LEAD Project Manager
The Public Defender Association (PDA), the project manager of LEAD in Seattle/King County, is a non-profit organization that advocates for justice system reform and develops alternatives that shift from a punishment paradigm to a system that supports individual and community health. We also provide technical assistance to community partners who are committed to these goals.
We advance justice system reform and alternative practices and policy through several core programs and policy initiatives, including:
- Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD): Under LEAD, police officers exercise discretionary authority at the point of contact to divert individuals to a community-based intervention program for low-level criminal offenses (such as drug possession, sales, and prostitution offenses). PDA is the project manager for the flagship LEAD program in Seattle-King County, and provides technical support for jurisdictions nationally and internationally that want to replicate LEAD through our LEAD National Support Bureau.
- Voices of Community Activists and Leaders - Washington (VOCAL-WA): VOCAL-WA builds power among low- and no- income people directly affected by the war on drugs, homelessness, mass incarceration, and the HIV/AIDS epidemic to create healthy and just communities for all.
- Transforming Policy: The Public Defender Association’s Racial Disparity Project (RDP) worked to improve police accountability and reconsider the role of the police since its inception in 1998. PDA staff have chaired Seattle's innovative Community Police Commission since it was launched in 2013; work in partnership with law enforcement agencies as they innovate and transform; advocate for the reform of Washington's deadly force laws; and represent families of individuals killed in police custody or jail.
- System Reform: In the spirit of our four decade history as a public defense office committed to system reform, the current incarnation of the Public Defender Association continues to do policy advocacy, litigation, public education and organizing on issues that systemically affect people who are or are likely to be engaged by the justice system. This work includes efforts such as the campaign for safe consumption spaces in Seattle/King County.
Project Manager positions are FLSA-exempt. Work outside of normal business hours is expected. Travel throughout King County and Seattle will be required, and some travel outside King County may be required. This Project Manager position will report directly to LEAD Seattle-King County Project Director, Tara Moss, and would work under the overall guidance of PDA Director, Lisa Daugaard.
- Demonstrated understanding of, and commitment to, LEAD's core principles
- Knowledge of the Burien and White Center communities
- Ability to clearly communicate core principles and support and advise others with less experience in harm reduction-based social work and in police-social work partnership
- Deep understanding of substance use disorder, motivational interviewing and harm reduction strategies
- Experience facilitating meetings
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- The ideal candidate will be a self-motivated individual who has strong interpersonal, public speaking and problem-solving skills; interest in working as a member of a team in a fast-paced, dynamic environment is essential
- Candidates must have demonstrated interest in criminal justice, homelessness, and/or drug policy reform and a willingness to approach these issues with a racial justice analysis
- Experience and knowledge of local homeless services and housing systems is preferred
- Experience or familiarity with community and human services dynamics and public safety/order issues in South King County communities is valuable in this position
- Commitment to the mission and approach of the Public Defender Association
- Basic computer skills, including ability to use the internet, email (Google platforms as used at PDA), word processing (e.g. Microsoft Word) and spreadsheets (e.g. Microsoft Excel) are required
Racial Disparity Project: Internship & Externship Opportunities
The Public Defender Association (PDA) is a non-profit corporation which advocates for justice system reform and develops alternatives that shift from a punishment paradigm to a system that supports individual and community health. We also provide technical assistance to community partners who are committed to these goals. We advance justice system reform and alternative practices and policy through several core programs and policy initiatives, including:
An intern with the Racial Disparity Project will work under the supervision of the Senior Attorney to research and write legal memoranda, engage in individual representation of clients, work on current policy advocacy projects, and assist in the preparation of filings for ongoing litigation. The intern will also gain an understanding of the multifaceted work done by the LEAD team, the Civil Survival Project, and the Community Justice Project.
Desired Skills and Qualifications
The intern will develop an in-depth understanding of the criminal justice reform work in which PDA engages and the public health perspective PDA utilizes. Excellent writing and communications skills are required. Applicants should have strong interests in policy advocacy, litigation, public education and organizing on issues that systemically affect people who are or area likely to be engaged by the justice system. A commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion; a personal approach that values the individual and respects differences is also expected. Candidates must have completed at least one year of law school.
Equal Opportunity Statement
The Public Defender Association is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture and are committed to race equity in all aspects of our work. PDA encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, socio-economic circumstance, or record of arrest or conviction. Women, people of color, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and people with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply.
How to Apply
Intern, Extern & Volunteer Opportunities
PDA has various volunteer or intern opportunities available on an ongoing basis.
- For current or recent law students interested in a fellowship, legal externship or internship, please contact Prachi Dave, PDA Senior Attorney, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you are interested in general, LEAD, VOCAL-WA or other open-ended opportunities, please complete the survey found here. Once complete, we will retain your information on file and contact you when an internship and/or volunteer opportunity is available.