COMMUNITY HOUSING ADVOCATE – HOUSING
The Law Foundation of Silicon Valley advances the rights of historically excluded individuals and families across Santa Clara County through legal services, strategic advocacy, and educational outreach. Now with over 90 employees, the Law Foundation is the largest provider of free legal services in the South Bay. Located in downtown San Jose, the Law Foundation is a dynamic and interesting place to work. We pride ourselves on fostering a work environment that is motivating, collaborative and fun, with plenty of opportunities for professional growth. We are working towards a Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC)-centered legal services practice that incorporates community and movement lawyering. Our focus areas include health, housing, and children and youth.
The Law Foundation of Silicon Valley is seeking a full-time Community Housing Advocate for its housing department. The housing department works to incorporate community lawyering and other race equity tools into its work to provide the best possible housing services to our community. The housing department will have a strong focus on anti-displacement and will dedicate resources to both direct services work and system change.
The Law Foundation Housing Unit has a team of Community Housing Advocates who share responsibility for the tasks and responsibilities outlined below. Community Housing Advocates have significant contact with the community. Community Housing Advocates investigate and document what is happening in the community, transmit legal knowledge to community members, and identify and initiate policy campaigns and impact litigation for the housing department. They have significant influence in directing the work of the housing department. The Community Housing Advocate team will be collectively responsible for the duties previously thought of as the duties of “intake workers,” “advocates”, “litigation assistants,” “paralegals,” “organizers,” and “investigators.”
- Conduct phone and in-person intake interviews with low-income tenants to screen for legal issues;
- Provide legal information and referrals regarding housing-related legal matters;
- Provide brief legal services under the supervision of an attorney to low-income tenants, including drafting legal demand letters and preparation of Court paperwork related to eviction cases.
- Provide representation to tenants under the supervision of an attorney in administrative proceedings such as housing subsidy termination hearings and administrative hearings with housing providers;
- Provide legal support to attorneys on affirmative and impact litigation, including formatting and drafting legal documents, assisting with client and witness preparation, investigating legal claims, translating and interpreting for attorneys, filing documents with the Court, organizing and filing case-related documents and keeping files organized for attorneys;
- Engage in policy advocacy pertaining to anti-displacement and tenant protections including rent stabilization, and just cause eviction protections by attending community meetings, attending City Council and Board of supervisor meetings, and providing oral and/or written testimony;
Help to organize and engage community members in policy campaigns;
- Investigate potential legal claims and systemic issues including research, writing, public records reviews, document reviews, interviewing clients and witnesses, and in-person surveying;
- Attend, monitor, and provide feedback at community meetings, government body meetings, task force meetings, and other meetings/hearings related to systemic advocacy;
- Conduct outreach and community education presentations and produce educational materials;
- Support program and organization-wide initiatives, including race equity;
- Maintain detailed and accurate data and case notes for all intake and case matters the Housing Program takes on;
- Interpret or translate when necessary for staff and pro bono attorneys;
- Provide support for pro bono clinics, including assisting with client and volunteer scheduling and tracking, clinic coordination, and other administrative tasks.
- Strong organizational skills and attention to detail;
- Ability to multi-task and perform well under pressure in a fast-paced environment;
- Ability to work independently and effectively work as a part of a team, both internal and external to the Law Foundation;
- Self-motivated, demonstrated initiative and proactivity;
- Ability to issue spot and clearly convey legal information to clients;
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Experience in policy advocacy and/or organizing;
- Experience in community organizing;
- Connections to and experience working with diverse populations, including communities of color and people living with disabilities;
- Ability to interact compassionately and effectively with individuals in crisis;
- Passion for social justice and race equity, as well as a desire to provide assistance to underserved populations;
- Ability to work non-traditional hours, including some nights and weekends in order to meet community needs;
- Bachelor’s Degree and/or minimum two years working in the community or equivalent;
- Bilingual ability required (Spanish required or Vietnamese preferred).
Salary scale starts at $26.10 per hour; compensation based upon comparable experience. All compensation determined by the wage table of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement between SEIU Local 521 and LFSV. Excellent benefits provided, including paid holidays, vacation, health insurance and 401(k). More information regarding the Law Foundation is available on our website: www.lawfoundation.org.
TEMPORARY COVID-19 REMOTE WORK
Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Law Foundation of Silicon Valley employees are currently working remotely for the foreseeable future, subject to some exceptions. The Law Foundation has implemented rigorous health and safety protocols to minimize risk of exposure for staff who occasionally need, or want, to work from the office. Due to the COVID-19 crisis and its impact on personal lives, the Law Foundation is open to providing flexibility regarding work schedules to the extent feasible for the position.
The Law Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Affirmative Action Employer. We value having staff who come from communities that are most impacted by our issues. For example, Black, Indigenous, Latinx, AAPI, and other people of color, womxn, people living with disabilities, older people, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are encouraged to apply. It is the policy of the Law Foundation to prohibit discrimination and harassment of any type and to afford equal employment opportunities to employees and applicants, without regard to race, color, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, pregnancy, medical condition or genetic information, veteran status, national origin, disability, marital or other protected status. The Law Foundation will conform to the spirit, as well as the letter of all applicable laws and regulations.
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until position is filled. Please submit the following via email to email@example.com: (1) a resume, (2) three professional references, and (3) a cover letter that explains your interest and also addresses the question below.
In order to best serve our clients and our community, the Law Foundation is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace in which differences are acknowledged and valued. How has your personal background or experiences, professional or otherwise, prepared you to contribute to social justice, race equity and diversity among our staff?