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Chief Legal Strategist

Chief Legal Strategist

In this pivotal time for LGBTQ+ rights, the Chief Legal Strategist will join GLAD as the team leader behind our legal strategy and plans for mobilizing resources for its achievement.

“GLAD’s work saves lives.”

Joe Carleo, past President +CEO, AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod

Since 1978, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) has achieved scores of precedent-setting legal victories to end discrimination based on gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, and HIV status. Time after time, GLAD has broken through resistance and prejudice to make real progress for transgender rights, family protections and marriage equality, LGBTQ+ youth rights, protections for people living with HIV and much more. GLAD is focused on working at the cutting edge of LGBTQ+ rights, advancing strategies to address discrimination occurring at the intersections of race and LGBTQ+ status, and keeping a close watch on a counter-movement that is fighting hard to roll back critical progress.

We are at a critical moment in our cutting-edge work for LGBTQ+ justice, racial justice, and lived equality. GLAD will not be complacent in our approach or rest on our victories. The rights of LGBTQ+ people, and transgender individuals in particular, are under attack, as evidenced by the over 100 anti-LGBTQ bills filed in over 30 state legislatures and efforts by opponents to expand religious exemptions to LGBTQ+ non-discrimination protections through a conservative-leaning federal judiciary. Our work in New England’s state legislatures and courts presents significant opportunities to continue to advance progress, enact groundbreaking laws, and build strong case law. Recent milestones include overhauling discriminatory parenthood laws in Rhode Island and legalizing nonbinary gender markers on identity documents throughout New England. 

To lead the legal and advocacy work into the next chapter, GLAD seeks an experienced and collaborative Chief Legal Strategist to steer our nationally renowned and esteemed team of lawyers towards an ambitious mission and vision. This is an exciting opportunity for a dynamic and creative thought leader to shape organizational and legal strategy on behalf of the communities we serve. 

40+ Years of Groundbreaking Work

GLAD argued the Supreme Court case that established important protections for people living with HIV under the Americans with Disabilities Act. GLAD lawyers broke ground on some of the movement’s earliest transgender rights victories, including winning the first appeals court decision to affirm that discrimination based upon transgender identity is prohibited under sex discrimination laws as well as landmark rulings in securing gender affirming medical care and transgender students’ educational access. GLAD’s decades-long leadership in the marriage equality movement culminated in arguing for and winning the freedom to marry nationally at the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015.

Now in its fifth decade, GLAD is well positioned to leverage its substantial experience and track record of strategic victories to address systemic discrimination, push back against efforts to reverse progress, and expand access to equity and justice for the entire community.

Our Commitment to Racial Justice

GLAD is focused on ensuring that legal strategies to advance LGBTQ+ equity and equality acknowledge intersecting oppressions and advance interlocking social movements, particularly movements for racial justice.

GLAD’s work focuses on both harm reduction within systems that disproportionately target and harm LGBTQ+ people of color as well as the imperative to reform, dismantle and create alternatives to the systems themselves.  LGBTQ+ youth of color are over-disciplined in school, disproportionately targeted by police, and disproportionately represented in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. LGBTQ+ adults of color are disproportionately represented and face exceptionally brutal treatment in our systems of incarceration. The HIV epidemic continues to disproportionally harm communities of color, especially gay men of color, who lack access to life-saving prophylactic medications such as PrEP. 

GLAD challenges discriminatory systems, policies and practices; engages in intentional, sustained partnerships with LGBTQ communities of color; and works to build and maintain coalitions with allied social justice movements. We pay equal attention to our organizational culture, practices, and staff and board composition to ensure that they reflect these values.

GLAD’s Mission, Structure and Values 

Through strategic litigation, legislation, public policy advocacy, and education, GLAD 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. GLAD’s strategic priorities include racial and economic justice, state public policy work, and access to justice.

Headquartered in Boston, MA and governed by a Board of Directors, GLAD operates with a $4 million annual budget and 30+ staff members and interns.

GLAD operates with a commitment to the following core organizational values: Justice and Lived Equality; Inclusion, Equity, and Mutual Respect; Anti-Racism; and Collaboration.

Visit www.GLAD.org to learn more about our work, history, staff, board and values

About the Role

As Chief Legal Strategist, your experience in and commitment to addressing racial justice, structural inequities, and LGBTQ+ equality will be central to your work in guiding and overseeing GLAD’s Legal Department’s litigation, legislative, and advocacy strategies.

Your vision and expertise will guide our legal strategy related to racial justice work (e.g. guiding the legal team’s work on police misconduct and brutality), foster and strengthen relationships with racial justice leaders in the LGBTQ+ community and help lead our internal work on racial justice, including participating in our ongoing work to ensure our organizational policies reflect our commitment to anti-racism. 

Leading a 10-person Legal Department including Project Directors, Staff Attorneys and Legal Assistants, the Chief Legal Strategist will oversee GLAD’s legal strategy and ensure excellence and efficacy in the execution of its work. You will leverage your exceptional ability to lead and manage a highly effective legal team, facilitate consensus-based decision making, while working to communicate and coordinate strategy across departments. You will work to prioritize the Legal Department’s caseload, based on capacity and in alignment with the team’s vision and strategy. As departmental leader, you will steward professional development, support, and advocacy for the team. Within GLAD, you will represent the legal team as a member of the Senior Management Team, aligning on organizational priorities and sharing the team’s work across the organization. 

You will be successful in this role if you can cultivate and leverage internal and external relationships, plan and support implementation of GLAD’s overall organizational and legal strategy, lead and develop a healthy and high-performing team, and predict and problem-solve gaps. An ideal candidate is a strategic visionary and innovative leader and facilitator with demonstrated competence for guiding and managing a department or organization at a similar stage of development, size, complexity, and trajectory. Applicants should demonstrate a knowledge of and concern for issues of racial equity and justice and an understanding of how structural injustice impacts the experiences of LGBTQ+ individuals and people living with HIV.

