April 29, 2024

The Center for Children’s Advocacy (CCA) has an opening for a Senior Attorney and Director of its School Justice Project. The School Justice Project’s mission is to disrupt the school to prison pipeline in Connecticut by addressing systemic problems with the education and juvenile justice systems that limit educational opportunity for low-income children and children of color in Greater Hartford, and trap them on a path to juvenile justice system involvement. The Project’s systemic reform advocacy includes legislative advocacy, litigation and administrative advocacy, and is guided by the experiences of the individual children represented by the Project and by the Project’s deep community collaborations.


Drive the School Justice Project’s systemic reform advocacy, targeting systemic problems at the intersection of the education and juvenile justice systems. Develop multiyear systemic reform initiatives that address deep educational inequities, potentially including initiatives designed to:

  • reduce harsh school discipline and school-based arrests that disproportionately impact students of color
  • improve access to appropriate educational services for low-income students and students of color who have special needs
  • increase access to appropriate educational services for youth involved in or transitioning out of the juvenile justice system
  • increase access to appropriate educational services for youth incarcerated in Department of Corrections facilities.
  • Engage in legislative, administrative, litigation and public education efforts to carry out the Project’s systemic reform initiatives.
  • Collaborate with other CCA attorneys, its Speak UP youth groups, grassroots community and parent organizations, and other legal advocacy organizations on the Project’s systemic reform initiatives
  • Participate in the subcommittees of the Connecticut Legislature’s Juvenile Justice Policy and Oversight Committee (JJPOC) and advocate through the JJPOC for systemic reforms to the juvenile justice and school discipline systems.
  • Participate on the Hartford Racial and Ethnic Disparities Reduction Committee, collaborating with high level decision-makers from the Hartford Public Schools, Hartford Police Department, juvenile probation, Hartford Juvenile Court, Department of Children and Families and Judicial Branch’s Court Support Services Division to develop reforms to local policies and practices that result in educational inequities and contribute to youth becoming trapped in the juvenile justice system.
  • To ensure the Project’s systemic advocacy is guided by the lived experiences of the individual children and their families, carry a reasonable client caseload of children in grades 7-12 and provide legal representation on education matters. Partner with community-based organizations in Greater Hartford to identify children who are chronically absent, subjected to harsh punitive school discipline, or involved with the juvenile justice system, and are being denied access to appropriate educational services. Provide legal representation to the identified children to help them access appropriate educational services.
  • Develop informational materials and training about children’s education rights.
  • Collaborate with community-based organizations to provide information to and train youth, parents and providers, about children’s education rights and how parents and providers can advocate for children.

Minimum Qualifications:
The Center is seeking an attorney who has a demonstrated commitment to providing high-quality advocacy for indigent and vulnerable children and youth via both traditional legal services and systemic policy advocacy. Applicant must be able to take initiative and work independently. Knowledge of education law is necessary; a minimum of 3 years of related legal experience is required. Must be eligible to practice law in Connecticut, either as a member of the bar in good standing or with the ability to waive in, and have access to transportation in order to travel to courts, clients, and other locations.

Salary and benefits are commensurate with experience and are within the general range of salaries for public interest organizations. Salary range for this position if $76,400 to $102,800 annually, depending on expertise and prior experience. Hybrid/remote work flexibility is available. Benefits include full health and dental coverage for employee, partial coverage for family, pension and 25 PTO days and state holidays.

Application Process:
Email cover letter and detailed resume to employment@cca-ct.org.
CCA is an equal opportunity employer that actively seeks a diverse and vibrant work staff. CCA does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, ethnicity, religion, national origin, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, sex, marital status, disability, or status as a U.S. veteran.

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