Staff Attorney – Consumer Finance

LOCATION: 3255 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 902, Los Angeles CA 90010

 

ANNUAL SALARY: $60,000 + depending on experience.

 

ORGANIZATION DESCRIPTION:

Mental Health Advocacy Services, Inc. (MHAS) is a private, non-profit organization whose mission is to protect and advance the legal rights of children and adults with mental health disabilities in order to maximize autonomy, promote equality, and secure the resources needed to thrive in the community. MHAS assists both children and adults, with an emphasis on obtaining government benefits and services, protecting rights, and fighting discrimination. MHAS also serves as a resource to the community by providing training and technical assistance to attorneys, mental health professionals, consumer and family member groups, and other advocates. In addition, MHAS participates in impact litigation and policy advocacy work in an effort to improve the lives of people with mental health disabilities.

 

FRINGE BENEFITS AND WORK CULTURE:

Generous fringe benefits include paid vacation, holidays, and sick leave; employee health, dental, vision, long term disability, and life insurance; and parking pass or Metro card. MHAS is proud of its collegial, family-friendly culture that respects the work/life balance of its employees. To that end, MHAS is willing to consider flexible work schedules on a case-by-case basis. MHAS also provides employees with frequent wellness opportunities, including staff gatherings featuring food, a daily stretch break, and trainings on stress management and mindfulness.

 

MHAS is currently providing all services remotely in light of the COVID-19 crisis.

 

JOB DESCRIPTION:

MHAS seeks to hire a full-time attorney to lead a new consumer finance project specifically targeting low-income people of color with mental health disabilities. The project will include providing credit counseling and financial literacy trainings to these communities as well as providing legal services, ranging from brief advice and counsel to deeper legal representation, to these individuals on a range of issues including consumer issues, housing issues, benefits issues, and other related issues.

 

This position will expand upon MHAS’ long history of assisting low-income consumers on a wide variety of consumer law and credit reparation issues including, but not limited to, (1) helping students obtain loan forgiveness for student loans; (2) negotiating, reducing, and settling medical bills; (3) negotiating with landlords on behalf of low-income renters with regards to security deposits and rent increases; (4) ending or reducing debt collection; (5) resolving credit reporting errors; and (6) resolving financial disputes with landlords, businesses and public agencies.

 

This position will also create new and modify existing MHAS trainings on specific financial topics including, but not limited to, how to monitor your credit, how to establish credit when you have no credit or a poor credit history, how to identify credit repair scams, and how to respond to debt collectors.

 

The ideal candidate will be ready to lead a new project and build new relationships and continue existing relationships with organizations and community groups that could benefit from the above described trainings and related services.

 

The attorney will also take on such other client and policy work from time to time as deemed appropriate to MHAS’ mission and client goals.

 

JOB RESPONSIBILITIES WILL INCLUDE:

  1. Providing financial literacy trainings and other consumer education and outreach activities specifically targeting communities of color;
  2. Providing competent legal assistance to clients through advice and counsel, research and writing, negotiation, administrative advocacy, and court advocacy;
  3. Developing expertise in a broad range of consumer and poverty law issues;
  4. Maintaining a caseload in an organized and efficient manner;
  5. Assisting with project administration;
  6. Participating in policy advocacy projects; and
  7. Assisting with other projects and tasks as identified related to MHAS’s mission.

 

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:

  1. JD. degree and membership in California State Bar.
  2. Commitment and sensitivity to the rights of people with mental health disabilities and other vulnerable populations.
  3. Excellent legal research skills.
  4. Excellent oral and written communication skills with attention to detail.
  5. Excellent organizational skills.
  6. Ability to prioritize tasks, manage time, and meet deadlines.
  7. Demonstrated ability to analyze complex problems and develop creative solutions.
  8. Cultural sensitivity and demonstrated ability to work well with diverse social, economic, and ethnic groups.

 

DESIRABLE QUALIFICATIONS:

  1. Spanish or Korean language fluency or proficiency preferred.
  2. Experience advocating on behalf of vulnerable populations.

 

APPLICATION PROCESS AND DEADLINE:

View full job announcement at http://mhas-la.org/employment-opportunities/.

Submit the following to info@mhas-la.org (state “Employment Application” in subject line):

  1. Resume; and
  2. Cover letter describing how applicant meets the minimum and desirable

qualifications and discussing applicant’s motivation for seeking the position.

 

MHAS seeks a candidate who is available to begin work ideally June 1, 2020.  Work may

begin remotely.

 

MHAS is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender, national origin, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy, mental or physical disability, or any other basis protected by law.