Job Details

Legal Director

Company name


Organization Type

Public Interest

Job Type


Date Last Verified

Mar 10,2019

Posted on

Jan 08,2019

Years of Experience

Min 5 yrs required


New York City, NY, United States


Practice Area
Civil Rights >> Civil Rights
  Employer Sponsored Job (Free to apply to)
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Position Overview

This is an exciting opportunity to play a leading role in our nation’s movement for transgender rights. The Legal Director is a creative, driven, and strategic thinker with a collaborative and community-centered approach to advocacy. In partnership with the Executive Director, the Legal Director will design and spearhead TLDEF’s legal strategy with a focus on those most pushed to the margins. The Legal Director will be responsible for building, leading, and mentoring an in-house legal team upon TLDEF’s completion of a strategic plan. The Legal Director will represent TLDEF in a variety of activist, legal, and public spaces in service of TLDEF’s goals and priorities. The Legal Director reports to the Executive Director and serves as a member of TLDEF’s senior team.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Responsible for the selection and development of a robust impact litigation and advocacy case docket that aligns with TLDEF’s priorities and capacity, including case preparation, trial work, appellate work, and pro bono engagement.
  • Responsible for integrating TLDEF’s legal advocacy with other approaches including, but not limited to legal services, community organizing, public education, and policy initiatives.
  • Establish criteria and evaluate processes for the identification and intake of impact litigation cases suitable for representation by in-house and/or pro bono legal teams. 
  • Identify and pursue opportunities to engage TLDEF’s pro bono partners in both litigation and non-litigation advocacy.
  • Provide ongoing legal support to law firms positioned to pursue transgender discrimination litigation.
  • Prepare and review client retainers, co-counseling agreements, expert witness agreements, and demand letters.
  • Collaborate and coordinate with a range of stakeholders including activists, advocacy organizations, attorneys, law firms, and government officials.
  • Serve as a visible TLDEF spokesperson to expert and lay audiences, including media, conferences, and other public forums.
  • Produce a variety of advocacy materials for expert and lay audiences.

Additional Duties

  • In partnership with the Executive Director, provide timely updates and analysis to the Board of Directors on legal and policy developments.
  • Assist the Development Director in fundraising, communications, and public education by providing regular updates about TLDEF’s legal strategies and activities.
  • Assist the Development Team with data collection for donor and funder reporting, including government contracts.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications

  • A J.D. degree from a U.S. law school and a license to practice law in New York or otherwise in any state or U.S. district is required. The successful candidate must become licensed to practice law in New York in their first year of hire.
  • At least five years of relevant experience, including direct involvement on constitutional and statutory matters in federal courts.
  • At least three years of supervisory experience.
  • A strong understanding of LGBTQI issues required including a focus on transgender, gender nonconforming, and nonbinary people.
  • Excellent legal research, writing, analysis, and public speaking skills.
  • Ability to communicate complex legal analysis in an accessible manner.
  • Proven project management skills, including the ability to work independently, strong attention to detail, and ability to meet deadlines under pressure.
  • Proficient in Microsoft applications, research tools including LexisNexis and Westlaw, and other kinds of Internet research.
  • A demonstrated commitment to racial, economic, and gender justice.
  • Ability to travel as needed.
  • Ability to work evenings and weekends as needed.


A competitive salary commensurate with experience. TLDEF offers a benefits package that includes transgender-inclusive medical, vision, and dental insurance, three weeks of paid vacation, paid holidays, paid sick days, and employer contributions to retirement.

To Apply

Submit a compelling cover letter and resume with the subject line “Legal Director.” Applications submitted without a cover letter and C.V. or resume will not be considered. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. No phone calls, please.

TLDEF is an equal opportunity employer. People of color; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex people; women; and people with disabilities, including HIV, are all strongly encouraged to apply.


Company info


Company Profile

Founded in 2003, the Transgender Legal Defense & Educational Fund (TLDEF) is committed to ending discrimination based on gender identity and expression and to achieving equality for transgender people through public education, test-case litigation, direct legal services, and public policy efforts. Along with its signature Name Change Project, which provides free legal name change services to community members through partnerships with some of nation's premier law firms, TLDEF's legal programs bring test-case litigation with wide impact in all areas of transgender equality.

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