Current Openings


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SCSJ has an immediate opening for a Senior Criminal Justice Staff Attorney to lead, supervise, mentor, and support our Criminal Justice Reform Team, which currently consists of six staff attorneys and a contract community organizer.

The Senior Criminal Justice Attorney will

  • Lead a team of attorneys who provide legal advice and representation to economically disadvantaged communities, communities of color, and individual clients whose cases give rise to important criminal justice issues that create the potential for structural changes that would benefit entire communities, as well as the community organizers who are a critical part of the team’s criminal justice reform efforts.
  • Focus on issues of criminal justice reform litigation, through both § 1983 lawsuits and direct criminal defense at the trial and appellate levels, in cases that raise important criminal justice issues.
  • Lead the team’s criminal justice policy analysis and advocacy efforts at the local, state, and regional levels.
  • Seek out social justice and community-based lawyering opportunities in North Carolina and throughout the South, and develop strategies to address the more pressing criminal justice issues facing economically disadvantaged groups and communities of color.
  • Help other attorneys on SCSJ’s Criminal Justice Reform Team develop their own advocacy and litigation skills, and serve as a mentor and a direct participant on a variety of cases.
  • Maintain and develop strong relationships with client communities and help expand the reach of SCSJ’s criminal justice work throughout the South.
  • Develop innovative approaches to expand the criminal law in ways that benefit SCSJ’s client communities.
  • Help fundraise for SCSJ’s criminal justice work and brainstorm new ways to draw attention to and gain recognition of SCSJ’s work in this area.
  • Report directly to the Executive Director and be part of SCSJ’s Management Team.


  • Licensed to practice law in the North Carolina, or able to waive in promptly to the North Carolina bar.
  • At least seven (7) years of relevant experience in complex civil rights or social justice litigation and/or criminal defense, with substantial motions and discovery practice, well-developed legal research and writing skills, appearances in state and/or federal court, and significant trial experience.
  • Commitment to social justice principles, a racial equity framework, and to SCSJ’s community-lawyering model of practice.
  • Ability to take responsibility for multiple cases at a time; to be self-reliant, self-directed, and highly efficient; and to independently resolve problems.
  • Ability to communicate clearly as a member of a team of both lawyers and non-lawyers, and to lead and direct others while fostering an egalitarian and sustainable environment.

Appellate experience, policy advocacy experience, and at least one (1) year of management experience are strongly preferred. The ideal candidate will already have a presence in the criminal legal reform advocacy community in North Carolina or elsewhere in the South.

Start Date: January 1, 2019 or another mutually agreeable date

Salary & Benefits: SCSJ offers competitive salaries, commensurate with experience, and comprehensive health and retirement plans. 


Candidates should send a cover letter, resume, and two or three legal writing samples, including samples of court briefs, to Danielle Carman, SCSJ Deputy Director, at no later than close of business on October 1, 2018. Applicants are encouraged to visit our website at to learn more about SCSJ’s current criminal justice work.


SCSJ is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, or disability.