Litigation Counsel or Senior Attorney

Mental Health Practice Group

One Open Position

(Location: Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego, Sacramento, or ability to work remotely)

 

Disability Rights California is seeking a creative, bold, and experienced litigator for our Mental Health Practice Group.

SALARY RANGE:

Litigation Counsel: $107,757 – $157,814

Senior Attorney: $85,716 – $124,722

We base salary and position offers on experience and an internal equity analysis.

Application Deadline:  Open until filled.  Applications should be received by April 16, 2021, to be considered for the first round of interviews.

 

WHO WE ARE

Disability Rights California (“DRC”) is the Protection & Advocacy (“P&A”) system for the state of California.  We are a nonprofit agency with a mandate under federal and state law to defend, advance, and strengthen the rights of people with disabilities.  DRC works to create a world where all people with disabilities have power and are treated with dignity and respect by being included in their communities, afforded the same opportunities as people without disabilities, and respected to make their own decisions.

In order to be effective advocates for people with disabilities, we address systemic discrimination in all its forms and we acknowledge the unique challenges faced by people who experience the intersection of multiple types of discrimination.

 

The Mental Health Practice Group

We are a statewide team of passionate attorneys who enforce and expand the rights of people living with mental health disabilities.  We strive to pursue litigation and advocacy that strikes a balancing between responding to pressing needs—such as the unique challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, proactively anticipating future needs, and identifying innovative ways to affirmatively expand the law on behalf of individuals living with mental health disabilities.

Much of our current work includes advocating on behalf of clients in locked facilities, including psychiatric institutions, jails, and immigration detention centers, and working to divert or discharge people from such institutions.  We also work to improve access to community-based alternatives to institutions and homelessness, to ensure that such services are provided in a manner that is trauma-informed and culturally congruent, and to address the intersectional needs of people living with mental health disabilities.

In order to enforce and expand the rights of people living with mental health disabilities, the Mental Health Practice Group engages in individual and systemic litigation, investigations and monitoring, and policy advocacy.  Our team works collaboratively on lawsuits and projects.  We are also adopting community lawyering and identity-conscious approaches to our advocacy in order to ensure that our advocacy seeks out and responds to the voices of people of color with disabilities and members of the LGBTQIA2S+ community with disabilities.

A few of the Mental Health Practice Group’s recent lawsuits include:

  • Hart, et al. v. Clendenin, et al., No. 20-1559 (C.D. Cal. filed Aug. 5, 2020) (one of the first lawsuits in the country to challenge the dangers posed by COVID-19 to high risk patients in a state psychiatric hospital and to seek the discharge or transfer of patients out of the facility) https://www.disabilityrightsca.org/cases/hart-v-clendenin;
  • Disability Rights California v. County of Alameda, No. 20-5256 (N.D. Cal. filed July 30, 2020) (seeking greater community-based mental health services to prevent individuals with mental health disabilities from needlessly cycling between psychiatric hospitalization, homelessness, and jail, and highlighting the disproportionate impact on Black Alameda County residents), https://www.disabilityrightsca.org/cases/drc-lawsuit-against-alameda-county.
  • Mays v. County of Sacramento, No. 18-1259 (E.D. Cal. filed July 31, 2018) (reaching a settlement agreement requiring Sacramento to remedy illegal and dangerous conditions in its jails, including those related to inadequate medical and mental health treatment, suicide prevention, and solitary confinement), https://www.disabilityrightsca.org/cases/mays-v-county-of-sacramento.

 

Litigation Counsel Position

The Litigation Counsel plays a significant role in shaping DRC’s litigation and advocacy vision, including working with the Mental Health team, the Litigation Counsel Team, and other DRC teams and staff to identify complex legal and policy challenges to create and drive forward our systemic work.  The Litigation Counsel also helps to ensure the excellence of DRC’s legal work by providing leadership, mentorship, and supervision to Practice Group attorneys and other DRC staff.  Structurally, the Litigation Counsel reports to the Managing Attorney but, in practice, the Litigation Counsel and Managing Attorney lead our team together.

We value lived experience and experience working with people with disabilities and who are low income.  We also value experience integrating disability justice, race equity, and community lawyering principles into advocacy efforts.  Please discuss such experiences in your cover letter, especially if they are not reflected in your resume.

Minimum Qualifications: Juris Doctor and admission to the California State Bar.

This position requires a minimum of ten years of practicing law including substantial civil litigation experience or internal candidates who have worked at DRC for four continuous year and have 9 years of experience practicing law.

 

Senior Attorney Position

The Senior Attorney in the Mental Health Practice Group plays a leading role in individual and systemic advocacy to enforce and expand the rights of people with mental health disabilities.  The Senior Attorney works under the direct supervision of the senior staff and in collaboration with other Disability Rights California attorneys and advocates in their legal, advocacy, and outreach efforts.

We value lived experience and experience working with people with disabilities and who are low income.  We also value experience integrating disability justice, race equity and community lawyering principles into advocacy efforts.  Please discuss such experiences in your cover letter, especially if they are not reflected in your resume.

Minimum Qualifications: Juris Doctor and admission to the California State Bar.

This position requires a minimum of seven years of practicing law including substantial civil litigation experience or internal candidates who have worked at DRC for 3 continuous years and have 6 years of experience practicing law.

Working at DRC is more than just a job – it is a rare opportunity to do what you are good at while making a difference!  DRC offers competitive salaries and a generous benefit package.  To view the detailed job descriptions and complete the application process visit

 

Senior Attorney: https://jobs.lever.co/disabilityrightsca/e62d45cc-4281-4dec-8f6a-7135558776da?lever-origin=applied&lever-source%5B%5D=Internal%20Flyer

Litigation Counsel: https://jobs.lever.co/disabilityrightsca/a4ff6273-182f-4089-89dc-c545621680e6?lever-origin=applied&lever-source%5B%5D=Internal%20Flyer

Litigation Counsel or Senior Attorney, Mental Health Practice Group
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