Guardian ad litem Supervising Attorney | Children's Law Center

Guardian ad litem Supervising Attorney

Description: 

Who We Are

At the Children’s Law Center, everything we do is focused on one thing – delivering better client outcomes for kids and families in DC. Our staff are empowered to open minds, shape decisions, and offer solutions. We encourage intellectual curiosity, innovation, diversity, and mutual respect.

Our greatest assets are our people. We strive to attract and cultivate a vibrant, creative, and diverse community.  We recognize that people with diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives fuel our ability to provide the best outcomes for our clients. Our staff drive the Children’s Law Center’s mission with their leadership, result-orientated mindset, and commitment to cultural humility and centering the needs of our clients.   We are looking for an individual who enjoys working in a fast-paced, team-oriented environment, likes to be challenged, and values the opportunity to make a difference.

Children Law Center’s success depends on recruiting and retaining individuals who possess and value these attributes.

*The Children’s Law Center is currently operating remotely. This position will work from home until the organization returns to the office.

Job Summary

This position is part of our Guardian ad litem program. Attorneys in our Guardian ad litem program represent children who are the subject of abuse and neglect cases in DC’s Family Court.  Staff attorneys work closely with CLC social workers, investigators and special education attorneys to advocate, formally and informally, to advance the best interests of clients with regard to their safety, permanency, physical and mental health and education.   

The supervising attorney serves as the primary supervisor for 3-4 attorneys and is responsible for the training, supervision, professional development, and evaluation of supervisees.  The supervising attorney is responsible for ensuring that their supervisees provide high quality representation and that their supervisees develop their legal skills.  Supervision tasks include being regularly available to supervisees, attending hearings, reviewing pleadings, actively participating in trial preparation, providing consistent and timely feedback on performance, and ensuring compliance with program and organizational policies.  The supervising attorney will meet regularly with their supervisor to review case issues and trends, spot supervision and mentoring issues, assess plans for assisting in the professional development of their supervisees, and assist with innovation and evaluation efforts.  In addition to supervising staff attorneys, the supervisor will maintain a partial caseload and lead specific projects as delegated by the GAL Director.

The supervising attorney reports to a Senior Supervising Attorney.

Duties/Responsibilities

Supervision: Formal Advocacy and Litigation

  • Accompany supervisees to court appearances for the first three months of new staff attorneys’ employment, and thereafter at the supervisees’ request or as required in the supervisor’s judgment.
  • Review all written pleadings prepared by new staff during their first six months of employment and as needed following that period.
  • Provide feedback on court appearances as well as written material, including trial preparation.
  • Lead litigation meetings for supervisees.

 

Supervision: CLC Policy and Protocol Adherence

  • Ensure staff compliance with applicable policies and protocols, including case planning notes, litigation protocol, timekeeping policy, client visitation and contact protocol, and supervision standards.
  • Timely implement progressive discipline policy as required to identify and address work performance concerns.

 

Supervision: Quality Supervision Meetings

  • Conduct regular meetings with their supervisees to brainstorm case strategies and ensure quality of representation.
  • Meet regularly with the Pro Bono Director to discuss issues and develop strategies for their cases and those of their supervisees, review supervising tasks and techniques, and assess and plan for professional development and performance.
  • Ensure attorneys are spotting and referring cases to the Appellate Team in accordance with the Targeted Appellate Strategy Issue List (TASIL).

 

Supervision: Professional Development

  • Set annual goals, participate in quarterly goals reviews, and exchange positive and constructive feedback to assist in staff development.
  • Identify supervisees’ strengths and provide support and direction around professional development.
  • Identify supervisees’ challenges and formulate plans, timelines, and measures of success to address them.
  • Regularly address supervisee performance and planning in supervision with Senior Supervisor and/or GAL Director as needed.

 

Supervision: Personnel Management

  • Interview, hire, and train new staff as needed.
  • Provide constructive and timely performance evaluations.

 

Supervision: Program Activities

  • Attend biweekly supervisor meetings with the GAL Director.
  • Take a leadership role in program activities as assigned.

 

Case Handling

  • Maintain a caseload of approximately 5-10 cases, providing high-quality direct legal representation in guardian ad litem matters.
  • Ensure timely and accurate input of case information into Legal Server and adhere to program logic model to achieve positive outcomes for clients.

 

Systemic Work

  • Provide support to CLC’s Policy Team in areas of expertise to address the systemic needs of CLC’s clients.
  • Participate on court or other external committees as needed and requested by the GAL Director.

 

Skills/Abilities

  • A demonstrated commitment to social, economic, and racial justice.
  • Cultural humility as shown through demonstrated openness to self-reflection and commitment to understanding and respecting other cultural experiences and points of view, and viewing individuals as the experts on their own culture and experience.
  • A combination of strong legal skills, self-reflection, and leadership skills.
  • Strong litigation, legal analysis, research, writing, and oral advocacy skills.
  • Supervisory and/or mentoring experience strongly preferred, but not required.
  • Demonstrated capacity to work independently and collaboratively.
  • Strong independent judgement and decision-making skills.
  • Strong interpersonal, communication, and relationship-building skills.
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills, and demonstration of work/life balance.

 

Education and Experience

  • Bar status required;
    • JD, Bar exam completed and awaiting bar results.
    • DC Bar membership.
    • Barred in another jurisdiction and immediate eligible to waive into DC Bar.
  • Substantial experience (at least two years) in or with legal services, preferably with a background in child welfare.
  • Prior litigation experience required.
  • Driver’s license required.
  • 1-2 years’ experience supervising attorneys preferred.  Supervising experience can include formal and informal supervision and/or formal mentoring.

 

Salary and Benefits

The salary for this position starts at $71,000 annually and increases with relevant experience.  Children’s Law Center offers a generous benefits package that includes medical, dental, vision, and short- and long-term disability insurance; employer-provided retirement contributions; flexible spending plans; and vacation, sick, holiday, family and medical leave. Children’s Law Center is a 501(c)(3) organization.  Employees with federal student loan debt can apply for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.  For more information, go to https://myfedloan.org/borrowers/special-programs/pslf

Additionally, the DC Bar Foundation’s Loan Repayment Assistance Program provides renewable one-year, interest-free, forgivable loans up to $12,000 per year for qualified Children’s Law Center attorneys.  For more information, see https:/dcbarfoundation.org/lrap/.

Application Instructions: 

To apply, please submit the following materials in one PDF file: cover letter, resume, and 3 professional references, including 1 direct report where available.  Please do not submit application materials as a .zip attachment if submitting by email.  Applications may be submitted via mail, fax, or email to: 

 

Children’s Law Center

Attn: GAL Supervising Attorney Hiring Committee

501 3rd Street NW

8th Floor

Washington, D.C. 20001 

202.467.4949 (fax)

Jobs@ChildrensLawCenter.org

 

No telephone calls please.

The Children’s Law Center is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to equal employment opportunities for all applicants and existing employees.  We evaluate qualified applicants without regard to ancestry, age, color, disability, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, military or veteran status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, and any other basis protected by federal, state, or local law, ordinance, or regulation. We invite you to visit us here to learn more about our company and our career opportunities (www.childrenslawcenter.org/join-us).

The Children’s Law Center is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment. If you believe that you need accommodation to search for, or apply for, one of our positions please send an email to Jobs@ChildrensLawCenter.org. In your email, please include the accommodation you are requesting and the job title you are applying for. It may take up to three business days to receive a response to your request.