Join Our Team
Equal Rights Advocates, founded in 1974, protects and expands economic and educational access and opportunities for women and girls, using a three-pronged advocacy approach consisting of impact litigation, legislative advocacy, and direct services. Join our passionate and vibrant team of gender justice champions as we work to transform our communities into places where all of us can lead.
National Legal Director
Reports to: Executive Director
Classification: Full-Time, Exempt
Location: ERA’s main offices are located in San Francisco, CA, with remote work so long as demanded by COVID-19. ERA is able to offer a moving stipend to the Bay Area, and/or consider candidates from the NY-DC corridor who are willing to be bicoastal.
Compensation: Salary will depend on experience. The salary range is $130,000-160,000. ERA also offers a work environment that values work/life balance and a competitive benefits package that includes employer paid group medical and dental coverage for team members and dependents; Flexible Spending and Commuter Plans; generous vacation and personal paid time off, and paid sick leave; 13 paid holidays per year; and an optional 403b retirement plan, with potential employer matching opportunity after one year of employment (based on organizational budget and discretion of the Executive Director).
Equal Rights Advocates seeks an experienced and dynamic National Legal Director at a pivotal time of growth and high impact for the organization. The position presents an exciting opportunity to build on the extraordinary momentum of a legal team which has:
- successfully advocated for 30 policy initiatives benefiting 30 million people
- led groundbreaking litigation resulting in progress for thousands of working women
- defended millions of students from civil rights rollbacks by the Trump Administration
- established movement building campaigns engaging hundreds of partners across the country.
The National Legal Director will oversee ERA’s robust and expanding legal programs and initiatives based both in San Francisco and Washington D.C., and contribute to long-range strategic planning building ERA’s national impact. ERA seeks candidates with significant experience and success leading workplace impact litigation, federal policy reform, and national and/or multi-state legal programs. A demonstrated commitment to building racial and/or gender justice preferred. The National Legal Director will guide a 8-member legal team that includes senior staff managing major program areas. As a member of the Executive Leadership Team of ERA, the National Legal Director will also contribute significantly to national network building, fund and business development, programmatic thought leadership, and organizational strategic planning and management.
Equal Rights Advocates (ERA) is a national civil rights organization founded in 1974 to expand economic and educational access and opportunities for women and girls. ERA embraces an inclusive and intersectional view of gender justice, inclusive of non-binary and gender non-conforming people. As we combat the patriarchy, we also challenge racist power structures and inequities compounded by ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, age, and other identities.
Our talented and fierce team includes litigators, policy reformers, and movement builders working at the state, multi-state and national level promoting gender equity and racial justice, expanding economic security, and growing community power. ERA’s legal initiatives include the Initiative to End Sexual Violence in Education (including a pro bono network of volunteer attorneys), and several campaigns chaired by ERA and led in partnership with 70+ partner organizations across the country driving gender justice reform and enforcement. These include the Equal Pay Today campaign, the Women’s Agenda Initiative, the Network of States to Stop Harassment, and the Stronger California Women’s Economic Security Campaign.
ERA has a total of 20 staff members, including one located in Washington D.C. ERA’s annual operating budget is $3.5 million, with significant growth prioritized in 2021.
Legal Program Strategic Visioning (20%)
- Provide strategic direction for ERA’s legal programs, projects, and impact litigation.
- Develop and implement goals and priorities for the legal program, including national and multi-state growth, to further the strategic plan approved by the Board of Directors.
- Participate actively in long-range strategic planning and impact evaluation with senior leadership and the Board of Directors.
Legal Program Execution, Management, and Evaluation (60%)
- Affirmatively seek opportunities to initiate impact litigation in federal and state courts that will help achieve the organization’s strategic priorities and goals, including system change in workplaces and schools across the country.
- Oversee and participate in impact litigation.
- Identify, build, and nurture national and state partners and networks, as well as advocacy, policy, and litigation opportunities. Represent ERA in key networks and coalitions, along with other senior legal staff.
- Work in partnership with key ERA Directors and staff to implement integrated advocacy campaigns and high impact strategies utilizing legal, strategic communications, public education, legislative and community mobilizing programs.
- Recruit, and manage and provide direct supervision to four legal team members with the utmost professionalism, supporting leadership growth and job satisfaction, guiding/evaluating performance, and ensuring inclusive, and equitable and effective management practices.
