Senior Staff Attorney - Criminal Justice Reform, Southern Poverty Law Center

The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Criminal Justice Reform practice group focuses primarily on (1) reforming the juvenile, criminal justice and immigration enforcement systems so they operate fairly and equitably; (2) ensuring the dignity and humanity of those interacting with these systems; and (3) reducing the population of individuals detained and incarcerated in the states where we work.

This position will focus on advancing criminal justice reform in Florida. Subjects of litigation may include, for example, addressing unconstitutional conditions in Florida’s juvenile, adult, and immigrant detention facilities; advancing sentencing reform; and combating the effects of over-policing, the denial of due process in the criminal justice system, racial disparities, and collateral consequences of justice system involvement.


  • Lead litigation and public advocacy, under supervision of the Senior Supervising Attorney
  • Draft briefs, motions, memos, and other documents in support of litigation and policy work
  • Communicate regularly with SPLC’s clients, co-counsel, and partner organizations
  • Collaborate with the Senior Supervising Attorney and the Policy Counsel and to identify and support the advancement of state and local policy priorities
  • Research legal and policy issues related to criminal justice reform, including immigration detention and imprisonment
  • Supervise and manage the legal work and related tasks of Law Fellows, Interns, and Outreach Paralegals
  • Supervise outreach activities related to cases and campaigns
  • Represent SPLC in various forums, including before community groups, legislators, and state agencies
  • Respond to requests for legal assistance
  • Other duties as may be assigned to meet SPLC needs


  •  Juris Doctorate Degree
  • At least five years of federal court civil litigation or comparable legal experience, preferably including litigation of systemic reform cases
  • Strong academic background
  • Excellent research and writing skills
  • Admission to the Florida 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
  • Demonstrated leadership in building and maintaining an innovative and positive working culture
  • Excellent and consistent attention to detail and the ability to prioritize and meet deadlines
  • Aptitude for and willingness to be a team player
  • Initiative, vision, and a proven commitment to the struggle for social justice
  • Ability to prioritize responsibilities and have fun in a high-energy, fast-paced work environment
  • Initiative and ability to work collaboratively and efficiently
  • Strong organizational skills, follow-through and flexibility around changing priorities and deadlines
  • Ability to work on several campaigns at once in conjunction with Center attorneys
  • Strong communication skills
  • Understanding and sensitivity to issues client populations face
  • Commitment to a non-hierarchical, client-centered approach to advocacy and ability to work on delicate issues in a compassionate and sensitive manner
  • Experience working with diverse groups of partners
  • Willingness to learn and use internal computer systems and databases
  • Spanish language ability preferred but not required

How to Apply:
Along with a resume, submit a writing sample of 5 pages, a cover letter, three references, and unofficial transcript. For immediate consideration, please apply here.