Senior Counsel & Pro Bono Relationships Director

New York, NY
Full Time

Position: Senior Counsel & Pro Bono Relationships Director

Department: Legal

Office Location: New York City; Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL; Dallas, TX; Los Angeles, CA; or Washington, DC

Type:Per Lambda Legal's Work From Home (WFH) Policy, Work From Office (WFO) and WFH options are available with supervisor approval. Requires readily covering ongoing policy advocacy, development, and other in-person activities within the region in addition to litigation responsibilities.

Report To: Deputy Legal Director for Legal Education & Public Engagement

Annual Salary Range: $120,000 - $165,000     

Travel: Up to 30%

FLSA Status: Exempt/Full-Time 

Who We Are 

Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people, and everyone living with HIV through impact litigation, education, and public policy work. Since 1973, Lambda Legal has used impact litigation and other advocacy tools to decriminalize same-sex relationships; challenge discrimination against LGBTQ+ people and people living with HIV in the workplace, in the home, in schools, in health care, and in the military; and protect LGBTQ+ families, including by winning and defending marriage equality. Clients are not charged for legal representation or advocacy and Lambda Legal receives no government funding. Headquartered in New York City, Lambda Legal has regional offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, and Washington, DC.  
We believe that serving the full breadth of the LGBTQ+ and HIV communities requires cultural competency and enthusiasm for diversity of all kinds. To be successful, we must approach our work with an understanding that discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or HIV status is not the only obstacle to achieving full formal and lived equality for LGBTQ+ people and everyone living with HIV; rather, we recognize the intersectional nature of discrimination, specifically including biases based on race, religion, national origin, gender, disability, education, and class. In light of this reality, we prioritize awareness and proactive commitment to counteracting these biases and their compounding effects.   


Senior Counsel & Pro Bono Relationships Director

Reporting to the Deputy Legal Director for Legal Education and Public Engagement, the Senior Counsel and Pro Bono Relationships Director will serve as an in-house source of guidance concerning legal and ethical rules governing the work of the Legal Department and will serve as the national director of Lambda Legal’s program of collaboration with attorneys partnering as pro bono co-counsel to support Lambda Legal’s impact litigation, legislative lawyering, other legal advocacy, and legal education programs.  

This person will be responsible for providing guidance concerning the rules governing a multi-state, non-profit legal practice and facilitating compliance with these requirements. As Director of Pro Bono Relationships, this role also includes engaging with leaders of law firms and law firm pro bono programs to increase law firm support of Lambda Legal’s work through pro bono legal work including research projects and co-counseling of litigation. The Director of Pro Bono Relationships will work closely with the Director of National Sponsorships to increase financial support of Lambda Legal and to coordinate CLE programs and other benefits provided to national sponsor organizations.  



This Lambda Legal attorney position is responsible for three major areas of work:

Internal Legal Counsel

  • Provide guidance to members of the Legal Department regarding legal and ethical obligations associated with a multi-state, nonprofit legal practice, including those pertaining to evolving technology, and develop appropriate policies and practices in collaboration with the Information Technology department for compliance with such obligations.
  • Provide guidance to the Legal Department and other Lambda Legal staff about relevant legal and ethical obligations to ensure that Lambda Legal meets the highest standards of professionalism and minimizes organizational risk.
  • Oversee the systems for maintaining Legal Department records in compliance with professional obligations.
  • Consult outside counsel where appropriate to fulfill these responsibilities.

Pro Bono Relationships Director

  • Cultivate relationships with law firms, in-house legal programs, and other institutions to increase support of Lambda Legal’s work through pro bono partnerships including research projects, co-counseling of litigation, and other pro bono legal advocacy.
  • Consult closely with Lambda Legal’s Director of National Sponsorships to match interested law firms, corporate legal departments, and individual attorneys with Legal Department case work, legislative and administrative lawyering, research, and other projects, and to increase financial support of Lambda Legal by helping to coordinate CLE programs and other benefits provided to national sponsor organizations.  

Team Leadership and Department Management

  • Provide guidance to more junior attorneys and staff, serving as a mentor and supporter of department members, modeling inclusive leadership and collaboration.
  • Participate in management of the Legal Department.
  • Promote a team-oriented culture of high performance and continuous improvement that values a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, continuous professional growth, and job satisfaction.



Successful candidates will welcome the opportunity to work in a racially- and gender-diverse environment and to contribute to a positive and inclusive atmosphere. Working at Lambda Legal requires a demonstrated awareness of and commitment to the concerns of the breadth of the communities that Lambda Legal serves. 

Skills and competencies include:

  • J.D. degree required.
  • A minimum of fifteen years of experience working in a legal setting, preferably one focused on social justice, including litigation experience and at least five years of exceptional team leadership.
  • Familiarity with the requirements of managing a multi-state legal practice, and experience ensuring compliance with legal and ethical obligations.
  • Exceptional communication and presentation skills, both written and spoken, and a track record of translating complex legal issues into comprehensible advice and plans of action.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to build relationships and work effectively with diverse cross-functional teams.
  • A collaborative approach to work and a demonstrated capacity to “play well with others,” including colleagues in other departments.
  • Comfort working under tight timelines and navigating a variety of stakeholders and competing priorities with grace and good humor, while ensuring quality and accountability.
  • Working at Lambda Legal requires a demonstrated awareness of and commitment to the concerns of the breadth of the communities that Lambda Legal serves. Prior work on behalf of the LGBT community and/or people living with HIV is highly desirable, and some experience working with other historically marginalized communities (in a professional or volunteer capacity) is also desirable. 



Benefits include Short- and Long-Term Disability, Life Insurance, Medical Insurance (Telemedicine included), Dental Insurance, and an Employee Assistance Program – all at no cost for the employee-only premium. Employees may obtain additional coverage for themselves and/or their families including Vision Insurance at a low cost. They also may enroll in a pre-tax Health Flexible Spending Account (FSA), Dependent Care Account, and Commuter Transit Account. Lambda Legal offers a 403(b)-Retirement Plan with a percentage match from Lambda Legal as outlined in the collective bargaining agreement between Lambda Legal management and the Lambda Unites bargaining unit. Paid time off includes the opportunity to accrue up to 15 days of vacation, 3 personal and 12 sick. Lambda Legal observes 10 holidays per year and is supportive of observance of religious holidays. 


Read more about Lambda Legal's work on our blog, Twitter, and Instagram.

Lambda Legal believes in creating a more equitable playing field for applicants and values the depth of relevant skills built through successful education, work, and life experiences. If your background and skills are a close match for this position, you are strongly encouraged to apply.

Lambda Legal is committed to further building and maintaining a staff that reflects the full range of LGBTQ+, HIV-affected and allied communities, and is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. Lambda Legal encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship or immigration status, disability, veteran status, record of arrest or conviction, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law. Black people, Indigenous people, people of color, lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, transgender and gender-diverse people, women, people with abilities in multiple languages, immigrants, people living with disabilities, protected veterans, and formerly incarcerated individuals and individuals living with HIV are all encouraged to apply.


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