Achieving LGBTQ Equality Through Litigation, Legislation, Policy, and Public Education

Jobs & Fellowships

The National Center for Lesbian Rights is currently looking to fill the following positions. Equal Opportunity Statement

Job Opportunities

Executive Director

Donor Engagement Manager

Legal Assistant

Law Clerk

Executive Director

The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) seeks an Executive Director (ED) to serve as an inspirational leader for NCLR and the LGBTQ communities and movement. For more than 40 years, NCLR has been at the forefront of advancing LGBTQ equality through litigation, legislation, policy, and public education across the country.

The ED is a creative visionary who is fluent in progressive politics and models NCLR’s longstanding commitment to feminism, intersectionality, and racial and economic justice. The ED’s role is predominantly outward-facing and focused on public communication, movement-building, and fundraising. The ED is also an important internal leader who works closely with the management team and Board to keep the organization strategically aligned and successfully advancing NCLR’s mission.

NCLR is an established legal advocacy organization with leadership and management functions distributed across a number of Directors working in coordination with the ED. The ED leads a senior team that includes the Legal Director (a long-tenured internal and external leader), Deputy Director (responsible for internal management), and Director of Development (a strong fundraising partner to the ED). There is also a larger Management Team, which includes the Senior Team plus the Policy Director, Director of Finance and Operations, and Digital Strategy and Communications Manager.

The ED is based in the organization’s national office in San Francisco. The position requires frequent domestic travel.


Approximate percentages are indicated below for the distribution of time across the following three areas of ED responsibilities. Often, the activities in these categories overlap or interrelate, so percentages cannot be understood as fixed. The ED needs to be flexible and able to perform a mix of these areas of responsibility in a single day and to shift between them with ease.

1)  Provide strategic direction and leadership for the organization’s fundraising activities and ensure long-term financial sustainability. The ED is expected to spend 50% (or more) of their time in this area.

  • Partner with the Director of Development on the creation and implementation of a fundraising plan that leverages strengths of the development team, Board, and staff.
  • Actively engage in fund development with individual donors, foundations, and businesses.
  • Cultivate a portfolio of key donor relationships

2)  Lead NCLR’s external community-building efforts. Act as a primary NCLR spokesperson. The ED is expected to spend roughly 25% of their time in this area. NCLR also has other staff that represent the organization in their areas of expertise.

  • Sustain existing external relationships and build new ones.
  • Grow coalitions in the racial justice space.
  • Develop NCLR’s reputation and presence as a valued movement builder.
  • Promote NCLR at community events, conferences, and fundraising events, as well as on traditional and social media.
  • Elevate the voices of other NCLR staff and of other organizations doing aligned work.
  • Contribute to shaping larger movement strategies, develop relationships with key partners, and support the development of allies and emerging leaders in the field.

3) Ensure the organization is internally aligned and operating effectively. The ED is expected to spend roughly 25% of their time in this area.

  • Provide strategic leadership for programs and financial sustainability.
  • Maintain deep connection with and understanding of programmatic work and core content.
  • Ensure effective planning and evaluation practices that align staff and Board.
  • Partner with the Deputy Director and management team to ensure a healthy and positive workplace and strong infrastructure.
  • Support the Board of Directors to successfully carry out its roles and meet its goals. Cultivate relationships with and among Board members, and between Board and staff.

The ED of NCLR will be a strategic and innovative leader, with an unwavering commitment to speaking out and fighting for the rights of LGBTQ community members. The ideal candidate will have demonstrated past success in a senior leadership position and understands how to use the law to accomplish NCLR’s mission. A background in civil rights is necessary, ideally an LGBTQ rights background, but experience may also come from other areas relevant to NCLR such as family law, employment rights, and impact litigation.

The ED will have the credibility to build deep and abiding trust with a number of constituencies and the capacity to influence and bring them together around shared goals. This individual will be a confident and effective communicator with the ability to speak persuasively about the importance of equality and justice, and to convey with fluency and clarity that NCLR is a feminist organization at its core. They will serve as a model of openness, generosity, and acceptance while leading with personal and professional integrity, warmth, and humor.

