The Pro Bono Staff Attorney provides court clinic assistance to self-represented litigants in matters involving the CARE Act. Assistance includes filling out forms or declarations, providing general and/or procedural information, and providing community referrals and education, as well as providing information on less restrictive alternatives to CARE Act proceedings. In concert with the Senior Attorney and Lead Attorneys, recruits, trains, and supervises volunteer and advocates. Note: This position is in-person, full-time onsite at Hall of Justice Courthouse.
About the Organization
Legal Aid Society of San Diego (LASSD), the largest poverty law firm serving San Diego County since 1953, strengthens our communities by redressing our clients’ legal problems, empowering our clients to access and effectively participate within the legal, governmental, and social systems and encouraging self-empowerment in the fight against poverty and injustice. LASSD continues to be a proud, committed, and compassionate group of people dedicated to providing equal access to justice for San Diegans through aggressive, quality legal services. #justicebeginshere
• Run a clinic that provides in pro per services to a diverse population from a courthouse location or other location
• Recruit, train, and foster positive relationships with volunteers and contract attorneys
• Train and supervise advocates and volunteers
• Use organizational skills to keep the clinic fully staffed, supplied with necessary resources, and maintain grant requirements
• Interview clinic participants, provide legal information and education, prepare legal documents, provide relevant referrals.
• Provide information on less restrictive alternatives such as voluntary full-service partnership, assertive community treatment (ACT), supported decision-making, psychiatric advance directives, power of attorney, Laura’s Law (Assisted Outpatient Treatment-AOT)
• Connect self-represented litigants to county Behavioral Health Services and LASSD direct services
• Support advocates through training and review of information provided and forms completed for clinic participants
• Conduct outreach events, provide training and consumer education
• Attend internal and external meetings and/or events
• Compliance with all program and grant requirements
• Collaborate with other LASSD teams and outside organizations to provide holistic services
• Stay up to date on substantive developments in various areas of law related to clinic (CARE, Behavioral Health, Conservatorship, etc.)
• Other duties as assigned.
• Admitted and in Good Standing with the California State Bar
• Demonstrated written and verbal communication skills
• Ability to work independently as well as support team efforts, and to strategize and plan ahead, so as to timely and consistently meet grant deliverables and reporting requirements
• Must have reliable transportation
Desired Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
• Fluency in written and spoken Spanish or a threshold language preferred
• Demonstrated commitment to serving low-income and underrepresented people
• Ability to work successfully with people from diverse backgrounds
• Demonstrated knowledge of systems of care, especially Behavioral Health systems of care and patient’s rights protections.
• Knowledge of Behavioral Health diversionary programs, standards and rights related to involuntary inpatient and outpatient mental health services, assisted outpatient treatment and Laura’s Law, and the CARE Act.
Salary and Benefits:
The Staff Attorney is an exempt position with a salary range of $75,000 – $112,500. The starting annual pay rate is $75,000. In addition, there is a bilingual pay increase of 2% for passing an oral test and 2% for passing a written test for threshold languages other than English.
LASSD offers a generous benefits package, a 35-hour workweek, paid vacation leave and sick leave and 100% employer-paid medical premium, 50% employer-paid premium for dependents under LASSD health plan, as well as dental, vision, and life benefits. Staff also have the option to participate in a 403(b)-retirement plan and dependent and health flex savings accounts (FSA). LASSD has its own law school loan repayment program and is an eligible nonprofit employer for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program.
LASSD is an equal opportunity employer, we hire without regard to race, color, religion, religious creed (including religious dress and grooming practices), national origin, ancestry, citizenship, physical or mental disability, medical condition (including cancer and genetic characteristics), genetic information, marital status, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions), gender, gender identity, gender expression, age (40 years and over), sexual orientation, veteran and/or military status, domestic violence victim status, political affiliation, and any other status protected by state or federal law.
Hybrid Work Environment:
Legal Aid Society of San Diego (“LASSD”) has adopted a hybrid work environment in which most staff are required to work in the office part of the week and permitted to work remotely for the remainder of the week, provided their job duties allow. All employees are issued LASSD computers and provided with appropriate supplies to perform their work. LASSD has implemented and continues to explore additional technologies to make our hybrid working environment as efficient and connected as possible. All employees must be available to travel to LASSD offices and service locations throughout San Diego County as needed and in compliance with public health advisories. Applicants must reside in or near San Diego County or plan to relocate in or near the County prior to their start date and must be able to commute to the physical Legal Aid Society of San Diego office locations or service delivery locations within San Diego County. LASSD’s normal business hours are 9am-5pm, but we are open to providing flexible work schedules to the extent feasible for the position. LASSD reserves the right to change these policies at any time.
Diversity and Inclusion:
It is vitally important to LASSD that we represent the community that we serve. LASSD is a signatory to the San Diego County Bar Association’s Diversity Pledge. We pledge to promote diversity and inclusion through hiring and retention, promotion and leadership, engagement of outside counsel, and participation in legal community diversity initiatives. We strongly encourage applicants of diverse backgrounds to apply.
Legal Aid Society of San Diego, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer.