Right to Counsel Litigation Attorney

The Eviction Defense Collaborative (EDC) seeks an enthusiastic community lawyer to join our team in fighting for tenant rights and preventing homelessness and displacement. As a Right to Counsel Litigation Attorney you will play a key role in the implementation of tenant right to counsel in San Francisco and at the forefront of the universal right to representation movement.

The Organization

Born out of a collaborative of a dozen non-profit providers and law groups, EDC provides legal assistance, advocacy and representation to predominately low-income and indigent tenants in San Francisco who are being evicted. Historically, EDC has been the first point of contact of approximately 95% of all tenants facing an eviction (unlawful detainer). Recently, EDC was named as the Lead Partner for San Francisco Tenant Right to Counsel. In this role, EDC will be designing and overseeing the implementation of tenant right to counsel.

Only a select few cities in the United States have a universal right to representation for tenants facing eviction. EDC has assisted these tenants by educating them about the legal process, advising them of their options, drafting responsive legal documents, providing referrals to assist them in fighting their evictions, negotiating legal settlements and representing them at trial. EDC also administers one-time rental assistance grants and loans through our RADCo program to help tenants who are behind in their rent to pay the rent and stay in their homes. Finally, EDC advocates on behalf of the sheltered homeless population who are being evicted from their shelters. The work at the EDC is made possible by a dedicated staff and many volunteers from local schools and the community. We are a collection of individuals passionate about advocating for tenant rights and preventing homelessness.

Job purpose

The Right to Counsel Attorney (Attorney) plays a key role in the implementation of Tenant Right to Counsel in San Francisco. Working with a team of attorneys, interns, paralegals, and volunteers, the Attorney will represent tenants fighting eviction lawsuits. Because we strive to be barrier-free and client-centered, the position requires individuals who truly enjoy working with people, have the skills and capacity to respond in an empathetic and respectful way to clients who are often in crisis, and can work effectively in a collegial and fast paced environment.

The Attorney will provide day-to-day oversight of their assigned paralegal (in conjunction with other Attorney(s) to which the paralegal is assigned) and will sign off on vacation requests by the assigned Paralegal. Final approval for vacation days will be made by the Director of Litigation and Policy. Furthermore, paralegal evaluations will be conducted by the Director of Litigation and Policy.

Qualifications

First and foremost, the applicant must profoundly share EDC’s mission and vision of social justice and be able to manage stressful situations with empathy and calm. Below are additional qualifications.

  • In good standing with the California Bar.
  • Proficient to intermediate skills with Microsoft Office and Google Suite and other common computer programs. Database management a plus (Salesforce).
  • Excellent customer service skills (professional demeanor, sound judgment, communication, de-escalation, client-management, etc.) and proven ability to handle confidential information with discretion.
  • Possess ability to make quick decisions and exercise good judgment.
  • Possess ability to work on several projects simultaneously and handle a high volume of activity and be able to work efficiently and effectively under pressure.
  • Have excellent written and oral communication skills. Facility in Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish, Tagalog, Russian or other second language a plus.
  • Must be comfortable working in community settings.
  • Willingness to work collaboratively, but with the capacity to work independently.

Duties and responsibilities

Legal Services Duties (90%)

  • Provide full scope representation to tenants in eviction matters including:
    • Preparing responsive pleadings, discovery, and motions;
    • Advocating for tenants and negotiating on their behalf with landlords and landlords’ attorneys in unlawful detainer (eviction) actions;
    • Representing tenants at court hearings, settlement conferences, and trial.
  •  Provide support for volunteer attorneys.
  • Day-to-day oversight of the assigned paralegal’s duties, including approving vacation days.
  • Work with attorneys and other EDC staff to train and supervise volunteers and interns.
  • Conduct trainings and other outreach as needed to other non-profits and community-based agencies.

Administrative Duties (10%)

  • Attend weekly program meetings, monthly agency staff meetings, and relevant supervision meetings.
  • Enter all data on time and correctly to support program evaluation and outcomes tracking.
  • Represent EDC at community meetings/events as required.
  • Perform other duties as assigned in furtherance of EDC’s mission.

Working conditions

The position requires working with individuals during moments of extreme stress and instability. The position also requires the provision of culturally-sensitive and empathetic services. Some evening and weekend work may be required.

Physical requirements

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Prolonged sitting/standing.
  • Extensive typing/data entry.
  • Periodic lifting/carrying/transporting of materials in excess of 40 lbs.
  • Close visual acuity to prepare and analyze data, text, and figures.
  • Prolonged computer use.

Direct reports

The employee will not supervise any employees.

Application Process

Email resume and cover letter to jobs@evictiondefense.org with the “Litigation Attorney” in the subject line. We are reviewing applications as they come in and until the position is filled.

We are strongly committed to diversity and encourage applications from people who can contribute to our diversity. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment. The Eviction Defense Collaborative believes that all persons are entitled to equal employment and does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, ethnicity, place of origin, or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

Right to Counsel Litigation Attorney
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