Are you interested in using your legal skills to help address the housing crisis, prevent homelessness, address social inequality and discrimination, and help ensure low-income families maintain stability and remain in Contra Costa County?
Join BayLegal’s dynamic Housing Law Practice!
Bay Area Legal Aid (BayLegal) is on the front lines fighting for our clients’ rights. Last year, BayLegal removed legal barriers to health, safety, and stability through representation, legal advice and information, referrals, community education, and advocacy for more than 75,000 low-income individuals and their families throughout seven Bay Area counties.
As a regional anti-poverty civil law firm that has been serving our local communities since the 1960s, we are committed to working alongside our clients and community partners to address inter-generational poverty and social inequality. We have built upon our origins as separate neighborhood legal services organizations into a regional non-profit law firm with over 150 employees. We practice in multiple legal substantive areas to help our clients protect their livelihoods, their health, and their families. BayLegal works to prevent domestic violence and sexual assault, increase economic stability, protect consumers, expand access to healthcare, and prevent homelessness. Our clients include the working poor, families with children, foster youth, seniors, immigrants, veterans, individuals impacted by the criminal justice system and persons with disabilities. By serving clients at a wide range of access points, including our six regional county offices, our mobile advocacy clinics, and our nationally recognized legal hotlines, BayLegal has a unique viewpoint to identify patterns of illegal practices and barriers to our clients’ rights in need of broader advocacy and potential impact litigation. For our clients, BayLegal makes the difference between staying in poverty and thriving toward a brighter future.
BayLegal seeks an attorney with a strong commitment to public interest and social justice advocacy to join our Contra Costa County Regional Office, located in Richmond. The COVID19 public health and economic crisis has made civil legal services ever more critical to help individuals and families avoid homelessness, debt and to provide opportunities for stability and self-sufficiency. Our housing work focuses on preserving tenancies and ensuring fair housing opportunity for low‐income and subsidized tenants in Contra Costa County. See below description of our current work environment due to COVID-19.
As a Housing Staff Attorney, you will have the opportunity to:
- Learn and assist with the diverse legal needs of underserved and vulnerable communities in Contra Costa County and broader Bay Area.
- Provide full‐scope legal representation to low‐income tenants in unlawful detainer proceedings, including propounding and responding to discovery, conducting depositions, pre/post‐trial motions, trials and appeals.
- Represent tenants in administrative proceedings before the Contra Costa County Housing Authority and other agencies.
- Advocate for tenants on issues of fair housing, substandard conditions, and VAWA.
- Identify systemic problems that affect our clients’ rights and address these challenges through affirmative litigation and policy work.
- Staff clinics to conduct legal information sessions, provide pro per guidance, and assess for further services.
- Collaborate with the local and national tenant advocacy and consumer rights communities.
- Provide workshops and technical assistance to community partners and client community.
- 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.
- Work with BayLegal’s development, grants and contracts, and communications team to promote BayLegal’s mission and resource development, and
- Engage in other tasks and projects that further the interest of furthering BayLegal’s mission and operations as a non‐profit.
Requirements/Qualifications/About the Successful Candidate:
- 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.
- Membership in good standing in the California State Bar.
- Experience in housing law and tenant advocacy preferred.
- Bilingual ability in Spanish preferred.
- 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.
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 to the public and availability to work from our offices, we anticipate remaining primarily remote throughout at least 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 must be able to 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. 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). This is a union position (Bay Area Legal Aid Workers, “BALAW”), and the salary scale can be found on our website, at https://baylegal.org/get-involved/employment-opportunities/.
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, LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Intersex, Asexual) and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) individuals, veterans, individuals who have been impacted by the criminal justice system, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Please reference Housing Staff Attorney Position – Contra Costa 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.