Title: Legal Director
Reports to: Executive Director
Position: Full-time, Exempt
Salary: $175,000-$200,000/year plus benefits
Location: Remote until 2024. Portland, Oregon thereafter
About Oregon Consumer Justice
Usurious payday loans, unfair debt collection and credit reporting tactics, deceptive student loan services, hidden banking and credit fees, mortgage, housing, insurance and construction fraud, imposter scams, illegal towing, misrepresented medical and travel services, telecom monopolies, dishonest auto sales, repairs, and financing. The need for consumer justice is everywhere – and the majority of this need isn’t being met.
Oregon Consumer Justice (OCJ) is committed to ensuring that all people in Oregon experience a safe and fair marketplace by building an equitable and sustainable ecosystem that puts people first, makes sure that every financial and business transaction is fair and safe, and ensures that consumers have recourse when their rights are violated. OCJ advances the rights of consumers through advocacy, strategic litigation, research, education, and engagement, and works to bring consumer justice into balance for all Oregonians.
OCJ is now seeking an inaugural Legal Director who will bring vision and strategic leadership to shaping early-stage organizational development. The position is a full-time exempt role and reports to the Executive Director.
The Oregon Consumer Justice Legal Director will lead OCJ’s work to create a more just and equitable consumer marketplace in Oregon by building and overseeing the Oregon Consumer Justice Community Legal Institute (OCJCLI). The OCJCLI’s efforts will include the use of legal strategies including impact litigation, direct representation of consumers, advancing community lawyering efforts, and engagement with and training of prospective and existing legal practitioners and law students.
As a thought partner and collaborative visionary across issues, areas, and departments, the Legal Director’s key responsibilities will include:
- shaping and managing a strategic, innovative litigation docket at the federal, state, and regional level, including assessing actions’ potential for impact and identifying and engaging appropriate counsel.
- in partnership with other OCJ staff, developing and implementing the inaugural strategic vision for the Oregon Consumer Justice Consumer Community Legal Institute.
- hiring, training, and managing a team of attorneys, paralegals, fellows, and interns, and working closely with external partners in Oregon and nationally.
- in close coordination with the OCJ Policy and Community Engagement Directors, supporting the development of a broad, community based and community guided movement to support progress towards OCJ’s goal of achieving consumer justice.
In addition, the Legal Director and team will support the Executive Director and CFO in decision making about OCJ‘s business matters, and will be the primary point of contact with external legal counsel retained for specific purposes and consultation. As this position serves as a trusted advisor to the executive team of a prominent consumer justice organization, successful candidates must be deeply committed to social justice issues as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
Duties and Responsibilities
Create, Build, and Direct the Oregon Consumer Justice Community Legal Institute
- Hire, train, and manage a team of legal practitioners who will serve as community lawyers and expert litigators to advocate and litigate on behalf of Oregon consumers.
- Serve as lead counsel or co-counsel in impact litigation, amicus briefs, and special legal projects that further the strategic goals of Oregon Consumer Justice.
- Keep abreast of legislative changes affecting consumers at the local, state, and national level.
Provide strategic advice and support to the OCJ Policy Director and OCJ Community Engagement Director
- Identify OCJ’s advocacy priorities, and develop appropriate legal advocacy strategies, including hiring appropriate advocacy professionals.
- Develop and engage in a broad range of legal advocacy through and outside the courts, including building collaborative and reciprocal networks with allies; reviewing legislation; drafting or reviewing comments to agencies and other materials; participating in meetings and events.
Provide expert and strategic legal advice to the OCJ management and leadership teams
- In collaboration with OCJ’s leadership team, anticipate issues and estimate risks strategically, identify proactive solutions that will eliminate or mitigate risks.
- Manage OCJ’s legal matters, recognizing when necessary to engage outside counsel.
Key qualifications of the Legal Director will include:
- J.D. from an accredited national law school and admission to any state bar in the United States (a bar accreditation in Oregon is a plus).
- A minimum of 7 years of experience actively litigating and managing a broad range of large, complex state and federal litigation. Strong preference will be given to those with—
- Foundational litigation training;
- Substantial consumer-focused litigation and/or social justice/civil rights litigation experience; and/or
- Experience in a movement-focused non-profit legal organization.
- Significant experience building and leading a high-performing legal team or other high performing team, with a strong preference for direct supervision of litigators and legal support staff.
Key attributes of the Legal Director will include:
- A passion for consumer justice, and a commitment to addressing the disparate impacts of injustice on Black, Indigenous and Tribal Communities, Communities of Color, people living with disabilities, LBGTQIA+ individuals, and others.
- Commitment to the ideals of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion, including fostering an anti-racist, inclusive office environment and promoting DEI in the workplace.
- A trusted, accessible, and collaborative advisor with exceptional interpersonal skills at all levels and with all stakeholders.
- Experience in building and motivating high-functioning teams.
- High comfort level in fast-paced, dynamic, innovative, and high-energy environment.
- Adept at managing competing priorities with challenging deadlines, while demonstrating an open and flexible mindset, well-developed diplomatic skills, and a great sense of humor.
- Strong written and verbal communication appropriate for specific audiences.
- Critical and strategic thinking allowing for creative solutions to complex issues.
- Strategic and proactive approach to litigation, with a creative, solutions-oriented mindset and the ability to anticipate and prioritize future litigation and advocacy opportunities.
Commitment to Equity
OCJ sits at the intersection of law, policy, coalition and community advocates and Oregon consumers, with a particular commitment to those consumers and communities most harmed by predatory and fraudulent practices. All roles at OCJ will require: a willingness to share power, collaboration and teamwork, empathy, radical listening, adaptive communications skills, openness to learning and failure and growth, a capacity to embrace discomfort and resolve conflicts, racial awareness and experience recognizing intersectionality and identity, and personal reflection. All employees at OCJ will be asked to participate in ongoing work to develop strong internal and external systems that support movement towards equity and justice.
This position is Oregon based, and location in the Portland metro area will be required once OCJ establishes a physical office space (expected in Fall/Winter 2023). Until then, all staff work virtually from home. OCJ’s standard work schedule is between 8am and 5pm PT, with some flexibility possible. Willingness and ability to occasionally travel within Oregon is required.
Nonprofit Professionals Now is pleased to be working with Oregon Consumer Justice on this inaugural role. Application information including a full resume/CV and a statement of interest in regards to this position will be required for all applications.
Application Deadline: May 31, 2022