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Human Rights Defense Center: Staff Attorney Job Posting

None, Jan. 23, 2020.


Job Description

The Human Rights Defense Center (HRDC) is seeking a full-time staff attorney in its Lake Worth, FL office.

HRDC is a nonprofit organization that advocates in furtherance of the human rights of people held in U.S. detention facilities. This includes people in state and federal prisons, local jails, immigration detention centers, civil commitment facilities, Bureau of Indian Affairs jails, juvenile facilities and military prisons. HRDC is one of the few national opponents to the private prison industry and is the foremost advocate on behalf of the free speech rights of publishers to communicate with prisoners and the right of prisoners to receive publications and communications from outside sources. HRDC also does significant work around government transparency and accountability issues by filing and litigating public records and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) cases at the state and federal levels. HRDC also provides representation in cases involving catastrophic injuries to or the deaths of prisoners and consumer class actions related to the financial exploitation of prisoners and their families.

HRDC has a national docket and works with the most skilled civil rights lawyers and firms around the country. Our opponents include state, local and federal agencies; private prison companies and companies that profit from mass incarceration. All HRDC cases have a media component and often involve working with the affected communities.

Responsibilities: The attorney will primarily litigate Section 1983 and FOIA cases in Federal Court, and will also litigate cases under state public records laws. The attorney will be expected to handle all phases of complex civil litigation and maintain an active case load, although all cases at HRDC are handled cooperatively among all in-house attorneys. The attorney will be directly supervised by the Litigation Director and will work with in-house legal support staff. In most cases, the attorney will coordinate and work with co-counsel from various jurisdictions across the country. The attorney will occasionally be expected to travel to various jurisdictions around the country. This is a full time, 40 hour per week job in our Lake Worth office.

Qualifications: A minimum of five years post-graduate experience as a full time lawyer is preferred but exceptions will be made for exceptional candidates with less experience. The successful candidate will have excellent writing and analytical skills, experience litigating § 1983 cases, a demonstrated commitment to improving the criminal justice system, and a personal interest in the preservation and advancement of civil liberties and individual rights. Judicial clerkships are acceptable as experience. The attorney must be admitted to the Florida Bar, must be self-motivated, energetic, capable of working in a dynamic, fast paced environment, and able to adjust to shifting priorities. Experience with First Amendment, class action or consumer related litigation is a plus. Lawyers are required to track their time for billing purposes and we maintain a 135 hour per month minimum billable hour requirement for lawyers.

Salary/Benefits: Salary is $60-80,000 per year and will be set depending on experience. HRDC offers a benefits package including 100% employer paid group health and dental insurance. We offer a retirement plan; paid vacation and sick days and all federal holidays.

Application: Send resume, cover letter and three references to litigation director Dan Marshall at Please include your available start date. No phone calls please. The position will remain open until filled. HRDC is an equal opportunity employer. Formerly incarcerated persons are strongly encouraged to apply