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 Santa Clara County?
Join BayLegal’s dynamic Housing Law Practice!
Bay Area Legal Aid (BayLegal) works with our clients to advocate for their legal rights and remove legal barriers to health, safety, and stability through representation, legal advice and information, referrals, community education, and advocacy for low-income individuals and 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 and juvenile legal system and persons with disabilities. By serving clients at a wide range of access points, including our six regional county offices, mobile advocacy, community-based clinics and service sites, and 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. BayLegal strives to create equitable access to resources and services to build a foundation from which our clients can thrive.
BayLegal strives to address the immediate crisis an individual or family may be experiencing and the underlying and compounding legal issues that create barriers to long-term stability and opportunities. We believe that all people should be treated with respect and have the resources they need to meet their goals. To that end, we engage in civil legal representation, social work, community collaborations, and systemic advocacy, in partnership with the communities we serve.
BayLegal seeks an Attorney with a strong commitment to public interest and social justice advocacy to join our Santa Clara County office to represent low-income tenants in asserting their rights in eviction proceedings, fair housing, and preservation of affordable housing. In this position you will have the opportunity to join a small collaborative local team based out of San José and BayLegal’s larger regional practice and social justice team. Your direct supervisor is the Santa Clara County Regional Office Managing Attorney and the regional housing practice team is available to provide mentorship and strategic support. This position is based in our San José office, serving clients throughout Santa Clara County. The position involves traveling to all parts of the county as necessary to best serve our low-income clients. As a member of BayLegal’s regional practice, there may be travel within BayLegal’s broader service areas for the purposes of meeting with clients in transportation challenged areas and as necessary for training and broader advocacy. 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 advocate for the diverse legal needs of communities affected by systemic and structural inequities in Santa Clara County and the broader Bay Area to reduce homelessness, enhance stability and address social injustice;
- 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;
- Address access barriers and provide legal assistance to low-income tenants by providing call-backs to tenants seeking help through our Legal Advice Line;
- Represent tenants in administrative proceedings before the Santa Clara 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’ housing rights and address these challenges through affirmative litigation and policy work;
- Collaborate with the local and national tenant advocacy community;
- Learn and assist with the diverse legal needs of underserved and vulnerable communities in Santa Clara County and broader Bay Area;
- Provide workshops and technical assistance to community partners and client community on housing law, tenants’ rights, and a broad range of civil legal issues;
- 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 closely 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.
- Member of CA Bar in good standing, or admitted to practice in another state and eligible to practice in California for 5 years under the California State Bar rules for the Registered Legal Services Attorney Program. Candidates who have recently passed the CA Bar or are eligible for provisional licensure may be considered.
- Experience in civil litigation, preferably in housing law and tenant advocacy
- 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
- Candidates with bilingual ability in Spanish, Vietnamese, or another client language are highly encouraged to apply
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 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 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, 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 the following to our Human Resources Department firstname.lastname@example.org (1) cover letter including response to question below (no page limit), (2) resume, (3) references, and (4) writing sample. Please reference Santa Clara Housing Attorney in the subject of your email.
As part of your cover letter, please address the following:
BayLegal’s clients are low-income and very low-income members of our communities. They include LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Intersex, Asexual) and QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) individuals, the working poor, seniors, people who are limited English proficient, veterans, persons with disabilities, survivors of abuse and exploitation, individuals impacted by the criminal justice system, and people who are experiencing or at risk of homeless, 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 across cultures, 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 experiences, professional or otherwise, prepared you to serve our diverse client base effectively, work effectively with colleagues from different backgrounds than your own, 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.