability to lead and work collaboratively with a small team of attorneys and paralegals;
Experience managing multiple projects simultaneously, and prioritizing competing deadlines;
Willingness to develop projects on their own initiative;
Strong legal research, writing, and analytical skills;
The ability to think strategically about the role of a legal nonprofit in supporting grassroots organizing efforts;
A commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and the ability to hold and foster difficult and necessary conversations about sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, and other protected categories.
A commitment to racial equity work and incorporating racial equity principles into legal advocacy;
Ability to use tact and diplomacy when dealing with sensitive issues and to maintain confidentiality;
Strong interpersonal skills, initiative, leadership, and organizational abilities;
The ability to travel as necessary within California and to other parts of the country for litigation, speaking events, meetings, and conferences.
Additional Preferred Qualifications
Knowledge of California and federal wage and hour law, employment law, and court and/or administrative procedures;
Fluency in Spanish, Mandarin, or other languages commonly spoken by low-wage workers in California.
Salary Range/Hourly Rate
Legal Aid at Work offers salaries that are competitive in the public interest law community. Benefits include health plans, long-term disability and life insurance, 403(b) retirement plan, and generous paid vacation and holidays. As a unionized organization, Legal Aid at Work believes in the importance of employees organizing to improve their working conditions. This position is included in the bargaining unit represented by ESC Local 20. Salary placement at hire and salary advancement will be in accordance with the negotiated salary scale in the union contract for this position. Attorney salaries are paid depending on years out of law school and range from $90,000 to $172,950. This Program Director position will receive an annual premium payment of $6,000. This person will also be eligible for the language bonus of $75 per pay period.
Other Benefits and Perks
See job posting
Job Category: Employment Law and Workers' Rights
Job Type: Full Time
Job Location: California