Are you interested in using your legal skills to help prevent homelessness, address social inequality and discrimination, and help ensure low-income families maintain stability and remain in Contra Costa County? Join BayLegal’s dynamic Housing Law Practice!
Bay Area Legal Aid (BayLegal) works with our clients to advocate for their legal rights and remove legal barriers to health, safety, and stability through representation, legal advice and information, referrals, community education, and advocacy for low-income individuals and families throughout seven Bay Area counties.
As a regional anti-poverty civil law firm that has been serving our local communities since the 1960s, we are committed to working alongside our clients and community partners to address inter-generational poverty and social inequality. We have built upon our origins as separate neighborhood legal services organizations into a regional non-profit law firm with over 150 employees. We practice in multiple legal substantive areas to help our clients protect their livelihoods, their health, and their families. BayLegal works to prevent domestic violence and sexual assault, increase economic stability, protect consumers, expand access to healthcare, and prevent homelessness. Our clients include the working poor, families with children, foster youth, seniors, immigrants, veterans, individuals impacted by the criminal and juvenile legal system and persons with disabilities. By serving clients at a wide range of access points, including our six regional county offices, mobile advocacy, community-based clinics and service sites, and nationally recognized legal hotlines, BayLegal has a unique viewpoint to identify patterns of illegal practices and barriers to our clients’ rights in need of broader advocacy and potential impact litigation. BayLegal strives to create equitable access to resources and services to build a foundation from which our clients can thrive.
BayLegal strives to address the immediate crisis an individual or family may be experiencing and the underlying and compounding legal issues that create barriers to long-term stability and opportunities. We believe that all people should be treated with respect and have the resources they need to meet their goals. To that end, we engage in civil legal representation, social work, community collaborations, and systemic advocacy, in partnership with the communities we serve.
Position: BayLegal seeks an attorney with a strong commitment to public interest and social justice advocacy to join our Contra Costa County office to represent low-income tenants in asserting their rights in eviction proceedings, to enforce fair housing / anti-discrimination laws, and preservation of affordable housing. In this position you will have the opportunity to join a collaborative local team based out of BayLegal’s Richmond office and be a member of BayLegal’s larger regional practice and social justice team. Your direct supervisor is the Contra Costa County Regional Office Managing Attorney, and the regional housing practice team is available to provide mentorship and strategic support. This position is based in our Richmond office, serving clients throughout Contra Costa County. The position involves traveling to all parts of the county as necessary to best serve our low-income clients. As a member of BayLegal’s regional practice, there may be travel within BayLegal’s broader service areas for the purposes of meeting with clients in transportation challenged areas and as necessary for training and broader advocacy.
As a Housing Staff Attorney, you will have the opportunity to:
- Learn and advocate for the diverse legal needs of communities affected by systemic and structural inequities in Contra Costa County and the broader Bay Area to reduce homelessness, enhance stability and address social injustice;
- Provide a full range of legal assistance, including advice and counsel and full-scope legal representation to low-income tenants in unlawful detainer proceedings, including propounding and responding to discovery, conducting depositions, pre/post-trial motions, trials and appeals;
- Address access barriers and provide legal assistance to low-income tenants by providing call-backs to tenants seeking help through our Legal Advice Line;
- Represent tenants in administrative proceedings before the Housing Authority and other agencies;
- Advocate for tenants on issues of fair housing, substandard conditions, and VAWA;
- Identify systemic problems that affect our clients’ housing rights and address these challenges through affirmative litigation and policy work;
- Collaborate with the local and national tenant advocacy community;
- Provide community education and outreach, workshops and technical assistance to community partners and client community on housing law, tenants’ rights, and a broad range of civil legal issues;
- Develop relationships and engage in collaboration with a range of public and private community partners, including governmental agencies, courts, and community-based organizations, to ensure integrative services and address systemic barriers facing BayLegal’s client community;
- Work with BayLegal’s development, grants and contracts, and communications team to promote BayLegal’s mission, ensure compliance with grant obligations and further resource development; and
- Engage in other tasks and projects that further BayLegal’s mission and operations as a non-profit.
