Careers

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

The Lone Star Justice Alliance (LSJA) is seeking individuals to join its staff in Dallas or Austin, Texas. LSJA is a nonprofit legal organization that improves the lives of youth and emerging adults in the justice system. We envision a justice system that uses developmentally-appropriate responses to behavior and treats youth and emerging adults with equity and dignity to promote resilience, conserve costs, and increase public safety.

DIRECTOR OF JUSTSENTENCING

The Lone Star Justice Alliance (LSJA) is seeking an experienced attorney with litigation experience to direct its growing legal staff. The perfect candidate is a change-maker who is interested in leading the field of criminal and juvenile justice reform in Texas and will be highly motivated, hard-working, and embrace LSJA’s mission and program goals enthusiastically. With experience in trauma-informed lawyering and crafting client-centered narratives, the Legal Director will hold responsibility for the following:

  • Developing the legal and policy strategies for the JustSentening Department by implementing LSJA’s mission, accomplishing LSJA’s goals and adhering to LSJA’s values;
  • Supervising a team of 3-5 attorneys and 10-12 legal interns;
  • Conducting intakes, providing legal advice and support, making strong referrals, and taking on cases for representation as appropriate;
  • Advising, counselling, and representing child clients with legal matters;
  • Conducting depositions, producing interrogatories, and generally engaging in contested discovery matters;
  • Staying up to date on state and federal laws and policies pertaining to criminal and juvenile justice, the school-to-prison pipeline, and collateral consequences in the criminal justice system;
  • Maintaining organized client files, case notes, and database systems for caseload as determined with the Chief Executive Officer;
  • Supporting PR, development, communications, and storytelling projects as needed;
  • Preparing written reports on matters of national and statewide importance to reform efforts;
  • Supporting the development team by contributing to grant applications and reports, newsletters, website updates, and action alerts and by cultivating individual donors;
  • Conducting administrative tasks as needed.

Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate will have most, if not all, of the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics:

Strong research and writing skills, excellent interpersonal and communication skills, and an abiding commitment to social justice are essential for this position.

The attitude of a team player. The Director will be supervising a dynamic group of people that make up the legal team. LSJA’s team is growing, and the Director will be instrumental in that growth. The Director needs to be an outstanding legal technician, and an excellent leader and supervisor. LSJA is a strong believer in the team approach and the LSJA office is a team environment. The Director must enjoy mentoring and teaching to succeed in this role.

LSJA believes that high energy and enthusiasm for the work (and life in general) is needed for success in this role. The Director will need to be able to work fast and change gears quickly. They must be able to think on their feet and make smart decisions. The Director must be willing to go the extra mile to get the job done right the first time. In LSJA’s practice getting it done right the first time for clients is very important and everyone works with this goal in mind.

The Director must, must, must have emotional intelligence and empathy. They must have compassion for LSJA’s staff, clients, and for humankind. The Director cannot be someone who does not take criticism well or cannot deal well with people. Some of LSJA’s clients have bad days, can be royal pains, and do not always make good life choices. Clients are dealing with a complex and confusing legal system – on top of everything they encounter in their daily lives. Sometimes they take it out on their lawyer. If you do not think that you are up to the challenge of helping sometimes difficult clients, this is not the job for you.

To put it simply, LSJA wants a Director to do good work and lead LSJA’s team to rally around the clients to help solve their legal problems. LSJA wants people who want to fight for human rights, the rights of children, and opportunities for all.

Qualifications

  • Passion for social justice, criminal justice, and community-oriented work required;
  • J.D. degree required; licensed attorney, active and in good standing, in Texas – or able to become licensed quickly;
  • At  least  8 years of experience representing clients in criminal and/or civil legal matters;
  • At least 3 years experience supervising attorneys, developing legal strategy and leading teams;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills;
  • Trauma-informed training preferred;
  • Proactive communicator with strong problem-solving skills;
  • Ability to develop creative solutions, speak up regularly with new ideas, thoughts, concerns, and incorporate feedback and direction;
  • Demonstrated ability and willingness to zealously pursue creative and collaborative legal services and strategies;
  • Excellent time management; ability to produce high quality work on tight deadlines;
  • Demonstrated ability to take initiative;
  • Demonstrated level of cultural competency relating to victims;
  • Enthusiasm for working at a new organization;
  • Excellent professional judgment;
  • Ability to hit the ground working, multi-task, and work independently.

Compensation & Benefits

This is an in-person position, with office available in Dallas, Austin, or potentially Houston (preference Austin). Salary range for this position is $90,000-$110,000.

LSJA offers a comprehensive employee benefits program, including:

  • Option to enroll in a 100% employer paid premium, major medical policy as well as, 100% employer paid dental/vision/ life insurance policy;
  • Employer-paid long term disability insurance and group life insurance;
  • Option to enroll in a 401k retirement program;
  • Generous time off, including 10 holiday days, 10 days personal leave, and 10 days vacation within the first year and 15 days thereafter. LSJA also supports a company-wide sabbatical program, which provides an additional 30 days leave every five years of employment.

Contact

Amber Gomes of Koya Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express interest in this role please submit your materials – cover letter and resume – by filling out the Talent Profile or email Amber directly at agomes@koyapartners.com. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

Please note that your cover letter should specifically address these three questions: (1) What does justice reform mean to you? You should be detailed in your response, but don’t go over two paragraphs. (2) Why do you think you would be a good fit for this nonprofit. (3) Finally, in brief, what is your favorite children’s book and why?

Koya Partners is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals living with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual living with a disability and need assistance expressing interest online, please email NonprofitSearchOps@divsearch.com. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.