A Bachelor’s degree is required for the position; a law degree or an advanced degree in a related field is highly desired.

For more information on this position, please read the full position profile here. 

Naree W.S. Viner and Stephen Milbauer of Koya Leadership Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role, please submit a compelling cover letter and resume here, or email Stephen directly at

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Donor Engagement Manager

Full-Time, Non-Exempt Position with Benefits

Job Description

This is an opportunity to work closely with a committed donor base and community and a passionate and dedicated team that values humor, hard work and justice. The Donor Engagement Manager reports to the Director of Philanthropy & Community Engagement and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of NCLR’s annual fund program, including direct mail and online giving, sustainers and workplace giving. Additionally, the Donor Engagement Manager will work with the entire development team on events, donor outreach and creative models for fundraising growth and cultivation. This position works closely with the Associate Director, Development Coordinators and Database Administrator to ensure success in NCLR’s major donor program and annual Anniversary Circle Campaign.


The Donor Engagement Manager’s duties will include:

  • Participate with the Director of Philanthropy & Community Engagement in creating an annual donor outreach plan, including digital, direct mail, events and cultivation opportunities
  • Oversee all administrative aspects of identification, cultivation, solicitation, recognition and stewardship of all individual non-Anniversary Circle donors, including sustainers (monthly donors), workplace giving and legacy donors
  • Oversee planning and execution for all cultivation and fundraising events, including managing event consultants and other vendor relationships
  • In collaboration with outside direct marketing consultants, manage the planning and implementation of all annual direct mail and online campaigns throughout the year
  • As needed, write copy for print and online fundraising appeals to support current case work and long-term organizational goals
  • As needed, write copy for communications, including website, social media and overall agency collateral
  • Manage all administrative aspects of state and federal workplace giving programs, including annual registration and reporting
  • Analyze, evaluate and prepare reports on progress and success of individual giving against annual goals
  • Work with Database Manager to facilitate annual fund and sustainer recognition
  • Ensure related donor information and fundraising activities are accurately recorded in the organization’s donor database in a timely manner
  • Ensure NCLR profile is up-to-date and accurate on various charity evaluation websites such as Guidestar, Charity Navigator, etc.

Required Education, Experience, and Skills

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience at least five years of development or related experience
  • Planning and management of fund development programs
  • Strong writing and creative skills
  • Intermediate knowledge of online giving and website content management systems
  • Comfortability with databases such as Raiser’s Edge and/or equivalent systems
  • Excellent computer skills. Proficiency in MS Office, including Outlook, Word, and Excel
  • Resourceful and flexible
  • Excellent communication skills; diplomatic
  • Ability to maintain a healthy sense of humor in a fast-paced environment
  • A team player who is willing to take on additional duties and responsibilities as needed

Required Qualities

  • Commitment to NCLR’s mission and programs and knowledgeable about LGBTQ communities and issues
  • Knowledge of and interest in trends and changing landscape in philanthropy
  • Excellent project management skills; able to balance multiple competing priorities
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail required

Wages and Benefits

Wage is $32.00-36.00 per hour and the position is full-time. Excellent benefits include medical, dental, and vision coverage for employee and dependents; three weeks of vacation per year, sick time and holidays; short-term and long-term disability insurance; life insurance; pre-tax flexible spending plans for qualified health care, dependent care, transportation and parking benefits; and participation in a 403(b) retirement plan.


Please submit your resume and cover letter through our online application. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

No telephone calls or emails please.

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Legal Assistant

Full-Time, Non-Exempt Position

Job Description

The National Center for Lesbian Rights seeks a highly skilled, enthusiastic, diligent, and motivated individual for a full-time legal assistant position in our San Francisco office. The legal assistant will work as a member of the legal staff under close supervision of the attorneys and other program staff.


