Career Opportunity: Attorney, Education Team – Race Equity Focus

Organization Description:

Disability Rights North Carolina (DRNC), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is the only organization that provides free legal advocacy services to people with all types of disabilities, of all ages, throughout North Carolina. We are NC’s designated Protection and Advocacy organization and recognized leader in advancing disability rights, with a strong staff and supportive, dynamic work environment. DRNC is committed to building race equity into our internal and external work. DRNC is well established and positioned for growth. Learn more about DRNC at www.disabilityrightsnc.org.

Job Description:

DRNC has an immediate opening for a full-time staff attorney on the Education Team. The Education Team advocates to significantly improve outcomes for students with disabilities in schools. In doing so, the Education Team works to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline in North Carolina, including for students of color with disabilities. The Education Team strives to advocate at the nexus of disability justice and racial justice.

Work activities may include individual student-level advocacy through representation in school-based meetings such as IEP reviews and manifestation determination reviews, filing administrative and other complaints, negotiations and mediations, and litigation. The Education Team attorney will also engage in advocacy and representation to secure systemic remedies to address violations of the rights of students with disabilities. In addition, the Education Team attorney will actively participate in community outreach, education, and collaboration to both learn from and empower communities in advocacy. A licensed attorney with an interest in special education law is strongly preferred.

Job Duties include successfully:

  • Represent individual clients consistent with DRNC’s annual advocacy targets and case selection criteria, including development and implementation of all phases of case strategies and activities (e.g., client communications, negotiation, mediation, representation in legal proceedings, and systemic advocacy and litigation)
  • Provide legal advice and assistance to DRNC’s clients, including drafting
    letters, memoranda, and pleadings
  • Analyze legal rulings, statutes, regulations, and agency policies/procedures; draft analyses and comments in collaboration with DRNC policy staff
  • Provide technical assistance to attorneys, advocates, and allies regarding the rights of individuals with disabilities
  • Assist in planning and developing DRNC’s program priorities and
    develop work plans, as assigned
  • Prepare and review reports, amicus briefs, articles and special projects
  • Prepare written materials and conduct activities for the education and training of students with disabilities and their families, coalition partners, professionals, DRNC staff, members of the public, and others consistent with DRNC’s annual targets
  • Cultivate, develop and maintain relationships with subject area professionals and advocates, including state officials and agency staff, providers, advocacy organizations, pro bono attorneys, and community advocates
  • Represent DRNC at coalition meetings, public hearings, stakeholder groups, and task forces
  • Maintain complete and accurate records in DRNC’s case management system consistent with agency policies and procedures

Requirements:

  • JD degree and admitted to practice law in North Carolina for two years or more
  • Demonstrated interest and commitment to public interest law and/or the rights of persons with disabilities
  • Ability to work collaboratively with co-workers as well as independently when needed

Desirable qualifications:

  • Life experience with disability
  • Familiarity with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and related laws and policies strongly preferred
  • Experience in a legal services, nonprofit or public interest environment
  • Ability to communicate in ASL, Spanish or another non-English language
  • Understanding of trauma and its prevalence among people with disabilities, valuing and using trauma-informed approaches

Disability Rights NC is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We do not discriminate in any aspect of employment with regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, veteran’s status, or any other characteristic protected by state or federal law. Individuals who increase the diversity of our team are encouraged to apply. We participate in E-verify.

DRNC offers an employee-friendly work environment and compensation package that is competitive with other non-profits. The current staff attorney salary range starts at $53,000 and increases based on experience. DRNC offers excellent benefits including 100% employer-paid health, dental, vision, life and disability as well as generous paid time off, flexible work environment, and retirement plan with an employer match.

Send a detailed letter of interest explaining your qualifications and interest in the position and resume to: resumes.hr@disabilityrightsnc.org. Include Education Team Attorney in the subject line of the email. No phone calls please.

Closing Date: Priority given to resumes and cover letters received by January 15, 2024. Position will remain open until filled.

Learn more about careers at DRNC