Requirements/Qualifications/About the Successful Candidate:
- Humility in working with colleagues and clients across the spectrum of diversity, including race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, immigrant status, religious identity, physical and mental disabilities, and/or limited English
- Membership in good standing in the California State Bar 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 and willing to take the bar exam at the next available sitting.
- Must have received or be willing to receive and maintain up-to-date COVID-19 vaccination (including eligible boosters) by date of hire to be considered. Proof of vaccination required.
- Experience providing direct legal services to low-income clients.
- Experience and skills maintaining organization of time, managing diverse activities, and meeting critical deadlines with minimal supervision.
- Excellent writing, editing, and proof-reading skills, with ability to be detail-oriented
- Experience and commitment to working collaboratively with a dynamic team
- Curious and self-directed with an ability to anticipate what needs to be done
- Experience and skills to simultaneously manage multiple projects while maintaining a firm grasp of individual project
- Sense of humor and proactive problem-solver.
COVID-19: BayLegal is committed to the health and safety of our staff, clients, and community. Being accessible to our client communities is integral to our mission and commitment as a direct services community-based law firm. BayLegal has implemented detailed health and safety protocols to minimize risk of exposure and continues to increase in-person services and activities in our offices and community-based advocacy sites. Currently, most BayLegal employees work a hybrid model including on-site and in-person work and working from home on a part-time basis. All employees are expected to reside in California and at a distance allowing them to commute to their physical BayLegal base location and service delivery locations as needed during the standard work week and in compliance with public health advisories.
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 60% for dependents; BayLegal student debt reimbursement program; long term disability insurance; employee assistance program; wage differentials for multi-lingual employees whose non-English language skills are regularly used in the provision of work tasks and pass a request test of fluency and/or proficiency; dependent childcare employer contribution program; employer paid CA Bar license and/or social work license fees; and 401k retirement plan with BayLegal contribution following first year. BayLegal has a generous paid leave policy which includes sick leave; parental leave; 15 holidays each year; 3 floating holidays each year (days chosen by employee); and vacation (starting at 13 days and increasing with additional years of employment). This is a union position (Bay Area Legal Aid Workers, “BALAW”), and the salary ranges from $73,166-$138,127 depending on years of experience and the salary scale can be found on our BayLegal union positions salary scale for 2022-2026.
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, LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Intersex, Asexual) and QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) individuals, veterans, individuals who have been impacted by the criminal justice system, persons with disabilities, and persons from other underrepresented groups to apply. We are committed to equal employment opportunity and providing reasonable accommodations to qualified candidates and employees pursuant to applicable law. We value and encourage diversity and solicit applications from all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, gender, sex, age, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, marital status, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, medical condition, military and veteran status, gender identity or expression, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. If you require a reasonable accommodation as part of the application process, please contact BayLegal’s Human Resources Manager at (510) 250-5225.
BayLegal will begin reviewing applications upon receipt and continue until the position is filled. Please submit (1) cover letter including response to question below (no page limit), (2) resume, (3) references, and (4) writing sample through BayLegal’s career application portal located: https://bayarealegalaid.applytojob.com/apply.
As part of your cover letter, please address the following:
BayLegal’s clients are low-income and very low-income members of our communities. They include LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Intersex, Asexual) and QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) individuals, the working poor, seniors, people who are limited English proficient, veterans, persons with disabilities, survivors of abuse and exploitation, individuals impacted by the criminal justice system, and people who are experiencing or at risk of homeless, and persons from other underrepresented groups. To ensure our organization is best serving these populations, BayLegal strives to promote an evolving set of behaviors and attitudes amongst our staff, as well as policies that enable us to work effectively across cultures, with clients, with our coworkers, and with the community. We see this as a commitment to enhance the provision of our services to all clients; to raise the level of positive client outcomes; and to create an inclusive and respectful workplace in which differences are acknowledged and valued.
How do you think your experiences, professional or otherwise, prepared you to serve our diverse client base effectively, work effectively with colleagues from different backgrounds than your own, and to contribute to our commitment to humility, inclusion, and diversity? Feel free to think broadly about your response to this question, applying various aspects of your life and personal experiences.