Legal Director

Job Short Description:

The Legal Director is part of the Sex Workers Project (SWP) Management Team, coordinating and supervising SWP’s direct legal services work, as well as engaging in a leadership role in interdisciplinary work with the SWP public policy, research, communications and development staff.
Job Summary & Qualifications:

The Legal Director oversees the project’s legal services and advocacy in the areas of immigration law, criminal law, labor/worker rights law, family law, privacy law and international human rights law.  The Legal Director maintains a case load of direct client legal services in one or more practice areas.  The Legal Director works closely with the Director of Research and Advocacy and Managing Director on relevant public policy advocacy, the SWP management team on internal training and external human rights education; as well as the Managing Director and Director of Development on grants management and reporting requirements related to the project’s legal work.  In conjunction with all SWP staff, the Legal Director will seek to develop, implement, and uphold practices that ensure the organizational health and sustainability of SWP. The Legal Director strives to foster a culture that centers our four core values: human rights, trauma-informed, harm reduction, and anti-oppression.

Essential Job Responsibilities:

  • Supervise and mentor legal staff and legal interns including staff attorneys, supervising attorneys, legal fellows, DOJ accredited representatives, and/or legal assistant(s)/paralegal(s)
  • Monitor the performance of work within the legal team to ensure the highest quality of legal representation, client-centered, holistic, trauma-informed service delivery, and compliance with grant deliverables and other funder requirements.
  • Memorialize institutional knowledge and core expertise in a systematic and accessible way to ensure stability and successful future staff transitions.
  • In collaboration with members of the legal team,
  • Identify and respond to gaps in program services and infrastructure;
  • Develop and facilitate projects and research driven by legal team’s work, seeking and mobilizing pro bono, fellowship, and externship resources as appropriate;
  • Craft and implement uniform policies regarding intakes, our service model, and referrals.
  • Maintain a moderate individual case load of clients, focused on area of legal expertise (e.g. immigration law, criminal law, etc.), representing clients in a variety of judicial and/or administrative venues
  • Budget, track, and approve legal team expenses in coordination with Managing Director and development staff.
  • Foster communication, alignment of goals, and symbiotic work between the legal team and all other teams of SWP staff.
  • Assist the SWP Managing Director and development staff in grants management including data collection from the legal team and grant reporting as needed.
  • Develop systems for tracking and synthesizing information about work and accomplishments for use in messaging, grant reporting and proposals, cultivating SWP’s donor base, and self-assessment of the legal team’s work.
  • Update the SWP team on recent developments in area of practice and potential impact on clients.
  • Update and maintain Legal Server and Client files .
  • Work with legal staff and policy/advocacy staff and Managing Director on impact litigation
  • Actively participate in legal team meetings, SWP staff meetings and SWP management team meetings. Attend supervision with the Managing Director on a mutually agreed upon schedule.
  • Be familiar with and practice the policies outlined in the UJC Personnel Manual.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with other legal services and legal advocacy organizations locally and nationally including impact litigation and legal services organizations in the LGBT rights, reproductive justice, worker rights/labor, anti-trafficking, immigrant rights and racial justice movements. Strengthen and build relationships based on referrals and knowledge-sharing with community-based organizations and legal services organizations.
  • Collaborate and work with Director of Research and Advocacy and/or Managing Director on relevant local, state, and national policy, advocacy and legislative issues as needed
  • In collaboration with Managing Director and/or Director of Research and Advocacy, participate in civil society/NGO advocacy within regional and global human rights mechanisms for the purpose of advancing the human rights of sex workers at the local, state and national levels in the United State
  • In collaboration with Managing Director and/or communications staff, field media requests as needed
  • Lead or participate in relevant in-house trainings and external human rights education and outreach related to law and legal advocacy
  • Perform other duties as needed, in consultation with the Managing Director of SWP, and as required by project and client needs.


  • Juris Doctor (J.D.)
  • Admission as an attorney in good standing to at least one of the following U.S. jurisdictions: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, DC, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida
  • At least 10 years of total/combined experience with at least 2 of the following practice areas: immigration (asylum, removal defense, T visas, U visas, adjustment of status, etc), criminal (defense, vacatur), labor/worker rights (wage theft, racial discrimination, sexual harassment), family law (custody and visitation), and/or privacy/defamation/stalking/digital privacy
  • Bilingual fluency in English and another language (preferably Spanish, Chinese, Korean, French or Arabic)
  • Experience with issues impacting people in the sex trades
  • Experience with issues of migration, human trafficking, racial justice and gender justice
  • Exceptional legal research, writing and advocacy skills
  • Strong familiarity with human rights, anti-oppression, and harm reduction frameworks, as well as relevant social justice issues across a range of movements
  • Exceptional self-starter who knows how to operate effectively and calmly within complicated, nuanced and/or controversial issues
  • A person who thrives working remotely and independently, while simultaneously being a key member of a dynamic interdisciplinary team
  • An energetic, empowered, progressive but open-minded, positive individual with deep and strong self-care mechanisms who is not easily swayed or consumed by drama, gossip, rumor, hyperbole, gatekeeping, toxicity, trauma replication, rescue/missionary complexes, or victim mentalities within our communities, organizations and/or movements.
  • Previous experience working in any sector of the sex trades, and comfort with speaking about direct lived experiences in the sex trades, strongly preferred.


This position can work remotely/at home from the NYC metro/tri-state area, New Orleans metro area, DC metro area, or Portland, OR metro area and/or in SWP’s Southern and Caribbean Regional Office in New Orleans, Louisiana or the Urban Justice Center office in NYC


$95,000 annual gross salary plus very generous UJC benefits including 401(k), exceptional medical and dental insurance, pet insurance, gym reimbursement, 20 paid vacation days, 5 paid personal days, 12 paid sick days, 11 paid holidays, early dismissal summer Fridays, and additional paid week off between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

To Apply

Please send a resume or CV, cover letter, and an example of your past written work (e.g. a motion, brief, etc.) to RJ Thompson, Esq. (he/him/el), SWP Managing Director at

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Due to the high volume of anticipated applications, we cannot respond to any unless selected for further consideration.

The Urban Justice Center is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will be afforded equal employment opportunities without discrimination because of race, religion/creed, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, military status, predisposing genetic characteristics, victim of domestic violence status, or marital status. People of color, LGBTIQ individuals, people with disabilities or chronic illnesses, migrants, and individuals who have personal experiences with poverty are encouraged to apply.  People with experiences working in the sex trades, African/Black people, and/or transgender people are strongly encouraged to apply.


We welcome your questions and comments

Main Office

40 Rector Street, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10006

Telephone: 646-602-5617


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SWP does not receive walk in clients or inquiries. Please call our helpline at 646-602-5617