- Develop and oversee the legal team budget, including expense and revenue projections and tracking, in close consultation with other senior directors.
- Ensure regular robust program evaluation is conducted, including the development and tracking of evaluation metrics on an annual basis. Leverage evaluation results to inform strategic program decisions.
Organizational Leadership & Fund Development/Reporting (20%)
- An active member of and contributor to ERA’s executive leadership team, contribute to overall organizational planning and management. Staff various internal and external committees and represent the legal team at meetings of ERA’s Board of Directors.
- Work closely with ERA’s Development Director and staff to develop and nurture funding opportunities. Manage legal team’s role in grant applications, grant deliverable tracking, and reporting.
- Advocate for civil rights and gender justice and serve as a spokesperson for ERA both with media and as a public speaker, as appropriate.
- Passion for gender and racial equity, reflected in a clear and inspiring commitment to the mission and growth of ERA.
- J.D. from an accredited law school and membership in good standing with the California Bar – or admission to the California Bar within one year of hire.
- The ideal candidate will be a proven legal visionary and strategist, with 10+ years experience managing, building, and/or growing legal teams and programs with a national footprint, including 5+ years representing workers in impact/class litigation combating workplace discrimination.
- Demonstrated success building and/or contributing to national coalitions and networks aligned with ERA’s mission.
- Prior legal director and multi-location management experience preferred.
- Experienced civil litigator in state/federal courts with substantive knowledge and understanding of constitutional law and civil rights issues related to ERA’s mission, and a demonstrated commitment to the preservation and vigorous enforcement of the civil rights of women and girls.
- Proven ability to work with other senior legal staff and other counsel developing and implementing short- and long-term litigation strategies in trial and appellate proceedings in both state and federal courts. Proven ability to serve as lead counsel and support other staff in lead counsel roles.
- Extensive familiarity with the working and operation of state and federal government, with federal policy and/or government relations experience preferred.
- Exceptional research, writing and analytical skills; excellent oral communication skills; proven ability to clearly communicate complex legal issues both in the courtroom and to the public.
- Demonstrated experience serving as a spokesperson and thought leader on social justice issues. Prior media experience preferred.
- Experience managing legal budgets and enthusiasm for and proven ability to develop funds and business to further organizational goals and to manage grant deliverables.
- Proven ability to successfully manage and mentor employees, a commitment to the values and principles of diversity and equity, and experience working with and engaging diverse communities, clients and coalition partners including non-attorneys.
- Success in this position will require strong self-motivation, a demonstrated capacity to work in a timely and professional manner under multiple deadlines, and the ability to coordinate with and manage legal staff, other organizational employees and leaders, and outside partners.
- Ability to drive and travel as required by the position, once health restrictions are lifted.
How to Apply
Are you ready to join our team at ERA? Submit your current resume, a brief original writing sample, three references (we will not contact without prior consent) a cover letter highlighting your litigation experience in federal/state courts, describing your interest in this particular position, connection to ERA’s mission, and where you found the job posting to [email protected]. Please include “2020 National Legal Director” in the subject line of your email. Incomplete applications will not be considered. The position is open until filled. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. To ensure consideration, submit application materials by Thursday, December 17.
An Equal Opportunity Employer with a Commitment to Diversity
ERA advances equity and inclusion in the workplace by providing equal employment opportunity to support a work environment free from discrimination on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age (over 40), sexual orientation, military and veteran status, arrest or conviction record, and any other basis prohibited by law. The organization also provides reasonable accommodations for qualified applicants and employees with disabilities. This equal employment opportunity policy applies to all aspects of employment, including recruitment, selection, advancement, training, problem resolution, and separation from employment. Through this policy, ERA strives to establish and maintain an equitable and accessible work environment that is supportive and free from discrimination.
Equal Rights Advocates (ERA) seeks to hire law students to serve as full-time or part-time unpaid law clerks for the summer (full-time) and fall through spring (part-time, year-long) of 2021!
