ABOUT THE POSITION:
Bay Area Legal Aid (BayLegal) seeks a culturally sensitive Disability Rights Staff 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. This position is located in our Alameda County Office in Oakland, CA.
This includes conducting client interviews, completing Social Security/SSI/CAPI applications, gathering supporting medical and other evidence, writing legal briefs, 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 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 will be part of a new team focused on a collaboration to secure assistance for clients with profound challenges to obtaining benefits (e.g homeless individuals and those with a dual diagnosis of a mental disability and substance abuse).
Skills & Abilities:
- Commitment to BayLegal’s mission
- Experience and comfort working with marginalized and diverse populations
- Ability to work well with colleagues and community allies in a variety of settings
- Exceptional listener and strategist who can thrive in a collegial environment
- Sense of humor
- 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
Experience & Education:
Juris Doctorate Degree, California State Bar membership; 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. Candidates that have recently passed the CA Bar or law school graduates that will be taking the bar exam at the next sitting are welcome to apply. Prior experience with or understanding of Social Security, working with people with mental health disabilities, and/or related experience preferred. Bilingual ability in Spanish, Cantonese, or another Asian/Pacific Island language preferred, but not required.
Diverse candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
Compensation and Benefits:
Compensation is based on a competitive public interest salary scale. Generous benefits package includes medical, dental, and life insurance; long-term disability; paid holiday, vacation, and sick leave; law school loan repayment; bilingual stipends; and 401k retirement plan.
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. Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible. Please send cover letter, diversity statement (see below), resume, references, and writing sample to Human Resources at email@example.com. Please reference Alameda County Disability Rights Staff Attorney in your application.
In a separate page from your cover letter, please address the following:
Please note that your response to the prompt below will not be read by your interviewing hiring committee. To reduce potential bias, your name will be removed and your response to this prompt will be read and reviewed separately from the rest of your application. Feedback on your response will then be provided to the interviewing hiring committee for this position. Therefore, if there is any specific information that you would like the interviewing hiring committee to be aware of, please make sure to include that information in your cover letter, even if there is some duplication.
BayLegal’s clients are low- and very low-income members of our communities. They include the working poor, seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities. 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 contribute to our commitment to cultural humility and diversity amongst our staff? Feel free to think broadly about your response to this question, applying various aspects of your life and personal experiences.