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): $85,176 – $114,134 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.  DRC works to achieve fairness and justice for people with disabilities through individual and impact litigation, state and federal policy and regulatory advocacy, and community education and training.


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



Senior Attorney essential functions include:


Litigation, Systemic Reform Initiatives, and Leadership – 75%

–      Represent clients in negotiations, mediations, and judicial and administrative proceedings.

–      Lead and/or participate in DRC teams in litigation, including class, complex, multi-plaintiff, and individual client litigation and/or appeals.

–      Lead and/or participate in policy advocacy at the state level, including commenting on and drafting legislation and regulations, and participation in stakeholder workgroups or committees.

–      Supervise and/or mentor the work of attorneys, as assigned.

–      Prepare or coordinate training materials, publications, reports, or special projects, or make presentations about legal work as necessary.

–      Provide technical assistance and substantive training to other Disability Rights California staff in areas of expertise, and participate in the identification and development of substantive and skills-based training for staff, with a primary focus on staff in the regional office.

–      Collaborate with other agencies and organizations to address recurring problems and issues in the provision of services to clients.

–      Other duties as assigned.


Administrative/Management – 10%

– Assist in the development and advancement of the I/DD Practice Group’s strategic direction.

– Collaborate with other staff to fulfill various administrative and litigation-related responsibilities.


Community-Based Advocacy – 15%

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

– Prepare training materials, publications, reports, or prepare presentations about legal work, which may include reports to funding entities and the Board of Directors.



May directly supervise one (1) or more subordinate attorneys or advocacy staff in the department and carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the agency’s policies and applicable laws. Supervisors interview, hire and train employees, plan, assign, and direct work; regularly evaluate performance and provide ongoing feedback; work with HR to take correction actions when needed; address complaints and resolve problems.



–      Juris Doctor degree (JD) plus 7 or more years related experience and/or training, or equivalent

–      Demonstrated cultural competency and commitment to identifying and addressing inter-sectional issues

–      Expertise in one or more substantive areas of law of importance to people with mental health disabilities

–      Experience in two or more of systemic policy advocacy, administrative proceedings, community organizing, discovery, motion practice, class action litigation, trial advocacy, or appellate practice related to the position

–      4 years of successful results in advocacy projects such as intake/outreach projects, administrative proceedings, writs, eviction defense, or single client / single defendant lawsuits, for example

–      Demonstrated ability to lead multiple and complex advocacy projects

–      The ability to work independently with appropriate supervision.


Licenses / Certificates

Must be a member of 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; requires admittance to the California Bar within three (3) years.]



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

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

–      Experience working with people from multi-ethnic communities.

–      Experience working with and/or sensitivity to persons with disabilities and/or experience working with and/or sensitivity to persons from multi-ethnic communities.

–      Life experience as a person with a disability OR direct experience as a caregiver of a family member with a disability.



Ability to travel occasionally for activities such as out-of-town meetings, training, or outreach activities up to 25% of the time.


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.


Senior Attorney – Mental Health