DEADLINE: Open until filled. Applications should be received by November 12, 2019, to be considered for the first round of interviews.

SALARY RANGE (Depending on Experience): $107,757 – $144,417 annually

Location: Sacramento, Oakland, Los Angeles, San Diego, Fresno OR Ontario



Disability Rights California (DRC) is a statewide, non-profit legal organization dedicated to advancing the rights of Californians with disabilities to live with autonomy, dignity, and respect in a barrier-free, inclusive, and diverse world that values each individual and their voice.  The Legal Advocacy Unit (LAU) is DRC’s core Protection & Advocacy legal program, tasked with fulfilling our federal mandate to defend the rights of people with disabilities in California.


Mental Health Practice Group

DRC’s Mental Health Practice Group engages in individual and systemic advocacy to protect the rights of people with mental health disabilities, representing clients in locked psychiatric institutions, jails, and other facilities statewide.  We actively monitor and investigate conditions in facilities that house people with disabilities. We engage in impact litigation to ensure adequate treatment for people with disabilities, and to fight for the provision of accommodations, equal access, and equal opportunity. We work to improve access to community alternatives to institutions or homelessness, including community-based services and supported housing.



The Managing Attorney provides leadership, strategic direction and overall management of the Mental Health Practice Group.  The Managing Attorney promotes a positive work environment and collaboration within the practice group and other DRC groups. The Managing Attorney ensures that the practice group complies with its grants and eligibility requirements. The Managing Attorney reports to the Director of the Legal Advocacy Unit (LAU) and is a member of the LAU leadership. As a member of the LAU leadership team the Managing Attorney is also responsible for developing and implementing projects that impact the LAU and DRC.  Regular travel to meet with staff in other offices and attend leadership meetings is required.



Managing Attorney essential functions include:


Management – 50%

– Provide positive direction and supervision to attorneys, including caseload management, training, mentoring and monitoring staff.

– Participate in the identification and development of substantive and skills-based training for staff, with a primary focus on abuse, neglect and criminal victimization and abuse system response.

– Assist with organizational development and planning, including the planning and development of agency’s Advocacy Plan.

– Participate in statewide and regional teams, which may include two substantive goal areas.

– Represent the MHPG as needed with other agency teams and with the Board of Directors.

– Provide technical assistance and substantive training to other regional office agency staff in areas of expertise.

– Review training materials, publications, reports, or prepare presentations about agency’s work, which may include reports to funding entities and the Board of Directors.


Direct Advocacy – 35%

– Lead and/or participate in individual and systemic advocacy involving issues of abuse, neglect and crimes against people with disabilities, including major policy advocacy at the state level.

– Lead and/or participate in drafting and issuing policy papers and public reports.

– Review and draft legislation and regulations.

– Monitor, summarize, and analyze case law, legislation, and administrative policy and practices for agency staff and other organizations.


Community-Based Advocacy – 15%

– Engage in community-based advocacy and community leadership, representing the agency as the voice of our clients.

– Participate with other agencies and organizations to address recurring problems and issues related to discrimination against people with disabilities.


Managing Attorney marginal functions:

– Assist with agency-wide management responsibilities.

– Perform other duties as assigned.



Directly supervises attorneys, advocates and other subordinates staff in offices and carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the agency’s policies and applicable laws. Responsibilities include interview, hire, and train employees; plan, assign, and direct work; appraise performance; reward and discipline employees; address complaints and resolve problems.



Ability to travel occasionally for activities such as out-of-town meetings, abuse and neglect investigations, inspect facilities, meeting with providers, and education, training, or outreach activities up to 25% of the time.



Duties are performed between an office environment and the field in a wide range of settings, including health care facilities; locked mental health settings; detention facilities; in client, group, or family homes; community agencies; or in community-based outpatient settings. Work areas are often noisy. Duties frequently require sitting; talking and/or hearing; video, audio, or photo documentation as part of the investigation process; and occasional periods of standing, stooping, kneeling, crouching, or crawling. Weights to be lifted and/or moved up to 20 pounds are frequently encountered. Must be able to transport oneself to work-related meeting.



Juris Doctor degree (J.D.) or equivalent and membership in the California State Bar or eligible to practice under the Registered Legal Services Attorney Program [admitted to practice in another state and eligible to practice in California for three (3) years under the California State Bar rules for the Registered Legal Services Attorney Program, and required admittance to the California Bar within three (3) years.] Plus:


– 10 years’ experience as an attorney in the practice of law.

– 5 years’ experience in employee supervision and management.

– 2 years of experience in administration such as grant management, project management, collaboration with other nonprofits, fundraising, or handling human resources issues.

– Expertise in one or more substantive areas of law relating to individuals with mental health disabilities, including civil and forensic commitments, Specialty Mental Health and Medi-Cal, ADA/Olmstead, and constitutional law.

– Experience in conducting complex litigation, evaluating cases based upon legal, regulatory, and policy requirements, and then making appropriate findings and recommendations.

– Experience with laws, rights, and services as they pertain to people with disabilities, and/or direct representation of people with disabilities.



– Experience with client representation people with disabilities.

– Experience in developing and coordinating systemic advocacy projects particularly in the areas of mental health, abuse/neglect, stigma, and/or victimization.

– Able to communicate fluently and write effectively in Spanish or an Asian language; or able to communicate using American Sign Language.

– Experience in the disability rights movement and/or extensive contacts in the disability community.

– Experience with and/or extensive contacts in ethnic or language distinct communities.

– Familiarity and/or extensive contacts with one or more of the following: homelessness, criminal justice, substance abuse or Gay/Lesbian/Bi-Sexual/Transgender/Intersex (LGBTI) communities.


If you are interested in becoming a part of DRC, please submit the following:

– Online Disability Rights California Application Form

– Your resume

– Detailed cover letter.

– Sample of legal writing (i.e., a legal argument, letter or analysis) consisting of no more than 10 pages of text.

– List of significant litigation


At Disability Rights California, we value diversity among our employees because unique perspectives allow us to effectively serve Californians with disabilities from a wide range of cultural backgrounds. As an equal opportunity employer, we hire without regard to race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, creed, age (over 40), Disability (mental and physical), sex, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, military and veteran status, or any other protected characteristic.

Disability Rights California endorses and supports the intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities who are applicants or employees who need accommodations.

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 this site:

Managing Attorney – Mental Health