Position: Law Clerk
Reports to: ERA Attorney Managing Law Clerk Program
Classification/FLSA status: Part-time or full-time Volunteer
Duration: Summer 2021 (Full-Time) or Fall Semester and Spring Semester (Part-Time, Full Academic Year Preferred but Single Semester/Multiple Quarters Considered)
Equal Rights Advocates (ERA) is a national civil rights organization dedicated to protecting and expanding economic and educational access and opportunities for women and girls. In pursuit of gender equality, ERA also represents and advocates for the rights of LGBTQI persons at work and at school. Since its founding in 1974, ERA has dedicated itself to advancing gender justice in employment and education through a combination of impact litigation, policy advocacy, public education, and direct legal services. ERA takes an intersectional approach to tackling sexual harassment and violence, pay inequity, and other forms of gender discrimination and inequality, with a focus on centering the experiences and voices of women, girls, and LGBTQI youth of color. Learn more about ERA on our website, equalrights.org.
What You Will Do
Law clerks assist with current litigation and legislative advocacy by conducting research and writing; participating in coalition meetings, internal legal strategy sessions, and co-counsel and litigation consultation meetings; and, whenever possible, attending depositions, mediations, hearings, and other litigation-related events. Under the supervision of ERA attorneys, law clerks also assist the ERA Legal Team in providing direct services to students and employees facing discrimination through our Advice and Counseling Program. Through this Program, clerks interview callers and, under the supervision of ERA attorneys, currently provide advice and counseling regarding sex discrimination, sexual harassment, Title IX enforcement. The program may also provide information and legal services regarding family & medical leave and other employment issues during the coming school year.
Who Should Apply
Rising 2Ls (the summer after your 1L year), 3Ls, and 4th year students participating in a four-year graduation schedule. Students with bilingual ability, especially Spanish, are strongly encouraged to apply, as are students with diverse lived experiences that inform their interest in exploring public interest law and the experiential learning opportunities ERA provides through its law clerk program.
- Demonstrated interest in and commitment to civil rights, gender equity, and social justice
- A record of strong academic interests and participation and excellent legal research and writing skills
- Connection to and familiarity with issues affecting women and girls of color, low-paid and immigrant workers, LGBTQI+ individuals, and/or others who routinely face discrimination and other systematic deprivation of their civil rights
- Coursework and/or experience in employment and/or Title IX, education civil rights law and policy (2L or 3L years begun or completed, where electives are available)
- Strong organizational, project and time management skills, including demonstrated capacity to manage and prioritize competing projects and deadlines
Hours and Location
Law clerks who work during the school year and receive academic credit are expected to work a minimum of 12 hours per week. If a student does not receive credit, their time commitment is more flexible. Priority given to applicants that can commit to volunteering during both the fall and spring semesters.
Due to COVID-19 we anticipate that Spring 2021 externships may remain remote, at least for the beginning months. ERA will work with all law clerks/externs to explore technology needs to successfully participate in our program and contribute to our organization’s legal work and overall mission.
ERA recognizes the intrinsic relationship between diversity and excellence in all of our endeavors. To that end, we maintain a strong commitment to working with ERA volunteer team members to ensure a safe, flexible, and robust experience with our organization, especially in light of the current needs and uncertainties all workers face as a result of COVID-19-related public health developments. A clerk at ERA will never be “required” to report to the office in person while credible public health concerns related to COVID-19 remain.
ERA embraces open and equitable access to opportunities for learning and development as our obligation and goal.
These positions are unpaid. Many of our academic-year clerks earn academic credit. ERA will submit support letters and other documentation to help students obtain external funding. ERA does offer reimbursement for phone usage during remote clerkships and travel to and from the office during in-person clerkships.
How To Apply
To apply, please send the following materials via e-mail with the subject line “Fall/Spring Law Clerk” to [email protected]: (1) a cover letter describing your interest in ERA as an organization and any areas or issues on which you would like to focus, as well as anything you would like to share with us about your outlook, lived experiences, or other factors that inform your approach to your career and career interests; (2) a résumé. Applications accepted on a rolling basis until filled. Apply immediately.
Questions regarding these positions may be submitted to [email protected]
ERA is An Equal Opportunity Employer with a Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion
Equal Rights Advocates (ERA) is an equal opportunity employer that is dedicated to the diversity of our staff and volunteers. Interested persons are invited to apply regardless of sex, gender, gender identity and/or expression, sexual orientation, race, age, ethnicity, national origin, disability, marital or veteran status, medical condition, or religion. People of color, LGBTQI candidates, DACA recipients, people who identify as having a disability, first-generation law students, and people who have had contact with the criminal justice system are encouraged to apply. Individuals who need assistance or accommodation in order to apply for this posting due to a disability may contact us at [email protected]
Post-Graduate Legal Fellowships: Now accepting initial applications
2019-2021 Fellowship Cycle
ERA seeks to sponsor a Skadden and/or Equal Justice Works (EJW) candidate to execute a project in one of ERA’s priority initiatives: Expanding Title IX Enforcement and Awareness.*
ERA was founded in 1974 as a public interest law firm dedicated to ending discrimination against women and girls. ERA’s mission is to protect and secure equal rights and economic opportunities for women and girls through litigation, policy advocacy, and direct services.
