Attorney – Senior Elder Law
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela
We believe that even the biggest problems can be broken down into small, achievable steps. We believe poverty and access to justice are part of the same problem. And to solve this, we just need to discover what the steps are.
At Open Door Legal, we’re pioneering the country’s first system of universal access to civil legal representation to dramatically reduce poverty and prove that the law really can belong to all of us.
To achieve this ambitious goal, we’ve created an award-winning and best-in-class legal aid organization full of passionate, dynamic, gritty, quixotic, and team-oriented people.
We believe that injustice is the heart of poverty and we’re looking for someone to join us in having a systemic impact on how we, as a society, ensure justice for all.
Overview of Position:
Our elders are the stewards of a community’s wealth and legacy. Providing legal help to them could be the single strongest way to prevent displacement. In the communities we serve, many homes were purchased decades ago at low prices and have now dramatically increased in value. Thus, many elders find themselves with both low income and high assets.
To enable them to age in place and ensure this wealth stays in the community, you will lead a team to prevent fraud targeting older adults and prepare comprehensive estate plans. Within those major categories, your team will assist low-income clients in foreclosures, conservatorships, probate litigation, will & trust contests, simple trust administration, financial abuse cases, and public benefits.
Overall, this position is intended to be a challenging and rewarding experience for someone looking to grow in their substantive and strategic leadership and change lives along the way. This position is tasked with the overall leadership, management and direction of Open Door Legal’s highly-effective Elder Law team. You should thrive off being versatile, gritty and willing to take calculated risks. Your leadership is demonstrated in the quality of the people you’ve led AND the work you’ve produced together. Cultural humility is not just conceptual to you, you embody it and commit to growth. Success in this role requires grit, dynamism, teamwork, care, and passion (our team’s five values). You will report directly to our Legal Services Director.
- Drive and implement the strategic vision of the Elder Law Department at Open Door Legal to ensure that we are continually pursuing our mission of universal access to legal services to those who are elderly and the families of those who have passed. This includes the day-to-day supervision and support of our highly passionate elder law attorney and an effective bilingual paralegal.
- Lead knowledge management of all areas of elder and probate law for Open Door Legal. Drive the creation of uniform systems, checklists and templates. Along with elder team members, bring and develop innovative solutions to tricky issues around case capacity concerns, intake distribution, case opening standards, verification of quality control and onboarding new attorneys.
- Directly represent clients which may require court appearances. Ideally spend 75% of your time on case work.
- Litigate cases at San Francisco Superior Court in the Probate, Civil and Elder Abuse Restraining Order departments, both solo and with pro bono attorneys as co-counsel.
- Perform elder law intakes across multiple physical Open Door Legal locations and be available for hospital and home visits for the elderly who can’t come in.
- Provide services and support to our low-income clients with sensitivity and awareness to cultural, socio-economic, and disability barriers to service and skillfully navigate difficult or tense situations. Ensure that the elder law department’s client feedback rating continues to be positive.
- Develop and maintain strong relations with government agencies, decision-makers, and the community, especially in relation to the areas of law your team handles.
- Hiring, training, support and performance management of all elder law department staff, interns and volunteers in collaboration with the Director of Talent and Culture.
- Embrace and embody our values of teamwork, grit, caring, passion, and dynamism.
- Membership in good standing with the California State Bar. Applicants without active California bar membership will not be considered. However, those without a license are encouraged to apply to volunteer with us at opendoorlegal.org/volunteer.
- Must genuinely enjoy and be motivated by working with low-income clients and be able to work competently with clients impacted by trauma (emotional, mental, and physical).
- Minimum of practicing law for at least two years.
- California superior court civil procedure knowledge and experience appearing in a courtroom.
- Must genuinely enjoy and be motivated by working with low-income clients, the vast majority of whom are people of color, and be able to work effectively with clients impacted by trauma (emotional, mental, and physical).
- Strong time management skills to effectively supervise and perform legal work in a fast-paced environment and high-volume practice.
- Show an enthusiasm for and commitment to self-learning and professional development.
- Excellent writing, editing, and proof-reading skills, with the ability to be detail-oriented.
- Excellent interpersonal skills to excel in providing constructive feedback to people you supervise and in building relationships with other organizations and agencies as Open Door Legal’s ambassador.
- High level of comfort learning and using technology and cloud-based case management systems. We use Salesforce, Dropbox and the Google Suite.
- Must be willing to make a minimum two-year commitment to the organization.
- Management experience.
- Knowledge of California elder law, restraining orders and civil suits.
- Experience practicing in San Francisco probate court.
- Experience working with low-income and vulnerable populations.
- Experience working in a high-volume legal aid or similar environment.
- Having lived a significant period of your life in San Francisco proper.
- Bilingual in Spanish.
- Bilingual in Cantonese.
Compensation is $80,000-$96,000 per year, dependent on experience
- Loan Repayment Assistance – for staff pursuing 10-year public interest debt forgiveness, we will help pay the minimum payment on all qualifying loans so that you don’t need to worry about student loan debt (this is a conditional benefit).
- We offer competitive benefits:
- Medical/Dental/Vision (100% employer covered on certain plans)
- Generous paid time off per year
- Flexible work hours
- Paid Parental Leave
- We believe everyone is always learning. We write individual learning plans for each staff member and provide many internal and external mentorships, coaching, and learning opportunities (conferences, workshops, etc.).
- We are a fun and hard-working office with best-in-class technology solutions (including Salesforce) for anyone who’s passionate about making a meaningful and measurable difference.
Applications received by February 1st will be given priority