Organization Description: DC Appleseed is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to solving public policy problems facing the District of Columbia and improving life for those who live and work in the District. DC Appleseed collaborates with broad coalitions of community leaders, government officials, attorneys, expert consultants, and others, to analyze and develop measured, well-researched practical solutions to complex, multi-faceted problems facing our community. Our mission to improve the lives of all who live and work in the D.C. area requires us to apply an equity lens to policy solutions, and address racial, economic, educational, and social disparities that negatively impact our community.
Depending on the problem being addressed, DC Appleseed’s projects involve conducting research, collaborating with diverse groups, issuing reports, and advocating to governmental decision-makers, as well as bringing or supporting litigation. DC Appleseed has a full-time staff of seven, and a 34-member board.
Applicants are encouraged to visit www.dcappleseed.org to read more about DC Appleseed’s current projects.
Staff Attorney Job Summary: The Staff Attorney works with staff, board members, pro bono attorneys, and coalition partners to manage and support DC Appleseed projects; recruits and supervises law school interns; and has some administrative duties. The Staff Attorney will direct DC Appleseed’s Affordable Housing and Anacostia Watershed projects. These projects currently include matters involving: eliminating barriers and streamlining access to affordable housing financing and permitting; monitoring and supporting effective implementation of the District’s Opportunity to Purchase Act (DOPA); increasing job and infrastructure investments to prevent stormwater runoff; facilitating progress on the Anacostia River Sediment Project; and helping ensure the equitable development of parkland in the Anacostia River corridor and preventing displacement of current residents. The Staff Attorney will also work with the Executive Director on the CareFirst Reform, D.C. Budget Autonomy, D.C. Voting Rights, Gun Safety, and D.C. Attorney General projects. Opportunities will likely arise to work on other DC Appleseed projects. The Staff Attorney position is full-time and reports to the Executive Director. Generally, responsibilities include:
- Engaging and coordinating pro bono lawyers and other professionals in conducting research, working with stakeholders, and developing and implementing advocacy strategies;
- Participating in pro bono legal teams engaged in legislative advocacy and/or litigation in the federal and local D.C. courts and D.C. agencies;
- Drafting testimony, correspondence, legal filings, reports, and proposed legislation and regulations;
- Drafting communications materials, including op-eds, email blasts, and social media posts;
- Recruiting and supervising law student interns;
- Attending board meetings and reporting on project progress to the Executive Director and the Board; and
- Participating in fundraising activities as needed, such as meeting with funders, reviewing project-specific funding reports and proposals, and assisting with annual awards event.
- J.D. or equivalent degree;
- Active and in good standing membership of at least one state bar;
- Experience in policy development and/or advocacy;
- Ability to write and communicate effectively for diverse audiences;
- A strong commitment to social, economic, and racial justice.
The ideal candidate will have a demonstrated commitment to the National Capital Area, including knowledge of local public policy, advocacy, and/or engagement with District government. This candidate will have a law degree and also have at least 2-3 years of work experience (as a lawyer or otherwise) that includes supervising and/or mentoring staff, and leading or managing teams. The candidate will be comfortable working with a range of people, including interns, law firm partners, as well as non-professionals, and be able to provide and accept guidance and feedback with humility and good humor. The candidate will value teamwork, public service, and a collegial environment where standards are high but the atmosphere is informal.
Compensation: Starting Salary range $55-65k, depending on experience and credentials. Benefits include health and dental insurance; short and long-term disability insurance; 403b plan with employer contribution; pre-tax commuter benefit; generous paid time off for vacation, personal leave, sick leave, family/medical leave, and holidays; and paid bar membership dues.
Target Start Date: Immediate
Email cover letter with resume and brief legal writing sample to firstname.lastname@example.org. Incomplete applications will not be considered. DC Appleseed is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.
DC Appleseed typically hires one to two legal interns for spring, summer, and fall. Second- and third-year law students with an interest in D.C. policy issues and/or public interest law are encouraged to apply. We especially look for candidates with strong research, analysis, and writing skills who have an ability to work independently and in a team. All intern positions are unpaid, and we request that any potential interns are able to commit at least 12 hours per week during the academic year and 40 hours per week during the summer.
DC Appleseed is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to solving public policy problems facing the National Capital region. DC Appleseed’s current projects involve children’s health, Anacostia River clean-up and waterfront development, HIV/AIDS, Attorney General reform, and D.C. voting rights. To address these issues, DC Appleseed works in partnership with community leaders, government officials, attorneys, expert consultants, and others, to analyze and develop practical solutions to systemic problems. DC Appleseed has a full-time staff of seven, and a distinguished 30-member board.DC Appleseed’s projects involve working with broad coalitions, issuing reports, participating in regulatory proceedings, bringing lawsuits, managing public education campaigns, and testifying before governmental decision-makers. DC Appleseed receives financial and in-kind support from local and national foundations, corporations, law firms, and individuals.
Depending on the substance and timeline of the project, interns will: conduct legal and/or policy research and write memoranda summarizing their findings; identify and research best practices—including legislative, regulatory, and policies that other jurisdictions have successfully implemented to address problems that our project teams are considering; attend and report on community outreach efforts and various public meetings and hearings; and prepare legislative briefing materials. Project assignments will depend on the organization’s needs. Applicants are encouraged to explore our website to learn more about our project work.
How to Apply:
DC Appleseed hires interns through D.C. area recruiting events, including the Equal Justice Works Conference and Career Fair, Washington, D.C./Baltimore Public Service Career Fair, and GW/Georgetown Government and Public Interest Internship Fair. For further information, please contact Kevin Hilgers, Staff Attorney, at email@example.com.