Reporting to the Executive Director and serving as a member of the five-person Senior Management Team, the Chief Legal Strategist will be instrumental in furthering GLAD’s vision of advancing LGBTQ+ justice, lived equality, and racial justice both in New England and across the nation.

Key Responsibilities:

Advance GLAD’s legal strategy to expand and deepen equality for LGBTQ+ people and people living with HIV at the state, regional, and federal levels

  • Steer and refine GLAD’s affirmative strategy to support and shape GLAD’s litigation, legislative, and policy work, with a focus on structural discrimination, lived equality, and racial justice.
  • Develop strategic frameworks for cases, issues, policy, and legislative work.
  • Oversee the case docket and policy/legislative/advocacy portfolio and ensure they are aligned with organizational strategies and goals.

Lead GLAD’s Legal Department with an authentic and adaptive approach

  • Consistent with GLAD’s racial justice and equity commitments, establish departmental priorities and manage resources to meet those priorities, including departmental structures, individual work plans, and evaluation processes. 
  • Oversee systems for promoting information flow, driving decisions, and increasing efficiencies, including facilitating weekly legal department meetings.
  • 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 and accountability.
  • Manage the department budget.
  • Prepare and present reports to the Board of Directors, and periodically attend evening and weekend board meetings.

Advance GLAD’s Constituent Engagement

  • In line with strategic priorities and racial justice and equity commitments, leverage staff attorneys, other organizational personnel, and direct participation to ensure GLAD is represented at national roundtable meetings, conferences, in the media, at community meetings, and at relevant events.
  • Participate in fundraising activities including engaging with donors and funders.
  • Foster strong relationships with legal and other advocates in state, regional, and national LGBTQ+, HIV, civil rights, and social justice organizations.


There are innumerable ways to learn, grow, and excel professionally. We respect this when we review applications and take a broad look at the experience of each applicant. We want to get to know you and the unique strengths you will bring to the work. This said, we are most likely to be interested in your candidacy if you can demonstrate the majority of the qualifications and experiences listed below.

  • A deep understanding of how impact litigation, legislation, policy, and education strategies are employed to expand civil rights.
  • Knowledge of the history and issues affecting LGBTQ+ people and people living with HIV.
  • Sustained connection to and/or experience working in communities of color and historically-ignored communities.
  • Understanding of how multifaceted identities impact the lived experiences of the LGBTQ+ community and inform our legal strategies.
  • Progressive senior-level leadership experience with a proven track record of successfully leading, managing, and growing a performance- and outcomes-based department, organization, or enterprise, preferably within the legal, nonprofit or advocacy sector.
  • A management style that combines respectful collaboration with disciplined productivity
  • Exceptional listening and consensus-building skills to facilitate conversations and drive decisions.
  • Excellent strategic, analytical, and problem-solving skills with the ability to overcome challenges through the development of thoughtful and creative solutions. 
  • Exceptional oral and written communication, networking, and public engagement skills, including the ability to adapt style and approach to diverse constituencies and needs.
  • Ability to build sustainable and productive partnerships with nonprofits, philanthropic partners, academic institutions, and policy makers. Comfortable and capable of speaking to these constituents and other stakeholders about the power and potential of GLAD’s work.
  • Ability to compel others to action as a key storyteller of our path to impact and ongoing contributions to the communities we serve.
  • Deep understanding and experience of the law and legal strategy; JD preferred.
  • Capacity for travel and participation in events outside of regular work hours.

Compensation, Benefits + Location

GLAD offers a comprehensive benefits package, including health, dental and long-term disability insurance; 401(k) with employer contribution; three weeks’ vacation; supportive and friendly work environment dedicated to groundbreaking achievements for the LGBTQ+ community and people living with HIV.

The salary range for this position is $165,000-$175,000. GLAD is currently working largely remotely with a limited number of hours on site in GLAD’s office in Boston. The hours required in the office are expected to increase as the impact of the pandemic subsides.

This role is based in GLAD’s office in Boston and will require occasional travel within New England and, less frequently, to other U.S. destinations. More information to come about GLAD’s commitment to supporting relocation for candidates outside New England.

How to Apply

To apply to this position, please prepare a resume or CV and cover letter that addresses your relevant lived and professional experiences that prepare you for this role and your vision for advancing GLAD’s strategic priorities of racial and economic justice, state public policy work, and access to justice for the LGBTQ+ community. For confidential inquiries or for assistance in completing the application, please contact Alissa Farber via email at afarber@positivelypartners.org

Timeline and Hiring Process

We will review and respond to all applications received. While subject to change, candidates elected to advance throughout the process can expect to progress through a process that includes initial conversations with Positively Partners, an interview with members of the Search Committee, meeting with GLAD’s Staff Attorneys, and for finalists, an interview day with Board members and staff, including a robust and holistic informal and formal reference check process. Expected start date is fall 2021. 

GLAD is at the cutting edge of the historic fight for full equality and justice. Through impact litigation, education and public policy work, GLAD’s precedent-setting work has established anti-discrimination laws for transgender, gay, lesbian and bisexual people and protected the rights of those with HIV throughout New England.

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 people of color, transgender persons, and individuals with disabilities, including HIV.

Additional information

  • Remote status

    Temporarily remote

Or, know someone who would be a perfect fit? Let them know!

our philosophy

We believe in the power of positivity, and that people deserve to be happy both at home and at work.  That's why we focus on three key components to find the right match for each of our current openings: aligning your individual strengths with the requirements of the role, finding work you feel passionate about, and ensuring your values match those of the organization.


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