Directing Attorney of the Housing Rights Team
Location: Redwood City, CA (San Francisco Bay Area)
Mission and Vision
Our mission at the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County is to fight social injustice through civil legal advocacy for people living in poverty. We believe every person should have the basic necessities of life, including safe affordable housing, access to health care, economic security, secure immigration status, an appropriate education, and freedom from violence and abuse.
Legal Aid SMC seeks candidates who share our aspirations for a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace. We are committed to affirming differences in race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity and expression.
Our Housing Team
We are seeking a Directing Attorney to lead our dedicated Housing Rights Team. The housing team includes the Litigation Director, two staff attorneys, the Housing Program Operations Manager, and three project coordinators who work collaboratively on all aspects of the program. Our housing team is on the front lines of the housing affordability crisis. Housing team members work to defend tenants against eviction, enforce existing tenant protections through impact litigation, and advocate for effective and equitable housing policies in partnership with impacted communities.
- Planning and Management: We’re looking for a leader who can distill the community’s needs, the legal landscape, and the housing team’s ideas and feedback into a strategy that best serves our community. You’ll develop the Housing Rights Team’s strategic direction, direct the team’s legal and policy advocacy agenda, and make decisions regarding resource allocation and building team capacity and effectiveness.
- Legal Services: Our Housing Rights Team is passionate about the work we do for our clients and our community. With the support of the Litigation Director and Housing Program Operations Manager, you will oversee the work of the housing team including tenant advice clinics, eviction defense litigation, and housing rights advocacy.
- Community Partnership and Coalition Building: We believe the voices and insight of our clients and community are an important component of our work toward more equitable housing policies. You will build and maintain relationships with grassroots community partners, legal and policy groups, and other allies; leverage Legal Aid SMC’s legal and policy expertise to enhance capacity of community partners; and participate in local and state coalitions engaged in policy campaigns.
- Policy Advocacy: Legal Aid SMC is involved in several workgroups and coalitions to make housing policies more equitable. You’ll further that important work by developing, analyzing, and promoting policy change at local, regional, and state levels in an inclusive and collaborative way with Legal Aid SMC’s community and coalition partners.
- Impact Litigation: Our housing team has worked to defend the rights of low-income tenants in mobile home parks, people residing in recreational vehicles, and adults with disabilities living in uninhabitable living conditions in an SRO. You’ll work with the team to develop and pursue strategic litigation, working closely with other housing attorneys, allies, and pro bono co-counsel.
- Grant and Contract Management: We’re looking for someone who is comfortable working with funders. With the support of the Director of Operations, you will review possible sources of funding, assist with drafting of proposals and reports, and ensure compliance with terms of contracts. We have a well-established, collaborative system for pursuing funding and managing grants and contracts; you won’t be asked to do this on your own.
- Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Legal Aid SMC’s Race Equity Initiative is an organization-wide strategic priority that is strongly supported by our leadership team. You will lead the implementation of the organization’s diversity, equity & inclusion goals within your team, including recruitment and professional development of diverse staff.
- Strong commitment to social justice.
- At least five years of progressively responsible experience in housing law and tenants’ rights.
- California State Bar membership.
- Excellent legal research, writing, and public speaking skills.
- Demonstrated ability to develop strong partnerships with internal and external stakeholders.
- Experience supervising the performance and professional development of other staff.
- Experience working with grassroots community organizations.
- Experience working on policy advocacy campaigns in collaborative settings.
Compensation and Benefits
Salary: $101,000-$121,000/year DOE. Full-time exempt position.
Benefits: Excellent benefits including health and dental insurance, 401(k) plan, and law school loan repayment assistance.
COVID-19 Workplace Expectations: Legal Aid SMC is primarily working remotely except for court appearances, limited outreach, and work that must be performed in the office. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required. Employees are expected to be available to commute to the office as needed. We provide computers, equipment, supplies, and reimbursement for home internet and cell phone service needed to work remotely. We expect to offer hybrid in-office/remote work schedules for most positions in the future.
To Apply: Send your resume, cover letter, and a writing sample to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Legal Aid SMC is committed to creating a diverse work environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. People of color, persons with disabilities, immigrants, older adults, and members of the LGBTQ+ community are strongly encouraged to apply.