About the Partnership for Working Families


Staff Attorney, Community Benefits Law Center


The Partnership for Working Families is a national network of leading regional advocacy organizations who find solutions to our nation’s economic and environmental problems. We are driving change in major cities across the country, bringing together community, labor, faith, and environmental partners to build coalitions and campaigns that create and sustain an economy that works for everyone. Our network does all of the kinds of work that is required to make real change. We research tough problems, develop new policy tools, give individuals a way to find power though organizing, and put together new coalitions. Most importantly, we build the long term governing power that it takes to implement our ideas and policy solutions.

The Community Benefits Law Center is the legal program of the Partnership. The Center provides legal support for the Partnership network and collaborates with organizations, coalitions and entities of government. We help our clients navigate the complex legal issues that arise in connection with impactful policy work. Our attorneys are experts on community benefits agreements, community workforce agreements and other measures that make economic development more accountable to community needs. Leading advocates and policy-makers at every level of government have relied on our work and advice. 

We also maintain a national network of attorneys engaged in major local policy campaigns. We work to strategically impact public and scholarly discourse on topics important to our work, authoring publications ranging from law review articles to book chapters to blog posts and speaking at conferences and law schools.

Much of the Center’s current work supports campaigns focused on redevelopment, waste and recycling, construction, transit, housing and manufacturing, as well as campaigns to improve job quality and job access, such as minimum and living wage and “ban the box” campaigns.

Recent representative examples of the Center’s work include:

  • Advise a campaign to improve local waste and recycling standards to benefit workers and the environment as to legal risks associated with different policy approaches
  • Participate as outside counsel to community-based organization in meeting with city attorney and city councilmember as to legally sound approaches for increasing local supply of affordable housing
  • Draft and disseminate brief for interested parties on the impact of recent U.S. Supreme Court case on local government’s regulatory authority
  • Present to progressive elected city officials regarding how to advance a community benefits approach to economic development
  • Work with colleagues to develop model policy and contract language to help facilitate employment of people with convictions


The Partnership seeks a dynamic, resourceful, highly effective Staff Attorney to undertake major pieces of the core work of the Center. The essential functions of this position are:

  • Provide legal, policy and strategy guidance to the Partnership network and its allies in their campaigns, working with local counsel where appropriate. This includes helping clients understand the legal landscape and leverage points, developing lawful (and workable) policies and contract terms, and working with government and developers’ attorneys to memorialize victories.
  • Further build out the Center’s network of attorneys and seek opportunities to mobilize that network to in key venues.
  • Develop publications and other communications tools on issues core to the Center’s work, including updates on relevant caselaw and innovative strategies. Represent the Center and the Partnership on panels, webinars and in other settings.
  • Support and participate in Partnership initiatives and events, including staff meetings, conferences, publications and fundraising.

The Staff Attorney will report to the Center’s Director. The position will ideally be located in a city in which a Partnership affiliate organization is located. For a full list of affiliates and their locations, visit http://www.forworkingfamilies.org/about/affiliates. The Partnership’s staff members are located in several different cities, and the Center is located in Oakland, CA.


To be eligible, an applicant must have a J.D. and at least 2 years of work as an attorney in a field relevant to the Partnership’s work and, prior to starting work with the Center, be admitted to practice in a jurisdiction in which a Partnership affiliate is located. The ideal candidate will have all of the following attributes:

  • Experience with policy advocacy in a variety of settings (local, regional, state, federal)
  • Excellent legal research, analysis and writing skills
  • Experience with advising campaigns, coalitions and other group clients and working in tandem with organizers. Direct work experience as an organizer a plus.
  • Ability to work effectively, including in negotiation, with government attorneys and local officials
  • Familiarity with land use, economic development, municipal law and federal and state preemption doctrine
  • Ability to communicate well with a range of audiences, including attorneys, foundations, policy advocates, organizers and the general public
  • Strong relational skills and team player mentality
  • Ability to prioritize, plan and execute work on-time and at a high level
  • Personal commitment to the mission and work of the Partnership


The Partnership offers a highly competitive salary and benefits package, including full family health benefits, generous vacation and personal time, and employer-matched 401k.


May 9, 2014


Please send a statement of interest, resume, writing sample (of no more than 5 pages) and 3 references to jobs@forworkingfamilies.org, and include “Staff Attorney” in the subject line.

No phone calls, please.

The Partnership for Working Families is an equal opportunity employer and committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce. We strongly encourage and seek applications from women, people of color, including bilingual and bicultural individuals, as well as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. We do not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, age, disability, or veteran status.