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Seeking Staff Attorney – Criminal Justice Team

Career opportunity: attorney, access to medication for opioid use disorder in jails project

Job description:

DRNC has an immediate opening for a full-time attorney to lead a new project aimed at ensuring persons with opioid use disorder (OUD) have access to the medications they need for their disability while incarcerated in NC jails. Utilizing DRNC’s federal access authority, the attorney will monitor and observe conditions and services, and investigate and report on the provision of medication for OUD in jails and detention facilities. The attorney will advance facility compliance with the ADA and other applicable laws, advocate for people trying to access MOUD in NC jails, and support self-advocacy and stakeholder education.

This is initially a nine-month position (January – September 2023) supported by grant funding, with the possibility of continued funding.

Job duties include successfully:

  • Develop a data collection system to survey jails about MOUD access
  • Review jail policies and pursue public records requests as needed to ascertain MOUD and related policies within each jail
  • Provide brief information or advice to individual held in jails or detention facilities
  • Send letters by request on behalf of individuals seeking MOUD access
  • Develop Know Your Rights material(s) for distribution in jails and promotion through DRNC’s ally network
  • Review and update DRNC’s written material for people in jail and jail administrators on the obligation to provide MOUD
  • Produce and disseminate a report with landscape information about MOUD access in NC jails, demographic data, and recommendations for increasing access to MOUD in NC jails and detention centers


  • JD degree and admitted to practice law in North Carolina
  • Demonstrated interest in and commitment to public interest law and/or the rights of persons with disabilities
  • Effective communication skills sufficient to communicate with stakeholders such as people with lived experience, DRNC advocacy partners, local and state government personnel
  • Direct experience with or general knowledge of services and issues affecting individuals with disabilities, including substance use disorder, who are involved in the criminal legal system
  • Ability to organize and prioritize tasks
  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision
  • Strong belief that addiction is a disease and not a moral failing

Desirable qualifications:

  • Lived experience with SUD (strong preference)
  • Life experience with disability
  • Legal work experience, with civil litigation experience strongly preferred
  • Experience in a legal services, nonprofit, or public interest environment
  • Ability to communicate in ASL, Spanish or another non-English language

Essential functions (with or without accomodations):

  • Ability to keyboard
  • Practice law in the State of North Carolina
  • Travel, including overnight
  • Interact with people with disabilities
  • Engage appropriately with others, both internally and externally
  • Work collaboratively, collegially, and cooperatively across teams and units
  • Occasionally work long hours and/or weekends.
  • Record data into the agency’s database.
  • Communicate effectively, orally and in writing
  • Conduct research and analyses of pertinent legal authority

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.

This is a temporary, full-time position created through a private grant. The current grant period ends September 30, 2023. We will pursue and likely obtain extended funding of this project through 2024.

Compensation Package that is competitive with other non-profits:  The hiring range starts at $53,000 and is commensurate with experience. DRNC offers excellent benefits that include 100% employer-paid health, dental, vision, life and disability insurance as well as generous paid time off and a retirement plan with an employer match.

Send a detailed letter of interest explaining your qualifications and interest in the position and resume to: Include Attorney, NC Jails MOUD Project, Criminal Justice Team in the subject line of the email. No phone calls please.

Closing Date: Priority will be given to applications received by 1/27/23. Position will remain open until filled.

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