Rosenthal Fellow and Building the Bench Counsel

$85,000 yearly
  • Alliance for Justice
  • Sep 21, 2022
Full time Legal Nonprofit-Social Services

Job Description

Job title

Rosenthal Fellow and Building the Bench Counsel

Reports to

Legal Director, Federal Courts

FLSA Status

Exempt Position

 Job purpose

AFJ and AFJ Action Campaign is seeking a lawyer with 3-5+ years of experience to serve in the role of Rosenthal Fellow and Building the Bench Counsel, who will help lead AFJ and AFJ Action Campaign’s judicial pipeline work. The Counsel will be part of the Justice Team and will oversee strategic implementation, external partner management and operational decisions as they impact the goals and outcomes of AFJ’s initiative, Building the Bench (BtB). The Counsel will also play a key role in the strategic development and implementation of other initiatives in the federal and state judicial pipeline arena, including our Judicial Legacies program, which celebrates the lives and careers of judges who have committed to equality and justice. BtB is designed to develop a pool of highly qualified state and federal judicial nominees to put forward for selection, as well as lead a complementary and coordinated campaign to highlight the importance of filling those vacancies with professionally and demographically diverse lawyers.

 Duties and Responsibilities

The Counsel will report to the Program Director, Justice and will be responsible for the following:

 ·       Set strategies, identify geographic priorities, and craft a continually developing work plan for BtB and judicial legacies;

  • Identify and research potential qualified candidates for the BtB pipeline;
  • Oversee the research of potential nominees, including in coordination with law firms, initiative partners, outside counsel, and volunteers;
  • Work with the Director of Communications, Legal Directors, and Director of Justice Programs to draft, review, and edit press and collateral materials for BtB, including fact sheets, blogs, web presence, social media, press, and reports;
  • Support meetings with key legislative offices in coordination with the Legal Directors;
  • Serve as primary liaison with the BtB Advisory Council;
  • Liaise with partner groups, nominations coalition, AFJ members, and other thought-leaders;
  • Work with the Outreach team and other staff to build relationships with legal and allied organizations;
  • Work with AFJ’s networks of attorneys and legal community leaders, as sources of referrals or potential candidates;
  • Speak at legal and policy conferences, and brief academics, member organizations, and other audiences on BtB and other initiatives;
  • Identify state and federal judges who should be honored for their judicial legacies;
  • Engage in outreach to the clerk networks of those judges identified;
  • Plan and execute a minimum of four (4) virtual and in-person judicial legacies events, in coordination with communications, membership, outreach, and development, to build maximum attendance and support;
  • Work with Membership to consider the creation of an individual member program designed to increase the visibility and importance of exceptional state and federal judges;
  • Work with Director of Communications and Senior Digital Strategists to develop a microsite or other web presence for building the bench and judicial legacies initiatives;
  • Work with Development to ensure sufficient funding for the BtB and Judicial Legacies;
  • Coordinate with the state and federal courts teams to develop relationships with key judicial gatekeepers;
  • Recruit other team members as necessary; and
  • Other duties as assigned.

 Desired Qualifications:

  • J.D. and 3-5+ years of experience in legal, policy and advocacy work;
  • Experience in civil rights, labor, consumer, public interest and/or constitutional law is preferred;
  • Strong networking experience with progressive coalitions;
  • Ability to work quickly and independently under pressure, with shifting deadlines and priorities;
  • Capacity to manage multiple long- and short-term projects/programs;
  • Experience coordinating staff across various geographies and issue areas;
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills including experience working with the media;
  • Experience working with funders is preferred;
  • Strong attention to detail and ability to multitask;
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality of all work products and discussions related to AFJ’s work;
  • Hill experience desirable;
  • Strong leadership skills and the ability to inspire and work collegially with others;
  • Passion for civil rights, social justice, and judicial advocacy; and
  • Strong interpersonal skills and positive attitude.


This is a union position covered under the terms of a collective bargaining agreement with the Washington-Baltimore News Guild, CWA Local 32035, which includes salary minimums based on job position category. This position is in Group 5 with a salary minimum of $85,000.

AFJ also offers a comprehensive and generous benefits program: 

Health – We offer medical, dental, vision benefits, as well an employee assistance program for physical and mental well-being. 

Savings – Save for retirement with our 401K plan with employer matching. Health savings account and flexible spending account.  Other insurances include life and disability. 

Time - We have a generous paid time off policy.  Vacation – 11 days vacation first year of employment, 15 days second year and after 3 years get 21 days of vacation.

Sick – 10 days per year. Bereavement – Employees are granted 3 days of bereavement for immediate family (spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, grandmother, etc.) deaths. 

Family -We provide up to 12 weeks paid leave.


This is an exempt position that has no direct reports

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work

This is a full-time position.  Days and hours of work are Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with 1 hour of paid leave for lunch, daily.  AFJ offices are currently working a hybrid schedule.

Racial Equity

Our employees share our commitment to increasing racial diversity in our movement and organization, integrating justice and equity into the work we do and ensuring an inclusive organizational culture.

Other Duties

Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this position. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice. The position may also change direct-reports at the discretion of management depending on whether state or federal courts take on a strategic focus.

Job Location

Washington, DC, currently working on a hybrid in-office model.