Housing Attorney

Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County
Fighting social injustice through civil legal advocacy.

At the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County (Legal Aid SMC), we believe our entire community is stronger when everyone has a home, economic security, and essential public services. Legal Aid SMC uses the law to make the social safety net work for everyone. Our work makes San Mateo County a more just and equitable place to live and work.

The Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County’s Housing team seeks an attorney to join us on the front lines of the housing affordability crisis. Housing team members work to defend tenants against eviction, enforce existing tenant protections through impact litigation, and advocate for effective and equitable housing policies in partnership with impacted communities. The Housing team includes attorneys, project coordinators, a project manager and a summer fellow who work collaboratively on all aspects of the program.

We are looking for a motivated and organized attorney who is dedicated to advocating for a diverse, low-income client population. The right candidate is someone who can prioritize multiple demands and execute tasks efficiently in a fast-paced litigation environment, demonstrates excellent client relations, works well on a collaborative team, and is committed to social justice.

Legal Aid SMC seeks candidates who share our aspirations for a diverse, inclusive, and equitable community and workplace. We are committed to affirming differences in race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity and expression.


  • Litigation: Represent clients with a full and active eviction defense caseload. The attorney will be responsible for evaluating unlawful detainer cases for full legal representation, assessing defenses, developing a case strategy, developing evidence, preparing pleadings, discovery and motions, and making court appearances, including hearings and trials.
  • Advocacy: Advocate for the rights of tenants whose housing is threatened by issues related to eviction notices, discrimination, reasonable accommodations, retaliation, habitability, harassment, subsidized housing/Section 8, and rent increases.
  • Consultation: Consult with clients weekly in person or by telephone, advising on evictions and other legal issues that challenge the housing stability of low-income tenants. With training and supervision from the Directing Attorney, supervise volunteers conducting client intake interviews and preparing pro per responses to unlawful detainer complaints.
  • Community engagement and policy advocacy: Participate in community outreach events and regional task force meetings; conduct tenant education workshops and organizing meetings; work collaboratively with community groups to advance local and state policy that benefits low-income tenants.


  • California State Bar membership or qualified for Registered Legal Services Attorney Program;
  • Ability to be in office and make in-person appearances as needed.


  • Outstanding legal research, writing and analysis, and public speaking skills;
  • Demonstrated commitment to working on behalf of low-income populations;
  • Demonstrated commitment to working with tenants to advance housing rights;
  • Experience working with low-income persons and persons with disabilities;
  • Direct service experience with individuals.

Compensation and Benefits:
Salary: $81,000-$120,000/year DOE. Full-time exempt position.
Benefits: Excellent benefits including up to $3,600/year law school loan repayment assistance. $2,500 stipend for proficiency in Spanish or another language spoken by our client community.

Workplace Expectations: Legal Aid SMC is a hybrid workplace. Work schedules and locations are determined by client needs, organizational needs, workload demands, and personal preferences. All employees are expected to reside within commuting distance of the Legal Aid SMC office. Housing attorneys are required to be in the office or in the community supervising in-person legal clinics 2-3 days each week. Attorneys also make in-person court appearances and client site visits and attend outreach events as needed. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required.

To Apply: Send your resume, cover letter, and a writing sample to jobs@legalaidsmc.org.

Legal Aid SMC is committed to creating a diverse work environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. People of color, persons with disabilities, immigrants, older adults, and members of the LGBTQ+ community are strongly encouraged to apply.