Social Justice Staff Attorney (Housing and Consumer focus)

Santa Clara County Regional Office

(primarily remote 2020; full-time to 75% position)

 

Are you interested in using your legal skills to help address the housing crisis, prevent homelessness, address social inequality and help ensure low‐income families maintain stability and remain in the South Bay? Join BayLegal’s dynamic Santa Clara County Regional Office!

 

Bay Area Legal Aid (BayLegal) i s c o m m i t t e d t o ensuring fairness in the civil justice system for the most vulnerable members of our community and addressing systemic inequities that foster intergenerational poverty. Practicing in seven Bay Area counties, BayLegal is the largest provider of free civil legal services in the Bay Area. 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: BayLegal seeks an attorney with a strong commitment to public interest and social justice advocacy to join our committed team in our Santa Clara County Regional Office, located in San José.  The COVID19 public health and economic crisis has made civil legal services ever more critical to help individuals and families avoid homelessness and devastating debt and to provide opportunities for stability and self-sufficiency.  This position provides the opportunity to address a range of issues facing low-income communities, with a focus on housing and consumer matters.  Our housing work focuses on preserving tenancies for low‐income and subsidized tenants in Santa Clara County, while our consumer work focuses on halting unfair and deceptive business practices and protecting the rights of low‐income consumers facing problems with student loans, foreclosure, credit reporting, debt collection, and bankruptcy. For this position, we are open to a range of 75% to 100% of full-time equivalence, with some flexibilitySee below description of our current work environment due to COVID-19.

 

As a Staff Attorney, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Provide full‐scope legal representation to low‐income tenants in unlawful detainer proceedings, including propounding and responding to discovery, conducting depositions, pre/post‐trial motions, trials and appeals;
  • Represent tenants in administrative proceedings before the Santa Clara County Housing Authority and other agencies;
  • Advocate for tenants on issues of fair housing, substandard conditions, and VAWA;
  • Identify systemic problems that affect our clients’ rights and address these challenges through affirmative litigation and policy work;
  • Staff Legal Clinics to conduct legal information sessions, provide pro per guidance, and assess for further services;
  • Collaborate with the local and national tenant advocacy and consumer rights communities;
  • Learn and assist with the diverse legal needs of underserved and vulnerable communities in Santa Clara County and broader Bay Area;
  • Provide workshops and technical assistance to community partners and client community;
  • Develop relationships and engage in collaboration with a range of public and private community partners, including governmental agencies, courts, and community-based organizations, to ensure integrative services and address systemic barriers facing BayLegal’s client community;
  • Work with BayLegal’s development, grants and contracts, and communications team to promote BayLegal’s mission and resource development; and
  • Engage in other tasks and projects that further the interest of furthering BayLegal’s mission and operations as a non‐profit.

 

COVID-19 remote work:  Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, all BayLegal employees are currently working remotely from home.  While BayLegal has implemented detailed health and safety protocols to minimize risk of exposure and have an evolving plan for reopening our local offices, we anticipate remaining primarily remote at least throughout the rest of 2020.  All employees are expected to be able to primarily work remotely from home until BayLegal determines it is safe to reopen offices. All employees are issued BayLegal computers, provided with appropriate supplies and BayLegal covers reasonable work-related expenses.  BayLegal has implemented and continues to explore additional technologies to make working remotely as efficient and connected as possible. All employees receive a flat-rate monthly amount to cover the use of personal IT equipment, including internet. Due to the COVID-19 crisis and its impact on personal lives, BayLegal is open to providing flexibility regarding work schedules and part-time or full-time employment to the extent feasible for the position, preferable minimum of 75%.

 

Requirements/Qualifications/About the Successful Candidate:

  • Membership in good standing in the California State Bar
  • Bilingual ability in Spanish or Vietnamese preferred
  • 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
  • Ability to simultaneously manage multiple projects while maintaining a firm grasp of individual project details
  • Humility in working with colleagues and 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/or limited English

 

Compensation and Benefits: We offer a diverse, family friendly environment, and compensation based on competitive public interest salaries along with a generous benefits package. BayLegal’s benefits package 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 whose language skills are used in the provision of work tasks; student debt repayment program; dependent childcare employer contribution program and 401k retirement plan following first year. 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: BayLegal 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 email the following to our Human Resources Department jobs@baylegal.org (1) cover letter including response to question below (no page limit), (2) resume, (3) references, and (4) writing sample. Please reference Santa Clara Staff Attorney in the subject of your email.

 

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 people of color, LGBTQ+ people, immigrants, seniors, people with lived experiences of homelessness, veterans, people with disabilities, and people from other underrepresented groups. BayLegal is committed to enhancing the provision of our services to all clients, increasing positive client outcomes, and creating an inclusive and respectful workplace in which differences are acknowledged and valued. BayLegal promotes and supports policies that enable us to work effectively in cross‐cultural situations with our clients, coworkers, and the community.

How do you think your personal background or experiences, professional or otherwise, have prepared you to: (1) serve our diverse client base effectively, (2) work effectively with colleagues from different backgrounds than your own, (3) acknowledge the systemic barriers that our clients face, and (4) contribute to our efforts to fight for racial justice? Feel free to think broadly about your response to this question, provide examples, and apply various aspects of your life and personal experiences.

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