The legal assistant’s duties will include:

  • Maintaining the litigation docket and calendar;
  • Maintaining case files in paper and electronic form;
  • Formatting and proofreading briefs, legal documents, publications, spreadsheets, powerpoint presentations, and other documents;
  • Assisting with court filings, including compliance with court rules;
  • Copying, scanning, and organizing case documents and mail;
  • Facilitating conflict checks;
  • Updating and assisting with distribution of NCLR publications;
  • Providing research and administrative support to program staff;
  • Planning meetings and staff gatherings, including reserving meeting spaces and ordering food;
  • Supervising and training administrative volunteers;
  • Assisting with answering helpline calls as needed and maintaining caller database;
  • Facilitating legal team and staff meetings;
  • Assisting with legal department hiring processes; and
  • Assisting attorneys and other staff with various administrative and other tasks as needed.


The ideal candidate will have the following experience and qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree from accredited college or university or two years of experience in an administrative role in an office;
  • Very strong computer skills. Candidate must be proficient in Microsoft Word, Microsoft Outlook, and Microsoft Excel. Experience with legal documents, creating tables of authorities, and legal research strongly preferred;
  • Strong attention to detail and excellent organizational skills;
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills;
  • Prior experience in an administrative position a plus; and
  • Bi- or multi-lingual a plus.

Personal Qualities

The ideal candidate will be:

  • Committed to social justice and enthusiastic about NCLR’s mission and programs;
  • Well-organized, able to multi-task, a fast learner, and detail-oriented;
  • Able to take initiative and to work well under pressure to meet deadlines;
  • Flexible and able to function independently and as a member of a team;
  • Willing to work flexible hours when necessary; and
  • Able to interact professionally with coworkers, clients, co-counsel, and outside callers.

Wages and Benefits

This is a full time, non-exempt position. Hourly wage range $20.50 – $22.00 per hour. Wages and benefits are competitive and include medical, dental, and vision coverage; three weeks of vacation per year and holidays; short-term and long-term disability insurance; life insurance; pre-tax flexible spending plans for qualified health care, dependent care, transportation and parking benefits; and participation in a 403(b) retirement plan.


Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Please submit your resume and cover letter through our online application.

No telephone calls please.

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Law Clerk

The National Center for Lesbian Rights is seeking law clerks to assist with all aspects of its national impact litigation, public policy, and educational work. Much of the clerk’s time will be devoted to interacting with members of the community who contact NCLR’s legal information helpline and handling their questions from start to finish under the supervision and training of NCLR staff attorneys. Clerks also conduct case research, update publications, and draft memos on a wide range of issues affecting LGBT people and their families.

Positions are available in NCLR’s National Office in San Francisco, CA. Summer clerks work full time, and semester clerks may work full or part-time (minimum 12 hours per week).

NCLR hires law clerks for the summer as well as the fall and spring semesters.


Candidates must be current law students. Preference will be given to applicants who have familiarity with LGBT-related issues and a dedication to social justice. Excellent communication and writing skills are essential as is the ability to take initiative and see projects through completion.


The law clerk position is unpaid, though matching work study funds may be available. NCLR encourages clerks to obtain outside funding or academic credit through their law school.  

Current law students who have financial need, and who are committed to practicing social justice and progressive civil rights law may apply for the C. Edwin Baker Clerkship, which provides a stipend for full and part-time clerks. Applicants for the Baker Clerkship should include a paragraph in their cover letter detailing their financial need and how the clerkship would further their professional goals. For more information visit the C. Edwin Baker Clerkship page.

Application Process

Please apply through our online application form.

Questions? Contact or call 415.392.6257

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The National Center for Lesbian Rights affirmatively values diversity and seeks to hire staff that reflects the diversity of our communities. Transgender people, non-binary people, intersex people, people of color, formerly incarcerated people, and people with disabilities are particularly encouraged to apply.NCLR provides reasonable accommodations for the application, interview, or any other aspect of the employee selection process to applicants with disabilities. Please e-mail mailto:humanresources@nclrights.orgto request an accommodation.

NCLR is an equal opportunity employer. NCLR is committed to providing a work environment free of harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and disrespectful or other unprofessional conduct based on sex, sex stereotype, race, color, creed, gender, gender identity, gender expression, religion, marital status, registered domestic partner status, age, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, sexual orientation, weight, height, military or veteran status, or any other characteristic or status protected by federal, state, or local law. This policy applies to all employment practices including hiring, benefits, promotions, training, disciplinary action, and termination.

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