Are you interested in using your legal skills to help address social inequality and ensure that low‐income individuals obtain the disability-based benefits to which they are entitled?

Join Bay Area Legal Aid’s dynamic Economic Justice / Social Security Disability Advocacy 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 systemic advocacy for low-income individuals and families throughout seven Bay Area counties.

As a regional poverty law firm that has served 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 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, and persons with disabilities. By serving clients at a wide range of access points, including our six regional county offices, our mobile advocacy clinics, and our 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 works to address the immediate legal needs of our clients, and the underlying and compounding 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.

Position:  BayLegal seeks an attorney with a strong commitment to the public interest and social justice advocacy to join our Napa County Regional Office.  The COVID-19 public health and economic crisis has made civil legal services ever more critical to help individuals and families avoid homelessness and to provide opportunities for stability and self-sufficiency.  This position provides the opportunity to address a range of issues low-income individuals face, with a focus on access to public benefits, primarily Social Security disability benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), CalWORKs, CalFresh, and the Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI).  This position is also part of a medical-legal partnership and will entail intake across a broader range of legal issues and coordination with health care professionals.

This position is based in our Napa County regional office located in the city of Napa and may require travel throughout the county as necessary to best serve our clients. As a member of BayLegal’s regional practice, there may be travel within BayLegal’s broader service area for purposes of meeting with clients and as necessary for training and advocacy.

Duties & Responsibilities – as a Staff Attorney you will have the opportunity to:

  • Learn and advocate for the diverse legal rights of underserved communities in Napa County and the broader Bay Area to reduce homelessness, enhance economic and housing stability, and promote social justice;
  • Represent clients in a range of public benefits matters, including Social Security disability benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), CalWORKs, CalFresh, and the Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI) claims and appeals and to access other county, state, and federal benefit programs, as needed;
  • Conduct intake, screening of legal issues and assist with legal matters within BayLegal’s practice areas to advance the interest of clients;
  • Identify and help employ impact advocacy strategies to remove systematic legal barriers for client populations, including particularly vulnerable groups such as immigrants and refugees, survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking, people experiencing homelessness, and people with disabilities;
  • Engage in and continue to develop relationships and collaborations with community partners, including governmental agencies and community-based organizations;
  • Provide Know Your Rights for community members and public benefits trainings to BayLegal staff and community partners;
  • Work collaboratively with attorneys practicing in the range of BayLegal’s substantive areas; and
  • Engage in other tasks and projects that further BayLegal’s mission.

Requirements/Qualifications/About the Successful Candidate:

  • A commitment to fostering inclusivity and equity, as well as humility when working with clients and colleagues at the intersection of multiple identities, including race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, immigration status, religion, physical and mental disability, and/or limited English proficiency.
  • Must have received or be willing to receive and maintain up-to-date COVID-19 vaccination (including eligible boosters) by date of hire to be considered. Proof of vaccination required.
  • Passion for and desire to work with low-income individuals.
  • Member of CA Bar in good standing or admitted to practice in another state and eligible to practice in California for 3 years under the California State Bar rules for the Registered Legal Services Attorney Program. Candidates who have recently passed the CA Bar or graduated and will be taking the bar exam at the next sitting are welcome to apply.
  • Experience providing direct legal services to low-income clients.
  • Experience with government benefits programs preferred.
  • Experience with impact litigation and/or policy advocacy is a plus.
  • Excellent writing, editing, and proof-reading skills, with ability to be detail oriented.
  • Experience and commitment to working collaboratively with a dynamic
  • Curious and self-directed with an ability to anticipate what needs to be
  • Experience and skills to simultaneously manage multiple projects while maintaining a firm grasp of individual project
  • Sense of humor and proactive problem-solver.

COVID-19: 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 60% 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; 15 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-$138,127 depending on years of experience. The salary scale can be found on our BayLegal union positions salary scale for 2022-2026.

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, 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 reasonable accommodation as part of the application process, please contact BayLegal’s Human Resources Manager at: jobs@baylegal.org or (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 (no page limit), (2) resume, (3) references, and (4) writing sample 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, have 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.

Staff Attorney – Economic Justice (public benefits advocacy)
Tagged on: