Legal Director

Mission Statement: 

Through strategic litigation, public policy advocacy, and education, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders works in New England and nationally to create a just society free of discrimination based on gender identity and expression, HIV status, and sexual orientation.

Position Description: 

The ClientGLAD is a nonprofit public interest law firm advocating for full legal equality and justice in all areas of life for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people as well as for all people living with HIV/AIDS. GLAD lawyers argued the Supreme Court case that established protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act for people living with HIV, and broke ground on some of the movement’s earliest transgender rights victories securing equal opportunities in access to medical care, schools, and more. GLAD’s decades-long leadership and collaboration in the marriage equality movement culminated in a Supreme Court victory establishing the freedom to marry nationally in 2015. Leveraging strategic impact litigation, legislative and public policy advocacy, and public education, GLAD works regionally across New England as well as nationally with the goal of making society more just, inclusive, and affirming of LGBTQ people and our families. Founded in 1978, GLAD is one of the most long-standing LGBTQ legal organizations in the country. It is highly respected and beloved by the community.    Now in its fifth decade of groundbreaking work, GLAD’s substantial experience and track record of strategic victories makes it well-positioned to fight efforts to reverse progress; challenge emerging threats as well as dismantle systemic discrimination, including discrimination occurring at the intersections of race, poverty, and LGBTQ status; and expand access to justice for the entire community. Examples of GLAD’s recent and current work include:

  • Passing transgender non-discrimination protections in New Hampshire and defeating a ballot measure in Massachusetts that would have repealed newly enacted transgender public accommodation nondiscrimination protections.
  • Advocating for youth and parents in state courts and legislatures, to ensure respect and recognition for all LGBTQ families, regardless of marital or adoption status, or genetic connection.
  • Leading the charge nationally to overturn the Trump administration’s ban on transgender service members in two pending federal court challenges.
  • Advocating for more humane treatment and proper placement of transgender people who are incarcerated.
  • Challenging legal exclusions in health care coverage for gender affirming care for youth and adults.
  • Advocating for systemic changes in state juvenile justice systems, including access to community-based support and services, and reduction and/or closure of youth detention facilities.
  • Advocating for culturally competent and affirming programming and healthcare for LGBTQ youth in the custody of the child welfare system, and for LGBTQ parents when the state fails to respect the child’s family relationships.
  • Challenging discriminatory, bias-based refusals to prescribe PrEP (Pre Exposure Prophylaxis for the prevention of HIV transmission) or to issue life and long-term care insurance to individuals using PrEP.
  • GLAD also continues to assist thousands of people through its GLAD Answers legal information and referral service, and to shape public understanding of LGBTQ people’s lives and legal issues through media engagement, published legal analysis, and other forms of public storytelling.

 Headquartered in Boston, MA and governed by a 17-person Board of Directors, GLAD operates with a $4 million annual budget and 28 staff. GLAD’s current strategic plan, Justice 2020, prioritizes access to justice, state public policy work, and racial and economic justice. To learn more about GLAD’s work, please visit OpportunityFor more than 40 years, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) has been on the leading edge of advocacy for the rights of LGBTQ people and people living with HIV. GLAD’s next Legal Director will join a seasoned, groundbreaking and motivated organization and will lead and collaborate with a nationally renowned and esteemed team of legal strategists at a critical moment. The challenges are very real, with nearly 160 federal judicial appointments in the last three years, a precariously shifting balance on the U.S. Supreme Court, and coordinated efforts to reverse and erode our slow gains and hard-fought victories. However so too are the opportunities, with progress being made and sustained at the state level, new and innovative legal ideas being tested and developed, and a younger generation becoming invigorated and energized in broad-based advocacy that provides hope for short-term and long-term change. GLAD offers the opportunity for a strategic and creative thought leader to shape both affirmative and defensive legal efforts to make his/her/their mark on social change, the LGBTQ movement, and beyond.  The PositionReporting to the Executive Director and serving as a member of the five-person Senior Management Team, the Legal Director will be instrumental in furthering GLAD’s vision for full equality and justice for LGBTQ people and people living with HIV across New England and nationally. Managing a 10-person Legal Department including Project Directors, Staff Attorneys and Legal Assistants, the Legal Director will oversee GLAD’s legal strategy and ensure excellence in the execution of its work. Primary responsibilities include: Strategy

  • Steer and refine GLAD’s affirmative strategies to expand equality for LGBTQ people and people living with HIV at the state, regional, federal and cultural levels;
  • Support and shape GLAD’s litigation, legislative and policy, and legal education work;
  • Oversee case docket and ensure it is aligned with organizational strategies and goals.


  • Lead a team of high-performing lawyers;
  • Establish consensus around departmental priorities and manage resources to meet those priorities, including management of the legal department budget;
  • Manage departmental structures, individual workplans, and evaluation processes; support individual lawyers’ professional development;
  • Facilitate weekly Legal Department meeting and guide decision-making;
  • Oversee systems for promoting information flow, assessing priorities, driving decisions, and increasing efficiencies;
  • Model and facilitate effective and open communication within the Legal Department and throughout the organization;
  • Partner with the Executive Director and other members of the Senior Management Team on high level organizational management, a coherent strategic framework, and budget setting;
  • Prepare and present reports to the Board of Directors.

 Movement and Constituent Engagement

  • Represent GLAD at national roundtable meetings, conferences, in the media, the community, and at relevant events;
  • Foster strong relationships with legal advocates in other LGBTQ, HIV, civil rights and social justice organizations and movements;
  • Participate in fundraising activities including engaging with donors and funders.

Professional RequirementsThe new Legal Director will have relevant and extensive litigation experience and will be an assiduous follower of the courts, as well as a collaborative, flexible, and resilient leader. The Director will keep the legal team informed on relevant legal and policy developments. The successful candidate will collaborate with the legal team to curate the docket and shape the organization’s legal strategies and priorities. Essential qualifications include the following: 

  • Demonstrated success building strong and effective teams working in cultures defined by excellence, professionalism, trust, and respect;
  • A deep understanding of how impact litigation, policy and education strategies are employed to expand civil rights and change cultural norms;
  • Appellate litigation experience;
  • Knowledge of the histories and issues affecting LGBTQ people and people living with HIV;
  • Abiding commitment to race and gender equity and economic justice in LGBTQ litigation and policy;
  • Proven success leading diverse teams, developing equitable policies, and creating cultures of inclusion;
  • Excellent interpersonal communication and public speaking skills, including the ability to distill complex legal issues into language accessible to a wide range of audiences;
  • Exceptional listening and negotiating skills to facilitate conversation and drive decisions in a consensus-driven department;
  • Capacity and enthusiasm for frequent travel and participation in events outside regular work hours.
Application Deadline: 
Sunday, February 23, 2020
Application Instructions: 

Please submit a thoughtful cover letter and résumé as attachments via e-mail to: Michelle Kristel, Managing PartnerSoladé Rowe, Senior ConsultantMcCormack+Kristel1740 Broadway, 15th FloorNew York, NY 10019Phone: 212.531.5003 | Fax: 212.203.9599          Email: search [at] () | Website  Please note that your education, dates of employment and otherinformation will be verified prior to an offer. GLAD is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. GLAD is dedicated to the goal of building a culturally diverse and pluralistic staff committed to working in a multicultural environment and strongly encourages applications from transgender persons, people living with HIV, people of color, and individuals with disabilities.

Position Level: 
Michelle Kristel
Country/US Territory: 
United States