Staff Attorney (CEI Program) – Modesto

Staff Attorney (CEI Program) – Modesto


Level: Entry

Job Location: Modesto – Modesto, CA

Position Type: Staff Attorney

Education Level: Juris Doctor (J.D)

Salary Range: $50,000.00 – $76,400.00 Salary/year

Travel %: Up to 25%

Job Shift: Day

Job Categories: Legal


WHO WE ARE: Founded in 1966, CRLA’s mission is to fight for justice and individual rights alongside the most exploited communities of our society. Through a network of regional offices and cross-cutting programs, CRLA provides legal services to over 47,000 low-income people annually. Our work impacts farmworkers, individuals with disabilities, immigrant populations, LGBT communities, women, children and families in rural areas.

Position:                     Staff Attorney
Experience:                Law Graduates, 0+ experience
Application Deadline: Open until filled
Location:                    CRLA Modesto Office
Term of Employment: Regular, Full-Time
Other: FLSA Exempt, Union Position


Position Description:

Throughout California hundreds of thousands of people live in Disadvantaged Unincorporated Communities (DUCs). These range from urban pockets excluded from cities, to more remote, densely settled rural communities. Governed by counties poorly equipped to provide urban services, and lacking representation in city decision-making, residents of these communities are frequently left out of local decision-making and are systematically under served in the overall allocation of public resources. As a result of decades of such neglect and exclusion, they often live without the most basic features of a safe and healthy environment – potable drinking water, sewer systems, sidewalks, curbs and gutters, streetlights, access to public transportation, and parks. Alongside organizational partners and resident community leaders, the Community Equity Initiative (CEI) seeks to increase democratic representation and improve conditions of DUCs.

The CEI Staff Attorney will work with the Program Director and staff to develop and implement a comprehensive legal advocacy strategy to ensure equitable access to infrastructure and services in the northern San Joaquin Valley, particularly in DUCs. Primary responsibilities include legal advocacy/litigation, factual research, community outreach and education, leadership development and permissible advocacy in local and state governmental forums. The Staff Attorney will develop and maintain an interdisciplinary knowledge of local government, land use, civil rights, environmental and housing law as well as familiarity with local and regional planning processes and agencies.


Essential Responsibilities/Duties:

  • Monitor and attend governmental hearings and other public meetings related to the provision of basic infrastructure and services for DUCs.
  • Develop and implement community-specific strategies in client communities.
  • Develop and support DUC residents’ capacity to participate in public decision-making.
  • Advocate in legislative, administrative, and regulatory forums, as permissible.
  • Raise awareness of successes and challenges facing DUCs through media, in person presentations and selective participation in issue- and community based coalitions.
  • Provide legal services (advice, negotiation, litigation & administrative advocacy) to low income clients in accordance with the program priorities and case handling policies.
  • Review/supervise the work product of Community Workers and Support Staff relating to all clients being advised or represented.
  • Take on significant statewide impact activity, including institutional, group litigation and community economic development.
  • Develop leadership in working with the community, clients and other advocacy groups related to statewide impact issues.
  • Develop specialized knowledge in a substantive area of poverty law and acts as a resource for other CRLA staff through participation in at least one CRLA task force.
  • Coordinate advocacy in substantive areas through collaboration with other human services providers, non-profit organizations and community, client or other advocacy groups.
  • Participate in training programs, case reviews, staff meetings and other CRLA activities.
  • Prepare and provide community education regarding legal rights.
  • Collaborate with members of the private bar as necessary.
  • Maintain contemporaneous time records in case management system.
  • Maintain great working relationship with all staff.
  • Other duties as assigned.



Required Education and Experience:

  • Admitted to practice law before the court of any state.
  • Admitted to practice law in the State of CA or willingness to take the next CA Bar Exam.
  • Demonstrated commitment to working with low income clients.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication.
  • Able to meet deadlines and perform multiple tasks while maintaining attention to detail.
  • Good people skills and the ability to maintain positive relations with a diverse population.
  • Willingness to work some evenings and weekends, and to travel regionally

Preferred Education and Experience:

A highly qualified and desirable candidate would also have the following:

  • Experience working with low-income families and communities.
  • Experience in a non-profit legal services environment.
  • Prior experience in legal services and additional language ability relevant.
  • Experience with issues related to local governance, land use, planning, community development, civil rights, or the environment.
  • Bilingual (English & Spanish)

This job description is not designed to contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice.

Compensation & Benefits:

Based on a competitive public interest union salary scale; generous benefits package includes Medical, Dental, Vision, Disability, Life Insurance, and 401K retirement plan contribution. Fourteen (14) paid Holidays, generous vacation and sick leave policy, some professional dues paid by CRLA and if qualified – participation in the School Loan Reimbursement Assistance Program (LRAP).


We invite you to submit your application HERE, include your cover letter and resume. Alternative, you may apply by sending your cover letter and resume to Include ‘Job Title’ in the subject line of email.

California Rural Legal Assistance 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.