Workers Defense Project

Workers Defense Project

Staff Attorney

Based in Austin, TX

Job Opening: Applications Accepted on a Rolling Basis

Workers Defense Project (WDP) is seeking a full-time Staff Attorney to support the service provision and advocacy conducted by WDP’s Employment and Legal Services Program.

The ideal candidate will be a self-starter and creative thinker who is open to new challenges and able to maintain attention to detail while managing multiple responsibilities. The Staff Attorney should 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. Finally, a strong candidate should be committed to WDP’s identity as a member-based organization and be eager to utilize the law as a tool to support worker organizing and build worker power.

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. 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 Staff Attorney, who is based in Austin, TX, is responsible for the following:

  • Supervise the provision of legal services in the Austin office by offering legal advice, pro se support, and direct representation to WDP members in employment cases, and referrals to local, state, and federal agencies as well as partner attorneys;
  • Coordinate with WDP staff to use legal and community-based strategies to support the leadership development of WDP members and advance WDP’s community outreach, policy, and organizing campaigns;
  • Recruit, train, and supervise a team of staff, interns, law students, and volunteers to support casework in Austin;
  • Supervise a weekly employment rights clinic that occurs every Tuesday from 7pm-10pm;
  • Cultivate strong working relationships with local, state and federal agencies, community organizations, and partner attorneys;
  • Represent the organization publicly  to partner institutions, funders, and the media, as needed; and
  • Complete additional tasks as assigned.

We’re seeking candidates who are self-starters and critical thinkers.  A successful candidate will possess the “people skills” and management acumen required to recruit, develop, and supervise a diverse team of staff, interns, and volunteers to move multiple projects forward without letting tasks fall through the cracks. Because WDP is, at its core, a movement building organization, candidates should demonstrate an ability to employ both legal and community-based tactics to resolve employment claims while supporting the leadership development of WDP members.

You should have:

  • A J.D. and Texas bar admission in good standing, or a willingness to take and pass the Texas bar;
  • Previous experience practicing employment, labor law, or immigration law, or previous experience representing low-income or immigrant clients;
  • Proven ability to think strategically, act assertively when necessary, and speak confidently in public;
  • Strong proficiency in reading, writing, and speaking both English and Spanish;
  • Experience managing different responsibilities, delegating tasks, and supporting the success of a team;
  • The ability to work irregular hours including nights and occasional weekends; and
  • An insured vehicle and valid driver’s license.

Knowledge of community organizing and labor issues is a plus but is not required. We value the qualifications described above over knowledge of the areas in which we work.

Compensation depends on experience and is highly competitive.

How to Apply
Please send a cover letter, résumé, writing sample, and list of references to jobinquiries@workersdefense.org with the subjectAustin Staff Attorney.” 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.

WHEN APPLYING: Be sure to indicate that you saw this information at UNIONJOBS.COM.