ANNUAL SALARY RANGE: $71,000 – $84,000.
ORGANIZATION DESCRIPTION: Mental Health Advocacy Services, Inc. (MHAS) is a private, non-profit organization whose mission is to protect and advance the legal rights of low-income adults and children with mental health disabilities and empower them to assert those rights in order to maximize their autonomy, achieve equity, and secure the resources they need to thrive. MHAS assists both children and adults, with an emphasis on obtaining government benefits and services, protecting rights, and fighting discrimination. MHAS also serves as a resource to the community by providing training and technical assistance to attorneys, mental health professionals, consumer and family member groups, and other advocates. Finally, MHAS participates in impact litigation and policy work in an effort to improve the lives of people with mental health disabilities.
FOUR DAY WORK WEEK, FRINGE BENEFITS, & WORK CULTURE: On January 1, 2023, MHAS proudly and permanently adopted a four-day work week. After completing a six-month trial of a four-day work week in 2022, MHAS found what almost all other companies that have moved to a four-day work week have found: the four-day work week improves organization productivity and employee health, reduces gender inequality, and creates a more sustainable work environment. All full-time MHAS employees, including this position, work four, eight-hour days per week. Candidates seeking part-time employment may also apply. The MHAS office is closed on Fridays.
Other benefits include paid vacation, holidays, and sick leave; employee health, dental, vision, long term disability, and life insurance; and parking/transit fare reimbursement.
MHAS is proud of its collegial, family-friendly culture that respects the work/life balance of its employees. To that end, MHAS is willing to consider flexible work schedules and part-time work on a case-by-case basis. MHAS also provides employees with frequent wellness opportunities, including trainings on stress management and mindfulness, group meditations, and regular, informal staff gatherings.
MHAS attorneys work remotely with access to the MHAS headquarters office as needed. MHAS equips all employees working from home with needed technology and other office supplies. This position will spend one day/week on site at Via Care in East Los Angeles. All staff must be vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19.
JOB DESCRIPTION: MHAS seeks to hire an attorney to lead MHAS’ behavioral health legal partnership in which legal services intervention specifically targeting low-income tenants with mental health disabilities at risk of homelessness is holistically integrated in partnership with Via Care Community Health Center. Through this project, MHAS will provide legal advocacy for vulnerable clients to ensure they have the resources and support needed to achieve better mental health outcomes and overall well-being. Because a large portion of the Via Care participants are monolingual Spanish speakers, Spanish fluency (oral and written) is preferred for this position.
The ideal candidate will be expected to respond quickly to legal referrals from our partner in a wide range of subject areas, including housing, public benefits, consumer, education, tickets and expungement, and health and mental health. This position will focus on homelessness prevention, providing direct representation to clients in conflicts with landlords, housing authorities, and non-profit housing and service providers, including pre-eviction legal services, and legal services to improve habitability and ensure receipt of income or benefits to improve housing stability. This position will not provide eviction defense representation in court.
Other responsibilities will include providing legal training and technical assistance to both staff and participants at Via Care. The attorney will also take on other client and policy work as deemed appropriate to MHAS’ mission and client goals.
JOB RESPONSIBILITIES WILL INCLUDE:
- Providing competent legal assistance to clients through advice and counsel, research and writing, negotiation, administrative advocacy, and court advocacy;
- Developing expertise in a broad range of poverty law issues with an emphasis on housing law;
- Maintaining a caseload in an organized and efficient manner;
- Providing technical assistance and training to staff and clients at Via Care;
- Assisting with project administration and reporting;
- Participating in policy advocacy projects as requested; and
- Assisting with other projects and tasks as identified related to MHAS’ mission.
- J.D. degree and membership in California State Bar.
- Spanish language fluency (oral and written) preferred.
- Commitment and sensitivity to the rights of people with mental health disabilities and other vulnerable populations.
- Excellent legal research skills.
- Excellent oral and written communication skills with attention to detail.
- Excellent organizational skills including ability to prioritize tasks, manage time, and meet deadlines.
- Demonstrated ability to analyze complex problems and develop creative solutions.
- Cultural sensitivity and demonstrated ability to work well with diverse social, economic, and ethnic groups.
COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY, EQUITY, & INCLUSION: Mental Health Advocacy Services seeks to fill all positions with people who share our values, including our organizational commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We encourage all interested individuals to apply – especially people of color; women; people from low-income backgrounds; people experiencing mental health and/or physical disabilities; people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender non-conforming, or non-binary; immigrants; people who have been affected by mass incarceration; and people from other underrepresented and historically marginalized groups. We believe that the resulting diversity is both a source of program strength and a matter of fundamental human fairness.
APPLICATION PROCESS: Submit the following to email@example.com (state “Employment Application” in subject line):
- Writing Sample
- Cover letter discussing any and/or all of the following:
- your motivation for seeking the position,
- your interest in working with people with mental health disabilities,
- how you meet the minimum qualifications, and/or
- how your personal background or experiences, professional or otherwise, have prepared you to contribute to our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion