Senior Attorney - Education Law
WHO WE ARE
TeamChild achieves impact through three main program strategies: civil legal services, training and consultation, and policy advocacy. Our broad impact goals include (1) decriminalization, decarceration, and abolition, (2) expanding and investing in community-led and community-based alternatives and resources, (3) increasing equitable access to education, healthcare and housing supports, and (4) shifting power and repairing harm in BIPOC communities.
At the core of our work is our legal services program, which reaches youth 12-24 years old in four of Washington’s largest counties as well as youth incarcerated in our state’s juvenile prison and community facilities. Our clients are youth and young adults entangled in our juvenile court and child welfare systems who deserve quality civil legal advocacy to achieve housing security, access education and employment, and get their basic health and other needs met.
TeamChild is a unique, values-driven organization that is boldly committed to creating and maintaining a work environment that supports collaboration, inclusion, shared-accountability, distributed power, and non-hierarchical operations. At its core, TeamChild fights for effective solutions and community-driven strategies that nurture and develop the health and wellbeing of youth, instead of exclusion and incarceration. Individuals who work for TeamChild are naturally aligned with the following:
● A commitment to anti-racism, anti-oppression, intersectional equity analysis.
● A focus on relationship building.
● An ability to listen with an open mind and a deep commitment to including and respecting diverse viewpoints.
● Values collaboration and inclusive decision-making.
● A proactive, passionate, and collaborative attitude.
● A foundation of self-awareness that provides space for learning and growth.
HOW TO APPLY
Please email a concise letter of interest and resume to email@example.com using the following file naming convention: “[Last Name] - Letter” and “[Last Name] – Resume.” Please write “Senior Attorney: Education” and your last name in the subject line. Also, please note how you learned of this opportunity.
Position open until filled. Before submitting your application, please check TeamChild’s website to make sure that this position is still open.
All interested individuals, including people of color, women, persons with disabilities, and persons who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or intersex are particularly urged to apply. TeamChild is an Equal Opportunity Employer. TeamChild is committed to promoting an environment free of barriers and discriminatory practices for its clients, Board, and staff.
TeamChild seeks a passionate and talented attorney with expertise in education law, especially special education, school discipline, McKinney Vento, bullying, harassment, and discrimination to provide direct legal advocacy to clients in our four main geographic areas: Spokane, Pierce, Yakima, and King, as well as youth who are incarcerated statewide. Senior Attorneys are supported by the Director of Legal Services. In addition to handling a moderate caseload, Senior Attorneys provide mentoring and support for all legal program staff in their substantive area of focus. This includes co-counseling cases, providing advice and consultation to attorneys about their cases, developing substantive training to all staff in their area of focus, and contributing to the creation of case handling resources (briefs, advocacy letters, and other templates/resources). Senior Attorneys will also participate in community engagement, outreach/training, and systemic advocacy related to their substantive area of focus.
PRIMARY JOB RESPONSIBILITIES
· Directly represents clients ages 12 to 24 with a variety of civil legal needs, with a focus on cases involving education and other related legal issues. This includes:
o Self-advocacy assistance, advice and counsel, negotiation, representation in administrative hearings, litigation in state and federal court, and administrative and policy advocacy
o Co-counseling cases with other TeamChild Staff Attorneys and Managing Attorneys
· Stays up to date on legal developments in the areas of education law
· Maintains a reduced client case load in order to provide consultation, case support, and co-counseling opportunities for staff attorneys and managing attorneys
· Maintains timely and accurate records in accordance with internal case management duties, reporting requirements, records retention schedules, laws and regulations, ethics and conflicts of interest, and other requirements
· Conducts outreach and training to increase the capacity of youth and communities to be self-advocates, professionals and stakeholders to advance awareness about education rights issues, and inform the public about TeamChild’s services, based on need and capacity
· Travels throughout Washington State as needed
· Being flexible to the nature of providing legal representation to youth
· Exhibits work performance consistent with the Washington Rules of Professional Conduct
· Consults with and supports Staff Attorneys and Managing Attorneys in their education advocacy by advising and sharing resources about case strategies, including contributing to internal case handling manual on topics related to areas of expertise
· Facilitates collaborative learning opportunities and trainings about education law within the organization
· Cultivates relationships with other attorneys and volunteers for collaboration and referrals
· Participates in or coordinates representation of TeamChild in external workgroups, task forces, and other collaborations related to their substantive area of focus
· Educates policymakers and stakeholders on education law related issues, in collaboration with TeamChild’s Director of Policy and Advocacy
· Writes organized and concise public and internal reports regarding developments in education law and the needs of our client community
· Works collaboratively on teams with a spirit of cooperation to support any of TeamChild’s advocacy, litigation, and internal organizational development. This includes reviewing relevant case documents, timely response to requests for case support, attending meetings, and participating in internal work groups
· Supports staff in offices where there are vacancies or extended periods of leave
· Collaborates with other TeamChild staff to plan and develop agency priorities, goals, and objectives; and prepare annual program and performance reports
· Consistently applies and enthusiastically supports the values, mission, and goals of TeamChild
· Exercises discretion, independent judgment, and ethical approaches in job performance
· Performs other duties, as assigned through collaborative team decision making and by Director of Legal Services
We are seeking candidates who are committed to social justice and are passionate legal advocates for youth. Candidates should work well both independently and as a team member, be respectful and passionate about working with people from diverse backgrounds, enjoy creative problem solving, and value the creation of relationships across disciplines. Additional qualifications include:
· Exceptional legal skills, preferably in the relevant areas of law: school discipline, special education, McKinney Vento, school-based bullying and harassment, school-based discrimination, institutional education, or other areas of youth-related law (preference for 5 years or more of legal experience)
· Experience attending school meetings with students and families, especially IEP meetings, school discipline hearings, reentry meetings, and other forms of school advocacy
· Exceptional oral and written communication skills
· Member in good standing of the Washington State Bar Association or eligible for reciprocity or willing to seek admission to the Washington State Bar Association
· Demonstrated competence working with youth, especially adolescents, and diverse people and communities
· High level of integrity; commitment to following the Rules of Professional Conduct and upholding ethical standards, including client confidentiality and zealous advocacy for client-directed goals
· Must have a valid driver’s license and ability to travel throughout the state to meet client and agency needs (Including access to a vehicle to meet daily client needs within the first 90 days of employment)
· Strong organizational, technology (case management systems, Microsoft Suite), and project management skills
· Demonstrated ability to collaborate effectively with community stakeholders (other advocates and social service providers) and co-workers
· Anti-racist analysis and commitment to undoing institutional racism and other forms of oppression
· Demonstrated alignment with TeamChild Values: Centering Youth, Anti-Racism, Wholeness, Accountability
· Personal connection with our client communities preferred, including lived experience with juvenile court, criminal court, foster care, homelessness, and special education
COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS
This is a full-time position that requires a willingness to work some evenings and weekends, as well as travel within the state. The salary range for this position is $75,944 to $95,018, depending on years of experience. Senior attorneys receive a $5,000 bump to TeamChild’s base attorney salary scale to compensate for their expertise and support role. The low end of the listed salary range is based on 5 years of legal experience.
TeamChild offers full benefits including medical, dental, vision, Employee Assistance Programs (EAP), generous paid time off, long- and short-term disability, life insurance, and options to set up Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and 403b retirement accounts. TeamChild also offers an annual $1,000 wellness benefit to employees.