Are you interested in using your legal skills to help prevent homelessness, address social inequality and help ensure low-income families and individuals obtain stability and remain in San Francisco? Join BayLegal’s dynamic Economic Justice law practice!
Bay Area Legal Aid (BayLegal) is committed to ensuring fairness in the civil justice system for the most vulnerable members of our community and addressing systemic inequities that foster intergenerational poverty. 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 and Health Consumer Center hotlines, BayLegal’s mission is to prevent domestic violence and sexual assault, increase economic stability, protect consumers, expand access to healthcare, and prevent homelessness. For our clients, BayLegal makes the difference between staying in poverty and thriving toward a brighter future.
BayLegal seeks an advocate with a strong commitment to public interest and social justice advocacy to join our dynamic Economic Justice practice group and BayLegal’s mission to address the root causes of homelessness, displacement and economic instability. Our Economic Justice practice focuses on representing families in accessing public benefits programs for which they are eligible, including CalWORKs, General Assistance, SSI, and related benefits programs such as Medi-Cal, CalFresh, and Refugee Cash Assistance; and ensuring they are receiving appropriate benefit levels and services. The advocate will be especially focused on General Assistance. The term of this position is expected to be three months, but may be extended by mutual agreement.
This position is based in our San Francisco regional office. As a member of BayLegal’s regional practice, there may be travel within BayLegal’s broader service areas to address the regional nature of poverty, and as necessary for training and broader advocacy.
Under the supervision of San Francisco Managing Attorney, as an Economic Justice Advocate you will have the opportunity to:
- Work closely with clients from initial interviews through administrative hearings;
- Negotiate directly with governmental agencies regarding policies that affect low-income individuals and communities;
- Serve the diverse legal needs of underserved and vulnerable communities in San Francisco County and the broader Bay Area, including formerly incarcerated individuals, the chronically homeless, immigrants, veterans, disabled individuals, survivors of interpersonal violence, and people who encounter legal barriers when transitioning from welfare to work;
- Provide workshops and technical assistance to community partners and clients on public benefits eligibility and the broad range of civil legal needs;
- Develop relationships and engage in collaboration with a range of public and private community partners, including governmental agencies, courts, and community based organizations, to ensure integrative services and address systemic barriers facing BayLegal’s client community, and
- Make systemic change through assisting on impact litigation and policy work.
About the Successful Candidate
- Strong personal work ethic and ability to organize time, manage diverse activities, and meet critical deadlines with minimal supervision;
- Excellent writing, editing, and proof-reading skills, with ability to be detail-oriented;
- Strong interpersonal skills and an ability to work collaboratively with a dynamic team;
- Curious and self-directed with an ability to anticipate what needs to be done;
- Ability to simultaneously manage multiple projects while maintaining a firm grasp of individual project details;
- 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;
- Familiarity or experience with State or local government benefits programs;
- Candidates awaiting bar results are encouraged to apply;
- Bilingual ability in Spanish or Cantonese a plus.
Compensation and Benefits
Compensation is based on experience and competitive public interest salaries.
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 email (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, at email@example.com. Please reference “Economic Justice Advocate, San Francisco – Temporary” 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.