Staff Attorney: Education Practice Team Children’s Rights Project (CRP)
Public Counsel’s Children’s Rights Project (CRP) seeks a full-time staff attorney to join our Education Practice team, which provides direct legal representation to families of students encountering special education and disciplinary issues and engages in local and statewide policy advocacy on behalf of students and their families. This position will focus primarily on supporting our direct service legal work.
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 seek to have a racially inclusive staff.
Public Counsel’s Children’s Rights Project (CRP) serves children, youth, and their families on a variety of legal issues, including probate legal guardianship, public benefits, and adoption. The Education Practice Team is part of the larger Children’s Rights Project.
The Education Rights Practice Team is an interdisciplinary team that combines legal advocacy with social work support to address racial and economic inequalities and confront the school to prison pipeline and the opportunity gap for students of color. Our direct services practice prioritizes representation of our most marginalized students, including students of color, those who are being pushed out of comprehensive schools, and those whose families are involved in the dependency or delinquency court systems. We apply a human rights framework and systems-change approach to our direct service advocacy based on our belief in an education system that honors the dignity of all students and their families —where access to education is valued as a human right and students are free from discrimination and criminalization in the school setting.
The Education Practice team Staff Attorney will represent students and their parents/Education Rights Holders in obtaining appropriate special education services and preventing or mitigating the outcomes of school discipline proceedings. The attorney will engage in all stages of special education advocacy from IEP meetings with school districts to administrative due process proceedings and will support students and families to develop self-advocacy skills so they are equipped to advocate for themselves when our representation ends. The staff attorney will primarily focus on direct client representation and will also be responsible for:
- Drafting complaints, attending resolution sessions and/or mediations, and preparing and conducting the administrative hearings
- Representing students who are facing expulsion in disciplinary proceedings and will engage in community trainings and developing Know Your Rights materials for families facing educational barriers
- Participating in collaborative workgroups to advocate for systemic change and work with our education staff attorneys who lead policy and legislative efforts
ESSENTIAL JOB SKILLS AND ABILITIES REQUIRED
- Admitted to the California bar;
- Excellent organizational, case management, oral and written communication, and analytical skills: ability to be detail-oriented, multi-task, set priorities, and work independently, but also in close coordination with other staff;
- Commitment to economic and racial justice and the mission of Public Counsel;
- Experience working with individuals of diverse cultural, racial, geographic, and economic backgrounds;
- Ability to communicate in an empathetic and professional manner with the community we serve;
- Understanding of California’s education, dependency and juvenile justice systems strongly preferred;
- Fluency in Spanish language is highly preferred;
- Entry level position requiring up to three years of experience in legal advocacy
START DATE AND COMPENSATION
- Salary is commensurate with abilities and experience
- Immediate full-time, exempt position
- 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 pandemic. 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.
Please e-mail a cover letter and resume to:
Mayra Lira, Senior Supervising Staff Attorney
Children’s Rights Project
610 S. Ardmore Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90005
No phone calls please.
Public Counsel is an Equal Opportunity Employer
All qualified applicants shall receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, ethnic group identification, ancestry, sex, age, marital status, political affiliation, condition of physical or mental disability, gender identity or sexual orientation, in accordance with requirements of Federal and State laws.
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.