Bay Area Legal Aid (BayLegal): As a regional anti-poverty civil law firm that has been serving our local communities since the 1960s, BayLegal is committed to working alongside our clients and community partners to address inter-generational poverty and social inequality. We have built upon our origins as separate neighborhood legal services organizations into a regional non-profit law firm with over 150 employees. We practice in multiple legal substantive areas to help our clients protect their livelihoods, their health, and their families. BayLegal works to prevent domestic violence and sexual assault, increase economic stability, protect consumers, expand access to healthcare, and prevent homelessness. Our clients include the working poor, families with children, foster youth, seniors, immigrants, veterans, individuals impacted by the criminal and juvenile legal system and persons with disabilities. By serving clients at a wide range of access points, including our six regional county offices, community-based advocacy clinics and intake points, and nationally recognized legal hotlines, BayLegal has a unique viewpoint to identify patterns of illegal practices and barriers to our clients’ rights in need of broader advocacy and potential impact litigation. BayLegal strives to create equitable access to resources and services to build a foundation from which our clients can thrive.
BayLegal invites rising third year law students and recent law school graduates to propose innovative fellowship projects for submission to Equal Justice Works, Skadden, and similar programs for fellowships beginning in the fall of 2022. This year BayLegal would like to support fellowships that focus on protecting the rights of people experiencing homelessness as well as homelessness intervention and prevention in the Bay Area.
We welcome proposals with a mix of policy advocacy, impact litigation, and/or direct legal services. We are open to projects focusing on legal needs specific to unhoused clients (e.g., quality of life citations, encampment sweeps) or approaches that target a particular practice area or holistic services across practice areas. Proposals with a Bay Area regional approach are welcome, as well as those targeting local areas with particular need. Homelessness disproportionately impacts Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, and we would like to see proposals with racial equity as a central focus. Candidates may create their own proposal related to homelessness; BayLegal will also gladly assist candidates to design a project consistent with the candidate’s interests and the needs of our community. See https://baylegal.org/what-we-do/ for additional information on our project and practice areas.
BayLegal fellow(s) will work in close collaboration with BayLegal substantive experts and BayLegal’s Homelessness Task Force, which includes BayLegal staff across our offices and practice areas, and helps set organizational priorities for direct services, community involvement, as well as policy and impact advocacy affecting unhoused clients and clients at risk of homelessness.
Factors that will be utilized in evaluating candidates and proposals for sponsorship include:
- Demonstrated commitment to public interest law and BayLegal’s mission and vision.
- Experience working with low-income, diverse, and LEP communities on social justice issues
- Knowledge of and/or experience working on the relevant issues presented in the fellowship proposal
Requirements/Qualifications/About the Successful Candidate
- Humility in working with colleagues and clients across the spectrum of diversity, including race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, immigrant status, religious identity, physical and mental disabilities, and/or limited English proficiency.
- Membership in good standing with the California State Bar or who intend to sit for the Bar prior to the fellowship start.
- Bilingual ability in English and another language spoken by many BayLegal clients preferred.
Interested applicants should email the below materials to email@example.com on or before June 30, 2021. If selected, BayLegal will work with the candidate to build out the project design and prepare the application materials.
- Cover letter including response to question below (no page limit)
- One-page summary of your proposal or statement of your interest in/experience working with communities experiencing homelessness
- List of three references
- A short writing sample
BayLegal thrives on our diversity and we are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to building a culturally diverse workplace and strongly encourage women, LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Intersex, Asexual) and QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) individuals, veterans, individuals who have been impacted by the criminal justice system, persons with disabilities, and persons from other underrepresented groups to apply. For more information, please visit www.baylegal.org/employment-opportunities.
As part of your cover letter, please address the following:
BayLegal’s clients are low-income and very low-income members of our communities. They include LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Intersex, Asexual) and QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) individuals, the working poor, seniors, people who are limited English proficient, veterans, persons with disabilities, survivors of abuse and exploitation, individuals impacted by the criminal justice system, and people who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness, and persons from other underrepresented groups. To ensure our organization is best serving these populations, BayLegal strives to promote an evolving set of behaviors and attitudes amongst our staff, as well as policies that enable us to work effectively across cultures, with clients, with our coworkers, and with the community. We see this as a commitment to enhance the provision of our services to all clients; to raise the level of positive client outcomes; and to create an inclusive and respectful workplace in which differences are acknowledged and valued.
How do you think your experiences, professional or otherwise, prepared you to serve our diverse client base effectively, work effectively with colleagues from different backgrounds than your own, and to contribute to our commitment to humility, inclusion, and diversity? Feel free to think broadly about your response to this question, applying various aspects of your life and personal experiences.