On the Job! Director, ABA Center on Children and the Law, Washington, DC

The American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law is seeking a Director. The Center strives to advance access to justice for children and families, through advocating for law reform and supporting court and legal practice improvement. The Center, established in 1978, is a program of the American Bar Association. As part of the preeminent national association of nearly 400,000 lawyers, judges, legal educators, and law students, the ABA provides the Center a unique platform to accomplish this mission.


The position is responsible for the leadership and management of the Center. This includes leadership in identifying, establishing and implementing Center priorities, fund raising to sustain and grow the Center, supervising staff (14-18), conceptualizing and helping implement new projects, liaising with internal and external collaborators and entities, supporting ABA-wide initiatives and leadership, and speaking and writing on substantive legal matters involving children and the law. The Director is or will become a nationally recognized child law authority, representing both the Association and this specialized field of legal practice, and will possess a vision for, and demonstrated career commitment to, how the legal system interfaces with children and families.


  • Support and strengthen fund raising initiatives, including for including grants, contracts, sponsorship and donations
  • Represent the Center at meetings and conferences, and collaborate with other organizations in the child welfare field, both governmental and non-governmental
  • Make substantive presentations at judicial and legal trainings and programs of allied professionals
  • Work to ensure grant funded activities achieve their goals and objectives and within budget and programmatic guidelines and authorities
  • Keep up to date on substantive law and policy developments related to children
  • Assist in development of law-related policies and best practices, many for consideration by the ABA House of Delegates to become ABA supported policies
  • Advocate, as appropriate, through training, writing, speaking, and providing technical assistance, for these policy reforms and best practices
  • Undertake publishable legal writing, especially on emerging child law-related issues
  • Integrate Center programs and activities within the larger ABA structure and networks
  • Liaise with other ABA departments, both substantive and administrative such as Human Resources, Financial Services, and General Counsel as well as ABA sections, divisions, and committees/commissions
  • Lead strategic planning and visioning for the Center’s future


  • Possession of a JD degree from an accredited law school and admission to the bar in at least one jurisdiction
  • At least ten (10) years’ experience in the field of child law related matters, especially child welfare
  • Experience in resource development and fund raising, program conception and supervision, project budgeting, personnel management , law and policy research and analysis, and legal training
  • Strong communication, public speaking, and organizational skills, ability to exercise independent judgment, and ability to work well with a variety of constituencies
  • Experience in a not-for-profit or volunteer member setting desirable

    All applications must be submitted online. To apply for this position please click here.

    The American Bar Association is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, minorities, veterans, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. In compliance with the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA), if you have a disability and would like to request an accommodation in order to apply for a position with the American Bar Association, please call 312-988-5188.

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