Columbia Legal Services

Position Summary

Columbia Legal Services seeks a full-time Deputy Director of Advocacy to serve on our statewide advocacy team and lead our body of work on Ending Mass Incarceration (EMI). Our Deputy Director of Advocacy - EMI position supervises and advances systemic, multi-forum legal advocacy and community engagement to dismantle the structures that perpetuate poverty, racism, and other injustices in Washington.

CLS brings its core values of community, race equity, and justice into all aspects of its work, and we seek an individual for this role who aligns with these values.

All CLS staff have the ability to complete some work remotely; however, this position will require some physical presence at the office, as well as an ability to attend required meetings at the office and in the community. This position may be based in any CLS office; CLS office locations include Seattle, Olympia, Kennewick, Yakima, and Wenatchee.

Beginning February 1, 2022, CLS requires that all employees adhere to our COVID-19 vaccine mandate through proof of vaccination or by requesting a medical or religious accommodation.


  • Lead advocacy that develops and advances strategic advocacy initiatives, particularly those directly related to ending mass incarceration (EMI).
    • Work with other members of the Advocacy Coordination Team (ACT) to implement and advance race equity, identify community priorities, and ensure that litigation and policy work is community-driven.
    • Manage and shape advocacy related to ending mass incarceration, including leading table meetings, ensuring discussions and decisions promote collaboration, and developing a shared vision.
    • Review and, with input from staff and in collaboration with other members of the ACT, approve advocacy proposals.
    • Serve as advisor on litigation or related advocacy as workload permits and provide substantive expertise to advocacy teams. Serve as lead or co-counsel only when necessary and when capacity permits.
    • Coach advocates to develop skills in race equity analysis, systems thinking, and community-led movement lawyering.
    • Ensure advocacy teams and overall advocacy follows proper internal and external protocols and policies.
    • Serve as lead in responding to internal and external questions related to EMI table work.
    • Provide thought partnership related to CLS priorities with other members of the ACT, as well as with attorneys, legal support staff, and other CLS employees.
    • Work with the other DDA to coordinate and align advocacy when needed.
  • Serve as primary supervisor for assigned attorneys and legal professionals.
    • Provide direct, ongoing supervision to attorneys and legal support staff.
    • Provide indirect supervision and informal mentorship for staff working on EMI cases.
    • Supervise and support one of the Assistant Deputy Directors of Advocacy and regularly meet with other advocacy leaders in the organization to coordinate work and support each other in supervision.
    • Actively advance the professional development of assigned staff by creating individual professional development plans and seeking out opportunities to further those plans.
    • Participate in ongoing training on supervision, management, leadership, and conflict resolution, and utilize these skills in supervision duties.
  • Work with the Organizational Management Team (OMT) to advance strategic, organization-wide initiatives.
    • Assist in the development and implementation of CLS policies and procedures.
  • Work with the Advocacy Director, Development and Communications Director, and/or other Directors to create institutional and operational supports for advocacy through partnerships.
    •  Participate in messaging, media strategy, and other communications to ensure use of these tools in all aspects of advocacy.
    • Cultivate and maintain key external partnerships, including with law firms, cooperating attorneys, allies and partner organizations, key funders, board members, coalitions, and the media on a state and national level.
    • Engage with community through community meetings, presentations, and other work to build relationship and report out on the work of CLS.

This job description is not designed to contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee, and others may be assigned.


The ideal candidate will have all or most of the experience below, or have a combination of comparable experience where they have demonstrated similar skills or responsibilities.

  • Law degree and license to practice in Washington, or ability to take the next Washington bar exam.
  • A minimum of five years of litigation and multi-forum advocacy, with at least one year in a supervisory role. Note: comparable experience including unofficial supervisory roles such as team lead experience or internship supervision also accepted.
  • Lived or other demonstrated meaningful and sustained experience with people living in poverty, people of color, immigrant, or indigenous communities or the criminal legal system.
  • Humility, humor, and flexibility.
  • Commitment to confronting, exposing and dismantling all forms of structural bias and oppression.
  • Demonstrated initiative and creativity, including ability to master new legal areas, operate at a high advocacy level, and consider multi-forum advocacy approaches.
  • Excellent written and oral communication, research, negotiation, and analytical skills.
  • Commitment to continuous learning and openness to new ideas.
  • Ability to lead a team effectively, prioritize responsibilities, and meet deadlines on time- sensitive projects.
  •  Understanding of the importance of self-care, and a willingness to take breaks and vacations.
  • Ability to travel occasionally around the state to attend meetings, engage with community, and supervise staff.

Preferred, but not Required

  • Complex litigation or class action experience a plus.
  • Proficiency in Spanish is preferred for this position; other language skills relevant to our client communities are a plus.


This full-time, non-exempt position is a confidential role and is not eligible for representation by Washington Legal Workers, our in-house labor union. Salary will be based on years of experience; the current annual salary range for an experienced Deputy Director of Advocacy with 5-10 years of directly relevant experience is $82,815 - $92,786.

CLS has a 35-hour workweek. We also offer a comprehensive compensation package including the following:

  • 14 paid holidays annually
  • Winter Break office closure between Christmas and New Year’s
  • 12 sick days annually
  • 15-21 paid vacation days annually (based on years of experience)
  • 3-5 personal days annually (based on years of experience)
  • Paid parental and family medical leave benefits
  • Paid sabbatical every 7 years
  • Student Loan Repayment Assistance Program (for employees with less than 10 years’ experience)

Additionally, we pay 100% of employee premiums for excellent health, vision, and dental benefits plus 50% of the maximum out-of-pocket deductible and offer heavily subsidized family premiums. We also offer a 403(b) retirement benefit with employer contribution and a match, disability and life insurance, a subsidized transit pass, and an employee wellness program.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have also provided home office setup support for working remotely, time off for vaccinations or illness related to COVID-19, and an additional small stipend for miscellaneous costs. We are continuing those benefits into 2022.

To Apply

We accept and review applications on a rolling basis, with priority given to applications received before July 11, 2022. We will remove the position from our website once it is filled.

Send a cover letter and resume in PDF format to Please make Deputy Director of Advocacy - EMI your subject line. If you need a reasonable accommodation for the application process, please contact the above email.

We are committed to an environment of mutual respect, collaboration, and equal opportunity for all employees, and strongly encourage applications from people of color, immigrants, people who have been affected by mass incarceration, and other underrepresented and historically marginalized groups. We believe in building and sustaining an organization that is reflective of the communities we serve, and is diverse in work background, experience, education, race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, ancestry, national origin, or sensory, mental and physical abilities. We believe that the resulting diversity is both a source of program strength and a matter of fundamental human fairness.