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 120. 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 stabilize housing and secure food and other vital benefits. We partner with community-based tenant organizing groups to assist and provide advice and counsel to tenants facing disputes with their landlords. 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

In spring 2018, Public Counsel launched an innovative new program that focuses on delivering trauma-informed, wrap-around legal services to people experiencing homelessness and those at imminent risk of homelessness. The Staff Attorney will join a dynamic team and will serve youth, families and single adults in the communities within Los Angeles County’s Service Planning Area (SPA) 6, encompassing South Los Angeles, Compton, Florence, Rosewood, Willowbrook, Crenshaw, West Adams, Lynwood, Paramount and Windsor Hills.

Our team works in partnership with regional Coordinated Entry System (CES) health and social service partners. This innovative program is designed to remove barriers to housing that require legal intervention, including but not limited to: eviction prevention, tenant advice and counsel, government benefits, financial debt, professional licenses and identification, and expungement of criminal records.

This is a full-time position and requires off-site clinic work in South Los Angeles communities and other parts of Los Angeles County. The position has the following responsibilities:

  • Carry a high volume caseload that may include a mix of eviction defense, landlord-tenant counseling, benefits, employment law, traffic tickets, and expungements;
  • Act as a resource for other Public Counsel staff and community partners;
  • Attend court hearings at Los Angeles Superior Court;
  • Provide technical assistance to, or co-counsel with, pro bono attorneys;
  • Provide technical assistance to and serve as a resource for tenant organizing groups;
  • Participate in community outreach, including preparing and presenting trainings and special projects;
  • Assist with grant reporting, billing, and outcome tracking; and
  • Other duties as assigned.

 

ESSENTIAL JOB SKILLS AND ABILITIES REQUIRED

Candidates must possess the following:

  • Juris Doctor degree and a member in good standing of the California Bar (or pending Bar results);
  • 0 – 5 years of experience in one or more areas of poverty law outlined above in “Job Summary”; willing to consider “Provisionally Licensed” candidates;
  • Commitment to trauma-informed legal advocacy: empathy, responsive listening, restraint from judgment, and demonstration of authentic care and concern;
  • Commitments to race equity work and community lawyering, and willingness to incorporate race equity principles and community lawyering in practice;
  • Strong sense of professional responsibility;
  • Desire to learn as well as share knowledge with other team members;
  • Excellent client skills and comfort working with indigent clients;
  • Ability to work in a fast paced, high volume environment;
  • Strong interpersonal skills;
  • Work well as part of a team, but also be able to work independently;
  • Organized and detail oriented;
  • Strong written and oral communication skills;
  • Excellent negotiation skills; and
  • Ability to commute throughout Los Angeles County.

In addition, as required by funder and our service partners, after hire, candidates must:

  • Obtain certification that candidate is free of active tuberculosis prior to contact with clients; and
  • Participate in other health and security clearances.

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

 

START DATE AND COMPENSATION

  • The Staff Attorney is a full-time, exempt position available immediately. Attorney salaries are set on a scale corresponding to graduation year from law school starting at $58,240 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.
  • 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 crisis. 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.

 

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:

Kelly Evans

Supervising Staff Attorney – HPLP

hplpjob@publiccounsel.org

Please include “Housing Attorney” 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.

Staff Attorney, Homelessness Prevention Law Project
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