Staff Attorney - Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund
Founded in 2003, the Transgender Legal Defense & Educational Fund (TLDEF) is a national organization committed to advancing justice and equity for transgender and non-binary people through impact litigation, direct legal services, advocacy, and public education. TLDEF’s legal program currently includes the Trans Health Project, Name Change Project, and Impact Litigation Project. This year TLDEF has worked with a number of the nation’s largest insurers to successfully obtain removal of transgender health exclusions covering millions of members nationwide. We have also brought Miami-Dade County to the negotiating table to end abuses against transgender detainees in their jail system, building on our success last year obtaining one of the nation’s strongest jail policies to protect transgender inmates in Upstate New York. We have succeeded in improving court rules governing name changes in several states. And we’re just getting started. This summer, TLDEF will kick off a strategic planning process to sharpen its focus and guide its future development and growth over the next three-to-five years.
TLDEF is searching for a Staff Attorney who is eager to join a growing legal team to use the widest possible variety of legal tools to advance TLDEF’s priorities for law and policy change to ensure real lived equality for transgender and non-binary people. The Staff Attorney will work closely with the Legal Director and Senior Staff Attorney to expand TLDEF’s legal advocacy, with a primary focus on TLDEF’s non-litigation strategies. These include the Trans Health Project’s alternative dispute resolution, policy advocacy, and legal education strategies; and the Name Change Project’s life-changing work providing pro bono representation to clients across the country and challenging systemic barriers to obtaining court-ordered name changes and accurate identity documents and records. The position will also entail some litigation-related responsibilities on cases arising out of the Trans Health Project and the Name Change Project. Additional priorities will be identified in TLDEF’s strategic plan. This position is an excellent opportunity for an attorney who is seeking exposure to a range of issues and legal strategies in service of the transgender and non-binary community.
Leverage all tools — with a primary focus on alternative dispute resolution, policy advocacy, legal education, and some aspects of litigation — to advance TLDEF’s law and policy priorities to ensure true lived equality for transgender and non-binary people.
Trans Health Project (about 40%)
Under the supervision of the Senior Staff Attorney, expand the work of TLDEF’s Trans Health Project with the goal of eliminating trans exclusions in health plans. This work will include:
- Draft demand letters, Structured Negotiation documents, letters and comments to state and federal agencies, and other legal work product to advocate for an end to transgender-related health exclusions.
- Participate in meetings with state and federal agencies and with insurers to advocate for an end to transgender-related health exclusions.
- Maintain and expand TLDEF’s library of self-help materials, legal memos, literature reviews, and training materials including webinars.
- Conduct trainings with the member attorneys of the Trans Health Coalition, a TLDEF-led network of attorneys and advocates working to end trans health exclusions, and TLDEF’s State Medicaid Working Group.
- Field and track requests for health-exclusion-related legal assistance, as intakes or referrals.
- Identify and promote opportunities tied to medical-legal partnerships, addressing network deficiencies, health-related professional education, and other tools for realizing the promise of enhanced health coverage access in practice.
Name Change Project (about 40%)
Provide legal support to Name Change Project pro bono attorneys and to TLDEF non-legal staff managing the Name Change Project, including:
- In collaboration with Name Change Project staff, respond to legal questions and provide technical assistance to Name Change Project volunteer attorneys.
- Ensure the accuracy of Name Change Project site handbooks and related materials.
- Under supervision of the Legal Director and other senior attorneys, draft advocacy materials, including letters, amicus briefs, position statements, and comments in support of removing systemic barriers to access to accurate name and identity documents.
Impact Litigation Project (about 10%)
Contribute to TLDEF’s Impact Litigation Project on litigation arising out of the Name Change Project and Trans Health Project:
- Litigation responsibilities will initially focus on collaborating with TLDEF’s litigators on legal research, briefing, and developing evidence.
- Litigation responsibilities may embrace additional priorities identified in the strategic planning process to be completed later in the year.
Additional Responsibilities (about 10%)
- Actively build and strengthen TLDEF’s working relationships with movement organizations, lawyers, and academic experts.
- Identify and pursue opportunities to engage pro bono counsel and cooperating attorneys in key aspects of TLDEF’s legal advocacy.
- Serve as a TLDEF spokesperson on health care and/or gender recognition issues to both expert and lay audiences. This may include interactions with reporters and journalists and presenting at conferences and other public forums.
REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS AND SKILLS
- License to practice law in at least one U.S. jurisdiction; or a degree (J.D. or L.L.M.) from an accredited U.S. law school and registered to take the bar exam in 2021.
- Experience with legal or policy advocacy relating to transgender and non-binary equality.
- Familiarity with issues facing the transgender and non-binary community, preferably at the intersections of gender, racial, and economic justice.
- Demonstrated commitment to addressing intersectional and systemic issues, including but not limited to transphobia, racism, classism, ableism, and xenophobia.
- Strong legal research, analysis, writing, and public speaking skills.
- Strong interpersonal communication skills that enable you to develop positive relationships with legal clients, pro bono partners, and movement leaders.
- Competency at working respectfully and effectively with transgender and non-binary people of color, those living with disabilities, and those who are living on a low income.
- Proficiency with legal research tools, such as Casetext or Westlaw.
- Proficiency with Microsoft Office applications and collaborative tools, such as Slack, Asana, and Zoom.
- Ability to keep clear records, maintain consistent communication, manage multiple tasks and relationships at once, and strong time management.
- Attention to detail.
- Ability to travel domestically and work outside normal office hours occasionally as necessary.
PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS AND SKILLS
- Professional or volunteer/intern experience with alternative dispute resolution, insurance or healthcare finance, transgender health, discovery, or litigation.
- Project management experience.
- Fluency or proficiency in a language other than English, especially Spanish.
- Curious. You possess a strong desire to learn new skills and gain exposure to new experiences. You actively seek out opportunities to continuously improve and deepen your expertise.
- Flexible. You enjoy contributing to several projects and managing tasks that may require you to shift gears at a moment’s notice.
- Humble. You treat all stakeholders with dignity, respect, and compassion ranging from legal clients, pro bono partners, activists, and supporters.
- Responsible. You understand the importance of being a part of a team of highly committed attorneys and legal staff. You are dependable and trustworthy to carry out your work either on your own or in collaboration with others. You take working on behalf of a marginalized community seriously.
- Passionate. You possess an energetic commitment for TLDEF’s mission and the people who are driving the work forward. You are motivated to serve and contribute to a national movement.
Salary is $65,000-$75,000, depending on experience. TLDEF offers a robust benefits package that includes 100% employer paid medical, vision, dental, and life insurance; employer contributions to 401(k) retirement plan; 15 paid holidays; generous paid time off; sick time; healthcare flex spending account; and pre-tax commuter benefits.
Since last year, TLDEF’s office has remained closed and all work travel suspended. TLDEF employees currently work from home and only visit the office when necessary. The office may re-open in the second half of the year, but employees continue to work remotely.
To ensure the health and safety of TLDEF employees and job applicants, all interviews will be conducted either by phone or video conference.
Submit a compelling cover letter; resume or C.V.; and two legal writing samples of no more than twenty pages. Submissions without all required materials will not be considered. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled. No phone calls or emails, please.
TLDEF is an equal opportunity employer. Black people, Indigenous people, people of color; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex people; women; immigrants; people with disabilities, including those living with HIV; formerly incarcerated people; and people with lived experiences of poverty are strongly encouraged to apply.