Vice President of Programs and Litigation

The Organization

Legal Aid at Work (LAAW) enforces and expands the employment and civil rights of low-wage workers, their families, and communities by engaging in outreach and education, providing clients with legal advice and representation, and advocating for policy reforms.

LAAW has seven core program areas:

(1) Disability Rights
(2) Racial Economic Justice
(3) Gender Equity & LGBTQ Rights
(4) Wage Protection
(5) Work & Family
(6) National Origin and Immigrants’ Rights
(7) Community Legal Services

Through these programs, LAAW:

  • Provides free, individualized legal advice and counsel throughout California to thousands of low-income workers;
  • Pursues targeted enforcement and impact litigation to strengthen and clarify the law;
  • Conducts community outreach and education for workers, their advocates, their families, and their health and social service providers; and
  • Advocates for laws, regulations, and policies at the local, state, and national levels to strengthen civil and workplace rights.

As a social justice organization, Legal Aid at Work’s mission is rooted in the firm belief that all people deserve respect, dignity, and self-determination at work, at school, and in their communities. Structural and systemic racism—with the oppression of Black and Indigenous people at its core—and other forms of injustice shape the society and the civic, political, and legal systems in which we work and live. Legal Aid at Work is committed to developing and nurturing an organizational culture that will dismantle systems of oppression, uplift people from underrepresented communities, and create a workplace that is truly equitable and inclusive. As such, we strongly encourage candidates from underrepresented communities to apply.

The Opportunity

LAAW seeks a Vice President of Programs and Litigation (VP) to join the organization’s Management Team at a pivotal time of strategic evolution and refinement. Reporting to the President and managing the Program Directors and the Paralegal team, the VP will play a crucial role in generating and implementing the organization’s programmatic priorities and strategies.

This position will oversee all programmatic work and the selection of tools LAAW uses to advance its mission. The VP will be responsible for directing LAAW’s litigation, policy advocacy, direct services, and outreach and education services. The VP will help to ensure that LAAW’s overall strategy and its programmatic activities address the most urgent needs of people with low-wage jobs, and will help LAAW articulate a unified point of view (across all of its programs) as to what those most urgent needs are.

LAAW recently underwent a strategic planning process. The VP will lead the programmatic work to realize LAAW’s newly redefined mission as it responds to emerging issues and changing landscapes over time. In order to help LAAW evaluate its progress towards accomplishing its mission, the VP will work collaboratively with LAAW’s seven core programs to identify indicators (both qualitative and quantitative) that will measure the organization’s progress while identifying new opportunities to maximize our impact.

A successful candidate must have strong leadership skills marked by the demonstrated ability to hold respect for others, to foster trust and collaboration among the program staff, and to value honesty and integrity. The VP will be flexible in their decision making, be able to actively listen and be open to new ideas. It is also essential that the candidate have the ability to make hard choices while working in a highly collaborative environment.

Key Priorities

Strategy and Innovation

The VP will lead the organization’s efforts to keep its finger on the pulse of key legal and policy developments impacting workers with low wages, recognize gaps in services for those workers, and identify areas in which LAAW may be best positioned to act to assist those workers. The VP will also work with staff to ensure mission alignment across all program areas and to prioritize the tools, target client populations, and partnerships that will best help LAAW advance its mission.

The VP will also recommend ways that LAAW can provide its services more efficiently, balancing the need for standardization against the need for flexibility.  

In particular, and in recognition of the organization’s established track record of litigation successes, the position will be responsible for guiding and building the organization’s docket of high-impact, class action, and strategic enforcement litigation. While it is not envisioned that the VP will spend significant time litigating as part of this role, they must be deeply knowledgeable about finding, selecting and litigating high-impact cases.

Leadership and People Development

The VP will be joining an incredibly skilled and passionate legal team with a history of impact. This role represents an opportunity to work alongside a team of passionate advocates, providing them with mentoring, coaching, and development opportunities. Serving as a sounding board and thought partner, the VP will lead and support legal staff on strategy, case management, and budgeting. The VP will also mentor the legal team to help them further develop litigation, policy advocacy, and client counseling skills. Additionally, the VP will provide or coordinate trainings on topics ranging from litigation and policy advocacy to strategy development and program management. This person will partner closely with Management and staff to set concrete and tangible goals to measure impact and identify growth opportunities, both for staff individually and the organization as a whole.


The VP will play a pivotal role in contributing to a culture that values collaboration, healthy and respectful debate, shared learnings, and an openness to feedback. The VP will help to create a reflective learning environment that inspires, motivates, and values diverse perspectives.

Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate will have a demonstrated track record of protecting and advancing the rights and well-being of workers. Of special importance is that they have deep litigation experience, preferably in employment law.

All applicants must be active members of the California Bar or, if currently members of another state bar, be willing to take the next California Bar Examination. LAAW maintains its San Francisco office but has shifted to a remote-first model. Candidates have the option of working in the office or remotely but must be based in California with the willingness and ability to travel occasionally.  

The ideal VP candidate should have the ability to use creative approaches to develop litigation strategies that have significant impact on the lives of our clients and their communities. The VP must be familiar with all stages of trial and appellate litigation in both federal and state courts and be knowledgeable about securing court awarded fees in employment or other civil rights cases.  Successful candidates will bring experience in program management and strategy development.

A skilled relationship builder and communicator, the incoming VP will bring the energy and emotional intelligence to establish effective, equitable, and impact-driven partnerships with staff and external stakeholders.

Compensation and Location

While LAAW maintains an office in San Francisco, candidates may be based anywhere in the state of California. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, extensive remote work will be required.

Legal Aid at Work offers salaries that are competitive in the Bay Area public interest law community. The target salary for this position is $165,000. Benefits include health plans, long-term disability and life insurance, 403(b) retirement plan with employer match and contribution, and generous paid vacation and holidays. As a unionized organization, LAAW believes in the importance of employees organizing to improve their working conditions.

To Apply

We strongly encourage candidates from underrepresented communities to apply. Applications must include (1) a cover letter explaining your interest in this position and the ways in which you satisfy the qualifications specified above, (2) résumé, (3) one legal writing sample, and (4) three professional references, including one direct supervisor and one direct supervisee, if applicable (please indicate your relationship to each reference). All application materials should be submitted to:

Vice President of Programs and Litigation Search Committee

Email:  [email protected]

Legal Aid at Work is committed to a diverse, multicultural work environment. LAAW is an equal opportunity, fair chance, and affirmative action employer. Our complete EEO and DEI statements as well as further information concerning the organization and its programs can be found at  Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, Legal Aid at Work will consider qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records for employment.