The Law Foundation of Silicon Valley advances the rights of historically excluded individuals and families across Santa Clara County through legal services, strategic advocacy, and educational outreach. Now with over 90 employees, the Law Foundation is the largest provider of free legal services in the South Bay. Located in downtown San Jose, the Law Foundation is a dynamic and interesting place to work. We pride ourselves on fostering a work environment that is motivating, collaborative and fun, with plenty of opportunities for professional growth. We are working towards a Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC)-centered legal services practice that incorporates community and movement lawyering. Our focus areas include health, housing, and children and youth.
The Health program at Law Foundation is seeking two Health Staff Attorneys to help with various projects within our Economic Rights and Patients’ Rights Programs. The Economic Rights Unit provides legal assistance and representation regarding problems related to public benefits, such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medi-Cal, as well as general legal services related to consumer law, employment law, simple estate planning, and more. You will have the opportunity to help clients obtain benefits or prevent the loss of benefits to which they are entitled. This includes representation at administrative law hearings. Your Patients’ Rights responsibilities may include: 1) representing patients in locked psychiatric facilities in administrative hearings to challenge involuntary detention for mental health treatment or to preserve a patients’ right to refuse psychiatric medications; 2) investigating and resolving complaints from recipients of mental health services regarding improper denials of patients’ rights; 3) monitoring and challenging mental health facilities and services for compliance with statutory and regulatory patients’ rights provisions; and 4) providing technical assistance, training, and outreach to mental health providers, consumers, and community members. Moreover, the Health program leads impact litigation and policy advocacy efforts that the staff attorney will help lead. The Attorney may also assist with client intake, performing eligibility screening to potential clients, assessing their legal issues, and either referring clients for further assistance within the Law Foundation or providing appropriate referrals. This position is an opportunity to engage with clients and to make health equity decisions and change.
This position is full-time. An ideal candidate has at least two years’ experience including litigation and is open to flexible team assignments within the Law Foundation. We are hiring one permanent health staff attorney and one temporary staff attorney for our team.
- Provide legal advocacy and representation to individuals living with mental health, developmental disabilities, and other chronic health issues associated with poverty.
- Represent clients in locked psychiatric facilities in detention and capacity hearings.
- Provide advocacy and representation to people with complaints about mental health services.
- Monitor mental health facilities for compliance with patients’ rights laws, including laws governing the use of seclusion, restraint, and involuntary medication, and due process requirements for involuntary mental health treatment.
- Assist in impact litigation and/or advocacy projects within Health program.
- Conduct community education and outreach sessions and produce educational materials.
- Respond to referrals and requests for technical assistance from community-based organizations.
- Participate in Health Units intake, information and referral services.
- Attend community meetings and participate in events that concern or impact Health Unit clients.
- Keep statistics regarding individuals served and perform other administrative tasks and data collection.
- Participate in Law Foundation activities, such as special events and other fundraisers.
- California Bar Membership, eligibility to practice law in California, or prior experience representing clients in civil rights and/or public benefits matters. Law school graduates are eligible to apply.
- Experience with or general understanding of public benefits programs highly desired.
- Direct experience with individuals with mental health disabilities, and/or other chronic health conditions correlated with poverty.
- Commitment to civil rights and the rights of individuals living with HIV/AIDS, mental health disabilities, other disabilities, and people experiencing homelessness as well as individuals from other historically excluded communities, specifically BIPOC and trans individuals.
- Ability to be sensitive to and track record of working with low-income individuals, people living with HIV/AIDS, people living with mental health disabilities, Black, Indigenous, Latinx, AAPI, and other people of color, active drug users, people experiencing homelessness, persons currently or formerly involved in the criminal legal system, and members of the LGBTQIA community is essential.
- Ability to work independently and be self-motivated.
- Ability to identify, investigate and resolve client problems effectively.
- Ability to analyze, write and present ideas and legal concepts clearly and concisely.
- Ability to develop and conduct effective oral presentations, such as community outreach and argument at hearings.
- Ability to negotiate solutions to problems between clients and other parties, such as government agencies, treatment providers, and other service providers.
- Strong organizational skills and ability to perform tasks necessary to maintain a substantial active caseload of advocacy and administrative hearing work.
- Demonstrated experience working with and/or sensitivity to persons living with mental health or developmental disabilities.
- Willingness and ability to work as part of a team.
- Bilingual (particularly Spanish or Vietnamese) applicants are desired, but the Health program recognizes the need to communicate with many different communities generally. During your interview, you can explain qualities that can best help you communicate with other historically excluded communities of color.
- Candidates of historically excluded communities from different racial, ethnic, cultural and linguistic backgrounds, persons living with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ community encouraged to apply.
- Experience in using Microsoft Word and Excel.
Salary scale starts at $63,989.96/year for an attorney; compensation based upon qualifications and comparable experience. Additional $100/month bilingual differential is available. All compensation determined by the wage table of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement between SEIU Local 521 and the Law Foundation. More information regarding the Law Foundation is available on our website: www.lawfoundation.org. Benefits outlined are available for the permanent staff attorney hire.
TEMPORARY COVID-19 REMOTE WORK
Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Law Foundation of Silicon Valley employees are currently working remotely for the foreseeable future, subject to some exceptions. The Law Foundation has implemented rigorous health and safety protocols to minimize risk of exposure for staff who occasionally need, or want, to work from the office. Due to the COVID-19 crisis and its impact on personal lives, the Law Foundation is open to providing flexibility regarding work schedules to the extent feasible for the position.
The Law Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Affirmative Action Employer. We value having staff who come from communities that are most impacted by our issues. For example, Black, Indigenous, Latinx, AAPI, and other people of color, womxn, people living with disabilities, older people, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are encouraged to apply. It is the policy of the Law Foundation to prohibit discrimination and harassment of any type and to afford equal employment opportunities to employees and applicants, without regard to race, color, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, pregnancy, medical condition or genetic information, veteran status, national origin, disability, marital or other protected status. The Law Foundation will conform to the spirit, as well as the letter of all applicable laws and regulations.
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until position is filled. Please submit the following via email to firstname.lastname@example.org: (1) a resume, (2) three professional references, and (3) a cover letter that explains your interest, and explicitly addresses the following questions:
To best serve our clients and our community, the Law Foundation is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace in which differences are acknowledged and valued. How has your personal background or experiences, professional or otherwise, prepared you to contribute to social justice, race equity and diversity among our staff?
Are you interested in both the temporary and permanent staff attorney positions?