Full-Time Disability Rights Advocate

Disability Rights DC (DRDC) at University Legal Services is a non-profit law firm that serves as the federally-mandated Protection and Advocacy Program for people with disabilities in the District of Columbia. DRDC advocates for the human and civil rights of people with disabilities to be free from discrimination and abuse and neglect and to be fully integrated into their communities. DRDC is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, political belief, creed, national origin, marital status or disability. We value diversity of culture, disability and other life experiences.

JOB RESPONSIBILITIES (include, but are not limited to, the following):

  • Advocate for community-based services and person-centered discharge and treatment plans for adults with mental illness, traumatic brain injury, and/or developmental disabilities.
  • Monitor conditions in residential and institutional settings and conduct investigations of alleged abuse and neglect by the District government or District-funded providers and pursue individual and systemic resolutions.
  • File grievances and engage in systemic advocacy on behalf of adults with mental illness, traumatic brain injury, and developmental disabilities to address a rights violation or discriminatory conduct by the District government or a District-funded provider.
  • Conduct outreach and education to people with disabilities, community groups, advocates and other stakeholders regarding individual rights, services available to people with disabilities, and DRDC’s programs and services.
  • Educate and advocate in collaboration with staff, the community, and District agencies serving people with traumatic brain injury about the need to develop and provide community-based services and accommodations for individuals with traumatic brain injury.
  • Partner with attorneys and advocates at DRDC on individual and systemic advocacy.


  • Required (one of the following): MSW, MA, LICSW or LPC, with an emphasis on mental health.
  • Required: Demonstrated interest in social justice work and/or the civil rights of people with disabilities.
  • Required: Demonstrated commitment to recovery-based, self-directed mental health care.
  • Required: Effective written, oral communication and problem-solving skills.
  • Required: At least two years of related experience, such as legal or social services, advocacy, or other human services.
  • Preferred: Experience working with social justice/civil rights organization, public interest law office, or organization serving unhoused individuals.
  • Preferred: Familiarity with the District of Columbia, including local government agencies, public interest organizations and community resources.
  • Preferred: Background or previous training in trauma-informed care or trauma-specific interventions, crisis intervention skills, and integrated co-occurring treatment.


Please email your resume with a cover letter to Lyndsay Niles, Managing Attorney, at lniles@uls-dc.org.


The disability rights advocate salary range is starting at $59,000 to $64,000. DRDC offers generous benefits including employer-paid health insurance for employees and spouse and generous vacation, sick and personal leave.