Litigation Staff Attorney or Senior Attorney: Housing Team

About Western Center on Law and Poverty

For over 50 years, Western Center on Law and Poverty has led the fight to end poverty and secure housing, health care, a strong safety net, and racial and economic justice for all low-income Californians. Western Center brings about system-wide change through impact litigation, legislative, policy and administrative advocacy at the state and federal level, and support for legal services and community based organizations.  With offices in Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Oakland, we are California’s largest legal services support center.  For more information, please visit our website:


Position Summary

As California’s affordable housing crisis continues unabated, Western Center seeks an experienced attorney who is passionate about the rights of marginalized low-income people to push for statewide tenant protections and just land use policies. The successful candidate will engage in each aspect of Western Center’s multipronged advocacy strategy – leading high impact litigation, engaging in policy advocacy, and providing assistance and trainings to local legal services attorneys.

Accordingly, the ideal candidate will have a strong understanding of at least one of the following areas of anti-poverty/housing law and policy: land use, displacement, and housing finance and preservation. Experience in the following areas is also a plus: landlord-tenant, fair housing, redevelopment, federal and state housing programs, tax policies, homelessness, health and safety, building codes and enforcement, mobile homes. It is essential that the candidate understand the intersection of these issues with racial justice.

This position reports to the Deputy Director and can be based in any of the Western Center offices, with a preference for our Oakland office.



  • Collaborate with other housing team members to identify and develop strategies to ensure that every person has a healthy, affordable, and stable place to live.
  • Identify, initiate, conduct, and maintain a caseload of complex affirmative litigation.
  • Work with Sacramento policy advocates to help draft, analyze, and implement legislation.
  • Plan and facilitate regional housing policy meetings with local advocates.
  • Provide expertise, research, and advocacy support through consultation, technical assistance, publications, training, and education, particularly to legal services organizations. Advance administrative, regulatory, and policy changes at the local, county, state, and federal levels
  • Train local legal services advocates.
  • Speak on panels relevant to areas of expertise.
  • Represent WCLP in various coalitions and boards.
  • Draft and disseminate reports, legal analyses, and administrative materials to our partners.
  • Other duties as assigned.
  • Some in-state overnight travel is required. NOTE: No travel will be allowed until January, 2021, maybe longer.
  • Some long hours are expected, but the workday schedule is flexible and accommodating.



  • A demonstrated commitment to the mission of Western Center.
  • Admitted to practice law in California or willingness to take next California Bar Exam.
  • At least five years of experience.
  • Strong litigation skills in any practice area.
  • A deep understanding of and passion for housing, racial justice, and anti-poverty policy.
  • Experience working with or coming from historically marginalized communities.
  • Prior work at a legal services or a community-based organization is a plus.
  • Exceptional written and oral communication skills.
  • Experience representing clients in complex affirmative lawsuits.
  • Ability to think creatively, be strategic, and exercise good judgment.
  • Ability to establish and maintain collaborative working relationships.
  • Ability to develop and work in diverse coalitions in which participants may have multiple interests.
  • Ability to work in a team setting and to implement team objectives independently.
  • Ability to work under time pressure.
  • Exemplary ethical standards.



Salary is very competitive and commensurate with experience. We provide a generous benefits package, including leave policies, vacation, and December holiday office closure at full pay. We provide numerous opportunities and support to ensure our staff are able to grow and develop their professional skills.


To Apply

Applications accepted until the position is filled.  Please email cover letter, resume, two writing samples, and list of references to Stephanie Surabian, Director of Finance and Administration,


To promote social justice and achieve our mission, Western Center is committed to maintaining a diverse staff and creating an inclusive and respectful workplace. In your cover letter, please explain how you think your personal and/or professional experience or background has prepared you to contribute to a work environment with a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion.


Western Center strives for a diverse and inclusive workforce and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. Western Center strongly encourages applications from persons of color, women, LGBTQ individuals, persons with disabilities, and persons from other underrepresented groups whose background may contribute to effectively representing low-income people and underserved communities.

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