Staff Attorney, Economic Justice
(Date Opened: 4/21/22)
FLSA: Full-Time, Exempt
Reports to: Senior Staff Attorney, Economic Justice
Salary: 75,000 to 85,000 DOE
Location: Currently remote, with San Francisco office open as an option. Hybrid remote/office likely in future.
Are you an attorney who wants to help close the racial wealth gap by leading a team of advocates who provide legal support to small business owners of color? The pandemic has disproportionately impacted Black and Latinx small businesses that are key to our communities’ resilience, and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCRSF) is rising to the challenge with our Legal Service for Entrepreneurs (LSE) program. If you’re fired up to do this work, we invite you to consider joining us.
We are looking for a skilled attorney with at least two years’ experience and excellent written and oral advocacy skills who is devoted to movement lawyering and dismantling unjust systems, passionate about racial and economic justice, and committed to working in a collaborative environment. The ideal candidate will have experience with transactional law in a small business or nonprofit context, and a strong commitment to assisting small businesses.
As one of the oldest civil rights institutions on the West Coast, LCCRSF works to dismantle systems of oppression and racism and to build an equitable and just society. Formed in 1968 to bridge the legal community and the Civil Rights Movement, we’re known for advancing the rights of people of color, immigrants, refugees, and low-income individuals. We also invest in legal fellows and support a network of over 1,000 active pro bono attorneys who stand with us.
We are in this work for the long haul. Our goal is to make this work sustainable, to take care of each other and our communities, and to rest so we can be fierce in the face of power through our core issue areas of Racial Justice, Immigrant Justice, Economic Justice, and Educational Justice. Learn more at www.lccrsf.org.
About the Economic Justice Team and LSE Program
Our Economic Justice Team is working to innovate state and local economic policies, guided by our direct legal work with small businesses in communities of color. Currently, we are working to create state and local public banks; support our recently-launched contracting cooperative for Black, Brown, and women-owned contractors; advise land trusts and economic justice nonprofits; and fight for expansion of the rights of low-income commercial tenants of color.
Our Legal Services for Entrepreneurs (LSE) program works to close the racial wealth gap one business at a time, by providing free legal services to low-income entrepreneurs of color, with a broad network of over 200 volunteer attorneys. We help negotiate commercial leases, draft and review contracts, and advise on entity choice, formation, employment law and intellectual property. We are preparing to meet the anticipated high demand in legal services requests from commercial tenants as California’s commercial eviction rent moratoria are set to expire in fall 2021. As described below, this position plays a leading role in LSE’s response to this anticipated surge.
Direct Representation (65%)
- Lead the LSE program, including working with the LSE team to establish overall program direction, strategy, and evaluation, and manage grant contracts and deliverables. Supervise the LSE fellow, LSE Program Coordinators and any additional LSE staff and students.
- Provide direct transactional legal services to low-income and other small businesses, particularly in communities of color. Conduct client intakes, and provide direct legal advice, negotiate leases, communicate with landlords, review contracts, and take on other tasks related to direct legal representation.
- Maintain case, program, and other work files for clients receiving direct legal services, including digital client files, timekeeping records, and other documentation of work performed using office databases and systems.
Training and Pro-Bonno (25%)
- With the Director of Pro Bono, cultivate pro bono partnerships in support of the LSE program. Provide training and technical (legal) assistance to pro bono attorneys assisting LSE clients at clinics, workshops, limited scope representation, and long-term representation.
- Build relationships with community partners and government agencies serving small businesses, especially in communities of color. Work with local government agencies and other partners with whom LSE contracts. Practice movement lawyering and provide support to aligned grassroots partners.
Policy and Advocacy (10%)
- On an as-needed basis, lead or contribute to local and state policy initiatives related to LSE clients under the supervision of the Senior Staff Attorney-Economic Justice. Examples include supporting land trusts, increasing access to capital by establishing a public bank, and displacement prevention and anti-gentrification work.
- Work to further the short- and long-term goals of LCCRSF as requested. This work may include assisting with other legal programs, contributing to organizational systems development, organizational development/fundraising efforts, strategic planning initiatives, communications strategies, and providing other support as identified or assigned by management.
Salary, Benefits, Work location
This position is full-time, exempt, with a starting salary of 75k to 85k DOE, and reports to the Senior Staff Attorney, Economic Justice. Full benefits package includes 100% paid medical + 80% for dependents, 403b retirement with employer match after one year, and more. Generous time off: 3 weeks’ vacation + a personal day, 12 sick days, 13+ holidays, plus Summer Short Fridays and one week Winter Break.
Our office is located on the Embarcadero in downtown San Francisco, close to many transit options. We’re currently remote with our office available for optional use. We do not yet have a target date for return to the office, but we expect to offer at minimum part-time remote. While remote, may not work outside CA for more than 30 consecutive days at a time. Employees must be fully vaccinated for in-person work.
General working hours are 9am-5pm M-F. LCCRSF is woman- and minority-led, with about 30 staff. We are flexible, family-friendly, and value health, wellness, and balance. We follow ADA guidelines – reasonable accommodation may be made to enable individuals with different abilities to perform the essential functions.
- A minimum of two years of post-graduate legal experience (this may include up to one year of a post-graduate judicial clerkship).
- California Bar membership.
- Knowledge of and experience with working in transactional law and providing legal services to small businesses, strongly preferred.
- Prior experience working with/ties to low-income communities of color and immigrant communities in Northern California.
- Proficiency in a foreign language (particularly Spanish, Cantonese, or Mandarin) is desired but not required.
- Excellent oral and written communication skills.
- Values working cooperatively with others, both within the organization and in the community.
- Strong leadership skills; ability to balance multiple tasks and problem-solve effectively.
- Demonstrated commitment to LCCRSF’s core values.
Job is open until filled and applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. We hope to have someone start ASAP! Applicants should submit 1) a thoughtful cover letter; 2) a resume and 3) three professional references by email to firstname.lastname@example.org (put “EJ Staff Attorney” in the subject line.) Questions can also go to that email.
In your cover letter, in addition to describing your interest in the position and qualifications, please respond to the following question: What in your background and experience has prepared you to work for an organization dedicated to advancing racial equity and social justice? Feel free to think broadly about your response, applying professional or personal experiences.
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area thrives as an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer. BIPOC, LGBTQ+ candidates, people of all gender identities, persons with disabilities and individuals over 55 are encouraged to apply.