EDC Fellow for Tenant Right to Counsel

Fellowship Period of 09/1/21 – 6/30/21

The Eviction Defense Collaborative (EDC) seeks an enthusiastic Fellow to join our team to assist in fighting for tenants’ rights and preventing homelessness and displacement. As an EDC Fellow you will play a key role in supporting the implementation of Tenant Right to Counsel in San Francisco and at the forefront of the universal right to representation movement.

This position is contingent on the fellowship candidate securing full or partial funding for the fellowship from an outside funder.  EDC will collaborate with the fellow candidate to secure funding.  This is a temporary position with the possibility of becoming a permanent one, funding permitting.

At present, and until further notice, EDC is largely operating in a remote fashion due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The SCA staff work in the field at city shelters and from home. EDC provides employees with the necessary IT equipment and remote access to work from home. Some administrative and program staff are working on site at our offices. EDC’s COVID-19 Safety Plan adheres to the CDC’s health and safety guidelines and the federal OSHA requirements for workplace safety. As Shelter in Place orders change, regular onsite, in office work will be required.

 

The Organization

Eviction Defense Collaborative (EDC) is the only legal services organization in San Francisco solely focused on eviction prevention. EDC’s goal is to prevent displacement, stabilize communities, and ensure housing equity in San Francisco. Formed in 1996 as the primary clearinghouse for tenants filing initial responses to unlawful detainers (UD), EDC has developed an effective, client-centered, trauma-informed, and culturally sensitive triage clinic model to process the high volume of clients through our daily, open door clinic model.

Only a select few cities in the United States have a universal right to representation for tenants facing eviction. In 2019, EDC was named as the Lead Partner for implementing San Francisco Tenant Right to Counsel. In this role, EDC has designed and is overseeing the implementation of tenant right to counsel.

We offer legal services in response to an eviction, tenant rights education, rental assistance, and advocacy for clients in shelter, all under one organizational umbrella. In 2019, EDC provided legal services to over 4,800 individuals (326 of which included full scope legal representation in an eviction proceeding – with a 100% rate of positive outcomes, successfully preventing displacement and homelessness). EDC disbursed $816,318 in loans and grants to low-income tenants, and represented 267 shelter clients at hearings with an 87% success rate, keeping these clients housed at local shelters and off the streets. The Shelter Client Advocate program follows an empowerment model that incorporates a harm reduction approach. It utilizes restorative justice practices and provides skill building, improving relationships with shelter providers.

Our unique, comprehensive approach allows clients to receive the services critically needed to remain housed, while limiting their visits to multiple agencies (especially critical in a crisis, where every moment counts to prevent eviction). EDC prides itself on being the safety net for San Francisco tenants, serving tenants regardless of income, immigration status, or neighborhood.

 

Job purpose

The EDC Fellow is an integral part of the Right to Counsel Program that acts as the safety net for tenants who need emergency unlawful detainer assistance. Because we strive to be barrier-free and client-centered, the position requires individuals who truly enjoy working with people; have the skills and capacity to respond in an empathetic and respectful way to clients who are often in crisis; and can work effectively in a collegial and fast paced environment.  This is a temporary position with the possibility of becoming a permanent one, funding permitting.

 

Qualifications

First and foremost, the applicant must profoundly share EDC’s mission and vision of social justice and be able to manage stressful situations with empathy and calm. Below are additional qualifications.

  • Proficient to intermediate skills with Microsoft Office Suite, Google Suite and other common computer programs. Database management a plus (Salesforce).
  • Excellent customer service skills (professional demeanor, sound judgment, communication, de-escalation, client-management, etc.) and proven ability to handle confidential information with discretion.
  • Possess ability to make quick decisions and exercise good judgment.
  • Possess ability to work on several projects simultaneously and handle a high volume of activity and be able to work efficiently and effectively under pressure.
  • Have excellent written and oral communication skills. Facility in Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish, Tagalog, Russian or other second language a plus.
  • Must be comfortable working in community settings.
  • Willingness to work collaboratively, but with the capacity to work independently.

 

Duties and responsibilities

Legal Services Duties (90%)

  • Under the supervision of a licensed Attorney, pending approval by the State Bar of provisional licensing without bar passage, provide full scope representation to tenants in eviction matters including:
  • Preparing responsive pleadings, discovery, and motions;
  • Advocating for tenants and negotiating on their behalf with landlords and landlords’ attorney in unlawful detainer (eviction) actions;
  • Representing tenants at court hearings, settlement conferences, and trials.
  • Work collaboratively with colleagues across the organization and within the respective department.
  • Provide support for volunteer attorneys and attorneys at other legal services organizations representing tenants.
  • Work with attorneys and other EDC staff to train and supervise volunteers and interns.
  • Conduct training and other outreach as needed to other non-profit and community-based agencies.

Administrative Duties (10%)

  • Attend weekly program meetings, monthly agency staff meetings, and relevant supervision meetings.
  • Enter all data on time and correctly to support program evaluation and outcomes tracking.
  • Represent EDC at community meetings/events as required.
  • Perform other duties as assigned in furtherance of EDC’s mission.

 

Compensation

Salary depends on experience. This is an exempt position. Benefits include:

  • Health, dental, vision, long term disability, and short term disability coverage;
  • 13 paid holidays;
  • One hour paid lunch daily
  • Vacation accrual rate starts at two weeks in the first year of employment and increases to three weeks on the third anniversary

EDC is a 501(c)(3) organization, which qualifies for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.

 

Union

EDC staff are represented by the National Organization of Legal Services Workers (NOLSW, UAW Local 2320, AFL-CIO). Fellowships are not eligible for union membership.

 

Working conditions

The position requires working with individuals during moments of extreme stress and instability. The position also requires the provision of culturally-sensitive and empathetic services. Some evening and weekend work may be required. Furthermore, because of the nature of the intake work, the employee is expected to be in the office during normal business hours and to communicate with staff regarding whereabouts when elsewhere for meetings or other obligations. Additionally, the fellow is expected to be reachable by email, phone and video conference as needed during normal business hours,  Monday – Friday 9:00am – 5:00pm.

 

Physical requirements

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Prolonged sitting/standing.
  • Extensive typing/data entry.
  • Periodic lifting/carrying/transporting of materials in excess of 40 lbs.
  • Close visual acuity to prepare and analyze data, text, and figures.
  • Prolonged computer use.

 

Direct reports

The employee will not supervise any employees.

 

Application Process

Email resume and cover letter to jobs@evictiondefense.org with the “EDC Fellow” in the subject line. We are reviewing applications as they come in and until the position is filled.

 

Commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

EDC is committed to continually building a diverse and inclusive workplace. We do so because it is the right thing to do, and because we know it makes our work stronger and more effective. We encourage applications from people of all backgrounds. EDC understands and values a workplace with staff from diverse educational backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities, races, sex, gender identity and expression, national origin, ages, languages spoken, veteran’s status, skin color, religion, disability, sexual orientation and beliefs. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment. The Eviction Defense Collaborative believes that all persons are entitled to equal employment opportunity and does not discriminate on any basis prohibited by applicable law.

EDC Fellow for Tenant Right to Counsel