Staff Attorney or Senior Staff Attorney

Job Title: Staff Attorney or Senior Staff Attorney  

Reports to:  Legal Director

FLSA Status: Exempt

Prepared Date: October 2018  

Position Summary – Staff Attorney

Public Rights Project is a non-profit startup seeking to equip state and local public entities with the talent, resources, and support they need to protect their residents' legal rights. PRP seeks a Staff Attorney or Senior Staff Attorney that will help further the organization’s mission to proactively enforce civil rights, economic justice, and environmental protection laws. The Staff Attorney will work closely with our Legal Director and President to identify and pursue opportunities for PRP to promote high-impact affirmative litigation by state and local governments. This is a unique opportunity to help develop an early-stage organization to launch cutting-edge enforcement strategies to protect underserved communities. This position reports to the Legal Director.

Essential Duties

·      Build and litigate complex matters in state and federal court

·      Coordinate a broad range of legal strategies to support underserved communities in the cities, counties, and states where PRP has partners 

·      Develop and conduct legal trainings to support PRP government partners

·      Advise, counsel and represent PRP government clients on particular matters; advise on case selection and strategy

·      Monitor ongoing federal enforcement efforts to identify new gaps that could be filled by state and local governments

·      Monitor state and local enforcement strategies to identify ways PRP can promote and expand ongoing efforts

·      Identify potential policy changes at the state and local levels that would affect the capability of state/local agencies to take on more proactive public rights enforcement

·      Support partner agencies to develop affirmative litigation and enforcement strategies unique to their jurisdictions, priorities, and resources. This will include developing jurisdiction-based litigation strategies in the following subjects:

o   Civil Rights

o   Economic Justice

o   Environmental Protection

·      Publish legal and policy research on emerging strategies for state/local litigation

Other Duties

·      Mentor and train legal fellows and interns

·      Contribute to grant proposals, reports and periodic communication pieces

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities         

·      Experience litigating in one or more of the following subject matters:

o   Civil Rights

o   Consumer Protection

o   Environmental Law

·      Superb analytical, legal research, and legal writing skills

·      Excellent communication and public speaking skills

·      Creativity and a problem-solving mentality

·      Ability to juggle multiple roles at a time and work in a fast-paced startup environment

·      Ability and eagerness to be flexible to account for unforeseen challenges /opportunities facing PRP as a new organization

·      Ability to work well with others and diverse groups

·      Willingness to travel frequently

·      Dedication to supportive, collaborative teams and fostering professional development across the organization

·      A belief in the power of state and local government to make positive change in the world

·      A passionate commitment to economic, racial, gender, and environmental justice

Education and Experience

·      Law degree and Bar membership in one or more states

·      3+ years of legal practice desired but not required

·      Prior experience civil rights, economic justice, or environmental law desired

Physical Demands

·      Requires sitting, talking and listening for up to 8 hours per day. Certain situations may require lifting items up to 20 pounds. Position requires the ability to travel by car or plane for any local and national travel.

Work Environment

·      40 hours a week.  Based in Oakland with ability to work virtually.


·      Salary range of $65,000-85,000 depending on experience. Generous benefits.

Public Rights Project, a project of Tides Center, is an “at-will” and equal opportunity employer. Applicants and employees shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender (including pregnancy and gender expression) identity, color, marital status, veteran status, medical condition, or any other classification protected by federal, state, or local law or ordinance.

Reasonable accommodation will be made so that qualified disabled applicants may participate in the application process. Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application.

How to Apply

Applicants should send resume and cover letter to jill at publicrightsproject dot org with “Staff Attorney” in the subject line. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

Legal Interns

Public Rights Project seeks current law students for legal intern placements in Oakland, California for Fall 2018 and Spring and Summer 2019. Our summer internships are full-time; spring and fall placements can be part-time or full-time.

Public Rights Project is a public interest legal nonprofit launched in 2017 to empower state and local governments to protect the rights and freedoms that define us as Americans. We support progressive state and local governments to bring affirmative litigation to enforce civil rights, consumer protection, and environmental laws. Many of these cases are those the federal government may no longer pursue to protect communities from fraud, discrimination, and disenfranchisement. Public Rights Project helps states and cities increase state and local rights enforcement across the country.  

We work with state and local prosecutors' offices, including Attorneys General, District Attorneys, and City Attorneys' Offices. We help them identify promising legal theories to enforce their residents' legal rights, and we help them marshal the resources to take action. We also run a fellowship program to embed early-career attorneys (3-5 years out of law school) in government for two years.

An internship with Public Rights Project would be ideal for students interested in cutting-edge impact litigation, public service, and creative strategies to push back against federal encroachment on core civil rights and the rule of law. Interns will have an opportunity to work directly with the Legal Director, President, multiple cities and states across the country, and nonprofit partners. Interns will also have an opportunity to help shape the direction of a nonprofit legal startup and gain valuable experience in organizational and program design.

Desired qualifications include: 

  • Excellent research and writing skills

  • An interest in public service lawyering and/or nonprofit management

  • Experience working in government and/or on campaigns

  • Experience with clinics and/or plaintiff-side litigation is a plus, but not required

  • Coursework in Fed Courts, Advanced Civil Procedure, and/or Advanced Constitutional Law is a plus, but not required

Interested individuals should send a short email describing their interest and any relevant qualifications from the above to, along with a resume.

We value diversity and welcome potential interns from all backgrounds. This is an unpaid opportunity, but we will happily work with interns to secure outside funding and/or course credit for their internship.


Public Rights Project (PRP) seeks an undergraduate intern to assist the President, Legal Director, and Director of Special Projects with research, organization building projects, and media assignments. We are looking for motivated, enthusiastic candidates who believe in the power of state and local government to make positive, lasting change in the world. As part of a small and growing team, interns will play a crucial role in the success of day to day operations. This is a unique opportunity to work with a legal non-profit in the early stages of its formation as it develops legal and policy strategies to protect underserved communities. 

Please note that this is an unpaid opportunity, however we are interested in helping interns obtain academic credit and/or scholarships for their internship.

A weekly time commitment of at least 8-10 hours is required. Interns must be able to work out of our Oakland office at minimum 2 days per week. Note that PRP is easily accessible by BART. Remaining duties may be performed remotely.  

PRP Interns will assist with various aspects of the organization’s work, including:

  • Conducting policy research.

  • Monitoring current events and news related to PRP’s civil rights, environmental rights, and economic rights priority areas.

  • Drafting social media content for Facebook and Twitter.

  • Assisting with fundraising tasks.

  • Assisting with the organization and maintenance of media files.

  • Assisting with managing our new fellowship program, including the application, interview, and selection process.

  • Staff local conferences, convenings, receptions, fundraisers, and events.

  • Work with the President and other staff on miscellaneous research tasks as necessary.

Desired qualifications include:

  • Must currently be enrolled at an undergraduate institution.

  • Excellent communication skills.

  • Excellent attention to detail.

  • Ability to juggle multiple projects at a time and work in a fast-paced environment.

  • Ability to work well with others and diverse groups.

  • An interest in public policy, communications, advocacy and/or state and local government work is a must.

Please send a resume, unofficial transcript, list of 3 references, and an email explaining your interest to Carlo David at

We value diversity and welcome potential interns from all backgrounds. We will happily work with interns to secure outside funding and/or course credit for their internship.