Housing Advocate (Paralegal) – San Francisco

Categories: Announcements, Jobs

Are you interested in using your legal skills to help address the housing crisis, prevent homelessness, address social inequality and help ensure low-income families maintain stability and remain in San Francisco? Join BayLegal’s dynamic Housing Law Practice!

Bay Area Legal Aid (BayLegal) is committed to ensuring fairness in the civil legal system for the most marginalized members of our community and addressing systemic inequities that foster intergenerational poverty. Our work is ever more important as we address the impact of compounding crises that will most impact our client communities. 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 aims 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.

San Francisco Housing Practice Team focuses on preserving housing for tenants who are low-income in San Francisco. As part of the San Francisco’s Tenant Right to Counsel Initiative, the team provides full-scope legal representation to tenants in unlawful detainer proceedings. To that end, we engage in civil legal representation, social work, community collaborations, and systemic advocacy, in partnership with the people we serve.

Position

We are seeking a part-time Advocate/Paralegal to join our dynamic Housing Law practice group and BayLegal’s mission. Our housing law practice focuses on the preservation of fair and affordable housing, addressing the root causes of homelessness and displacement. As part of San Francisco’s Tenants’ Right to Counsel Initiative, this position will focus on supporting and working with a team of attorneys who are providing full-scope legal services to tenants in unlawful detainer proceedings. Employees are expected to reside in California and at a distance of which they can commute to the physical BayLegal base location or service delivery location within the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Housing Advocate (Paralegal) will:

  • Learn and advocate for the diverse legal needs of underserved communities in San Francisco and the broader Bay Area to reduce homelessness, enhance stability and address social injustice;
  • Conduct initial client screening and intake and enter client data in case management systems in compliance with the San Francisco Tenant Right to Counsel program;
  • Assist with settlement conferences and administrative hearings;
  • Prepare legal forms, demand letters, and reasonable accommodation requests; assist in propounding and responding to discovery;
  • Maintain case files;
  • Cite check, proofread, format, and compile motions and briefs; perform simple legal research;
  • Assist with tracking deadlines, calendaring motions, scheduling court reporters, and interpreters;
  • Conduct unit inspections, obtain inspection records from government agencies, and document individual and pervasive habitability problems;
  • Prepare templates for discovery, motions, and trial binders;
  • Prepare outreach materials; and
  • Assist with data tracking and grant reporting.

Qualifications

  • Cultural humility in working with low‐income clients from diverse backgrounds, including clients with physical and mental disabilities, LEP clients, and LGBT clients;
  • Paralegal Certificate or an equivalent level of legal training;
  • At least 2 years work experience as paralegal or legal assistant;
  • Experience working with legal case management software and legal research tools such as Lexis and Westlaw;
  • Strong research, writing and communication skills;
  • Ability to multitask and provide support to attorneys in busy, fast-paced practice;
  • Bilingual ability in Spanish or Cantonese preferred; and
  • Previous housing law experience preferred.

Temporary COVID-19 remote work

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, all BayLegal employees are primarily working remotely. While BayLegal has implemented detailed health and safety protocols to minimize risk of exposure and has an evolving plan for reopening our local offices, we anticipate remaining primarily remote throughout much of 2021. All employees are expected to be available to travel to BayLegal offices and services locations as needed and in compliance with public health advisories. Employees are expected to reside in California and at a distance of which they can commute to the physical BayLegal base location or service delivery location within the San Francisco Bay Area.

While BayLegal remains primarily remote, all employees are issued BayLegal computers and provided appropriate supplies. BayLegal has implemented and continues to explore additional technologies to make working remotely as efficient and connected as possible. All employees receive a flat-rate monthly amount to reimburse for work-related use of personal IT equipment, including internet, and home. Due to the COVID-19 crisis and its impact on personal lives, BayLegal is open to providing flexibility regarding work schedules and part-time or full-time employment to the extent feasible for the position.

Compensation and Benefits

We offer a diverse, family friendly environment, and compensation 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).

Applications

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 (no page limit), (2) resume, (3) references, and (4) writing sample to: Human Resources Department, e-mail to jobs@baylegal.org. Please reference “Housing Advocate – San Francisco” 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 people of color, LGBTQ+ people, immigrants, seniors, people with lived experiences of homelessness, veterans, people with disabilities, and people from other underrepresented groups. BayLegal is committed to enhancing the provision of our services to all clients, increasing positive client outcomes, and creating an inclusive and respectful workplace in which differences are acknowledged and valued. BayLegal promotes and supports policies that enable us to work effectively in cross-cultural situations with our clients, coworkers, and the community.

How do you think your personal background or experiences, professional or otherwise, have prepared you to: (1) serve our diverse client base effectively, (2) work effectively with colleagues from different backgrounds than your own, (3) acknowledge the systemic barriers that our clients face, and (4) contribute to our efforts to fight for racial justice? Feel free to think broadly about your response to this question, provide examples, and apply various aspects of your life and personal experiences.