Mental Health Advocacy Services
Mental Health Advocacy Services

ANNUAL SALARY: $75,000 – $90,000

ORGANIZATION DESCRIPTION: Mental Health Advocacy Services, Inc. (MHAS) is a private, non-profit organization whose mission is to protect and advance the legal rights of low-income adults and children with mental health disabilities and empower them to assert those rights in order to maximize their autonomy, achieve equity, and secure the resources they need to thrive. MHAS assists both children and adults, with an emphasis on obtaining government benefits and services, protecting rights, and fighting discrimination. MHAS also serves as a resource to the community by providing training and technical assistance to attorneys, mental health professionals, consumer and family member groups, and other advocates. Finally, MHAS participates in impact litigation and policy work to improve the lives of people with mental health disabilities.

FOUR DAY WORK WEEK, FRINGE BENEFITS, & WORK CULTURE: On January 1, 2023, MHAS proudly and permanently adopted a four-day work week.  After completing a six-month trial of a four-day work week in 2022, MHAS found what almost all other companies that have moved to a four day work week have found: the four-day work week improves organization productivity and employee health, reduces gender inequality, and creates a more sustainable work environment. All full-time MHAS employees, including this position, work approximately four eight-hour days per week. The MHAS office is closed on Fridays.   Other benefits include paid vacation, holidays, and sick leave; employee health, dental, vision, long term disability, and life insurance; and parking/transit fare reimbursement.   MHAS is proud of its collegial, family-friendly culture that respects the work/life balance of its employees. To that end, MHAS is willing to consider flexible work schedules on a case-by-case basis. MHAS also provides employees with frequent wellness opportunities, including trainings on stress management and mindfulness, group meditations, and regular, informal staff gatherings.   MHAS attorneys work remotely with access to the MHAS headquarters office as needed.  MHAS equips all employees working from home with the necessary technology and other office supplies. This position may spend up to one day/week on site rotating among various Mental Health America of Los Angeles locations around LA County, including Long Beach, Newhall, and the Antelope Valley. This position will also include occasional in-person representation at courthouses in these areas as needed. All MHAS staff must be vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19.

JOB DESCRIPTION: MHAS seeks to hire an attorney to lead MHAS’ behavioral health legal partnership in which legal services intervention specifically targeting low-income veterans with mental health disabilities at risk of homelessness is holistically integrated in partnership with Mental Health America of Los Angeles’ Veterans Program.  Through this project, MHAS will provide legal advocacy for veterans to ensure they have the housing and other resources needed to achieve better mental health outcomes and overall well-being.   The ideal candidate will be expected to respond quickly to legal referrals from our partner in a range of subject areas, including, primarily, housing, public benefits, and tickets and expungement. This position will focus on homelessness prevention, providing direct representation to clients in conflicts with landlords, housing authorities, and non-profit housing and service providers, including representation in unlawful detainer cases, pre-eviction legal services, and legal services to improve habitability and ensure receipt of income or benefits, including VA benefits, to improve housing stability.   Other responsibilities will include providing legal training and technical assistance to both staff and members at Mental Health America of Los Angeles’ Veterans Program. The attorney will also take on other client and policy work as deemed appropriate to MHAS’ mission and client goals.

ABOUT THE PARTNER: Mental Health America of Los Angeles (MHALA) helps individuals with mental health needs, including transition-age youth, Veterans and their families, and those who may be struggling with homelessness. Their mission is to ensure that people with mental health needs achieve meaningful, healthy lives in their communities. MHALA uses an integrated, comprehensive service model that meets each individual where they are and tailors services to each person’s needs.   This position will partner with MHALA’s Veterans Services program to help Veterans and their families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.  MHALA’s Veterans services focus on housing stability and sustainability, including employment training and placement, to prevent and reduce homelessness and to promote stable living.  MHALA offers benefits assistance and personal financial planning as well as temporary financial assistance to help Veterans get back on their feet, including funds available to pay for rental arrears and unpaid utilities.

JOB RESPONSIBILITIES WILL INCLUDE: Providing competent legal assistance to clients through advice and counsel; research and writing, negotiation, administrative advocacy, and court advocacy; Developing expertise in a broad range of poverty law issues with an emphasis on housing law; Maintaining a caseload in an organized and efficient manner; Providing technical assistance and training to staff and members at Mental Health America of Los Angeles’ Veterans Program; Assisting with project administration and reporting; Participating in policy advocacy projects as requested; and Assisting with other projects and tasks as identified related to MHAS’s mission.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: J.D. degree and membership in California State Bar. Commitment and sensitivity to the rights of veterans, people with mental health disabilities, and other vulnerable populations. Excellent legal research skills. Excellent oral and written communication skills with attention to detail. Excellent organizational skills including ability to prioritize tasks, manage time, and meet deadlines. Demonstrated ability to analyze complex problems and develop creative solutions. Cultural sensitivity and demonstrated ability to work well with diverse social, economic, and ethnic groups.

COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY, EQUITY, & INCLUSION: Mental Health Advocacy Services seeks to fill all positions with people who share our values, including our organizational commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We encourage all interested individuals to apply – especially people of color; women; people from low-income backgrounds; people experiencing mental health and/or physical disabilities; people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender non-conforming, or non-binary; immigrants; people who have been affected by mass incarceration; and people from other underrepresented and historically marginalized groups.  We believe that the resulting diversity is both a source of program strength and a matter of fundamental human fairness.

APPLICATION PROCESS: View full job announcement at Submit the following by email to (state “Employment Application” in subject line): Resume; Writing Sample; and Cover letter discussing any and/or all of the following: your motivation for seeking the position, your interest in working with veterans and/or people with mental health disabilities, how you meet the minimum qualifications, and/or how your personal background or experiences, professional or otherwise, have prepared you to contribute to our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. MHAS is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender, national origin, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy, mental or physical disability, or any other basis protected by law.