Staff Attorney

ChangeLab Solutions is seeking applications from qualified candidates for the position of Staff Attorney. This is a unique opportunity for an experienced attorney interested in blending legal practice with developing cutting-edge public health policies. The successful candidate will work with our interdisciplinary team of lawyers, urban planners, policy analysts, and public health professionals to develop legal and policy solutions that improve health outcomes and advance health equity.

About ChangeLab Solutions

ChangeLab Solutions creates innovative laws and policies to ensure everyday health for all, whether that’s providing access to affordable, healthy food and beverages, creating safe opportunities for physical activity, or ensuring the freedom to enjoy smokefree air and clean water. Our solutions address all aspects of a just, vital, and thriving community, like food, housing, child care, schools, transportation, public safety, jobs, and the environment. 

Position Description

The Staff Attorney will work with project teams across a range of policy areas but will primarily focus on tobacco control for at least the next year.

Tobacco control work includes efforts to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke and the sale and consumption of commercial tobacco, with an emphasis on policies that advance health equity and eliminate tobacco-related health disparities. This may require analyzing constitutional issues; examining federal, state, and local regulatory schemes; keeping apprised of the evolving tobacco product marketplace; and understanding the intersection of state and local laws for both cannabis and tobacco products. The Staff Attorney may also work in other policy areas, including land use and planning, housing and community development, food and nutrition, and active transportation, as well as new and emerging fields.

The Staff Attorney will conduct legal and policy research; produce high-quality written products; develop customized, interactive trainings (both in person and via webinar); and provide technical assistance to our partners and clients, including community-based organizations, policymakers, and public officials across the nation. The successful candidate will thrive in a fast-paced, creative environment, and will demonstrate a high level of cultural competency working with individuals and groups who come from diverse backgrounds and have different perspectives.

This position requires strong research and writing skills, problem-solving skills, and the ability and desire to move projects from concept to implementation. The ideal candidate has a proven record working with new and innovative programs, and demonstrates skill in motivating, guiding, and engaging people in policy change.
In addition, a successful candidate will embody the organization’s core values:
  • Collaboration: We create strong working partnerships internally and externally.
  • Authenticity: We support bringing one’s whole self to work.
  • Excellence: We are passionate about producing high-quality work to advance our shared mission.
  • Innovation: We drive both practical and visionary law and policy solutions to public health problems.
  • Equity: We believe in a shared vision of health for all.
ChangeLab Solutions has a strong commitment to building a staff that is rich with cultural, social, and intellectual diversity. Candidates who can contribute to that goal are encouraged to apply and to identify their strengths and experiences in this area.

Required Skills and Attributes 

Candidates must meet the following minimum requirements.
  • JD; must be a member of a state bar (preferably California) and licensed to practice law in the United States
  • Between one to three years of relevant legal experience (e.g., public agency law firm, city attorney, county counsel, office of legislative counsel, nonprofit legal organization)
  • Expertise in one or more of these legal or policy areas: municipal law, land use law, public finance, housing, economic development, constitutional law, school law, health equity, food systems, and tobacco control
  • Experience conducting legal research, analysis, and writing
  • Experience drafting and analyzing legislation
  • Ability to translate complex legal issues into accessible and understandable concepts for a lay audience
  • Strong attention to detail in written and oral communications
  • Ability to manage multiple priorities and take personal initiative
  • Ability to travel (including out-of-state travel)

Specific Responsibilities

The successful candidate will have responsibilities in the following areas, with the potential to focus their work on a subset, based on interests and skills. 
  • Drafting legal memoranda
  • Researching and analyzing federal, state, and local laws and policies
  • Drafting model legislation for state and local public agencies
  • Developing innovative tools and resources that meet the needs of our clients and partners, such as fact sheets, checklists, policy guides, and toolkits
  • Providing accurate and tailored technical assistance to policymakers and advocates
  • Coordinating and delivering engaging, interactive trainings and presentations at workshops, conferences, and on webinars
  • Cultivating relationships with existing and new partners and clients
  • Developing new business
  • Facilitating and contributing to internal and external dialogue that advances our innovative approach

Desired Skills and Attributes

Preferred candidates will have some of these characteristics.
  • Experience working with one or more of the following constituencies: public health departments, local government staff, elected officials, advocacy groups, and community-based organizations
  • Experience cultivating client relationships that lead to new business in a consulting, nonprofit, or legal setting
  • Experience giving presentations or trainings on complex topics
  • Experience drafting amici curiae briefs
  • Experience providing technical assistance on legal and policy topics
  • Fluency in Spanish, Cantonese, or Vietnamese
  • Education or experience in multiple relevant disciplines (e.g., JD and master’s degree in public health, urban planning, public policy, etc.)


This is a full-time position and includes a generous benefits package including PTO, medical, dental, vision, long-term disability insurance, life insurance, tax-sheltered annuity and a flexible benefit plan. Salary range is $60,000–$66,000 per year. 

How to apply

To apply for the Staff Attorney position, please email all required information to; please include Staff Attorney in the subject line of the email. The following are required for a complete application packet: cover letter, resume, and a relevant writing sample. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Application deadline is October 9, 2017.