Eviction Defense Paralegal (Bilingual – Spanish)

Full-time, Exempt

About Us:

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela

We believe that even the biggest problems can be broken down into small, achievable steps. Poverty and access to justice are part of the same problem. And to solve this, we just need to discover what the steps are.

At Open Door Legal (ODL), we’re pioneering the country’s first system of universal access to civil legal representation to dramatically reduce poverty and prove that the law really can belong to all of us.

To achieve this ambitious goal, we’ve created an award-winning and best-in-class legal aid organization full of passionate, motivated, gritty, thoughtful, and team-oriented people.

We believe that injustice is the heart of poverty and we’re looking for someone to join us in having a systemic impact on how we, as a society, ensure justice for all.

Overview of position:

We are hiring a Bilingual Spanish-speaking Eviction Defense Paralegal to provide critical support to our eviction defense housing cases. Our UD (unlawful detainer) or eviction defense housing team is funded by San Francisco’s Tenant Right to Counsel bill thus, we ensure that everyone who lives in our service areas gets free defense on their eviction defense case. This Bilingual Housing Paralegal is going to be the main point of contact for helping our Spanish-speaking clients navigate their eviction defense cases as well as being a crucial part of building and filing successful cases. Overall, this position is intended to be a challenging yet extremely rewarding experience for someone looking to make a difference in clients’ lives with an innovative, results-oriented, and fast-growing organization. The work is fast-paced and will require you to be organized, think critically and dynamically, and demonstrate empathy and awareness in understanding the needs of our community.

This position will be in the office a minimum of 3 days per week with some occasional flexibility after 5pm for trials and other urgent time-sensitive needs. We are flexible about your location preferences between our three offices in Bayview, Excelsior, and Western Addition. The entire housing team including the affirmative housing side has 6 attorneys and one other Spanish speaking paralegal. You will report to our Senior UD Housing Attorney.

Responsibilities:

  • Embrace and embody our mission of universal access to civil legal aid and our values of passion, grit, dynamism, caring, and teamwork to ensure that everyone in our service area, particularly our Spanish-speaking community, with a housing eviction case gets culturally competent and high quality legal representation.
  • The UD housing team has case requirements as part of the TRC grant and you will be part of the team helping to ensure these case and hour billing requirements are met.
  • In addition, interpret and/or take notes at all housing UD intakes requiring Spanish interpretation, virtually and in person at our three offices. Eventually be able to lead and run Spanish and English intakes and give basic housing eviction defense brief service information yourself. This includes giving basic housing know your rights information to guests and/or clients directly, and preparing letters asserting tenants’ rights. Currently, we have approximately 10 UD housing law cases for Spanish-speaking clients. We expect this number to go up and eventually Spanish interpretation, translation, case management and basic housing information delivery will be 50% of the job.
  • Be responsible for the civil procedure tasks that support our housing attorneys in their UD defense cases in SF Superior Court. This civil procedure work includes filing, serving, drafting motions, legal research, assisting in all phases of discovery work, and getting clients to sign documents, and will likely be 25% of the duties associated with this position.
  • Help clients fill out rental assistance and housing applications and navigate referrals to other tenant’s rights service organizations in San Francisco. This is likely around 10% of the role responsibilities.
  • Take part in direct communication with the Department of Building Inspection and Department of Public Health to facilitate and make complaints on behalf of clients. Assist in initiating San Francisco Housing Authority file reviews and provide case assistance with all evidence gathering. This is likely around 15% of the role responsibilities.
  • As capacity allows, support housing team members, interns, and volunteers in meeting our organization’s mission in other ad hoc projects and tasks.
  • Provide services and support to our low-income clients with sensitivity and awareness to cultural, socio-economic, and disability differences. Continue to ensure our clients have a positive experience with us as measured by our client feedback survey.

Requirements:

  • Comfortable translating and interpreting from English to Spanish and vice versa legal information without assistance. Also, comfortable performing client support and legal secretary/paralegal tasks in Spanish.
  • High level of attention to detail and proactiveness.
  • Strong time management skills and the ability to organize time, manage diverse activities, and meet critical deadlines with minimal supervision.
  • Must genuinely enjoy and be motivated by working with low-income clients and be able to work competently with clients impacted by trauma (emotional, mental, and physical).
  • To meet the needs of our client and the fast-paced nature of Unlawful Detainer cases, we are looking for a paralegal willing to work a few evenings in a physical office, in return for time off during the workday.
  • Have a high level of comfort learning and using technology and cloud-based case management systems. We use Salesforce, Dropbox, and Google Suite.
  • Must be willing to make a two-year commitment to the organization.

Bonus Points:

  • Prior legal secretarial experience and/or in housing law.
  • A paralegal certificate or a BA degree plus 1-2 years’ experience in a law firm or legal aid setting as a paralegal.
  • Experience drafting judicial counsel forms, discovery, motions and legal research.
  • Experience working in a high-volume law firm or government office.
  • Basic knowledge of California and/or San Francisco housing law.
  • Experience filing judicial council forms at San Francisco housing court.
  • Experience working with low-income and vulnerable populations in a non-profit setting.
  • Having lived a significant period of your life in San Francisco proper.

The annual salary range for this role is from $62,500 to $78,500 based on experience.

Perks:

  • Medical/Dental/Vision Plan offerings at 100% coverage
  • 4 weeks of paid time off per year
  • We care deeply about the mental and emotional fitness of our staff and financially invest in staff who pursue ways to address this through a stipend.
  • Flexible work hours
  • Generous paid parental leave
  • 401K/Retirement Account
  • We believe everyone is always learning. We financially invest in professional development for each staff member and provide many internal and external mentorships, coaching, and learning opportunities (conferences, workshops, etc.).
  • We are a fun and hard-working office with best-in-class technology solutions for anyone who’s passionate about making a meaningful and measurable difference.

Please submit your application here:

https://open-door-legal.breezy.hr/p/38187784f85d-eviction-defense-paralegal-bilingual-spanish

Applications submitted prior to November 15, 2022 will receive priority consideration.

Open Door Legal is proud to be an Equal Opportunity employer. We do not discriminate based upon race, religion, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, transgender status, sexual stereotypes, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, or any other applicable legally protected characteristics. We also consider qualified applicants with criminal histories, consistent with applicable federal, state, and local law including the San Francisco Fair chance Ordinance.

We are committed to providing reasonable accommodations for candidates with disabilities in our recruiting process. If you need any assistance or accommodations due to a disability, please let us know at whitney [at] opendoorlegal [dot] org.

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Eviction Defense Paralegal
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