Temporary Staff Attorney – Emergency Eviction Defense Program
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 and seeks to have an inclusive racially diverse workplace.
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.
The Temporary Staff Attorney position is a new full-time position based at Public Counsel’s 610 S. Ardmore office. The Emergency Eviction Defense Program is a County-funded program created in response to the Covid-19 Crisis. This program, and position, will run for six months. It will involve off-site clinics, workshops and may require limited court appearances throughout Los Angeles County as needed. This position will receive training and support from Community Based Organizations and Legal Service Providers as part of a larger eviction prevention collaborative covering all of Los Angeles County. The position has the following responsibilities:
- Carry a personal caseload of pre-eviction cases which includes: client interviews; providing counsel and advice; legal research; drafting pleadings, motions, discovery, briefs, and correspondence; and negotiating with outside parties;
- Provide legal counsel, advice, and limited scope representation to low-income individuals regarding evictions and related housing matters;
- Act as a resource regarding unlawful detainer cases and other housing issues for community-based organizations and partner agencies;
- Participate in community outreach, including preparing and presenting Know Your Rights trainings, workshops, 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 preferred, but not required;
- Recent Law Graduates are encouraged to apply;
- 0-2 years of litigation experience preferred;
- eviction defense experience a plus, but not required;
- 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 and is a temporary full-time, exempt position. 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.
- 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.
Continuous until position is filled.
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
Please include “Staff Attorney – EEDP” 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.