Are you interested in joining a collaborative team focused on social justice and increasing stability for unhoused San Franciscans with disabilities? Use your social work skills to help unhoused clients engage with their legal case to enhance their economic stability, address trauma and barriers of poverty, connect to health care, and exit homelessness!
Join Bay Area Legal Aid and our San Francisco Economic Justice/SSI team!
Bay Area Legal Aid (BayLegal) works with our clients to advocate for their legal rights and remove legal barriers to health, safety, and stability through representation, legal advice and information, referrals, community education, and advocacy for low-income individuals and families throughout seven Bay Area counties.
As a regional anti-poverty civil law firm that has been serving our local communities since the 1960s, we are committed to working alongside our clients and community partners to address inter-generational poverty and social inequality. We have built upon our origins as separate neighborhood legal services organizations into a regional non-profit law firm with over 150 employees. We practice in multiple legal substantive areas to help our clients protect their livelihoods, their health, and their families. BayLegal works to prevent domestic violence and sexual assault, increase economic stability, protect consumers, expand access to healthcare, and prevent homelessness. Our clients include the working poor, families with children, foster youth, seniors, immigrants, veterans, people experiencing homelessness, individuals impacted by the criminal and juvenile legal system and persons with disabilities. By serving clients at a wide range of access points, including our six regional county offices, mobile advocacy, community-based clinics and service sites, and nationally recognized legal hotlines, BayLegal has a unique viewpoint to identify patterns of illegal practices and barriers to our clients’ rights in need of broader advocacy and potential impact litigation. BayLegal strives to create equitable access to resources and services to build a foundation from which our clients can thrive.
BayLegal strives to address the immediate crisis an individual or family may be experiencing and the underlying and compounding legal issues that create barriers to long-term stability and opportunities. We believe that all people should be treated with respect and have the resources they need to meet their goals. To that end, we engage in civil legal representation, social work, community collaborations, and systemic advocacy, in partnership with the communities we serve.
BayLegal’s San Francisco Social Security Disability/SSI Advocacy Team: The San Francisco Social Security Disability/SSI Advocacy Team is a collaborative, interdisciplinary social work and legal team that helps unhoused San Franciscans with physical, mental, and cognitive disabilities apply for, appeal for, and obtain Social Security disability benefits, as well as other economic benefits to which they may be entitled, to secure a stable income and exit homelessness. We actively outreach and meet our clients in the community, including at city shelters and partner with other community-based organizations and health care providers.
Position: BayLegal seeks a passionate, self-reflective, and empathic social worker who brings social justice values to our work representing individuals who are being threatened with evictions. Social workers and attorneys at BayLegal work collaboratively in case assessment, strategy, and management, forming an interdisciplinary team to support clients overcome crises and move towards stability. In addition to dealing with the trauma of housing instability and loss, our clients are often coping with multiple crises related to physical and mental health disabilities, substance abuse, domestic violence, and poverty. We seek someone who is skilled at helping our clients navigate these different issues to engage with their housing attorney in their legal case and create a plan for stability. This position is located in San Francisco and requires travel to all parts of the county as necessary to best serve our low-income clients. As a member of BayLegal’s regional practice, there may be travel within BayLegal’s broader service areas for the purposes of meeting with clients in transportation challenged areas and as necessary for training and broader advocacy. See below description of our current work environment due to COVID-19.
As a BayLegal Social Worker you will have the opportunity to:
- Support clients in identifying their needs, setting goals, and developing a structured plan for achieving those goals through appropriate evidence-based clinical practices.
- Engage clients in various settings, such as home, shelters, public benefits offices, and court.
- Provide crisis intervention and crisis counseling, as well as to develop emergency safety plans, and long-term plans as a team with the client and attorney.
- Help clients connect to housing support services, physical and mental health care services, and substance abuse treatment, as needed.
- Support clients’ applications to various benefits programs and support clients at hearings, appointments, and mediation sessions.
