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Arnold Ventures is a philanthropy dedicated to tackling some of the most pressing problems in the United States. Our core objective is to maximize opportunity and minimize injustice.

Position: Director of Litigation Strategy, Criminal Justice

Salary: Competitive salary based on qualifications plus benefits

Office: Washington, D.C., or New York City

Arnold Ventures' Criminal Justice initiative aims to advance community safety and the values of fairness, effectiveness, and racial justice. We fund innovative work in five domains: Policing, Pretrial Justice, Community Supervision, Prisons, and Reintegration. The Initiative works with teams of experts from inside and outside government and across disciplines to reform the U.S. criminal justice system through research, evidence, testing innovative pilot programs, and policy change.

We are seeking a Director of Litigation Strategy to lead the development and execution of a strategy that invests in strategic litigation in pursuit of criminal justice reform. This individual will be responsible for identifying, analyzing, and pursuing new, high-leverage philanthropic opportunities in criminal justice litigation and managing current investments. The Director will work closely with the leadership of the criminal justice team to build a portfolio of litigation investments across all domains. The Director will report to the Vice President of Criminal Justice overseeing strategic litigation. (Note: The Director will work solely as part of the programmatic Criminal Justice Initiative team and is not part of Arnold Ventures' in-house legal team responsible for the philanthropy's operational legal matters, compliance, and corporate responsibility.)

Core Responsibilities:

  • Work with the Criminal Justice Initiative leadership and team to identify trends in criminal justice litigation;
  • Identify, assess, and develop relationships with organizations and individuals that can successfully use legal strategies — including impact litigation — to create the space for policy change and advance the core goals of the Criminal Justice Initiative;
  • Identify, develop and present charitable investment/grant recommendations to the Vice President of Criminal Justice, the Executive Vice President of Criminal Justice, and Board of Directors;
  • Oversee charitable investments approved by Arnold Ventures' Board of Directors and draw lessons from them to inform strategy and future projects;
  • Work with Board of Directors and the Criminal Justice team to develop and refine Arnold Ventures' criminal justice strategies;
  • Develop and manage relationships with key stakeholders, experts, and new and existing grantees;
  • Collaborate with initiatives across Arnold Ventures and provide advice and consultation on litigation strategy as a component part of the Criminal Justice Initiative’s reform strategy.

Essential Skills, Experience, and Abilities:

  • A minimum of seven years of experience performing and overseeing litigation and legal strategy in criminal justice, civil rights, or a directly related area;
  • A deep understanding of the criminal justice system and criminal justice policy;
  • Superior legal research, writing, and oral advocacy skills;
  • Experience interfacing with senior-level criminal justice stakeholders on matters of law and public policy;
  • Experience collaborating with diverse advocacy stakeholders and communities;
  • Ability to translate complex legal principles for diverse non-legal audiences;
  • Proven ability to think transformationally about the criminal justice system and to design innovative strategies for positive and sustainable reforms;
  • Effective leadership and management skills, including ability to support and develop colleagues;
  • Strategic, entrepreneurial approach to developing ideas and designing solutions;
  • Ability to bring disparate constituents together and build consensus;
  • Creativity and rigor in finding answers to complex problems;
  • Capacity to effectively prioritize projects, work simultaneously on multiple ventures, and meet deadlines.

Required Education

  • J.D. from an ABA-accredited law school.

Desired Personal Qualities

  • Passionate about improving the U.S. criminal justice system;
  • Self-motivated and proactive;
  • Flexible, adaptable, and comfortable with change;
  • Creative and innovative;
  • Confident and humble;
  • Team-oriented and collaborative, yet also able to work well independently;
  • Able to interact confidently with junior, senior, and executive team members and navigate relationships with external experts, government leaders, advocates, and individuals impacted by the justice system.

We are interested in receiving applications from qualified candidates who have been directly impacted by the systems we are seeking to change.

To Apply

If you are interested in this position, please send a resume, a cover letter that indicates how you learned about this position, two writing samples, and contact information for three references to In the email subject line, please indicate that you are applying for the position of “Director of Litigation Strategy.” Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.