Jobs: Staff Attorney

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Western Regional Office, Los Angeles

Job Title:  Staff Attorney (Western Region)

Department:  Legal

Location:  Los Angeles, CA

Reports to:  Peter Renn, Counsel (Western Regional Office)

FLSA Status: Exempt/Full-time

Union Status: Grade 6


Lambda Legal seeks to hire an attorney based in our Western Regional Office to engage in cutting-edge impact litigation, policy advocacy, and public education furthering Lambda Legal’s mission.  Staff Attorneys may be called upon to support any of Lambda Legal’s priority areas.  Therefore, this attorney’s portfolio will likely include: advocacy to secure new nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people, and to resist dilution of existing nondiscrimination protections; advocacy to address discrimination against people living with HIV; advocacy on behalf of transgender people in areas such as healthcare access, educational opportunity, and access to accurate identity documents; and advocacy on behalf of LGBTQ youth in out-of-home care settings, including youth in foster care and juvenile justice systems and youth experiencing homelessness.


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. 


All Lambda Legal attorneys are responsible for four major areas of work:

Impact Litigation

• Devise legal theories and litigation strategy

• Identify and cultivate litigation opportunities, whether from our legal Help Desk, referrals from private attorneys, media accounts, or in response to government action

• Conduct litigation in trial and appellate courts with a high degree of independence

• Provide amicus curiae support through brief writing and coordination

• Consult with private lawyers who are handling matters related to Lambda Legal’s areas of expertise

Public Policy

• Analyze legislative proposals affecting the LGBTQ community or people living with HIV, often times under significant time pressure

• Track relevant legislative proposals

• Provide testimony

• Work with stakeholders at the local, state, and national level

Education, Engagement, and Outreach

• Cultivate relationships with key coalition partners and allied organizations

• Pursue opportunities to share Lambda Legal’s organizational expertise, including presentations at legal conferences, teaching continuing legal education, interviews with print, radio, television, and web reporters, and other speaking engagements

Cross-Department Collaborations

• Work collaboratively with colleagues in Lambda Legal’s Communications and Development Departments to advance knowledge about and gain support for Lambda Legal’s efforts to secure full legal and lived equality for LGBTQ people and everyone living with HIV


Skills & Competencies

• Ability to demonstrate strong written and oral advocacy skills.

• Knowledge, technical skills, and leadership capacity to develop and execute strategies to advance the civil rights of LGBTQ people and everyone living with HIV.

• Demonstrated ability, maturity, and humility to effectively identify, interact with, and counsel current and prospective clients from the broad range of communities that we serve, including communities of color, immigrant communities, and lower-income communities.

• A record of excellent judgment.

• Ability to operate with a high level of independence and initiative.

• Demonstrated experience, skill, and creativity to produce the highest caliber legal work, often under demanding deadlines, and must also be able to work well with others, collaborating and consulting on both long-term projects and in high-stress situations.

• Ability to talk about legal and other complex issues in clear, persuasive terms for a wide variety of audiences.

• Serving the full breadth of the LGBTQ and HIV communities requires cultural competency and a commitment to addressing the multi-layered and interlocking forms of discrimination and oppression that exist in our society, including discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, immigration status, religion, disability, education and class. Any successful candidate must be able to demonstrate their understanding and appreciation of the importance of integrating our commitment to combating these other forms of discrimination into our work to eradicate discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, nonconformity to gender stereotypes, or HIV status.

• Any successful candidate will welcome the opportunity to work in a racially- and gender-diverse environment and to contribute to a positive and inclusive atmosphere.

• 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 LGBTQ community and/or people living with HIV and/or experience working with other historically marginalized communities (in a professional or volunteer capacity) is preferred.

• At least three years of legal experience is required; four to five years is preferred.

• Spanish language proficiency is a plus but not required.


Staff Attorneys will not have any initial supervisory responsibilities, but supervisory opportunities for paralegals and interns may be available. 


During the COVID-19 pandemic, travel will be minimal.  In the future, however, some amount of travel (<20%) may be required. 


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 is based on the Collective Bargaining Agreement.  The annual salary range for a Staff Attorney starts at $77,815.  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.


External application review will begin on December 20, 2020.  Interviews will begin approximately mid-January and continue on a rolling basis. Applications will be accepted until position is filled.

Send resume and cover letter explaining your interest in the position and how you learned of the job opening to, attention Mildred Perez with the subject line of “Staff Attorney (Western Region)”.  (Send via email only) Submissions without cover letters will not be considered.

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.