The NLG is hiring a Director of Mass Defense! Please see the full job description and applications below—and please circulate far and wide! Download the PDF of this job posting here.
National Lawyers Guild (NLG) National Office
Position Remote; Office Located in New York, NY
About the National Lawyers Guild
Our mission is to use law for the people; we unite lawyers, law students, legal workers, and jailhouse lawyers to function as an effective force in the service of the people by valuing human rights and the rights of ecosystems over property interests. This is achieved through the work of our members, and the Guild’s numerous organizational committees, caucuses, and projects, reflecting a wide spectrum of intersectional issues.
Director of Mass Defense
The Director of Mass Defense (DMD) is responsible for the coordination and implementation of all aspects of the protest support program. The position is largely an organizing role which also involves media/social media, fundraising/grant writing, and limited legal research and/or writing in collaboration with barred attorney members. The successful DMD candidate will be responsible for overseeing network-building and membership-building activities that support NLG chapters and regions, the Mass Defense Committee and other NLG committees and projects, and NLG members and trained volunteers to collaborate within their region(s) and across our national network. The DMD reports to the NLG National Office Executive Director and works closely with the MDC Steering Committee to identify and implement priorities and strategies, as well as create and maintain necessary resources.
The following list of responsibilities is limited to what time permits within a 35-hour work week
- Coordinate with NLG members, chapters, and committees to provide national protest legal support to current left radical/progressive social movements;
- Prioritize organization and provision of legal support for protests in locations without a NLG staffed chapter;
- Review the political landscape to identify current social movements and needed response(s);
- Collaborate with community-based organizing projects to develop strategy and prioritization for legal support;
- Create, update, and distribute Mass Defense-related resources such as a legal brief bank, rapid-response protocols, training materials, Know Your Rights handbooks, a legal observer training manual, and info/data security protocols;
- Coordinate with the MDC Steering Committee to identify and meet mass defense-related priorities and to address situations affecting mass defense organizing nationally;
- Report to the Executive Director and other national officers as needed to address legal situations that arise that involve mass defense organizing or NLG members or trained volunteers involved in mass defense organizing;
- Work with the Director of Communications and, when relevant to chapter-based legal support organizing, local chapter leadership to create content (e.g., articles, blog posts, social media posts, interviews) on NLG mass defense work;
- Act as point person for and representative of the NLG in protest-related coalition organizing;
- Participate in and help organize monthly MDC Steering Committee calls;
- Assist with mass defense fundraising campaigns and grant requirements;
- Work with the Director of Membership to recruit non-NLG legal professionals;
- Collaborate with staff and volunteers to organize and host the NLG annual national convention, as well as participate in annual regional conferences as availability permits;
- Participate in weekly staff meetings and office-wide administrative projects;
- Some travel may be required (1-3 times per year minimum).
- 3-5 years professional experience in organizing legal support, community organizing, or similar experience providing support for social movements;
- Excellent project management skills for both individual and interconnected programs;
- Ability to work collaboratively, share responsibilities, and support and acknowledge colleagues’ contributions; experience with collaborative workplaces and consensus-based decision making a plus;
- Ability to think strategically and identify mass defense-related opportunities and challenges;
- Excellent time-management skills;
- Ability to write clearly and concisely, and to deliver content on deadline;
- Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite and Google Apps. Willingness to be trained on basic competency of CiviCRM, our constituent relationship management platform, and WordPress, our website platform;
- Familiarity with the social media landscape, including but not limited to Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
- Must be authorized to work in the United States.
- Knowledgeable about or interested in learning about Constitutional and First Amendment law and organizing;
- Understanding of state repression and political organizing in response;
- Understanding of left radical/progessive social movements and political ideologies;
- Experience with security needs and technology.
The work environment described here is representative of what an employee will encounter while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with different abilities to perform the essential functions.
- Job largely takes place remotely, with virtual collaboration with other staff and members. Must be able to participate in online virtual communications including email and video conferencing used to facilitate virtual office culture and work sharing.
- This position is full time (35 hours a week) and exempt. This position requires availability during core office hours of 12:30pm – 5:30pm Eastern Time. Occasional work on evenings and weekends as needed.
- Must be able to conduct business in English; however, fluency in languages other than English is a plus.
- Some work at off-site locations required (i.e., annual convention, National Executive Committee meetings); the NLG aims for accessibility in any off-site location.
- This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, and webcams. Employee is regularly required to communicate effectively via computer, via phone, and in person.
Salary and Benefits
The salary for this position is $60,000 annually. The position is covered by a collective bargaining agreement with the National Organization of Legal Service Workers, UAW Local 2320. Benefits include employer-paid medical and dental benefits; 401(k) plan with employer match; paid family leave, disability, and life insurance; three personal days, seven fixed holidays, four floating holidays, 18 sick days, and 20 regular vacation days annually. This is subject to revision during the contract bargaining process.
NLG Mass Defense Program
The Mass Defense Committee (MDC) is a network of lawyers, legal workers, and law students providing legal support for political activists and movements for social change. MDC members provide legal observing at demonstrations, Know Your Rights trainings, meetings with protest organizers about legal consequences, assistance in setting up temporary legal offices and jail and bail support programs, and materials for supporting activists engaged in mass protests. The MDC Steering Committee is comprised of volunteers from the MDC. Responsibilities of the Steering Committee include fulfilling agreed-upon tasks/priorities of the committee as well as project and subcommittee management.
How To Apply
Candidates should submit a letter of interest, a resume, and two references in one PDF document to firstname.lastname@example.org, with “[Full Name] – Mass Defense” as the subject of the email. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis; those received by April 18, 2021 receive priority review. Deadline to submit applications is April 30, 2021. The NLG National Office complies with federal and state disability laws and makes reasonable accommodations for applicants and employees with disabilities. If reasonable accommodation is needed to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and/or to receive other benefits and privileges of employment, please contact email@example.com.
The NLG is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. People of color, trans and LGBTQ people, women, people with disabilities, immigrants, formerly incarcerated people, and people who have lived in poverty are strongly encouraged to apply.