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Job Description

Employment Opportunities at HRDC

The Human Rights Defense Center is a dynamic and vibrant non-profit organization. We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate on the basis of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, religion or other impermissible factors, nor on prior incarceration/criminal record status.

HRDC welcomes volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, interning or being a fellow at HRDC in a non-compensated capacity, please contact us at 561-360-2523.



Human Rights Defense Center: Litigation Director Job Posting


Job Description


The Human Rights Defense Center (HRDC) is seeking a full-time Litigation Director in its Boynton Beach, Florida office. Applicants must be licensed attorneys, ideally in Florida. Position can be remote for the ideal candidate.


HRDC is a national nonprofit organization that advocates in furtherance of the human rights of people held in U.S. prisons, jails, and detention facilities. 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 publishes Prison Legal News and Criminal Legal News which are frequently censored by prisons and jails. 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. In addition, HRDC provides representation, usually as local counsel in a very small number of cases involving wrongful convictions, and consumer class actions related to the financial exploitation of prisoners and their families.


HRDC is the primary client in all censorship and public records litigation. We do very limited representation of third parties. HRDC is a media organization that litigates, it is not a law firm that publishes which is a critical distinction.


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, as well as 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. HRDC’s litigation docket requires extensive trial court and motions practice experience.


We are seeking a dynamic and visionary attorney who is dedicated and passionate about prisoner rights, free speech and government transparency, opposing the police state and holding governments accountable for their human rights abuses. Interest and enthusiasm about free speech and government transparency issues is a big plus.


Responsibilities: The litigation director will primarily litigate Section 1983 and FOIA cases in Federal Court, and will also litigate cases under state public records laws. This requires strategic insight with goals of docket management, building case law and allocating internal resources for case management. It also involves managing our docket and ensuring cases are filed in a timely manner and vigorously litigated when filed. The litigation director will be expected to handle all phases of complex civil litigation and maintain an active case load, although cases at HRDC are handled cooperatively among all in-house attorneys and outside counsel. The Litigation Director will supervise, train and work with 2 in-house staff attorneys as well as legal support staff and interns. In most cases, the director will coordinate and work with co-counsel from various jurisdictions across the country. The director will occasionally be expected to travel to various jurisdictions around the country. This is a full time, 40 hour per week job in our Boynton Beach office; however, remote work is an option for an ideal candidate. The bulk of our work is trial litigation in federal court. Candidates must have actual successful trial experience.


HRDC also conducts policy and legislative work with federal and state regulators and policymakers and the litigation director is involved in these efforts as well.


This is a management position, which includes working closely with the founder and Executive Director Paul Wright and other staff on issues relating to the organization, including intellectual property, fundraising, strategic priorities, etc. Candidates must have actual management experience supervising legal staff, working as part of bigger legal teams and managing a docket.


HRDC’s litigation project is funded by the attorney fees generated by its litigation. HRDC does a fair amount of attorney fee litigation. Candidates must have experience tracking and billing their time, supervising employees in their time tracking, maximizing fee outcomes and litigating fee petitions and understanding how fee shifting statutes operate. We are not grant funded.


Qualifications: A minimum of fifteen years post-graduate experience as a full-time litigation lawyer is required. This must include management and supervisory experience. The successful candidate must have excellent writing and analytical skills, experience successfully litigating § 1983 or complex civil 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. The attorney must be admitted in good standing to the Florida Bar (or to the bar of any state or the District of Columbia if working remotely,) 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, intellectual property, media, class action or consumer related litigation is a plus. Experience in the non profit sector is a not required. Big law experience a major plus.


Salary/Benefits: Salary is $150,000 to $180,000 per year and will be set depending on experience. HRDC offers a benefits package including 100% employer paid group health, dental, and vision insurance. Generous vacation, including all federal holidays. HRDC is committed to regular pay raises and also offers annual bonuses depending on performance and case outcomes.


Application: Send resume and cover letter to executive director Paul Wright at In your cover letter include the three most important cases you have won and what they achieved. Please provide three references and be prepared to provide writing samples on request. 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.