Center on Children and the Law - Staff Attorney 1

ABA DC, 1050 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, District Of Columbia, United States of America Req #1640
Thursday, May 23, 2024

The American Bar Association (ABA) was founded on a commitment to advance the rule of law in the United States and beyond by providing practical resources for legal professionals, conducting law school accreditation, developing model ethics codes and more. Today, the ABA remains a member-based organization that works to ensure access to justice for all, a fair legal process, and respect for the rule of law at home and across the globe.


The ABA is committed to service and refining the standards that guide the legal profession. ABA staff are provided multiple types of continuing education and career development opportunities. Your work will help eliminate bias, enhance diversity, and advance the rule of law throughout the US and around the world.


The ABA recognizes the value staff contribute to our success through a generous benefits package that protects their health and their financial security.  The ABA’s wide array of benefit offerings include 401(k), medical, dental, vision, flexible spending accounts, health spending accounts, supplemental life and disability insurance, prepaid legal programs, and a complimentary membership to the American Bar Association, which offers additional benefits.

Flexible/hybrid work arrangements may be available for residents of CA, DC, IL, IN, IA, MD, MI, MN, TX, VA, and WI.  Residency requirements may apply. ABA employees are eligible to apply for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF). 


Job Summary of/General Purpose of Job

The ABA recruits employees seeking opportunities for challenging and substantive work defending liberty and pursuing justice in the U.S. and around the world.  The ABA offers competitive employment benefits, which include medical, dental, vision, life and disability insurance, flexible spending accounts, a 401(k), commuter benefits, and more.


The ABA Center on Children and the Law is seeking a full-time Staff Attorney to work with our Legal Representation Projects Team. The Staff Attorney will serve as the primary point of contact managing a new project titled “No More Legal Orphans,” which will focus on examining and challenging the concept of terminating parental rights under law.


If you are dedicated to promoting access to justice for children, parents, and families, the Center provides an excellent platform to develop national leadership skills. We look forward to learning more about how you could contribute to our mission and our team.  Applicants with lived expertise from child and youth connected legal systems impact are encouraged to apply.


All applications must be submitted online. Please include a cover letter and resume in one document when uploading on the ABA site. Salary offers will be calibrated to align with candidate experience and skill set. 


Essential Job Functions and Responsibilities

  • Create a resource website tracking the number of legal orphans (i.e., children who have never been adopted but whose parental rights have been terminated in a dependency court proceeding) identified in each state, pulling information and research on the poor outcomes for children and their families and identifying what policies and laws require or encourage unnecessary terminations of parental rights (TPR) in certain situations.
  • Convene a monthly cohort to support advocates in developing No More Legal Orphans Projects in their jurisdictions.
  • Maintain a resource hub that provides legal arguments and resources to be utilized in state and federal practice where TPR decisions and processes have been challenged.
  • Provide a resource bank that will include policies, regulations, practices, and laws that can support advocacy against terminating parental rights in individual cases and as a policy matter.
  • Collaborate with legal system leaders in state courts, government agencies, tribes, and legal services organizations throughout the country who are dedicated to exploring alternatives to TPR under the law.
  • Design and deliver presentations and trainings on the concept of termination of parental rights and how it has been shaped under state and federal law.
  • Work as part of a highly collaborative team at the ABA Center on Children and the Law to design and deliver innovative learning experiences for the legal community.
  • This position may also involve recruitment of national litigation partners from law firms and legal advocacy organizations who can provide amicus support and other contributions to the larger mission.
  • Other duties as assigned.


Required Education, Qualifications, Experience  

  • JD and admission to the bar in at least one jurisdiction.
  • At least 1-3 years working in relevant specialized area of law, primarily child welfare law and policy analysis. 
  • Outstanding communication skills, the ability to communicate professionally, both orally and in writing.
  • Exceptional organizational skills and ability to exercise independent judgment. 
  • Demonstrated commitment to promoting racial justice, inclusion, and cultural sensitivity in projects, training, writings, and policies.

The American Bar Association is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, minorities, veterans, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. In compliance with the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA), if you have a disability and would like to request an accommodation in order to apply for a position with the American Bar Association, please call 312-988-5188.

Other details

  • Pay Type Salary
  • Min Hiring Rate $67,760.00
  • Max Hiring Rate $83,288.33
  • Travel Required Yes
  • Travel % 15
  • Required Education Doctorate
Location on Google Maps
  • ABA DC, 1050 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, District Of Columbia, United States of America