Economic Justice Staff Attorney (Alameda County)

Are you interested in using your legal skills to help address social inequality and ensure low‐income families and individuals obtain basic safety net services and increased stability?

Join BayLegal’s dynamic Economic Justice practice!


Bay Area Legal Aid (BayLegal) is committed to ensuring fairness in the civil justice system for the most vulnerable members of our community and addressing systemic inequities that foster intergenerational poverty.  Practicing in seven Bay Area counties, BayLegal is the largest provider of free civil legal services in the Bay Area with regional offices in six counties, over 40 mobile advocacy sites, and regional Legal Advice Line and Health Consumer Center hotlines.  We help clients protect their livelihoods, health, and families. Our clients include the working poor, families with children, foster youth, seniors, immigrants, veterans, and persons with disabilities and our mission is to prevent domestic violence and sexual assault, increase economic stability, protect consumers, expand access to healthcare, and prevents homelessness. For our clients, BayLegal makes the difference between staying in poverty and thriving toward a brighter future.


Position:  BayLegal seeks an Attorney with a strong commitment to public interest and social justice advocacy who to focus on economic justice issues related to state and county public benefits programs.  This position is based in our Alameda County office in Oakland.  As a member of BayLegal’s regional practice, there may be client services and travel throughout the county and BayLegal’s broader service areas to address the regional nature of poverty and as necessary for training and broader advocacy.  See our temporary COVID-19 Remote Work description below.


As an Economic Justice Attorney, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Learn and assist with the diverse legal needs of underserved and vulnerable communities in Alameda county and the broader Bay Area to reduce homelessness, enhance stability and address social injustice;
  • Represent clients in a range of public benefits matters, including CalWorks, General Assistance, and CalFresh benefits;
  • Represent clients in all stages of administrative proceedings related to their public benefits.
  • Assist clients with accessing other state and federal benefit programs;
  • Identify and employ impact advocacy strategies to remove systematic barriers to public benefits for client populations, including particularly vulnerable groups such as refugees, survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking, homeless individuals and people with disabilities;Develop relationships and collaborate with community partners, including governmental agencies, courts, and community-based organizations.
  • Provide public benefits trainings to BayLegal staff and community partners;
  • Work with BayLegal’s development, grants and contracts, and communications teams to promote BayLegal’s mission and resource development; Engage in other tasks and projects that further BayLegal’s mission; and
  • Work collaboratively with attorneys practicing in BayLegal’s other substantive areas.


Requirements/Qualifications/About the Successful Candidate:

  • A commitment to fostering inclusivity and equity, as well as humility when working with clients and colleagues at the intersection of multiple identities, including race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, immigration status, religion, physical and mental disability, and/or limited English proficiency.
  • Passion for and desire to work with low-income individuals;
  • Member of CA Bar in good standing, or admitted to practice in another state and eligible to practice in California for 3 years under the California State Bar rules for the Registered Legal Services Attorney Program. Candidates who have recently passed the CA Bar or graduated and will be taking the bar exam at the next sitting are welcome to apply;
  • Experience with government benefits programs preferred;
  • Experience with impact litigation and/or policy advocacy preferred;
  • Excellent communication, writing and public speaking skills;
  • Strong community outreach and training skills;
  • Strong interpersonal skills and an ability to work collaboratively with a dynamic team;
  • Curious and self-directed with an ability to take initiative; and
  • Bilingual in Spanish or an API language preferred.


COVID-19 remote work: Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, all BayLegal employees are currently working remotely. While BayLegal has implemented detailed health and safety protocols to minimize risk of exposure and have an evolving plan for reopening our local offices, we anticipate remaining primarily remote at least throughout the rest of 2020. All employees are expected to be able to primarily work remotely from home until BayLegal determines it is safe to reopen offices. All employees are issued BayLegal computers, provided with appropriate supplies and BayLegal covers reasonable work-related expenses. BayLegal has implemented and continues to explore additional technologies to make working remotely as efficient and connected as possible. All employees receive a flat-rate monthly amount to cover the use of personal IT equipment, including internet. Due to the COVID-19 crisis and its impact on personal lives, BayLegal is open to providing flexibility regarding work schedules and part-time or full-time employment to the extent feasible for the position.


Compensation and Benefits: We offer a diverse, family friendly environment, and compensation based on competitive public interest salaries along with a generous benefits package. BayLegal’s benefits package includes 100% employer covered medical, dental, and life insurance for employees and up to 40-50% for dependents; long term disability insurance; stipends for bilingual employees whose language skills are used in the provision of work tasks; student debt repayment program; dependent childcare employer contribution program; and 401k retirement plan following first year. Paid leave policies include sick leave, parental leave, 14 holidays each year and vacation (starting at 13 days and increasing with additional years of employment).


Applications: BayLegal thrives on our diversity and we are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to building a culturally diverse workplace and strongly encourage women, persons of color, LGBTQ individuals, veterans, persons with disabilities, and persons from other underrepresented groups to apply. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Please email the following to our Human Resources Department (1) cover letter including response to question below (no page limit), (2) resume, (3) references, and (4) writing sample. Please reference Economic Justice Attorney (Alameda County) in the subject of your email.


As part of your cover letter, please address the following:

BayLegal’s clients are low- and very low-income members of our communities. They include people of color, LGBTQ+ people, immigrants, seniors, people with lived experiences of homelessness, veterans, people with disabilities, and people from other underrepresented groups. BayLegal is committed to enhancing the provision of our services to all clients, increasing positive client outcomes, and creating an inclusive and respectful workplace in which differences are acknowledged and valued. BayLegal promotes and supports policies that enable us to work effectively in cross-cultural situations with our clients, coworkers, and the community.


How do you think your personal background or experiences, professional or otherwise, have prepared you to (1) serve our diverse client base effectively, (2) work effectively with colleagues from different backgrounds than your own, (3) acknowledge the systemic barriers that our clients face, and (4) contribute to our efforts to fight for racial justice? Feel free to think broadly about your response to this question, provide examples, and apply various aspects of your life and personal experiences.


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