Employment Opportunities

Youth, Rights & Justice is seeking to hire a staff attorney.  Based on experience, the individual filling this position will carry either an appellate caseload or a trial caseload. YRJ is widely recognized as a leader in juvenile law in Oregon.

YRJ provides court-appointed representation of children, youth, and parents involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems—in both the trial and appellate courts. We also represent individual children and youth in school-related special education and discipline matters. On a larger scale, we work to improve the systems impacting our clients through legislative and administrative advocacy, class action litigation, publications, and training other lawyers and community partners.

The youth we serve are racially and culturally diverse and from low-income families. Many are experiencing abuse and neglect, living with disabilities, and recovering from trauma. The parents we serve include those who are former foster youth and are struggling to keep their families together.

YRJ is a 501(c)(3), tax-exempt nonprofit organization. Approximately 80% of our budget is from contracted services, with 20% from philanthropic sources.  A dedicated 13-member Board of Directors governs YRJ. Board members bring diverse knowledge and connections within Oregon’s legal, business, nonprofit, and education communities.

We are committed to achieving a diverse workforce. Candidates from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to status as a protected veteran or a qualified individual with a disability, or other protected status, such as race, religion, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status or age. 

Staff Attorney Job Description

Status Classification:  Regularfull-time;exempt (salaried)

Salary Range:  Starting salary of $52,000 and up depending on relevant experience

Reports to:  Supervising Attorneys

Date Posted:  01/14/2019

Summary: Seeking a juvenile defense attorney to join Youth, Rights & Justice to represent clients in the Multnomah County Juvenile Court, the Oregon Court of Appeals and the Oregon Supreme Court.

Essential Functions:

  • Exercise good judgment and effectuate the best result for each client based on the facts of each case and the wishes of the client.
  • Vigorous motion practice, thorough investigation and research. Produce accurate well-researched memoranda for trial and motion practice.
  • Explore alternative dispositions. Advise client appropriately regarding dispositional outcomes and alternatives.
  • Pursue ongoing education and training in field and related topics by attending relevant Continuing Legal Education programs. Keep informed of current changes in juvenile law and related fields. Use resource materials appropriately.
  • Effectively organize time to maximize effectiveness for clients and YRJ. Accurately maintain Defender Data, personal calendar, etc.
  • Maintain appropriately documented client e-files.
  • Effectively work with legal assistants, investigators and law clerks.
  • Work cooperatively with other YRJ attorneys and staff.
  • Provide coverage for other attorneys’ cases when requested.
  • Be committed to YRJ’s mission.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Required Skills and Experience:

  • Be in good standing and admitted to practice in Oregon.  
  • Excellent legal writing skills.
  • Experience handling dependency, delinquency, or criminal cases.
  • Juvenile or criminal appellate practice.
  • Ability to work collaboratively, independently and to build and strengthen community partnerships.

Preferred Experience:

  • Felony Qualified with a minimum of 2-3 years of experience.
  • Education law or background.

Desired Skill:

  • Bilingual. A salary differential is provided to attorneys who are fluent in a language spoken and written by YRJ clients.


Work environment:

  • The job operates in a professional office environment. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, filing cabinets and fax machines.
  • Reliable transportation to and from court, home visits, client meetings, etc. is required.

Physical Demands:

  • This position requires sitting for periods of time and the ability to lift files, open filing cabinets and bend or stand as necessary.


  • Travel is sometimes necessary for this position.

To Apply:  Please submit a cover letter, resume, references and a legal writing sample by 5:00 pm PST on Feb. 12, 2019 via email to jobs@youthrightsjustice.org.