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Staff Attorney, Criminal Justice Reform Program

October 31, 2022 Job Listing

Staff Attorney
Criminal Justice Reform Program
Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus
Hybrid Work Schedule, Based in San Francisco, CA
Exempt, Full-time position

Applications are due by November 28, 2022

The Opportunity

Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus (ALC) seeks to hire a passionate, movement-oriented, and creative Staff Attorney to join its growing Criminal Justice Reform Program. The Criminal Justice Reform Program aims to diminish societal reliance on carceral systems – police, jails, prisons, ICE detention, surveillance, and supervision – in ways that will strengthen the low-income and immigrant Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities we serve. In particular, we seek to disentangle police from immigration enforcement and to reimagine AAPI community safety by building preventative, restorative, and community-based alternatives to our punitive criminal legal system. Our work includes community education, legal representation, and policy advocacy on behalf of low-income immigrants and communities of color.

The Staff Attorney will engage in policy advocacy, coalition-building, and litigation to build alternatives to our punitive criminal legal system while reducing the role of the existing system, and to disentangle police from immigration enforcement. This work will require the attorney to work creatively with other ALC programs and with community partners to develop and implement innovative strategies that shift resources and responsibilities from the punitive criminal legal system into effective, community-based solutions. It will also require the attorney to build consensus in cross-racial, cross-community coalitions.

The Organization

ALC is the nation’s first legal organization focusing on advancing and defending the civil rights of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Since 1972, ALC has litigated high-profile civil rights cases, advocated for the passage of landmark policy changes, and provided an array of services, including community education, advocacy, and direct client representation to further the rights of low-income immigrants and communities of color. Current program areas include Workers’ Rights, Immigrant Rights, Housing Rights, Criminal Justice Reform, National Security & Civil Rights, and Voting Rights. A growing staff of more than 50 provides strong collegial support and opportunities to learn about and collaborate with other program areas. ALC is a founding member of the national Asian Americans Advancing Justice affiliation with partners in Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, and Washington, DC.

ALC is based in San Francisco, a hub of the Asian American rights movement, progressive politics, and social justice activism. Our location in Chinatown is the first mixed-use, affordable housing co-op in San Francisco, serving as a model for preserving affordable housing in the city and protecting tenants’ rights.


Day-to-day activities vary in this dynamic position and include the following:

  • Draft and advocate for the passage of immigrant rights and decarceral policies at the state and local levels.
  • Develop local and state policy advocacy campaigns in collaboration with community organizers and directly impacted community members
  • Identify opportunities for litigation that can limit the harmful role of the criminal legal system in AAPI communities, especially at the intersection of criminal legal and immigration systems and in situations where litigation can support efforts to build non-carceral, community-based alternatives. Work with pro bono law firms and other ALC staff to conduct such litigation.
  • Draft written materials, and training curricula for organizational partners, that can help community members to navigate the criminal legal system and understand available non-carceral forms of accountability, healing, and other responses to harm.
  • Work with District Attorney offices, police departments, and other system actors to develop and implement policies that support ALC goals, including restricting cooperation with ICE, restricting various harmful police tactics, making non-carceral alternatives easily available to victims, and supporting victims who opt for non-carceral alternatives.
  • As needed, work directly with survivors of anti-Asian violence to choose and navigate non-carceral forms of accountability, healing, and other responses to harm.
  • Provide trainings, webinars, and technical support to local and state policy advocacy coalitions.
  • Develop immigrant rights and criminal legal system educational resources, including know-your-rights materials, for immigrant communities and community-based organizations.
  • Other duties, as assigned by the Program Manager.

Desired Qualifications

  • JD degree and California bar membership with at least two years of lawyering experience.
  • Demonstrated commitment to advancing the civil rights of low-income, people of color, and/or immigrant communities.
  • Previous experience with coalition building, litigation, policy advocacy, and community-centered lawyering. Particular experience involving police abuse, jails, prisons, immigrant rights, and/or restorative justice is preferred but not required.
  • Excellent research, analytical, writing, and oral communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with and facilitate consensus building among diverse groups of people, including in API and Black-led spaces.
  • A high degree of sensitivity and strong interpersonal skills are needed to manage relationships with external partners.
  • Strong problem-solving and creative thinking skills.
  • Bilingual skills in an API language or Spanish preferred

Compensation and Benefits

This is a regular, full-time, exempt position. The annual compensation depends on years of relevant experience; the range, starting from two years of experience, is $74,263 up to a maximum of $102,797. ALC offers an additional $1,000 annual compensation for proficiency in a language other than English and an additional $1,000 annual compensation for a graduate degree(s).

ALC’s comprehensive benefits package includes the following: generous vacation and paid holidays; medical, dental, disability, and life insurance coverage (ALC pays 100% of premiums for employees and 75% for qualified dependents); a flexible spending account (FSA); and 401K retirement plan with employer non-elective contribution and match

Application Process

Interested candidates should submit the following by November 28, 2022:
(1) cover letter explaining your interest in the position
(2) resume
(3) writing sample (no more than ten (10) pages)
(4) three professional references

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Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified persons are encouraged to apply regardless of race, color, creed, ethnicity, national origin, ancestry, age, height, weight, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability, HIV status, marital or domestic partner status, or religious affiliation.