ERA has been a pioneer in advancing gender equity in work and schools for women and girls across the country since its founding. Through our campaign approach—which incorporates public education, direct services, legislative advocacy, and litigation—ERA seeks to assist women and girls throughout a life-long continuum: from ensuring access and equity in educational institutions, to combating sex discrimination in employment, to advocating for policies that make the workplace more hospitable to working families. From assisting in the passage of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act to arguing seminal gender equality cases before the United States Supreme Court, ERA is known for being the home of visionary leaders, unflinching advocates, and hard-nosed litigators for justice. Individuals interested in becoming fellowship candidates are encouraged to visit our website at www.equalrights.org/our-work/ to learn more about ERA’s current cases, campaigns, and projects.
About ERA’s Proposed Project
ERA believes that every child deserves a safe and equitable educational environment. The project will support young student victims of sexual violence by:
(1) Enforcing Title IX through direct representation of victims;
(2) Empowering students to advocate for themselves and training pro bono advocates to do the same;
(3) Educating social workers and youth advocates about Title IX.
(1) Provide Direct Legal Assistance to Victims of Sexual Violence at School.
Students and their families often have limited access to legal resources. Additionally, few private attorneys specialize in Title IX, and their services remain inaccessible to low-income students, whose families lack the means to retain private counsel. Through direct representation of these students—whether in court or through the administrative complaint process—my project will fill a gap that will only continue to grow as federal enforcement efforts continue to diminish.
(2) Transform Students and Pro Bono Attorneys into Advocates.
Through strategic partnerships with community-based organizations (CBOs) and school districts, the fellow will conduct Know Your Rights (KYR) trainings that will enable students to advocate for themselves. Additionally, the fellow will train pro bono attorneys on Title IX and connect them to schools in need of KYR presentations, thereby reaching and empowering even more students. This training will also allow the fellow to create a network of pro bono attorneys who can provide additional representation to students in need.
(3) Bridge the Gap Between Social Services and Legal Services.
Many professionals who assist students, including social workers, lack the training and expertise with Title IX to make the necessary links between social services and legal rights. By collaborating with social work associations, the fellow will train these advocates to spot Title IX issues and more effectively assist students.
The fellow is expected to educate these advocates on students’ rights and schools’ responsibilities under Title IX. Additionally, the fellow will collaborate with the Resources Committee of the Education Civil Rights Alliance to create one central online space for the law and resources relevant to these groups’ efforts to broaden the scope of claims they can bring on behalf of their clients.
Criteria for selection include
- Juris Doctor from a U.S. law school awarded, or to be awarded, in 2018 or 2019;
- Knowledge of and demonstrated commitment to gender equality, women’s rights and legal issues affecting women and/or girls, people of color, and other populations that are deprived of civil and/or human rights;
- Dedication to being a team player, commitment to collaboration and to providing the highest level of client service;
- Record of strong academic performance and excellent legal research and writing skills;
- Demonstrated ability to problem-solve, exercise sound judgment, take initiative, and work independently;
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills; fluency in Spanish or other commonly-spoken language other than English strongly preferred;
- Ability to interact professionally and effectively with co-workers, board members, volunteers, clients, outside counsel, court personnel, organization donors and allies; and
- Admission to California Bar or plans to sit for July 2019 bar exam.
All candidates for Skadden and/or Equal Justice Works Fellowship Sponsorships must submit the following materials by July 23, 2018
- Cover letter;
- Law school transcript;
- Brief legal writing sample of 5-10 pages; and
- Three references.
Cover letters should not exceed 2 pages and must describe the applicant’s interest in ERA as an organization, and their relevant skills and experience.
How to apply
Please send completed applications as ONE PDF file to: [email protected] with the subject line “Completed Initial Fellowship Application 2018.” Please also include how you heard about this opportunity. ERA is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and we strongly encourage women, people of color, persons with disabilities, and LGBTQ people to apply.
