Deputy State Courts Counsel

May 4, 2022
Reports to:Senior State Courts Counsel
FLSA Status:Exempt Position

Alliance for Justice is a national association of more than 130 organizations dedicated to advancing justice and democracy. For nearly 50 years, we have been leaders in the fight for a more equitable society on behalf of a broad constituency of environmental, consumer, civil and women’s rights, children’s, senior citizens and other groups. Alliance for Justice is premised on the belief that all Americans have the right to secure justice in the courts and to have our voices heard when government makes decisions that affect our lives. Alliance for Justice Action Campaign (AFJ Action) is the 501(c)(4) affiliate that promotes a national conversation about the importance of the courts through advocacy, research, and mobilizing progressive advocates and voters.

Job Purpose:

AFJ/AFJ Action Campaign is seeking a Deputy State Courts Counsel. The person will help manage AFJ/AFJ Action’s work to raise awareness about the importance of state judiciaries; to grow relationships and networks dedicated to state courts; to develop strategy; to conduct research on judicial nominees, candidates, and cases and legal issues demonstrating the importance of state courts; to develop a pipeline of future state court judges; to do outreach and advocacy in appointment states; and to directly engage in state court campaigns.

State courts are critical to our justice system. In general, they handle over 95% of the nation’s cases, more than 70 million cases every year. They are also the source of more than 30 percent of federal judges. And now, because conservatives hold a majority on the U.S. Supreme Court and scores of lower courts, state courts are increasingly vital to protect our essential rights, including the right to vote, and our democracy.

State courts have become increasingly political, with conservative money pouring into state races at unprecedented rates. AFJ/AFJ Action is committed to defending our state courts with as much vigor as they defend us.

Duties and Responsibilities:

The Deputy State Courts Counsel will be familiar with the landscape of state supreme courts, state judicial selection, and state progressive advocacy organizations and will ideally have some experience engaging in judicial selection or elections. The person serving in this position will:

  • Develop program priorities, with senior state courts counsel, related to promoting the importance of state supreme courts and the justices who sit on them;
  • Directly manage AFJ/AFJ Action’s state advocacy related to state courts, including engagement in judicial campaigns and advocacy with merit selection commissions, gubernatorial selection, or other selection methods;
  • Manage research and materials development for AFJ/AFJ Action projects related to the state courts, working with Communications, Outreach, and other AFJ/AFJ Action teams, including reports, vetting documents, op-eds, blog posts, fact sheets and other materials for grassroots and voter education, media, and other audiences;
  • Maintain public facing research and campaign content such as online State Courts Action Hub to ensure materials are timely and accurate;
  • Work with Outreach team to strengthen and expand AFJ/AFJ Action’s engagement with organizations and individuals in at least one priority state;
  • Lead, working across Outreach and Justice teams, convenings of state-based progressive groups engaged in the courts in at least one priority state;
  • Partner with progressive advocacy organizations to identify and develop a pipeline of diverse, equity-minded future state court judges;
  • Conduct political research and manage at least two Regional Campaign Managers in engaging directly in state court races;
  • Manage relationships with consultants and vendors as needed;
  • This position will be a supervisory position responsible for the hiring, management, and discipline of direct reports (at least two Regional Campaign Managers), ensuring staff is empowered and supported in meeting team and organizational goals as well as growing in their responsibilities and maximizing professional development; and
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • J.D. or other advanced degree preferred;
  • 5+ years of experience in legal policy or advocacy work;
  • Familiarity with landscape of state supreme court judicial selection, with experience in advocacy or state level political elections preferred;
  • Demonstrated experience breaking down legal topics to non-legal audiences;
  • Exceptional analytical, writing and speaking skills;
  • Demonstrated commitment and experience in public interest law;
  • Management experience, including hiring and supervising experience;
  • Experience working with a variety of stakeholders, with a preference for coalition building and management experience
  • Ability to work quickly under pressure, with shifting deadlines and priorities;
  • Attention to detail;
  • Long hours and some travel required;
  • Ability to inspire and work collegially with others; and
  • Strong interpersonal skills and positive attitude.

Direct Reports

This position will supervise two Regional State Court Managers and semester/summer interns.

Compensation and Benefits:

The salary range is $85,000-110,000 and is highly competitive in the field and commensurate with experience.

We offer a comprehensive and generous benefits program, including:


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


Save for retirement with our 401K plan with employer matching. Other insurances include life and disability.


We have a generous paid time off policy.


We provide a range of paid and unpaid family leave programs that allow our employees to bond with and care for their children and other dependents.

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.  

Job Location

Washington, D.C. or based in priority state (Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, or Pennsylvania) 

Work Environment

General office working conditions, the noise level in the office is usually quiet. This is a full-time position. Some evening/weekend hours and travel may be required when needed.  

How to Apply

Apply here:

AFJ is an Equal Opportunity Employer. AFJ prohibits discrimination against its employees and applicants for employment based on race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, sero-status and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or income.  


This description is intended to provide an overview of this position and is not all-inclusive.  The incumbent in this position will be expected to perform other duties as required.  Responsibilities may change over time.  This description is provided for informational purposes only and does not form the basis of a contract.