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Staff Attorney

Pension Rights Center

in Washington DC

Pension Rights Center

The Pension Rights Center is a national nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C. that is dedicated to protecting and promoting retirement security for all Americans.  In its more than forty years, the Center has played a significant role in bringing about important reforms to the U.S. retirement system, including reforms that have evened the playing field for women and low-income workers.  The Center’s work on retirement security intersects with social justice issues that include gender equality, racial equality, LGBT equality, income equality, and aging issues. 

The Staff Attorney will play a key role within the Center’s legal program.  Through its legal program, the Center acts as a resource center to six federally funded pension counseling projects around the country that make up the Administration for Community Living’s Pension Counseling and Information Program (PCIP).  The projects provide free legal assistance to individuals who need help understanding or obtaining an earned retirement benefit that has been wrongly denied.  PCIP enjoys bi-partisan support.

The Center’s legal program has also launched a new initiative on dividing retirement benefits at divorce.  This Initiative recognizes that divorced women are at much higher risk of facing poverty in old age – a problem that is even greater for women of color and survivors of domestic violence.  Furthermore, while many women are awarded a share of a former spouse’s retirement benefits at divorce, the process of dividing these benefits is so complicated that many divorced women never receive these benefits.  The Center’s Initiative seeks to identify the obstacles that prevent divorced women from receiving the benefits that were awarded to them and to create solutions that will enable women to access these much needed benefits, which can be the key to avoiding poverty later in life.  The Staff Attorney will support the various activities of the Initiative.

Core Position Functions

  • Provide referrals, brief legal assistance and full-length representation to individual clients over the phone and online
  • Legal research and writing, including internal memoranda as well as case summaries both for internal use and for public consumption
  • Coordinate, develop and present legal training programs and materials for internal and external audiences
  • Develop public-facing educational resources, including fact sheets and blog posts
  • Monitor and analyze regulatory developments and help author comments on proposed regulations
  • Work with members of the media writing on retirement issues
  • Facilitate referral and training relationships with legal services providers and other outside organizations, and manage updates to the Center’s various referral resources
  • Manage undergraduate and law student interns
  • Perform general counsel functions, including review of vendor contracts and insurance policies and drafting of internal policies as needed
  • Log and maintain web-hosted case management software
  • Represent the Center at events and conferences

Mandatory Qualifications

  • License to practice law in any state (DC pending status or DC license preferred)
  • At least 1 year of legal practice experience
  • 3.0 law school GPA or higher
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Strong organization and time-management capabilities
  • Fluent in all computer basics, including basic Internet skills, e-mail, Microsoft Windows OS, and Microsoft Office

Additional qualifications desired

  • A track record of commitment to work in the non-profit and/or public sector
  • Practice experience, internship experience or law school course work relating to employee benefits law (ERISA)
  • Background in tax law, labor law, employment law, bankruptcy and/or trusts and estates
  • Experience performing corporate records research
  • Experience providing legal or other professional services over the phone or in a clinic environment
  • Experience in graphic design and/or video editing

The Staff Attorney will report directly to the Center’s Legal Program Director. 

Starting salary will range from $58,000 to $65,000 depending on experience.

Excellent health and retirement benefits.

How to Apply

Send the following to jobs@pensionrights.org – include “Staff Attorney Position” in your subject line:

  • Resume
  • Detailed cover letter
  • 5-10 page legal writing sample
  • 3 to 4 professional references
  • Optional: Additional writing samples
  • Optional: law school transcript

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