- 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;
- Engage as part of a multi-disciplinary team in other tasks and projects that further BayLegal’s mission and operations as a non-profit.
- 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 proficiency.
- Must have received or be willing to receive and maintain up to date COVID-19 vaccination (including boosters) by date of hire to be considered. Proof of vaccination required.
- Advanced degree in social work, social welfare, marriage, family and child counseling, counseling psychology, or social psychology
- Excellent verbal, writing, client interviewing, and organizational skills
- Strong personal work ethic and ability to organize time, manage diverse activities, and meet critical deadlines with minimal supervision
- 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
- An interest in being part of an interdisciplinary team with attorneys to support clients
- An interest in issues pertaining to housing preservation
- Valid driver’s license and access to a vehicle
- Licensure (e.g., LCSW, LMFT) or progress towards licensure (e.g., ASW, MFT Intern or Trainee)
- In-depth knowledge of, and experience with, social services agencies, housing support services, and mental health providers in San Francisco County
- Experience working in a variety of settings in the field with individuals with physical and mental health disabilities, survivors of domestic violence, and those impacted by complex trauma.
- Candidates who are bilingual in Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Tagalog, Russian or Vietnamese are especially encouraged to apply.
COVID-19 work: BayLegal is committed to the health and safety of our staff, clients, and community. Being accessible to our client communities is integral to our mission and commitment as a direct services community-based law firm. BayLegal has implemented detailed health and safety protocols to minimize risk of exposure and has an evolving plan to continue to increase in-person services and activities in our offices and community-based advocacy sites. Currently, most BayLegal employees work a hybrid model including on-site and in-person work and working from home on a part-time basis. All employees are expected to reside in California and at a distance allowing them to commute to their physical BayLegal base location and service delivery locations as needed during the standard work week and in compliance with public health advisories.
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; BayLegal student debt reimbursement program; long term disability insurance; employee assistance program; wage differentials for multi-lingual employees whose non-English language skills are regularly used in the provision of work tasks and pass a request test of fluency and/or proficiency; dependent childcare employer contribution program; employer paid CA Bar license and/or social work license fees; and 401k retirement plan with BayLegal contribution following first year. BayLegal has a generous paid leave policy which includes sick leave; parental leave; 14 holidays each year; 3 floating holidays each year (days chosen by employee); and vacation (starting at 13 days and increasing with additional years of employment). This is a union position (Bay Area Legal Aid Workers, “BALAW”), and the salary ranges from $73,166-$120,387 depending on years of experience and the BayLegal union positions salary scale for 2022-2026
Applications Instructions: 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, LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Intersex, Asexual) and QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) individuals, veterans, individuals who have been impacted by the criminal justice system, persons with disabilities, and persons from other underrepresented groups to apply. We are committed to equal employment opportunity and providing reasonable accommodations to qualified candidates and employees pursuant to applicable law. We value and encourage diversity and solicit applications from all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, gender, sex, age, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, marital status, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, medical condition, military and veteran status, gender identity or expression, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. If you require a reasonable accommodation as part of the application process, please contact BayLegal’s Human Resources Manager at (510) 250-5225.
BayLegal will begin reviewing applications upon receipt and continue until the position is filled. Please submit (1) cover letter including response to question below (there is no page limit), (2) resume, and (3) three or more references through BayLegal’s career application portal .
As part of your cover letter, please address the following:
BayLegal’s clients are low-income and very low-income members of our communities. They include LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Intersex, Asexual) and QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) individuals, the working poor, seniors, people who are limited English proficient, veterans, persons with disabilities, survivors of abuse and exploitation, individuals impacted by the criminal justice system, and people who are experiencing or at risk of homeless, 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 across cultures, 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 experiences, professional or otherwise, prepared you to serve our diverse client base effectively, work effectively with colleagues from different backgrounds than your own, and to contribute to our commitment to humility, inclusion, and diversity? Feel free to think broadly about your response to this question, applying various aspects of your life and personal experiences.