The Lone Star Justice Association is an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without discrimination against race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran or disability status. People with a criminal record are encouraged to apply.

POLICY ASSOCIATE - DALLAS

LSJA is seeking a Policy Associate to support the Chief Innovations Officer and policy team with developing and implementing juvenile justice system policy reform strategies in Dallas centered on core issues including youth sentencing, conditions of confinement, youth defense, survivors of human trafficking, transformative justice and related reforms aimed at improving youth outcomes while ensuring public safety and accountability. This position’s main responsibility is to advance LSJA’s vision for youth and emerging adults by conducting legislative and data analysis, research, communications, and outreach focused on improving the juvenile justice system in Texas. The ideal candidate will have a successful track record of advocating for policies, programs, and state funding to address current system challenges. This position also develops new partnerships with policymakers, stakeholders, advocates, and impacted communities aligned with LSJA’s priorities. LSJA’s policy goals will require a candidate who understands legal, legislative, and administrative processes and demonstrates a passion for youth justice reform.

Job responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Support and work directly with LSJA’s CEO, Reimagine Justice, and our policy team to develop and execute initiatives to advance youth justice.
  • Serve as a thought partner on LSJA’s policy priorities with stakeholders and advocacy organizations.
  • Analyze national and state policy trends, initiatives, legislation, reforms, and budgets.
  • Conceive and create relevant white papers, fact sheets, and other policy documents.
  • Develop external facing documents, testimony, public comment, and other communications deliverables, as necessary to provide guidance to policymakers and partners on reforms supported by LSJA.
  • Conduct policy research and data analysis on youth justice.
  • Monitor state and national legislative activities and formulate LSJA’s position on issues, initiatives, and reforms.
  • Interface with leaders within agencies and systems.
  • Direct and execute strategies to advance youth justice, including planning and facilitating forums, workgroups, and community-based coalitions.
  • Work with youth and emerging adults with lived experience in the Texas criminal justice and juvenile justice legal systems to impact the public narrative.
  • Represent LSJA in a variety of collaborative efforts to engage with intergovernmental, advocacy, and community partners.
  • Build ongoing relationships with diverse partners, stakeholders, government officials and community constituents, and youth/emerging adults.
  • Fulfill other duties as assigned to accomplish the mission and work of LSJA.

Education and/or Experience

  • Full-time wage earning experience in legal or policy work with a minimum of three (3) years of direct work experience in youth justice or social justice advocacy OR a master’s degree in public policy, public administration, criminal justice, social work, or a related field and five (5) years’ experience with a justice or advocacy organization.
  • Preference for those with a Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) Degree from an accredited law school and a license to practice law in the State of Texas and in good standing.

Qualifications

  • Meet one or more of the education and experience requirements above;
  • Ability to perform job responsibilities above;
  • Knowledge of the legislative process as well as local, state, and federal laws affecting the juvenile justice system;
  • Knowledge of legal principles, practices, and criminal and juvenile proceedings, administrative regulations, and rules;
  • Skill in legal and statistical research, writing, and analysis;
  • Ability to conduct computerized assisted legal research and access information from legal and legislative databases (e.g., LexisNexis, Westlaw, and other Internet sources).
  • Ability to conduct hearings, negotiate, and prepare cases for trial, summarize findings, and use legal reference materials;
  • Ability to communicate effectively;
  • Ability to work collaboratively with all stakeholders and maintain a professional, courteous demeanor;
  • Ability to prioritize and manage multiple tasks and plan, organize, and complete work assignments; and
  • Ability to process information logically, strategize, make decisions, and demonstrate the soundness of those decisions.

Travel 

  • This position may require approximately 25% travel and nights and weekends, during the legislative sessions or at other times, as necessary.

Non-essential but highly desirable 

  • An established professional network within the legislative arena in Texas and amongst stakeholders in the criminal and juvenile legal system, and youth justice advocacy.
  • Computer literacy in additional software, such as spreadsheets, databases, case management software.
  • Graphics design experience.

THE SALARY AND BENEFITS 

This is an in-person position, with an office available in Dallas. The salary range for this position is $60,000-$85,000.

LSJA offers a comprehensive employee benefits program, including:

  • Option to enroll in a 100% employer-paid premium, major medical policy as well as, 100% employer-paid dental/vision/ life insurance policy;
  • Employer-paid long-term disability insurance and group life insurance;
  • Option to enroll in a 401k retirement program;
  • Generous time off, including 10 holiday days, 10 days personal leave, and 10 days vacation within the first year and 15 days thereafter. LSJA also supports a company-wide sabbatical program, which provides an additional 30 days leave every five years of employment.

HOW TO APPLY 

To apply please send a letter of interest and a resume to Executive Director, Elizabeth A. Henneke, ehenneke@lsja.org. In the Subject line, type your last name in all caps – one adjective to describe you –POLICY ASSOCIATE. (Ex. HENNEKE-gregarious-POLICY ASSOCIATE) In your cover letter, answer the following questions: (1) Why do you want to be a Policy Associate? You should be detailed in your response, but don’t go over two paragraphs. (2) Why do you think you would be a good fit for this nonprofit? (3) Finally, what is your favorite children’s book and why? 

Thank you for taking the time to read this entire ad. If you decide to apply and follow instructions, we look forward to following up with you. 

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis but must be received no later than February 1, 2024. LSJA has a strong commitment to diversity and especially encourages people historically underrepresented in this field to apply. 

We’re an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran, or disability status. LSJA prefers employees to have some direct experience with the criminal or juvenile legal system.

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