Director, Special Justice Initiatives (AFJ)

Alliance for Justice
Washington, DC

Alliance for Justice (AFJ) is a national association of more than 130 organizations dedicated to advancing justice and democracy. For nearly 40 years we have been leaders in the fight for a more equitable society on behalf of a broad constituency of environmental, consumer, civil and women’s rights, children’s, senior citizens’ and other groups. AFJ is premised on the belief that all Americans have the right to secure justice in the courts and to have their voices heard when government makes decisions that affect their lives.

Over the course of four decades our vision has remained steadfast—to protect and expand pathways to justice and the democratic process-while our programs and tactics have been nimble and resilient, evolving with changing times and the needs of our members and the progressive community. AFJ is known for identifying and addressing threats to public interest and civil rights organizations, as well as opportunities they can seize. We pool resources and talents, organize campaigns, mobilize constituencies and drive strategies.

AFJ is seeking a lawyer with 7+ years of experience to serve in the newly created role of Director, Special Justice Initiatives. The Director will oversee strategic implementation, external partner management and operational decisions as they impact the goals and outcomes of AFJ’s new signature initiative Building the Bench (BtB), as well as play a key role in the strategic development and implementation of other initiatives in the judicial arena including: an effort to reform the immigration judicial selection process and organizing partners to work on the selection of state judges. The recently launched BtB is designed to develop a pool of highly-qualified federal judicial nominees to put forward for the next administration, as well as lead a complementary and coordinated campaign to highlight the importance of filling vacancies. The Director, Special Justice Initiatives will oversee a team of 2-3 staff.

The Director, Special Justice Initiatives will report to the Vice President of Programs and Operations and will be responsible for the following:

  • Set strategies, identify geographic priorities, and develop a two-year work plan for BtB and other new special justice program initiatives.
  • Identify potential vacancies and identify and research potential qualified candidates for the BtB pipeline.
  • Oversee the research of potential nominees, including in coordination with law firms, initiative partners, outside counsel, and volunteers.
  • Work with the Director of Communications and Senior Management to draft, review, and edit press and collateral materials for BtB, including fact sheets, blogs, web presence, social media, press, and reports.
  • Coordinate and staff key meetings with Congressional offices in coordination with the Legal Director.
  • Liaise with partner groups, nominations coalition, AFJ members, and other thought-leaders.
  • Work with the Director of Outreach and other staff to build relationships with legal and allied organizations.
  • Work with AFJ’s networks of attorneys and legal community leaders, as sources of referrals or potential candidates.
  • Speak at legal and policy conferences, and brief academics, Congressional staff, Board of Directors, member organizations, and other audiences on BtB and other initiatives.
  • Work with Development and Executive staff to ensure sufficient funding for the Initiative.
  • Serve as primary liaison with the BtB Advisory Council.


  • J.D. and 7+ years of experience in legal, policy and advocacy work.
  • Experience in civil rights, labor, consumer and/or constitutional law is preferred.
  • Ability to work quickly and independently under pressure, with shifting deadlines and priorities;
  • Experience managing staff across various geographies and issue areas;
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills including experience working with the media;
  • Experience working with funders is preferred;
  • Capacity to manage multiple long- and short-term projects/programs;
  • Strong attention to detail and ability to multitask;
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality of all work products and discussions related to AFJ’s work;
  • Hill experience desirable;
  • Strong leadership skills and the ability to inspire and work collegially with others;Passion for civil rights, social justice, and judicial advocacy.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and positive attitude.