Jobs: Deputy Legal Director for Policy

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Washington DC Office

Job Title:  Deputy Legal Director for Policy

Department:  Legal

Location: Washington, DC

Reports to:  Chief Strategy Officer

FLSA Status: Exempt/Full-time

Union Status: N/A


The Deputy Legal Director for Policy will lead Lambda Legal's federal and state policy advocacy, focusing on developing and advancing legislative and regulatory initiatives that advance the civil rights of the LGBTQ+ community and everyone living with HIV. In addition to supervising attorneys involved in federal and state policy advocacy, the Deputy Legal Director for Policy will develop processes and structures to prioritize and coordinate our policy work to ensure that the resources of the Legal Department are deployed effectively to advance the interests of the communities that Lambda Legal serves.

Reporting to the Chief Strategy Officer and Legal Director, the Deputy Legal Director for Policy will serve as a key functional leader on the legal team; will drive key initiatives; and will work with a team of attorneys of varying experience levels, and will build and support teams for specific projects.


Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and everyone living with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work. Since 1973, Lambda Legal has used impact litigation and other advocacy tools to decriminalize same-sex relationships; challenge discrimination against LGBTQ people and people living with HIV in the workplace, in the home, in schools, in health care, and in the military; and protect LGBTQ families, including by winning and defending marriage equality. Clients are not charged for legal representation or advocacy and Lambda Legal receives no government funding. Headquartered in New York City, Lambda Legal has regional offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, and Washington, D.C.

We believe that serving the full breadth of the LGBTQ and HIV communities requires cultural competency and enthusiasm for diversity of all kinds. To be successful, we must approach our work with an understanding that discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity is not the only obstacle to achieving full formal and lived equality for LGBTQ people and everyone living with HIV; rather, we recognize the intersectional nature of discrimination, specifically including biases based on race, religion, national origin, gender, disability, education, and class. In light of this reality, we prioritize awareness and proactive commitment to counteracting these biases and their compounding effects. 


Strategy and Team Management

• Serve as a leader of the Legal Department, supporting the development and execution of department-wide work; serve as a model and culture carrier, modeling inclusive leadership and collaboration.

• Actively contribute to the Legal Department's focus on racial justice by acting as an active thought partner and developing policy strategies that further Lambda Legal's racial equity work, and ensure that our organizational commitments around race equity are embedded in every aspect of our work.

• Develop processes and structures that lead to effective collaboration and coordination within the Legal Department and with other departments in the organization to ensure alignment of staffing and resource allocation with policy priorities.

• Oversee team members engaging in Lambda Legal's ongoing federal and state policy work, including regulatory and other agency-level advocacy, as well as implementation of nondiscrimination laws and policies.

• Promote a team-oriented culture of high performance and continuous improvement that values a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion; encourage ongoing education and professional development!

Policy and Advocacy

• Identify and advance policy initiatives that will benefit Lambda Legal's constituencies, with an emphasis on:

  o Stopping efforts to dilute existing nondiscrimination protections, and establishing new protections against discrimination for the LGBTQ+ community and everyone living with HIV

  o Expanding and defending the rights of transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) people

  o Protecting the most vulnerable portions of the LGBTQ+ community and those living with HIV, including youth, seniors, people of color, immigrants, sex workers, and others interacting with the justice system

  o Preventing the passage of legislation or implementation of other policies that that would be harmful to the LGBTQ+ community or people living with HIV

• Leverage experience, relationships, and subject matter expertise to further key policy priorities, and enhance the effectiveness of organization's policy advocacy as a whole.

• Lead Lambda Legal's regulatory efforts, particularly at the federal level, which will include overseeing the response to notice and comment periods as rules are developed; educating internal and external stakeholders on issues and concerns in the context of regulatory rule making.

• Develop and execute strategies to influence the implementation of legislation; support and engage in organizational relationship-building with legislative and government agency officials; advise staff representing organization at stakeholder meetings with government officials and/or coalition partners, and where appropriate, participate in such meetings, to offer subject matter expertise and enhance organizational visibility.

• Oversee the development of partnerships with social justice organizations to build coalitions that will have a positive impact for members of the LGBTQ+ community and people living with HIV, as well as communities of color, women, immigrants, workers, people living with disabilities and other important constituencies.

• Develop and manage Lambda Legal's advocacy efforts, leveraging public education and grassroots activation to influence policy makers.


• J.D. degree required.

• A minimum of fifteen years of experience working in a setting that advances policy objectives in a social justice setting; including at least three years setting and leading policy strategy.

• Ability to develop strong working relationships with a diverse array of internal and external stakeholders, building relationships and acting as an empathetic and respectful thought partner.

• Demonstrated experience in recruiting, developing, supervising, and retaining a diverse team.

• Strong strategic thinking skills, with the ability to translate strategy into action plans, and then oversee the implementation of those plans; experience developing metrics for tracking and measuring results.

• Track record of building coalitions and engaging stakeholders with a range of interests and needs toward common purpose.

• Proven success managing through change management; comfort working under tight timelines in a fast paced environment with grace and good humor, while ensuring quality and accountability.

• Collaborative approach to work and a demonstrated capacity to "play well with others," including colleagues in other departments and partners in other organizations.

• Strong interpersonal skills and exceptional communication and presentation skills, both written and spoken, with an ability to inform, influence, convince and persuade.

• Ability to navigate a wide variety of stakeholders and juggle competing priorities and interests in order to move the work forward.

• Working at Lambda Legal requires a demonstrated awareness of and commitment to the concerns of the breadth of the communities that Lambda Legal serves. Prior work on behalf of the LGBT community and/or people living with HIV is highly desirable, and some experience working with historically marginalized communities (in a professional or volunteer capacity) is also desirable.  Any successful candidate will welcome the opportunity to work in a gender-diverse and racially-diverse environment.


Travel will be approximately 20%


The health and well-being of our employees and their loved ones are of the utmost importance to us.  During the Pandemic, we have chosen to close our offices.  Our employees are all working from home, and only visit the office voluntarily, only if absolutely necessary.   We follow CDC and Department of Health guidelines to ensure the safety of employees who occasionally need to work from the office.   We have an employee task force that is continually evaluating and assessing when we can re-open.  At this time, we do not foresee re-opening our office in the next several months.


Salary and benefits will be competitive and commensurate with experience.  Competitive benefits package is provided, including medical, dental, life insurance, short and long-term disability insurance, employer contributions and match to 403(b)-retirement account, and substantial vacation.


Applications will be accepted until position is filled.

To apply for this position please click here and follow the online application process.

No calls please. Due to the high volume of applications, Lambda Legal cannot return

phone calls about the position and cannot notify all applicants of status.

Lambda Legal is committed to further building and maintaining a staff that reflects the full range of LGBTQ, HIV-affected and allied communities, and is an equal opportunity employer. People of color, transgender and gender-diverse people, women, people with abilities in multiple languages, immigrants, people living with disabilities, and individuals living with HIV are encouraged to apply.