Staff Attorney, Adoptions

Children’s Rights Project (CRP)



Public Counsel is the largest pro bono public interest law firm in the country.  Founded in 1970, it is dedicated to advancing equal justice under law and addressing economic, racial, and other inequities by delivering free legal and social services to the most vulnerable members of our community.  Public Counsel operates eight legal projects: Children’s Rights, Community Development, Consumer Rights, Homelessness Prevention, Immigrants’ Rights, Veterans’ Rights, the Audrey Irmas Project for Women & Girls’ Rights, and our impact litigation project, Opportunity Under Law.

Public Counsel has a full-time staff of over 130. We are committed to building a diverse staff and encourage applications from people of color, people with disabilities, and people of all gender identities, gender expressions, and sexualities.

The Children’s Rights Project (CRP) serves children, youth, and their families on a variety of legal issues, including education, probate legal guardianship, public benefits, adoption, and issues affecting transition age youth. The Adoptions team is part of the larger Children’s Rights Project. The Adoptions team works with pro bono attorneys and volunteers to represent caregivers adopting children from the Los Angeles County foster care system.  In addition to finalizing the adoption, we help families adopting children with special needs access services and benefits including  health and mental health care, Adoption Assistance and Foster Care benefits, Social Security benefits, regional center services, and Medi-Cal.



In collaboration with other team members, the Adoptions staff attorney will:

  • Conduct intake, case assessment, and follow up of cases referred by DCFS for adoption finalization to identify issues and potential service/benefit deficits requiring advocacy.
  • Prepare adoption cases for referral to pro bono attorneys, including drafting a step-by-step case plan on issues that require follow up and options for advocacy.
  • Provide technical assistance to pro bono attorneys regarding the adoption process and advocacy for related services, including benefits, Medi-Cal, access to health, mental health, , and regional center services, etc.
  • Recruit, train, supervise, and mentor volunteer law students with respect to intake interviews, case assessment, preparation of cases for assignment to pro bono attorneys, outreach and advocacy for adopting parents, development of educational materials, legal research, etc.
  • Update training and educational materials for use by pro bono attorneys, in-house staff, and the adoption community; develop new materials and conduct training for pro bono attorneys and community members as needed.
  • Represent adopting parents in their adoption proceedings and, as needed, before other agencies and systems, including, CDSS State Hearings Division, regional centers, Social Security Administration, etc.  Representation may include acting as co-counsel with pro bono attorneys.
  • Identify systemic issues affecting families involved in dependency adoptions and engage in county and state level policy advocacy, as needed.



  • California bar membership;
  • Zero to three years of experience in legal advocacy;
  • Spanish language proficiency strongly preferred;
  • Interest and/or experience in the dependency and foster care system and adoptions; public benefits, and other systems affecting children;
  • Excellent organizational, case management, and analytical skills: ability to be detail-oriented, multi-task, set priorities, and work independently, but in close coordination with other staff;
  • Ability to communicate in an empathetic and professional manner with supervisor, team members, and clients;
  • Commitment to social justice and the mission of Public Counsel.



  • This position is available immediately. The Adoptions Staff Attorney is a full-time, exempt position. Salary is commensurate with abilities and experience and starts at $60,000.
  • Public Counsel offers a competitive benefits package including: (1) medical, dental, and vision coverage with both HMO and PPO options, (2) the option to enroll in a Flexible Spending Account, (3) a 403(b) retirement plan with elective contribution and an employer contribution after a year of employment, and (4) employer-paid life insurance and disability plans.
  • Public Counsel follows all emergency state and local orders arising from the current COVID-19 crisis. Though generally this position is office based, currently all staff must work remotely from their homes. Public Counsel will assess when the physical office will reopen in a manner consistent with public health and local and state emergency orders.


Continuous until position is filled.


We value lived experiences and cultural competency reflective of our client populations. Please consider discussing such experiences in your cover letter, especially if they are not reflected in your resume.

Please click on this link to apply:

No phone calls please.



Public Counsel requires vaccination against COVID-19 for all employees, including new hires. Pursuant to federal and state laws, Public Counsel will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified employees with disabilities or sincerely held religious beliefs, unless doing so would pose an undue hardship.


Public Counsel EEO Statement

Public Counsel is an Equal Opportunity Employer that does not discriminate against employees or prospective employees on the basis of union membership or activity, race, religious creed, religious observance, ethnicity, color, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information or predisposition, military service, military and veteran status, pregnancy, child birth and related medical conditions, marital and family status, national origin, ancestry, age, medical conditions as defined by state or federal law, or disability, or any other basis prohibited by law.

All qualified applicants with criminal histories will be considered in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring.

Our leadership team is dedicated to this policy with respect to recruitment, hiring, placement, promotion, transfer, training, compensation, benefits, employee activities discipline, discharge and general treatment during employment.

Staff Attorney, Adoptions
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