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Legal Program Director - Rural Education Equity Program

WHO WE ARE: Founded in 1966, CRLA’s mission is to fight for justice and individual rights alongside the most exploited communities of our society. Through a network of regional offices and cross-cutting programs, CRLA provides legal services to tens of thousands of low-income people annually. Our work impacts farmworkers, indigenous populations, individuals with disabilities, immigrant populations, LGBTQ+ communities, women, children, and low-income families in rural areas.

  • Position: Legal Program Director - Rural Education Equity Program
  • Experience: 3+ years of work experience, 1+ year of management experience
  • Application Deadline: Until filled
  • Available Location(s): Flexible to any CRLA Office
  • Term of Employment: Regular, Full-Time
  • Other:       FLSA Exempt, Non-Union Position


Position Description:

Reporting to the Deputy Director and Director of Litigation, Advocacy & Training (DLAT), the Legal Program Director will focus on targeted, outcome-oriented advocacy to reduce education disparities for low-income immigrants, communities of color, and other vulnerable communities in rural areas of California.  The Legal Program Director will engage in direct representation of individuals and groups by developing and implementing outreach and education strategies, responding to legislative requests, and participating in public rule making that impacts education in rural communities. The Legal Program Director will develop impact litigation, advocacy initiatives, co-counsel significant litigation with regional offices, and provide oversight, including direction, coordination, state/local support, and monitoring of CRLA education advocacy to reduce education disparities by ensuring that priority area outcomes are met.



  • Develop and implement program goals, objectives, outcomes, annual work plan designed to reduce and eliminate education disparities for vulnerable populations in rural areas, with particular emphasis on limited English proficient students, students of color, immigrants, migrant students, and the educational rights of students referred to the juvenile justice system.
  • Develop and act as lead or co-counsel in impact litigation and individual casework with CRLA offices and programs with potential for replication, organizational learning, and significant impact on client communities and client groups.
  • Work and provide support to local CRLA offices and programs on developing and reviewing education advocacy through the education task force, office case reviews, and consultation on individual cases.
  • Coordinate, monitor, evaluate advocacy strategies and projects, including local litigation, that advance CRLA advocacy towards reaching the identified program outcomes related to eliminating education disparities in rural communities.
  • Respond to legislative requests and comment on regulatory matters, coordinating with the DLAT, in a manner consistent with LSC regulations.
  • Collaborate with the Deputy Directors, Regional Directors of Advocacy, and Directors of Litigation, Advocacy, and Training (DLATs), to ensure new substantive legal knowledge, advocacy strategies, and grant-supported projects are successfully executed, completed, and implemented throughout the organization.
  • Conduct training and professional development activities for CRLA advocates related to skills, legal knowledge, and related advocacy strategies to advance work towards identified outcomes.
  • Oversee and develop related outreach and education for action materials in collaboration with the Director of Community Workers.
  • Chair the CRLA Education Task Force.
  • Lead efforts to ensure the long-term sustainability and growth of CRLA’s education advocacy by working collaboratively with advocacy staff and administrative departments to bring in the financial resources to fulfill the Rural Education Equity Program five-year Implementation Plan.
  • Coordinate and support CRLA partnerships with statewide or national education advocacy organizations.
  • Attend state and national conferences and convenings to elevate CRLA program efforts.
  • Supervise project staff as assigned.


QUALIFICATIONS & QUALITIES of our ideal candidate: We intend to bring a candidate with as many of the following qualifications and qualities as possible.


Required Education and Experience:

  • JD with Bar Admission in California is required.
  • Working knowledge of Federal, and State laws regarding school discipline, language access, migrant education, juvenile justice, and funding of special needs in public schools.
  • Experience working in community-based settings with low-income families, plus experience with Limited English proficient and migrant populations.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage, supervise, coordinate professional teams and legal work.
  • Ability to establish rapport and trust with a diverse set of teams, partners, and leaders.
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks, projects, demands in a timely and professional manner.


Preferred Education and Experience:

A highly qualified and desirable candidate would also have the following:

  • Bilingual (English and Spanish)
  • Experience in non-profit or public service
  • Education/training related to education theory and practice

This job description is not designed to contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties, or responsibilities required for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.



Based on work experience and qualifications, generous healthcare benefits package (Medical, Dental, Vision, Disability, Life Insurance) and 401(K) retirement plan with employer contribution, loan reimbursement, sick and vacation pay, and 14 employer-paid holidays.

California Rural Legal Assistance thrives on our diversity, and we are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to building a culturally diverse workplace and strongly encourage women, persons of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, veterans, persons with disabilities, and persons from other underrepresented groups to apply.


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