Social Justice Attorney – focus on economic justice and access to government benefits – San Francisco County

Categories: Announcements, Jobs

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!

Organization

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.  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 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.

Position

We are seeking an attorney 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.

Location

This position is based in our San Francisco regional office. The attorney will split time between our San Francisco office and an outstation office located at the San Francisco Human Services Agency. 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 additional travel as necessary for training and broader advocacy.

 

As a BayLegal Attorney 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;
  • Assist with other office and firm needs, such as supervising volunteers and interns, participating in firm-wide projects, and helping with grant applications and reporting obligations;
  • 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 impact litigation and policy work.

Core Competencies

  • Admitted to the CA State Bar;
  • Bilingual ability in Spanish strongly preferred;
  • Familiarity with governmental benefits programs and understanding of how program restrictions impact low-income and marginalized communities;
  • 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;
  • Self-directed with an ability to anticipate what needs to be done;
  • Good 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
  • Familiarity with the diverse communities and demographics of county a plus.

 

Compensation and Benefits  

Compensation is based on a competitive public interest salary scale (salary scales were recently increased, salary information available upon request). BayLegal has an excellent benefits package which includes 100% employer covered medical, dental, and life insurance for employees and 40-50% for dependents; long term disability insurance, stipends for bilingual employees; student debt repayment program; dependent childcare employer contribution program, and a 401k retirement plan following first year.  Generous 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).

 

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 “Economic Justice Attorney (Government Benefits)—San Francisco County” in the title 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, 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.