Are you interested in using your legal skills to help individuals with mental and physical disabilities obtain the government benefits they are entitled to, and to increase their economic independence and housing security? Join BayLegal’s SSI Advocacy and Homelessness Prevention team!
Bay Area Legal Aid (BayLegal) ensures fairness in the civil justice system for the most vulnerable members of our community. From Silicon Valley to Napa Valley, we help clients protect their livelihoods, their health, and their families. Our clients include the working poor, families with children, foster youth, seniors, immigrants, veterans, and persons with disabilities. Through our regional county offices, our mobile advocacy clinics, and our nationally-recognized Legal Advice Line, BayLegal prevents domestic violence and sexual assault, increases economic stability, protects consumers, expands access to healthcare, and prevents homelessness. For our clients, BayLegal makes the difference between staying in poverty and thriving toward a brighter future.
BayLegal is currently accepting applications for a Disability Rights Staff Attorney position in our Alameda County Office, located in Oakland.
We seek an energetic, culturally sensitive attorney with a strong commitment to disability rights and social justice advocacy to represent individuals with mental and physical disabilities in their applications for Social Security/SSI benefits. This includes conducting client interviews, completing social security/SSI applications, gathering supporting medical and other evidence, negotiating with governmental agencies, and representing clients at administrative hearings, before the Appeals Council, and in federal District Court. The attorney will also, at times, represent clients in CalWORKs, General Assistance, Medi-Cal, IHSS, and/or other public benefits/health related matters. S/he will engage in policy work in areas that affect our clients’ rights, participate in community collaborations, and engage in community outreach and education. The attorney may also be required to travel to off-site locations including clinics, community partners and Santa Rita jail.
About the Successful Candidate
- California State Bar membership, or awaiting bar results; or admitted to practice in another state and eligible to practice in California under the California State Bar rules for the Registered Legal Services Attorney Program;
- Prior experience with or understanding of Social Security, working with people with mental health disabilities, and/or related experience preferred;
- Bilingual ability in Spanish, Vietnamese, or another API language preferred;
- Exceptional listener and strategist who can thrive in a collegial environment;
- Passion for and deep understanding of working with low-income families and communities, and specifically working with individuals with mental and physical disabilities;
- Excellent communication, writing and public speaking skills;
- Strong organizational skills and ability to work independently and as part of a dynamic team.
Compensation and Benefits
We offer a diverse, family friendly environment. Compensation is based on competitive public interest salaries along with a generous benefits package. BayLegal’s benefits package includes 100% employer covered medical, dental, and life insurance for employees and up to 40-50% for dependents; long term disability insurance; stipends for bilingual employees whose language skills are used in the provision of work tasks; student debt repayment program; dependent childcare employer contribution program and 401k retirement plan following first year. Paid leave policy includes: sick leave; parental leave; 14 holidays each year and vacation (starting at 13 days and increasing with additional years of employment).
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, persons of color, LGBTQ individuals, veterans, persons with disabilities, and persons from other underrepresented groups to apply. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Please send (1) cover letter including response to question below (cover letter need not be limited to one page), (2) resume, (3) references, and (4) writing sample to: Human Resources Department, e-mail to email@example.com. Please reference BayLegal Staff Attorney – Disabilities Rights in the subject of your email.
As part of your cover letter, please address the following:
BayLegal’s clients are low- and very low-income members of our communities. They include persons of color, LGBTQ individuals, the working poor, seniors, veterans, persons with disabilities, 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 in all cross-cultural situations, 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 personal background or experiences, professional or otherwise, have prepared you to serve our client base effectively 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.