“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela
We believe that even the biggest problems can be broken down into small, achievable steps. Poverty and access to justice are part of the same problem. And to solve this, we just need to discover what the steps are.
At Open Door Legal (ODL), we’re pioneering the country’s first system of universal access to civil legal representation to dramatically reduce poverty and prove that the law really can belong to all of us.
To achieve this ambitious goal, we’ve created an award-winning and best-in-class legal aid organization full of passionate, motivated, gritty, thoughtful, and team-oriented people.
We believe that injustice is the heart of poverty and we’re looking for someone to join us in having a systemic impact on how we, as a society, ensure justice for all.
Overview of Position:
Housing has the attention of everyone in the country and especially the SF Bay Area. A safe and healthy home is a universal human need, yet it is consistently unrealized or threatened for those experiencing poverty or those overlooked by our country’s racist systems.
Open Door Legal provides holistic, trauma-informed housing services helping people access everything they need to feel safe and secure in their homes.
We are hiring a housing attorney to strengthen Open Door Legal’s capacity to represent and assist low-income persons, especially BIPOC populations, and individuals in jeopardy of losing their housing because of back-rent due to COVID-19. The attorney in this position will assist predominantly marginalized communities, including those previously specified, as well as those living with mental illness and/or disabilities.
You will do that by working with and in San Francisco communities that are hit the hardest. This involves: utilizing local and national tenant protections; navigating state, local, and federal aid; and working with other local organizations to assist our clients.
In this position, you will be defending clients in Unlawful Detainer proceedings. The work is fast-paced and will require you to think critically and demonstrate humility and awareness in understanding the needs of our community. Overall, this position is intended to be a challenging yet extremely rewarding experience for someone looking to make a difference in client’s lives with an innovative, results-oriented, and fast-growing organization. Success in this role requires grit, dynamism, teamwork, care, and passion (also our team’s five values). The housing team is currently made up of six attorneys and two paralegals. You will report directly to the Managing Housing Attorney.
- Embrace and embody our mission of universal access to civil legal aid and ensure that everyone in our service area with a viable housing problem gets appropriate help, including legal representation.
- Own 15+ open housing law cases
- Appear in San Francisco Superior Court representing clients up to 3-4 times a week for any litigation matters, as needed.
- Conduct housing law intakes virtually and in person across multiple physical Open Door Legal locations.
- Empower housing law litigants to know their rights, and navigate San Francisco Superior Court, San Francisco Rent Board, and other administrative law forums.
- Provide services and support to our low-income clients with sensitivity and awareness to cultural, socio-economic, and disability differences. Keep a high rating in the client feedback survey.
- Embrace and embody our values of teamwork, grit, caring, passionate, and dynamic.
- Membership in good standing with the California State Bar. Applicants without active California bar membership will not be considered. However, those without a license are encouraged to apply to volunteer with us at opendoorlegal.org/volunteer.
- California housing law and superior court civil procedure knowledge.
- Must genuinely enjoy working with low-income clients and have a commitment to providing culturally-humble and trauma-informed services.
- Must have some experience in a fast-paced office environment.
- Must have high comfort using technology and case management systems.
- Must have a strong attention to detail.
- Minimal to light physical effort is generally required in performing duties in an office environment. This position requires the ability to operate a computer keyboard and standard office equipment, sitting, standing, and lifting up to 10 pounds occasionally
- Must be willing to make a minimum two-year commitment to the organization.
- Must be legally authorized to work in the U.S.
- Bilingual in Spanish (eligible for slight pay increase).
- Bilingual in Cantonese (eligible for slight pay increase).
- More than three years practicing housing law in California.
- Experience working in a high-volume legal aid organization, public defender’s office or similar environment.
- Knowledge of other local non-profit organizations and tools for assisting low-income, underserved communities.
- Having lived a significant period of your life in San Francisco proper.
Starting compensation is $77,500 – $93,500 annually based on experience.
Applications received before January 18 will receive priority consideration.
Ideal starting date: February 1, 2023
Timeframe: February – September 2023
Apply online here: https://open-door-legal.breezy.hr/p/b24dffbbeb62
- Loan Repayment Assistance – for staff pursuing 10-year public interest debt forgiveness, we will pay the minimum payment on all qualifying loans so that you don’t need to worry about student loan debt (this is a conditional benefit).
- Medical/Dental/Vision Plan offerings at 100% coverage
- Paid mental health benefit
- Generous paid time off
- Flexible work hours
- Generous paid parental leave
- 401K/Retirement Account
- Strong organizational culture with an eNPS of 100
- We believe everyone is always learning. We financially invest in individual professional development for each staff member and provide many internal and external mentorships, coaching, and learning opportunities (conferences, workshops, etc.).
- We are a fun and hard-working office with best-in-class technology solutions for anyone who’s passionate about making a meaningful and measurable difference.
Open Door Legal is proud to be an Equal Opportunity employer. We do not discriminate based upon race, religion, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, transgender status, sexual stereotypes, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, or any other applicable legally protected characteristics. We also consider qualified applicants with criminal histories, consistent with applicable federal, state, and local law including the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance.
We are committed to providing reasonable accommodations for candidates with disabilities in our recruiting process. If you need any assistance or accommodations due to a disability, please let us know at whitney [at] opendoorlegal [dot] org.