Staff Attorney – Housing
JOB ANNOUNCEMENT STAFF ATTORNEY – HOUSING
PROGRAM DESCRIPTION The Law Foundation of Silicon Valley advances the rights of underrepresented individuals and families in our diverse community 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 raceconscious legal services practice.
JOB DESCRIPTION The Law Foundation of Silicon Valley is seeking a full-time Attorney for its Housing Department. As a part of the Law Foundation’s Strategic Plan, the Law Foundation is currently focusing on redesigning our Housing Department and how to best provide housing legal services to the community. Over the course of the next year, Law Foundation housing staff will be experimenting with various approaches to training, supervision, and support of staff, as well as trying out various service delivery models. The housing team will be working to incorporate community lawyering and other race equity tools into its work in an effort to design a new housing department that provides the best possible housing services to our community. The new Housing Department will have a strong focus on anti-displacement and will dedicate resources to both direct services work and system change.
The Housing Attorney may have several different job duties and responsibilities, and these responsibilities could shift over time ranging from direct representation of tenants to policy advocacy and impact litigation. The Housing Rights Attorney may assist with landlord/tenant problems, eviction defense, fair housing/housing discrimination complaints, reasonable accommodations of disability, Section 8 voucher/Housing Authority issues. Additionally, the attorney may work on policy advocacy and policy campaigns, fair housing and impact litigation. The Housing Attorney will also be involved in community and client education and outreach activities, and system reform projects.
PRIMARY DUTIES • Provide direct representation to clients in unlawful detainer (eviction) proceedings and managing an individual caseload; • Engage in policy advocacy including research and writing, writing reports related to policy advocacy, writing advocacy letters to legislative bodies, and meeting with elected officials. Policy issues that the attorney may work on include anti-displacement policies, and tenant protections including rent stabilization, and just cause eviction protections; • Assist and lead fair housing and impact litigation including, but not limited to, research and writing, motion writing, written discovery and depositions; • Investigate potential systemic issues including research, writing, public records reviews, and in-person surveying; • Attend, monitor, and provide feedback at community meetings, government body meetings, task force meetings, and other meetings/hearings related to systemic advocacy; • Conduct outreach and community education presentations and produce educational materials; • Support program and organization-wide initiatives, including race equity; • Participate in education and outreach to community about legal issues confronted by low-income tenants. • Provide legal support to non-attorney staff and pro bono volunteers assisting with client intake and legal services.
Ultimate placements and job duties will be assigned based upon the needs of the Law Foundation with consideration for the interests, skills, and experience of the applicant.
DESIRED QUALIFICATIONS • California Bar Membership, or otherwise eligible to practice law in California (individuals awaiting California Bar Exam results are eligible to apply); • Experience managing a high-volume caseload including experience representing tenants in unlawful detainer actions; • Ability to identify, investigate and resolve client problems; • Ability to analyze, write and present ideas and legal concepts clearly and concisely; • Strong organizational skills and the ability to multi-task and perform well under pressure in a fast-paced environment; • Affirmative litigation experience including representing Plaintiffs in housing matters in state and federal court; • Ability to work independently and effectively work as a part of a team, both internal and external to the Law Foundation; • Experience in policy advocacy and/or organizing; • Experience in community lawyering; • Connections to and experience working with diverse populations, including communities of color and people living with disabilities; • Ability to interact compassionately and effectively with individuals in crisis; • Passion for social justice and race equity, as well as a desire to provide assistance to underserved populations; • Bilingual (particularly Spanish or Vietnamese) applicants are desired. COMPENSATION Salary scale starts at $58,989; compensation based upon bar admission date and comparable experience. All compensation determined by the wage table of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement between SEIU Local 521 and LFSV. Excellent benefits provided, including paid holidays, vacation, health insurance and 401(k). More information regarding the Law Foundation is available on our website: www.lawfoundation.org.
The Law Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Affirmative Action Employer. We encourage people of color, women, people living with disabilities, older people, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people 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.
APPLICATION PROCESS 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) at least three professional references, and (3) a cover letter that explains your interest and also addresses the question below.
In order 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?