The Public Interest Law Project (PILP) seeks an experienced attorney to join our public benefits practice.  Since 1996, PILP has provided crucial litigation and advocacy support to local legal services and public interest law programs throughout California. Responding to the elimination of federal funding for state and national legal services support centers, PILP was established to ensure that local legal services programs could continue to participate in major litigation and advocacy on behalf of low-income people.

Today, PILP is one of California’s premier legal services support centers and works to advance racial and economic justice for low income communities and communities of color by building the capacity of legal services organizations through impact litigation, trainings, publications, coalition building, and systemic advocacy. Our current priorities include work to: increase and preserve affordable housing; fight displacement; eliminate discriminatory zoning; support unhoused communities; prevent homelessness; and expand access to public benefits, income support, and supportive services.

This position is a newly created position at PILP that will focus on the critical intersection of homelessness and public benefits. PILP seeks an attorney with at least 5 years’ experience practicing law and expertise in public benefits, housing, homelessness prevention, or a related public interest field, and an enthusiasm for our mission. The staff attorney will help break down systemic barriers to the equitable disbursement of public benefits funds targeted to preventing homelessness – ultimately increasing the dollars and services available to help individuals and families get and maintain stable housing. This will include advice and training to legal advocates, systemic advocacy at the state and local levels, creation of educational materials, and litigation.

Responsibilities.

  • Technical assistance to local legal services programs
  • Training local program attorneys and grassroots advocates in relevant areas of law and litigation; including leading the creation of a toolkit explaining how to access key public benefits to prevent homelessness
  • Advocacy and education regarding local, state, and federal laws and policy in conjunction with local programs and other support centers
  • Participation in and/or coordination of statewide legal working groups and task forces, and working with state and regional advocacy groups
  • Co-counseling impact litigation in state and federal courts with local program attorneys, other state support centers, and our private bar pro bono partners
  • Participation in organization-wide activities, including integrating diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility policies into our work and workplace
  • Assist with meeting relevant grant reporting requirements, including helping with drafting narratives and compiling and interpreting data
  • Other duties as assigned

Qualifications.

  • At least 5 years’ experience practicing law
  • Member in good standing of the California Bar preferred; will accept applications from applicants awaiting California bar results that meet other qualifications
  • At least five years of poverty law or related social justice experience (law or otherwise)
  • Expertise in public benefits, homelessness prevention, affordable housing or related public interest field preferred
  • Experience effectively working in diverse coalitions to advance social change
  • Experience working with and a demonstrated sensitivity to persons from diverse backgrounds, as well as a genuine recognition of the role implicit bias has in society and interpersonal actions and decisions
  • Commitment to applying principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion in performance of job duties
  • Desire to learn and grow as an advocate, and openness to feedback
  • Excellent analytical, research, writing, and oral advocacy skills, including the ability to communicate clearly, concisely, and persuasively about policy issues to multiple audiences
  • Ability to be detail-oriented, multi-task, set and respond to changing priorities, and work independently
  • Strong interpersonal skills, demonstrated ability to collaborate with internal and external teams to produce results

Compensation and Working Environment.

Salary range $78,000 to $110,000, based on a fixed scale and grounded on years of experience. PILP offers an excellent benefits package, including liberal vacation and leave policies, compensation time, fully employer‐paid health benefits (including dependents), and a generous employer-contributed retirement plan that fully vests after five years.

PILP staff currently work primarily remotely; however, staff should be prepared and available to provide in person services as business needs dictate. Some travel (in California) may be required to fulfill job responsibilities. Our home office is in Oakland, but we welcome applications from applicants living anywhere in California.

How to Apply. This position is open until filled, with priority given to applications received by January 31st.

Please send a cover letter, resume, legal writing sample, and list of three professional references as attachments to hiring@pilpca.org. We value lived and diverse experiences; your cover letter should reflect how your identity and background have prepared you to be an advocate for social justice (especially if your resume does not).

If you prefer an alternative method of submitting these materials please contact us at this email address.

Note: All positions are subject to funding; ongoing funding or employment cannot be assured.

The Public Interest Law Project (PILP) is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to maintaining a diverse workforce and a respectful and inclusive culture. We strongly encourage people of color, people with disabilities, people of all gender

identities, gender expressions, and sexualities, older adults, and individuals from other traditionally underrepresented and historically oppressed groups to apply. It is PILP’s policy to prohibit discrimination and harassment of any type and to establish and maintain equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, disability, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, medical condition, veteran status, national origin, marital status, familial status, or any other protected status.

Public Benefits Staff Attorney
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