Social Justice Attorney with focus on Consumer Rights
Are you interested in using your legal skills to address economic inequality and help low- income consumers assert their rights and maintain financial stability? Join BayLegal’s dynamic Consumer Law Practice!
Organization: Bay Area Legal Aid (BayLegal) is committed to ensuring fairness in the civil justice system for the most vulnerable members of our community and addressing systemic inequities that foster intergenerational poverty. From Silicon Valley to Napa Valley, we help clients protect their livelihoods, their health, and their families. Our clients include the working poor, families with children, foster youth, seniors, immigrants, veterans, and persons with disabilities. Through our regional county offices, our mobile advocacy clinics, and our nationally-recognized Legal Advice Line and Health Consumer Center hotlines, BayLegal’s mission is to prevent domestic violence and sexual assault, increase economic stability, protect consumers, expand access to healthcare, and prevent homelessness. For our clients, BayLegal makes the difference between staying in poverty and thriving toward a brighter future.
Position: We are seeking an attorney to join our dynamic Consumer Law practice group and to support BayLegal’s mission. Our consumer law practice focuses on halting unfair and deceptive business practices in the area of consumer financial products and on protecting the rights of low- income consumers.
Location: The Consumer Law practice group is regional. This position will be based in one of our regional offices, though it requires travel around the Bay Area as necessary to best serve our clients through local clinics and representation, and to address the regional nature of poverty and engage in broader advocacy.
As a BayLegal Attorney you will have the opportunity to:
- Represent low-income consumers in state and federal court in consumer law cases at every stage of litigation, including motions, discovery, ADR, and trials;
- Serve the diverse legal needs of underserved and vulnerable communities in the Bay Area including formerly incarcerated individuals, the chronically homeless, veterans, disabled individuals, survivors of interpersonal violence, homeless and system involved youth, and the low-income working poor;
- Staff community-based clinics to provide assistance with consumer protection issues, including student loans, foreclosure, credit reporting, debt collection, and bankruptcy;
- Assist with other firm needs, such as supervising volunteers and interns, participating in firm-wide projects, and helping with grant applications and reporting
- Develop relationships and engage in collaborations with a range of public and private community partners, including governmental agencies, courts, and community based organizations, to ensure integrated services and address systemic barriers facing BayLegal’s client community; and
- Make systemic change through impact litigation and policy work.
- Admitted to the CA State Bar;
- Spanish preferred;
- Familiarity with the disadvantages that low-income and marginalized communities, and communities of color, face in accessing fair and affordable financial products and services;
- An interest in developing expertise in a particular area of consumer law practice, such as bankruptcy law, fair credit reporting, student loan law, or government fines and fees;
- Strong personal work ethic and ability to organize time, manage diverse activities, and meet critical deadlines with minimal supervision;
- Excellent writing, editing, and proof-reading skills, with ability to be detail-oriented;
- Strong interpersonal skills and an ability to work collaboratively with a dynamic team;
- Curious and self-directed with an ability to anticipate what needs to be done;
- Cultural humility in working with low‐income clients across the spectrum of diversity, including race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, immigrant status, religious identity, physical and mental disabilities, and limited English proficiency; and
- Familiarity with the communities and geography of the Bay Area a
Compensation and Benefits: Compensation is based on a competitive public interest salary scale (salary scales were recently increased, salary information available upon request). BayLegal has an excellent benefits package which includes 100% employer covered medical, dental, and life insurance for employees and up to 40-50% for dependents; long term disability insurance; stipends for bilingual employees; student debt repayment program; dependent childcare employer contribution program, and a 401k retirement plan following first year. Generous paid leave policy includes: sick leave; parental leave; 14 holidays each year and vacation (starting at 13 days and increasing with additional years of employment).
Applications: Bay Area Legal Aid thrives on our diversity and we are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to building a culturally diverse workplace and strongly encourage women, persons of color, LGBTQ individuals, veterans, persons with disabilities, and persons from other underrepresented groups to apply. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Please send (1) cover letter including responding to question below (does not need to be limited to one page), (2) resume, (3) references, and (4) writing sample to: Human Resources Department, e-mail to email@example.com. Please reference “Social Justice Attorney (Consumer)” in your email subject.
As part of your cover letter, please address the following:
BayLegal’s clients are low- and very low-income members of our communities. They include persons of color, LGBTQ individuals, working poor, seniors, veterans, people with disabilities and persons from other underrepresented groups. To ensure our organization is best serving these populations, BayLegal strives to promote an evolving set of behaviors and attitudes amongst our staff, as well as policies that enable us to work effectively in all cross- cultural situations, with clients, with our coworkers, and with the community. We see this as a commitment to enhance the provision of our services to all clients; to raise the level of positive client outcomes; and to create an inclusive and respectful workplace in which differences are acknowledged and valued.
How do you think your personal background or experiences, professional or otherwise, have prepared you to serve our client base effectively and to contribute to our commitment to cultural humility, inclusion and diversity? Feel free to think broadly about your response to this question, applying various aspects of your life and personal experiences.