Job Title: Public Benefits Attorney
FLSA Classification: Exempt
Reports To: Practice Group Director, Deputy Director of Litigation, Exec. Director
Supervises: Paralegals and Legal Secretaries as required
Compensation: $73,000.00 – $110,000.00 annually
Inland Counties Legal Services is seeking a Staff Attorney to join our Public Benefits Team. Inland Counties Legal Services, Inc. is a nonprofit organization providing legal services to low-income persons residing in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. ICLS targets services to seniors and those in the greatest social and economic need. Legal services are provided by attorneys, or paralegals under the direct supervision of an attorney. Levels of service include advice and counsel, limited action (includes negotiations and preparation of legal documents), as well as direct representation before administrative law and civil courts.
ICLS provides legal assistance in eight practice groups: Elder Law, Consumer, Housing, Family Law, Immigration, Systemic/Impact, Health Law, and Public Benefits. Visit our website at www.inlandlegal.org for more information.
Overview of Position
Under the direct supervision of the Practice Group Director, the Public Benefits Staff Attorney assists in providing comprehensive legal services, advocacy, and representation to clients, including helping with the application for and maintenance of low-income benefits for vulnerable individuals reliant upon such income for housing and living expenses. Additionally, the Public Benefits Staff Attorney will assist with education cases and advocacy for children in need of educational supports and services throughout Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.
Specific Duties and Responsibilities
- Develop broad legal expertise in public benefits and special education law
- Interview and counsel clients
- Assist with conducting research, reviewing medical and educational records, and evaluating claims based on merit
- Drafting and filing briefs and complaints, as well as engage in mediation and negotiation to satisfactorily resolve clients’ legal issues
- Assist and/or represent clients during the application and appeal process for disability benefits, public benefits, and special education assessments and services
- Assist clients in achieving document readiness (e.g., obtaining California ID card, birth certificates, marriage certificates etc.) that may impact their ability to obtain benefits and housing
- Assist clients enrolled in the San Bernardino County Housing and Disability Advocacy Program (HDAP) with obtaining public benefits, participate in reporting efforts to track data and outcomes in HMIS, and attend strategic planning meetings with HDAP community partners
- Work effectively as part of a team that includes attorneys, support staff, volunteers, and students
- Regularly participate in clinics/workshops and community outreach projects.
Desired Education and Experience
- Degree from law school and active member of the California Bar in good standing.
- Ability to understand the objectives of poverty law
- Prior work experience, paid or volunteer, in legal service office serving low-income clients is considered and asset for employment.
- Entry level attorney (0- 3 years’ experience) who is highly motivated and passionate about public service work, with sensitivity to those in crisis.
- Self-motivated, takes initiative, ability to learn quickly
- Background in substantive legal areas impacting impoverished communities and experience working with low-income organizations and client groups preferred.
- Language: ability to read, write, and communicate in English with Spanish being a plus