Social Justice Attorney – Disability Rights (Temporary: 6 months) – Oakland

Categories: Jobs

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 increase their economic independence and housing security? Join BayLegal’s SSI Homelessness Prevention team! 

Bay Area Legal Aid (BayLegal) ensures fairness in the civil justice system for the most vulnerable members of our community. Practicing in seven Bay Area counties, BayLegal is the largest provider of free civil legal services in the Bay Area. 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 in a brighter future.

Position

We are seeking a culturally sensitive Disability Rights Attorney with a strong commitment to social justice advocacy to represent individuals with mental and physical disabilities in their applications for Social Security Disability Insurance, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or CAPI benefits.  You will be part of a team focused on a collaboration to secure assistance for clients with profound challenges to obtaining benefits (e.g individuals who are homeless and those with a dual diagnosis of a mental disability and substance abuse).  You will have the opportunity to do the following to help clients obtain Social Security Disability Insurance, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or CAPI benefits:

  • Gain experience and receive mentorship from a team of expert advocates and be part of BayLegal’s successful homeless prevention and economic security project;
  • conduct client interviews, complete Social Security/SSI/CAPI applications and gather supporting medical and other evidence;
  • Write legal briefs;
  • Negotiate with governmental agencies;
  • Represent clients at administrative hearings, Appeals Council, and Federal District Court;
  • Assist with related public benefits and related healthcare matters as needed;
  • Engage in policy work in areas that affect our clients’ rights; and
  • Participate in community collaborations and engage in community outreach and education.

 

Location

This position is based in our Oakland Office serving clients throughout Alameda County, including visiting clients in various locations, including psychiatric hospitals, homeless drop-in centers, and county jail.

About the Successful Candidate

  • Juris Doctorate and good standing membership in the California State Bar or another state bar;
  • Commitment to BayLegal’s mission;
  • Passion for and deep understanding of working with low-income families and communities, and specifically working with individuals with mental and physical disabilities;
  • Exceptional listener and strategist who can thrive in a collegial environment;
  • Ability to work independently and as a part of a dynamic team;
  • Excellence in writing, editing, and  proof-reading;
  • Sense of humor;
  • Cultural humility in working with low‐income 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 limited English proficiency; and
  • Strong organizational, written and communication skills

 

Compensation and Benefits

Compensation is based on experience and competitive public interest salaries. Position will be eligible for medical and dental benefits, paid holidays and sick leave.

 

Applications

Bay Area Legal Aid 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 responding to question below (does not need to be limited to one page), (2) resume, (3) references, and (4) writing sample to: Human Resources Department, e-mail to jobs@baylegal.org. Please reference “Temporary Disability Rights Attorney—Alameda” in your email subject.

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, working poor, seniors, veterans, people 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 cultural humility, inclusion and diversity? Feel free to think broadly about your response to this question, applying various aspects of your life and personal experiences.