POSITION: Reentry Attorney for “Rights, Equity and Law Protection”
About Root & Rebound:
Root & Rebound (R&R) works to restore and protect the rights, dignity, and opportunities of formerly incarcerated people and people affected by the criminal justice system. Our mission is to transfer power and information from the policy and legal communities to the people most impacted by the criminal justice system through public education, direct legal services, and policy advocacy, so that the law serves, rather than harms, low-income communities and communities of color in the United States.
The web of collateral consequences is pervasive and complex, and Root & Rebound has a holistic approach to dismantle the two-tiered system of injustice in this country, working in rural and urban communities, and across all areas of life, including housing, employment and occupational licensing, family reunification, parole and probation advocacy, court debt, record expungement, and more. Root & Rebound’s model for creating impact statewide in California is to train, support, and embed reentry attorneys within high-impact organizations, where they can work directly with systems-impacted clients to remove barriers to financial stability, employment, housing, and family reunification. Learn more at www.rootandrebound.org.
About the R.E.A.L. Project & Reentry Attorney Opportunity:
R&R is thrilled to be hiring a Reentry Attorney for the Rights, Equity and Law (R.E.A.L. Project) who will be based at the Time for Change Foundation (TFCF) in San Bernardino, to help formerly incarcerated women and their children and families navigate and overcome legal barriers stemming from past criminal justice system involvement. TFCF is an organization that supports women to recover from homelessness, drug addiction, mental and physical abuse, family separation and the effects of incarceration. By embedding a holistically trained R&R Reentry Attorney at TFCF’s office, TFCF will be able to provide even stronger wraparound support to its housing residents, program members, and strengthen the broader San Bernardino reentry infrastructure. Learn more about TFCF at www.timeforchangefoundation.org.
As California leads the country with sweeping criminal justice reforms, there is an increasing obligation to ensure that these reforms are properly implemented. Through the work of the Reentry Attorney and the R.E.A.L. Project, R&R and TFCF aim to increase access to housing, employment, family reunification, and financial stability for systems-impacted women; assist in the implementation of new policies that address legal barriers to reentry; train other service providers and employers about best practices; and boost local, state and federal initiatives providing greater opportunities for formerly incarcerated people.
The Reentry Attorney must have a background in social justice, racial justice, and/or public interest work, and be equipped to provide gender-specific, culturally sensitive, and trauma-informed holistic legal advocacy support to systems-impacted women and families in a conservative county. The ideal candidate will be a self-starter, independent thinker, and collaborative team player who can speak up and communicate about needs, ideas, and new approaches. The Reentry Attorney will not be afraid of taking risks, facing challenges head on, and iterating/changing course when a better approach needs to be taken with program design.
The Reentry Attorney will be managed and supervised by R&R’s Associate Director of Programs, and must be comfortable with and eager to have regular check-ins via video-conferencing, e-mail, texts, phone calls, etc., as well as regular training and orientation periods in R&R’s Oakland, CA headquarters office. The Reentry Attorney will also receive peer support from R&R’s place-based Reentry Attorney at the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (Los Angeles); attend bi-annual weeklong training summits; and receive on-boarding in the Oakland HQ office.
The Reentry Attorney will coordinate with TFCF’s staff to receive referrals, identify reentry legal needs among residents/participants, and share progress updates. The Reentry Attorney will also coordinate with R&R and TFCF policy staff to promote systemic reform where policy advocacy opportunities are identified.
The Reentry Attorney will support TFCF women and their families by (approx. 80% of time):
- Working on-site as a reentry legal navigation specialist: conducting intakes, providing legal advice and reentry-related support, making strong referrals, and taking on cases for representation as needed, with a strong focus on in-depth legal support related to employment/occupational licensing, housing, and family law issues.
- Connecting TFCF clients and the San Bernardino community even more deeply to R&R’s statewide Reentry Legal Hotline and other statewide programs.
- Coordinating regular Know Your Rights trainings, including at TFCF housing locations, inside prisons/jails, ongoing training for TFCF staff and case managers, and in-depth clinics and workshops on key reentry legal topics for TFCF clients.
- Identifying issues that need a “systems change” solution, coordinating with R&R and TFCF policy advocacy teams, and building strong networks and coalitions of impacted people and other stakeholders who can lead policy reform efforts at the local, state and federal levels.
- Training women in policy advocacy strategies and the legislative process, so they can be leaders in systemic and structural reform impacting them, their families, and their communities.
- Recruiting and creating a panel of pro bono attorneys to assist with legal clinics and take on direct representation, where appropriate. Recruiting law clerks, interns, and volunteers to support our work at TFCF and for the broader San Bernardino community.
The Reentry Attorney will support the larger reentry infrastructure across San Bernardino County and surrounding regions by (approx. 10% of time):
- Hosting “Roadmap to Reentry” trainings and workshops for the wider network of San Bernardino/Southern California community-based organizations, parole and probation departments, higher education colleges, Blue Ribbon Commission on Employment Equity, and others around common reentry barriers, including family reunification questions, employment barriers, and discrimination.
- Hosting regular legal clinics to scale R&R’s direct services and reentry legal expertise to benefit systems-impacted individuals and families in the broader San Bernardino/Southern California region.
The Reentry Attorney will support the overall R&R/TFCF collaborative by managing administrative activities including (approx. 10% of time):
- Representing R&R and the R.E.A.L Project/TFCF collaborative at community events and public forums, and serve as an ambassador for reentry advocacy issues more broadly.
- Supporting P.R., Development, Communications, and Storytelling projects as needed.
- Tracking data and program outcomes.
- Maintaining organized files, systems, and client databases.
- Respond professionally and promptly to dynamic and ever-shifting programmatic demands in a startup environment, working collaboratively with our small but mighty team of reentry attorneys.
- Supporting both R&R in grant reporting.
- Conducting administrative tasks as needed.
- 2-7 years of legal practice.
- Licensed attorney, active and in good standing, in California.
- Demonstrated commitment to social, racial, and criminal justice.
- Culturally sensitive, gender-specific and trauma-informed approach.
- Positive, professional, and humble demeanor.
- Problem solver, resilient, resourceful, and creative.
- Experience working in a team and comfort in proactively communicating ideas, thoughts, concerns; open to incorporating feedback and direction.
- Excellent time-management, organization, and prioritization skills.
- Strong public speaker, and an ability to communicate clearly to a broad range of audiences, verbally and in writing.
- Zealous advocate who is eager to provide holistic support to systems-impacted women and families.
- Strongly preference for someone with experience in family law and dependency law; experience representing systems-impacted parents; and/or experience practicing in criminal defense.
- Willing and able to travel to R&R’s HQ office in Oakland for training/orientation, spending time as needed with HQ team. Willingness to travel outside of San Bernardino County as needed.
- Driver’s license required.
Compensation & Benefits:
This position will is a full-time exempt position with a competitive salary commensurate with experience, with a minimum starting salary of $64,000, and employment benefits that include medical, vision, and dental care.
Please send a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and at least three references with contact information and your connection to them in an email to K.C. Taylor (Associate Director) at email@example.com. Resumes without a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and references will not be reviewed. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. The Reentry Attorney position is expected to start in May 2019. No phone calls, please.
Root & Rebound is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from all qualified individuals including formerly incarcerated and/or system-involved individuals, people of color, persons with disabilities, ethnic and religious minorities, women, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and gender variant individuals. For more information about Root & Rebound, visit our website at www.rootandrebound.org