Employment and Legal Services Director

JOB OPENING:  APPLICATIONS ACCEPTED ON ROLLING BASIS

 

Employment and Legal Services Director in DALLAS, TX or HOUSTON, TX

 

Workers Defense Project (“WDP”) is seeking a full-time Employment and Legal Services Director in either Houston, TX or Dallas, TX  that will oversee WDP’s Employment and Legal Services(“ELS”) Department.  ELS combines both legal representation and community-based tactics to support low-wage, predominantly immigrant, workers report labor and employment violations and defend their rights on the job. The ELS Director will coordinate closely with other WDP staff to ensure that the department’s work promotes WDP’s organizing and advocacy goals. The ELS Director will also serve as a member of WDP’s Senior Leadership Team and, in that capacity, support organization-wide strategic planning, management, and development.

The ideal candidate will be a collaborative leader, creative problem solver, and self-starter, who is able to think  both like an attorney and a community organizer. The ELS Director should be an effective manager, who is able to develop and support a team, and have strong communication skills, in both English and Spanish, that allow them to build and maintain important relationships with WDP members, volunteers, staff, and community partners.  

About Workers Defense Project

Workers Defense Project is a statewide membership-based immigrant and workers’ rights organization that builds power for construction workers in Texas. The organization has offices in Dallas, Houston, and Austin, Texas.  Since its founding in 2002, the organization has gained notoriety for its ability to translate direct services and grassroots organizing into concrete policy wins. The New York Times named WDP as “one of the most creative organizations for immigrant workers in the country”. WDP concentrates its efforts on winning better working conditions in the construction industry, which is one of the largest industries, and consequently most powerful special interest groups, in Texas. Because nearly half of the Texas construction workforce is undocumented, WDP actively engages in legal work, community education, policy advocacy, and organizing campaigns to advance the rights of both working people and immigrant families across the state.

Job Responsibilities

The Employment and Legal Services Director is responsible for the following:

  • Supervise and participate in WDP’s provision of legal services statewide through direct representation, advice, and pro se support;
  • Oversee the recruitment, training, and supervision of  a team of staff, interns, law students, and volunteers to support the ELS Department;
  • Coordinate with and support other WDP staff and departments to ensure cross-departmental collaboration, the leadership development of WDP members, and the advancement WDP’s community outreach, organizing and policy objectives;
  • Cultivate and maintain strong working relationships with local, state and federal agencies, community organizations, legal service providers, law schools, private attorneys, and other strategic partners;
  • Develop annual department goals and track department success, and perform other administrative functions to guide department evaluation,meet grant deliverables, and ensure financial stewardship of department’s resources; and
  • Identify opportunities for innovation and growth of WDP’s legal services program;
  • Represent the organization publicly to partner institutions, funders, and the media, as needed; and
  • Any other activities that are necessary to carry out the work of WDP.

 

Qualifications

We’re seeking candidates who have strong “people skills”,  a track record managing multiple projects and effectively leading a team, and a commitment to using the law creatively to support communities fighting for systemic change.

You should have:

 

  • J.D. and Texas bar admission in good standing, or willingness to take and pass the Texas bar;
  • Two to three years of on-the-job legal experience practicing employment and/or labor law;

 

  • Two to three years managerial experience, with a proven ability to supervise and mentor staff, manage multiple projects, delegate tasks, and foster a culture of collaboration and support;

 

  • Experience working directly with clients, particularly low-income or immigrant clients;
  • Proven ability to think strategically, act assertively when necessary, and speak confidently in public;
  • Strong proficiency reading, writing, and speaking both English and Spanish;

 

  • Strong organizational and case management skills;
  • Ability to publicly represent the organization, think critically, and communicate strategically in high stakes settings;
  • Ability to work irregular hours, including some nights and weekends;
  • Ability to travel occasionally to provide support to statewide staff and meet with national partners; and
  • A driver’s license and an insured vehicle.

Community organizing experience or immigration law experience is a plus, but is not required.

Compensation depends on experience and is highly competitive.

How to Apply

Please send a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and list of references to jobinquiries@workersdefense.org with the subject “ELS Director”. All attachments should be in .pdf format. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. The posting will be removed from the WDP website once the position has been filled.

As an equal opportunity employer, Workers Defense Project embraces diversity and does not discriminate in employment on the basis of age, race, color, creed, gender, religion, marital status, veteran’s status, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation. Women and people of color are strongly encouraged to apply.