Staff Counsel: Police Accountability – BPI

Job Details

BPI, a highly-regarded and impactful public interest law and policy center, seeks an experienced attorney to help advance an ambitious agenda for police reform.


BPI is a public interest law and policy center that has been at the front lines of social justice in the Chicago region for over 50 years. Known for its innovative and effective advocacy for racial and economic equity, today BPI is deeply engaged in advancing systemic change in policing, the criminal justice system, housing and community building, and early childhood learning. Most of BPI’s work is carried out in partnership with community-based organizations that directly engage people impacted by racial and economic injustice. The organization’s lawyers and policy specialists employ a combination of legal and policy research, organizing, advocacy, and litigation, in collaboration with community organizations and advocates, and other partners. A collaborative and stimulating workplace, BPI is committed to offering opportunities to learn, grow, and contribute meaningfully to work that advances a just society.

BPI’s Police Accountability program is advancing proactive change to strengthen the police accountability system, promote community safety and racial justice, transform the relationship between the Chicago Police Department and the communities it serves, and reimagine policing so public safety systems better serve and protect communities. We work to ensure that communities most directly impacted by injustice play an active role in reshaping the system. For example, we have worked extensively with the Grassroots Alliance for Police Accountability, a coalition of community-based organizations, as it seeks to create both a new citywide, community-led police oversight board and neighborhood-level bodies focused on community safety in each police district. And we are working to develop and implement laws and policies that promote rather than impede police accountability and transform systems and institutions.

BPI seeks an experienced attorney with a passion for racial and social justice to join our Police Accountability team as Staff Counsel. This mid-level attorney will develop laws, policies, and programs; create and implement advocacy strategies; and, as appropriate, litigation, in police accountability. This is an exciting opportunity to provide vision, leadership, and support in one of the most vital social justice movements of our time.

• Explore and develop strategies and priorities to transform policing, police accountability, and public safety;
• Lead advocacy efforts and build and support coalitions in support of police accountability priorities;
• Conduct legal and policy research and analysis to develop and implement laws, policies, and programs, and, as appropriate, engage in litigation;
• Develop and maintain strong, collaborative relationships with a broad range of stakeholders, including policy and advocacy organizations, community-based and grassroots organizations, elected officials and policy makers, local and national subject matter experts, and funders;
• Provide support to efforts led by people directly impacted by injustice, including our community partners, community leaders, and grassroots advocacy groups;
• Prepare written materials including policy reports, issue briefs, op-eds, fact sheets, legal and policy memoranda, and legal briefs;
• Develop short- and long-range strategies and monitor progress in achieving identified goals;
• Build and maintain a deep working knowledge of priority legal and policy issues;
• Engage in cross-team collaboration and support and supervise staff and interns;
• Consistently integrate deep understanding of key racial equity concepts into work projects and interactions by addressing structural implications and disproportionate impacts of policies, activities, and decisions on race, class and other group identities;
• Exemplify BPI’s core values and advance BPI’s vision in all aspects of the work; and
• Travel in Chicagoland, Illinois, and to national conferences and meetings as needed.

Required Skills and Abilities
• Three years of relevant experience in public interest law or policy advocacy required; five or more years preferred;
• An enterprising mindset, a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and a passion for social justice and BPI’s mission;
• Exceptional legal and policy research skills;
• Experience engaging in creative problem solving, including an ability to craft novel and successful advocacy strategies, including policy advocacy, legislative advocacy, and litigation;
• Exceptional communications skills, including writing, and public speaking, with an ability to communicate clearly and effectively with a wide range of audiences;
• An ability to work effectively in a team-based and deadline-driven environment;
• Strong interpersonal skills and sound judgment, including the ability to work with diverse partners;
• An ability to interact effectively and develop strong relationships and partnerships with a wide range of people and organizations;
• Experience working with community organizations, community organizers, and/or coalitions;
• Multilingual skills are a plus, but not required; and
• Juris Doctor degree and either admission to the Illinois Bar or willingness to take the Illinois bar exam within 12 months of hire.
Competitive salary is commensurate with experience.

To Apply
Please email a cover letter explaining your interest and qualification for this position, resume, and two writing samples, to BPI Hiring, [email protected] If your candidacy advances to the final round, you will be asked to provide a list of four professional references. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

BPI is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. We strongly encourage applications from people of color, immigrants, persons with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ community, people with lived experience of poverty, and people from underrepresented and historically marginalized groups.
Reasonable accommodation will be made so that applicants with disabilities may participate in the application process. Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application.

For more information:

Job Status: Open

Job Type: Legal

Regions: Chicago

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