Senior Attorney, California Youth Justice Initiative | Net Impact

Senior Attorney, California Youth Justice Initiative

National Center for Youth Law

The National Center for Youth Law (NCYL) ( is a non-profit organization that for over four decades has worked to ensure marginalized children have the resources, support, and opportunities they need for healthy and productive lives. NCYL’s unique strength is working at the convergence of youth rights issue areas, with intersectional campaigns focused on reducing youth incarceration and eliminating racial and ethnic disparities within the juvenile justice system, adolescent health, child trafficking, child welfare, education, immigration, and reproductive justice.

NCYL’s mission includes advancing social, economic, and racial justice for children, and we are committed to fostering, cultivating, and preserving a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusion. We embrace and encourage the collective sum of individual differences, life experiences, knowledge, innovation, self­expression, unique capabilities, and talent our employees invest in their work that represents a significant part of not only our culture, but our reputation and organization's success.

California Youth Justice Initiative

The California Youth Justice Initiative seeks to transform California’s juvenile justice system into a national model in which most youth in conflict with the law are diverted away from the system to community-based services, and all youth in the system receive developmentally appropriate treatment and rehabilitative services to improve life outcomes, community health and safety.


The Senior Attorney will lead and facilitate a statewide collective impact effort in collaboration with community and justice system stakeholders to end the punishment of juveniles in the adult system; reduce youth incarceration and system involvement; expand community-based, trauma-informed, culturally-relevant youth services; and increase the capacity of system-impacted communities to advocate for reforms of the youth justice system. The Senior Attorney will also work with policy makers, system administrators, community organizations, and youth advocates to develop new policy proposals and guide implementation of ongoing efforts to reduce the harms of system involvement to youth in conflict with the law.

Essential Functions

Developing and implementing youth justice law and policy;
Building the capacity of community organizations serving vulnerable youth; and
Supporting and developing youth justice impact litigation efforts.

Core responsibilities include:

Identify effective and creative strategies for promoting youth justice;
Conduct legal research, policy analysis, and draft policy proposals;
Analyze, interpret, and present data from multiple systems;
Represent youths’ interests in the systems stakeholder meetings;
Facilitate meetings between diverse community and system stakeholders;
Track implementation and progress of youth justice laws and policies;
Participate in statewide coalition and stakeholder convenings;
Develop and provide law and policy presentations and trainings to system-involved youth, and impacted families and community members; and
Develop, support, and lead youth justice impact litigation.

Required Qualifications

Active member of the California State Bar;
At least 5 years of experience working in the juvenile and criminal justice fields;
Experience representing children and youth in delinquency court proceedings;
Excellent research, writing, analytical, and problem-solving skills;
Organized, self-motivated, detail oriented, and ability to work in a fast-paced environment;
Experience managing complex projects with a multitude of partners;
Ability to consider differing perspectives and respond professionally to conflict or disagreement; and
Ability and willingness to travel.

Desired Qualifications

Direct experience with, or have been impacted by, the justice system;
Experience working with diverse coalitions including public and community leaders;
Excellent interpersonal skills and high emotional intelligence;
Experience working directly with vulnerable children and communities;
Ability to distill and present complex information in a concise, understandable way;
Experience in justice system reform;
Experience with California’s child-serving systems, including education and child welfare;
Experience with federal, state, and local budgets and youth justice funding opportunities;
Experience with data systems, analysis, and research methods;
Experience with statistical software and/or Microsoft Excel;
Valid California driver’s license.

Salary and Benefits

This is a full-time position. Salary is competitive with a range of $75,000 - $91,000 annually. NCYL provides health, dental, life, and long-term disability insurance, vacation and sick benefits, and an employer contribution to a retirement plan.

To Apply

Please submit a cover letter and resume by September 7, 2018. No phone calls or emails please.

Apply at:

Applicants of color, those who will increase the diversity of NCYL, and those with personal experience with the justice system are strongly encouraged to apply.

NCYL is an affirmative action / equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, age, ethnic background, sex, disability, size, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.