Staff Attorney: Homelessness Prevention Law Project

STAFF ATTORNEY

HOMELESSNESS PREVENTION LAW PROJECT

ORGANIZATIONAL BACKGROUND

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 Homelessness Prevention Law Project (HPLP) serves individuals who are homeless or at high risk of becoming homeless. HPLP provides pro bono representation to homeless individuals and families to secure food, shelter, clothing and other vital benefits. In addition, HPLP assists unrepresented low-income litigants in unlawful detainer actions, and helps address tickets and warrants that present barriers to an individual’s housing and stability.

 

In addition to our homelessness prevention and anti-displacement efforts, our recent work includes:

  • Supporting local tenants in their successful efforts to obtain an Eviction Moratorium ordinance.
  • Teaming up with other non-profit legal services providers, tenant organizers and community-based organizations throughout Los Angeles County to push forward the implementation of a Right to Counsel for all tenants in eviction proceedings.
  • Responding to federal attempts to rollback housing subsidies for immigrant families and fair housing protections.

 

JOB SUMMARY

The Staff Attorney position is a new full-time position based at Public Counsel’s 610 S. Ardmore office. It will involve off-site clinics, meetings and court appearances throughout Los Angeles County as needed. The position has the following responsibilities:

  • Carry a personal caseload litigating unlawful detainer cases which includes: client interviews; drafting pleadings, motions, discovery, briefs, and correspondence; negotiating with outside parties; representing clients in court and conducting jury trials;
  • Provide legal counsel, advice, and representation to low-income individuals regarding evictions and related housing matters;
  • Act as a resource regarding unlawful detainer cases and other housing issues for other Public Counsel staff, community-based organizations, and partner agencies;
  • Work with a large network of pro bono attorneys to handle unlawful detainer cases and other housing matters;
  • Participate in community outreach, including preparing and presenting Know Your Rights trainings, and staffing community legal clinics;
  • Assist with grant reporting, billing, and outcome tracking for housing work; and,
  • Other duties as required by the development of our community lawyering efforts.

ESSENTIAL JOB SKILLS AND ABILITIES REQUIRED

Candidates must possess the following:

  • Juris Doctor degree and a member in good standing of the California Bar;
  • 1-5 years of litigation experience preferred, eviction defense experience a plus;
  • Strong written and oral communication skills;
  • Excellent negotiation and organizational skills;
  • Ability to spot legal issues and comfort with providing real-time counsel & advice;
  • Desire to learn as well as share knowledge with other team members;
  • Good client skills, familiarity with housing laws and comfort working with indigent clients;
  • Ability to work in a fast paced, high volume environment;
  • Ability to commute throughout Los Angeles County;
  • Strong interpersonal skills;
  • Detail oriented; and
  • Work well as part of a team, but also be able to work independently with minimal to moderate

 

Ability to read, write and speak fluently in Spanish is preferred.

 

START DATE AND SALARY RANGE

This position is available immediately. Attorney salaries are set on a scale corresponding to graduation year from law school, starting at $57,000 for full time attorneys in first year of practice. This position is part of a special program created using designated funds. Please note that this position is contingent on ongoing funding.

 

APPLICATION DEADLINE

Continuous until position is filled.

 

TO APPLY

We value lived experiences and experiences working with our clients across a range of settings.   Please consider discussing such experiences in your cover letter, especially if they are not reflected in your resume. Email a cover letter, résumé, list of references and brief writing sample (in PDF format) to:

 

Lorraine A. López

Supervising Staff Attorney – HPLP

hplpjob@publiccounsel.org

 

Please include “Staff Attorney – Housing” in subject line. 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.