DIRECTING ATTORNEY – EMPLOYMENT RIGHTS PROJECT/LOW-INCOME TAX CLINIC

CLASSIFICATION: Management (Non-Union) SALARY: $100,000.00 – $120,000.00 (DOE/DOQ)
DEPARTMENT: Legal (Employment Rights Project/Low-Income Tax Clinic) FLSA STATUS: Exempt
REPORTS TO: VP, Legal Programs APPLICATION OPEN: Until filled

 

For nearly 50 years, Bet Tzedek Legal Services has provided high-quality, free legal services to Los Angeles’ most vulnerable residents. Key among Bet Tzedek’s initiatives is its economic justice work to provide legal advocacy on matters that improve the economic stability of low-income community members. Bet Tzedek seeks a Directing Attorney to lead and manage our Employment Rights Project (ERP) and Low-Income Tax Clinic (LITC) teams, two key pillars of the agency’s economic justice strategy. 

 

In 2001, Bet Tzedek created the ERP to address the wide-ranging legal needs of low-wage workers. Since then, ERP staff and volunteers have represented thousands of workers who have been illegally denied earned wages, suffered illegal retaliation for asserting their rights, and endured harassment and discrimination at the hands of their employers. Clients include domestic workers, day laborers, restaurant workers, and garment and car wash workers, among others. The ERP team serves clients by providing advice and counsel, pro per assistance, and direct representation before the Labor Commissioner, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, and the Superior Court. In addition, ERP staff engages in education and outreach efforts and regularly holds legal clinics. Over the years, Bet Tzedek’s ERP team has established effective partnerships with government entities and other organizations, and co-founded multiple coalitions. Together with our allies, the ERP team has successfully drafted and lobbied for key state bills to benefit low-wage workers, including AB 2847 (Garcia): Excluded Worker Pilot Program, SB 62 (Durazo): Garment Worker Protection Act, and AB 1688 (Goldberg): Car Wash Workers Bill.  

 

Realizing the power of the State and Federal tax code to advance the economic wellbeing of individuals, Bet Tzedek expanded its commitment to economic justice by launching a Low-Income Tax Clinic (LITC). The LITC advances the agency’s mission by ensuring the fairness and integrity of the state and federal tax system for all taxpayers, particularly low-income individuals and taxpayers for whom English is a second language (ESL). The LITC does so by providing direct representation of individuals in tax controversies before the United States Tax Court, the IRS, and the California Franchise Tax Board. In addition, the LITC engages in education and outreach efforts to promote awareness and increased utilization of credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, as well as some policy work primarily at the state level. The LITC also provides support to community partners serving low-wage immigrant workers and other low-income community members. 

 

The Employment Rights Project and Low-Income Tax Clinic Directing Attorney will directly manage a diverse staff of 8-10 advocates (attorneys, paralegals, fellows, and support staff), and will be primarily responsible for supervising the team’s day-to-day work and supporting team members’ professional development. The ideal candidate will be a skilled and experienced manager with a proven track record for successfully managing people, projects, and grants.

 

    ESSENTIAL DUTIES 

  • In collaboration with the President & CEO, VP Legal, fellow Directing Attorneys, and program staff, identify the legal issues impacting low-wage immigrant workers and low-income taxpayers, evaluate Bet Tzedek’s role in addressing those issues, and develop and deploy the advocacy strategies needed to address those legal issues.
  • Supervise and manage ERP’s workers’ rights clinic, during which cases are evaluated for representation and advice and counsel is provided. 
  • Supervise and manage substantive legal work performed by staff, including intake and client representation provided by staff attorneys and support staff, by reviewing legal work, conducting case reviews, and resolving escalated client- and case-related issues to ensure client legal needs are met at the highest of standards.
  • Manage program workflows including intake, case management, assignment of cases and tasks, and monitoring and improving case handling procedures to ensure client needs are met and deliverables and goals are achieved while fostering a positive work-life balance for staff.
  • Manage and support staff by holding primary responsibility for staff onboarding, offboarding, recruiting and hiring, training, coaching, goal-setting, evaluation, reclassifications, and performance improvement/discipline.
  • Work with Human Resources to develop clear, measurable, and achievable professional development opportunities for program staff and support staff in achieving their professional development goals. 
  • Work closely with President & CEO, VP Legal, and Grants Team to identify, pursue, and fulfill funding opportunities.
  • Actively manage grants which fund ERP and the LITC, including being primarily responsible for translating grant deliverables into program metrics to ensure grant deliverables are met, and working with Grants Team to track and report grant deliverables.
  • Work with Impact Advocacy team to develop legislative and regulatory proposals that relate to program work and engage with lawmakers and their staff in advocating for policy initiatives. 
  • Work closely within coalitions and community partners to support client and community-led campaigns, utilizing principles of community lawyering and resource allyship. 
  • Work with Pro Bono Department to set metrics related to pro bono and volunteer participation, develop pro bono and volunteer opportunities for the program to meet metrics, and support staff in the training and mentoring of pro bono attorneys and volunteers.

 

     QUALIFICATIONS

  • Licensed to practice law in California (required); 
  • Minimum of eight (8) years related experience/practice of law (required);
  • At least two (2) years of active practice of law in California immediately prior to application (preferred);
  • At least five (5) years of experience in employment law (including, but not limited to: wage claim adjudication/Berman hearings, plaintiff-side employment litigation, DFEH/EEOC administrative actions, and mediation) (required);
  • At least two (2) years of experience in tax law (preferred);
  • At least three (3) year experience managing individuals with a proven track record that includes handling orientation and onboarding, offboarding, recruiting and hiring, training, coaching, goal-setting, evaluation, and performance improvement/discipline (strongly preferred);
  • Knowledge of and commitment to community and movement lawyering principles (preferred); 
  • Bilingual and biliterate in both English and Spanish (preferred); 
  • Excellent people skills, including high emotional intelligence and ability to navigate difficult conversations with clarity and empathy (required);
  • Excellent project management skills and proven track record of successfully managing multiple projects (required);
  • Ability to work collaboratively with colleagues and external partners (required);
  • Exceptionally organized, self-motivated, and goal-oriented (required);
  • Experience in and understanding of grant-writing, project development, and grant compliance (preferred);
  • Understanding and commitment to Bet Tzedek’s mission of equal justice for all and Bet Tzedek’s core values of leadership, community-based advocacy, and innovation (required); and
  • Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (required).

 

HOW TO APPLY:

Note: All positions are subject to funding; ongoing funding or employment cannot be assured.

 

To best serve our communities Bet Tzedek seeks a diverse staff with cultural competency reflecting our client populations. We strongly encourage candidates from traditionally underrepresented communities and historically oppressed groups to apply.

Directing Attorney, Employment Rights Project/Low-Income Tax Clinic
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