• Senior Supervising Attorney - Criminal Justice Reform

    Job Locations US-AL-Montgomery
    Req No.
    Regular Full-Time
  • Overview

    The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Criminal Justice Reform practice group focuses primarily on (1) reform the juvenile, criminal justice and/or immigration enforcement systems so they operate fairly and equitably; (2) ensure the dignity and humanity of those interacting with these systems; and (3) reduce the population of individuals detained and incarcerated in Alabama.


    The Senior Supervising Attorney leads the Southern Poverty Law Center’s criminal justice reform work throughout the state of Alabama. This person is responsible for developing the vision and strategy and executing the plan to deliver systemic reforms to a state that is among the top ten nationally in its rate of incarceration. The Senior Supervising Attorney will supervise a dedicated team of staff attorneys, policy counsel, and support staff. Under the Senior Supervising Attorney’s leadership, the team will use every tool at our disposal to challenge the structural inequalities that have infected the criminal justice system in this state since its founding and continue to result in mass incarceration, primarily of people of color.

    Specifically, the Senior Supervising Attorney will be responsible for developing and litigating impact cases raising constitutional and statutory claims in Alabama and federal courts, at trial and appellate levels. The Senior Supervising Attorney will engage in litigation and public advocacy related to civil rights issues, particularly relating to adult and juvenile justice reform and the intersection of the criminal justice and immigration enforcement systems (“crimmigration.”) This may include, but will not be limited to: advancing sentencing reform; addressing unconstitutional conditions in Alabama’s juvenile, adult, and immigrant detention facilities; and addressing other issues such as: the denial of due process in the criminal justice system; racial disparities; collateral consequences of justice system involvement; the provision of indigent defense; and over-policing or police misconduct.

    The focus of the position may change as warranted by changes in the law, the circumstances in Alabama, and/or the needs of the organization.


    Under the supervision of the Deputy Legal Director, the Senior Supervising Attorney will:


    • Lead the development and implementation of SPLC’s criminal justice reform work in Alabama;
    • Develop new cases and campaigns and lead litigation and public advocacy;
    • Supervise and manage the work of Policy Counsel, Senior Staff Attorneys, Staff Attorneys, Law Fellows, and other legal staff;
    • Collaborate with the Deputy Legal Director and the Policy Counsel and to identify and support the advancement of state and local policy priorities and testify to legislative bodies upon request;
    • Collaborate with the Deputy Legal Director and the Communications Department to develop communication strategies around cases and campaigns; serve as spokesperson upon request;
    • Supervise outreach activities related to cases and campaigns;
    • Communicate regularly with SPLC staff across the southern region about cases, campaigns, and strategies;
    • Represent SPLC in various fora, including before community groups, legislatures, and state agencies, and the press; and
    • Other duties as may be assigned to meet SPLC needs.


    • Juris Doctorate Degree;
    • At least 7 years of federal court civil litigation or comparable legal experience;
    • At least 2 years of managerial experience of legal staff to include hiring, training, performance evaluation, mentoring, etc.;
    • Demonstrated commitment to diversity;
    • Demonstrated leadership in building and maintaining an innovative and positive working culture;
    • Excellent research and writing skills; and,
    • Admission to the Alabama Bar or willingness to sit for the next Bar Exam.


    Knowledge, skills and abilities:


    • Creativity and a demonstrated willingness to take calculated risks in crafting and executing strategies;
    • Initiative, vision, and a proven commitment to the struggle for social justice;
    • Leadership skills and experience, including leading large-scale litigation;
    • Ability to prioritize responsibilities and have fun in a high-energy, fast-paced work environment;
    • Excellent and consistent attention to detail and the ability to prioritize and meet deadlines;
    • Aptitude for and willingness to be a team player; and
    • Spanish language ability preferred but not required.


    To Apply:

    Along with a resume, please submit a 5 page writing sample, a cover letter, three references, and unofficial transcript.


    Other Special Considerations:

    This job is performed under general office conditions, and is not subject to any strenuous physical demands or dangerous conditions.



    The statements herein are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by the employee in this position. These statements are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of a person in this position.


    An Equal-Opportunity Employer with a Commitment to Diversity

    Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is proud to be an equal opportunity employer, and as an organization committed to diversity and the perspective of all voices, we consider applicants equally of race, gender, gender identity, color, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, disability, political affiliation, national origin, or prior record of arrest or conviction.


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