*If you have a project proposal unrelated to Title IX, but related to employment issues centering women of color and low-wage workers, please reach out to [email protected] to discuss your project with us before submitting your application.*
An Equal Opportunity Employer with a Commitment to Diversity
Equal Rights Advocates (ERA) is proud to be an equal opportunity employer that is dedicated to the diversity of our staff. We will consider applicants equally without regard to sex, gender, race, age, ethnicity, national origin, disability, marital or veteran status, medical condition, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records. We reasonably accommodate staff members and applicants with disabilities, provided they are otherwise able to perform the essential functions of the job. Individuals who need assistance or accommodation due to a disability may contact us at [email protected].
Undergraduate Internships Available
Equal Rights Advocates, founded in 1974, protects and expands economic and educational access and opportunities for women, girls, and people with marginalized gender identities using a three-pronged advocacy approach consisting of impact litigation, legislative advocacy, and direct services.
Equal Rights Advocates provides learning opportunities that contribute to our mission of achieving gender justice with collaborative projects that equip undergrads with research, writing, and nonprofit administrative skills across several of our departments: our Non Profit Operations and Administration, Strategic Communications, Development (fundraising), and Legal departments.
Interns will learn about ERA’s historic wins for gender justice; our current impact litigation and legislative advocacy efforts; about basic communications tactics and strategies; as well as fundamental fundraising strategies for an inside look of a gender justice nonprofit. They will also build skills in a professional environment that will contribute to their future job-seeking.
This internship is a fantastic opportunity for undergraduate students interested in social justice work, the legal profession, or nonprofit careers. Our goal is for undergraduate interns to leave this placement with a holistic non-profit experience to help identify which part of the non-profit world they would like to pursue a career in.
Interns during the 2020-2021 Academic Calendar will have learning opportunities across departments, which will likely include the following, depending on experience and the timing of their internship:
- Learning about data integrity and financial reporting projects
- Learning about common software that support key nonprofit functions like donor management and supporter communications
- Learn what it takes to support fundraising drives and/or events
- Learning about the creation of social media content
- Learning how to become an on-campus ambassador to market the launch of ERA’s program to support student survivors of sexual violence at their school
- Learning how to improve and market public-facing materials, such as ERA’s Know Your Rights fact sheets and presentations
- Learning how to draft content for blogs, email campaigns, and other materials to reach diverse audiences
- Learning how to create media pitches and cultivate media
- Learning the basics of legal + policy research
- Learning how to improve and maintain document archiving in a nonprofit setting
Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 Interns will have projects of a similar scope as the above, but will also work with us on our 2021 Annual Luncheon event, one of the largest women’s rights events of the summer.
Who Should Apply: Students of any year level participating in a four-year undergraduate program.
- Excellent writing & research skills
- Commitment to public interest law, women’s issues, and/or social or economic justice
- Coursework, work experience with, or demonstrated interest in marginalized communities, people of color, low-income individuals, immigrants, at-risk youth
- Coursework in women’s or gender studies, economics, community organizing, sociology, employment or discrimination law, or related fields preferred
- Students with bilingual ability, especially Spanish, are strongly encouraged to apply
- Students with proficiency in Cantonese, Mandarin, Tagalog or Vietnamese also a plus
- Good judgment, hustle, and resourcefulness (i.e., you are known for ‘getting it done.’)
- An excellent sense of humor and willingness to be part of a team of feisty, no-nonsense civil rights badasses
These positions are generally unpaid. ERA will provide a travel reimbursement for transit to and from the office or internship events to all interns. Many of our academic-year interns earn academic credit. If requested by our awesome interns, ERA is happy to submit support letters and other documentation to help students obtain credit or external funding.
Interns during the school year who receive academic credit are expected to work a minimum of 12 hours per week. If a student does not receive credit, or holds a part-time or full-time paying job, her/his time commitment is more flexible. Summer interns are expected to work a set schedule with a minimum of 18 hours to a maximum of 37 hours for at least 10 weeks.
How to apply
Submit a cover letter, resume, brief writing sample (2-3 pages), contact information, and 2-3 references via email to Delia Coleman at [email protected] with the subject line “Internship Application,” and also indicate which semester you are applying for in your subject line. (Examples: “Spring Internship Application” or “Summer Internship Application”).
Application deadlines: Internships will remain open until filled. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and those interested are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.