ABOUT PUBLIC COUNSEL
Public Counsel is the nation’s largest provider of pro bono legal services. Founded in 1970, it is dedicated to advancing equal justice under law and addressing economic, racial, social, and other inequities by delivering free legal and social services to the most vulnerable members of our community. Public Counsel operates eight legal projects: Children’s Rights, Community Development, Consumer Rights & Economic Justice, Homelessness Prevention, Immigrants’ Rights, Veterans’ Rights, the Audrey Irmas Project for Women & Girls’ Rights, and our impact litigation project, Opportunity Under Law.
Public Counsel has a full-time staff of over 130. We are committed to building a diverse staff and encourage applications from people of color, people with disabilities, and people of all gender identities, gender expressions, and sexualities.
ABOUT THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROJECT (CDP)
The Community Development Project is dedicated to creating healthier, greener, and economically stable communities through its support of charitable organizations and businesses in the Los Angeles region. By investing in community development and strengthening existing networks and infrastructures that provide crucial services to historically marginalized neighborhoods, we support meaningful, long-lasting change toward a more inclusive and vibrant Los Angeles for everyone.
Reporting to the Vice President & Chief of Programs, the Community Development Project (CDP) Directing Attorney provides direction and leadership for Public Counsel’s 15 community development advocates, including attorneys, paralegals, and administrative staff. Public Counsel’s CDP strives to build healthy, inclusive, and economically stable communities through the delivery of pro bono legal services to community-based coalitions, nonprofits, and small businesses in Los Angeles County. CDP’s work includes transactional legal services to nonprofits and entrepreneurs and supporting community-led advocacy groups and organizations in their effort to advance racial and economic justice and build power in low-income communities and communities of color.
The Directing Attorney provides the management and strategic direction to carry out CDP’s mission and vision, and is accountable for setting and meeting the established short and long-term goals of the Project. This includes oversight of all CDP programs, legal services, litigation, policy advocacy, and fund development efforts. The Directing Attorney must support Public Counsel’s values of equity and inclusion and client and community-centered advocacy. A passionate and effective leader, the next Directing Attorney will expand the impact of Public Counsel’s Community Development Project for the greater benefit of nonprofit organizations, small businesses and micro-entrepreneurs, community based organizations, and low-income communities and communities of color across Los Angeles County and beyond.
ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES
Strategy and Organizational Leadership:
- Leads CDP’s efforts to bring about systemic and meaningful change on behalf of our clients, including by identifying opportunities to bring cases likely to have an extensive impact, and engaging in advocacy at the local, state and national levels;
- Provides vision and support to CDP’s supervising attorneys, Small Business Program Manager, and unionized staff to deliver high quality legal services, including direct representation, impact litigation, and policy advocacy.
- Engages with external partners, community stakeholders, and the media to pursue strategic goals in partnership with management, CDP staff, and Public Counsel’s communications team;
- Supports CDP staff by overseeing recruitment and hiring, and providing mentorship, training and growth opportunities and effective supervision that values staff well-being, including sustainable workloads;
- Collaborates with management to inform, enhance, and execute agency-wide policies and initiatives;
- Collaborates with management and CDP staff to further diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as trauma-informed services, within the organization.
Community Relations & Programming
- Collaborates with community partners, including grassroots organizations, legal service providers, social service agencies, and governmental agencies, to build the power of entrepreneurs, nonprofit agencies and leaders, and low-income communities of color;
- Leads collaborative process with management and the CDP team both to support and, if necessary, modify existing programs and to design new programs in response to needs of low-income communities of color, entrepreneurs, and nonprofit agencies and leaders;
- Recruits pro bono attorneys to engage in impact litigation and direct legal services, and advises pro bono attorneys in CDP’s substantive areas of law;
- Collaborates with Public Counsel’s Director of Social Work to identify needs and social work resources.
Financial Management and Fund Development
- Works with CDP staff, development staff, and leadership to maintain existing grant funding and seek new sources of funding to support and, where appropriate, expand CDP’s objectives and impact;
- Manages grant compliance, including applications, program design, tracking and reporting;
- Oversees CDP budget development and manages the CDP budget.
- At least 10 years of legal experience preferred;
- Must be a member in good standing of any state bar, but State Bar of California membership preferred; if not licensed in California, must be prepared to join the California Bar if selected and needed for the position;
- Significant management and mentorship experience in the non-profit and legal services sector preferred;
- Significant leadership experience and vision for – as well as demonstrated commitment to – inclusive community development, including by working in coalition with partners and community stakeholders to build community, advance equity, and change narratives;
- Comprehensive knowledge of community development, inclusive economic development, affordable housing, anti-displacement, child care law, nonprofit and/or small business capacity building, civil rights and/or housing litigation (or related public interest field) preferred;
- Demonstrated commitment to anti-oppression, racial justice, and advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace and in the communities Public Counsel serves;
- Demonstrated commitment to trauma-informed legal advocacy;
- Experienced and effective communicator who works cooperatively across teams, levels, and functions within the organization;
- Excellent written and oral communication skills, including experience communicating with the press;
- Excellent interpersonal, management, and organizational skills;
- Collaborative, transparent, and compassionate management style;
- Ability to read, write, and speak fluently in a language other than English is a plus, but not required.
JOB TYPE AND BENEFITS
- Full-time, Exempt position
- Salary starts at $125,000 and is commensurate with abilities and experience
- Public Counsel offers a competitive benefits package including:
- Medical, dental, and vision coverage with both HMO and PPO options;
- The option to enroll in a Flexible Spending Account;
- A 403(b) retirement plan with elective contribution and a discretionary employer contribution after a year of employment; and
- Employer-paid life insurance and disability plans.
- Generous paid time off and compensatory time up to 40 hours per calendar year
- Parking and transit benefits
HOW TO APPLY
We value lived experiences and experiences working with clients across a range of settings. Please discuss such experiences in your cover letter, especially if they are not reflected in your resume.
We strongly encourage interested candidates to apply by no later than June 30.
Resume, cover letter, three references, and writing sample requested. The writing sample should be uploaded along with your resume as one attachment.
PUBLIC COUNSEL VACCINATION POLICY AND COVID-19 PROTOCOLS
Public Counsel requires vaccination against COVID-19 for all employees, including new hires. Pursuant to federal and state laws, Public Counsel will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified employees with disabilities or sincerely held religious beliefs, unless doing so would pose an undue hardship.
Public Counsel is generally office-based, but remote work has been permitted during the pandemic. As of June 6, 2022, all employees with Public Counsel will be required to work in the office at least one day per week, at the discretion of the head of department. This policy is subject to redesign by leadership. Public Counsel will work in a manner consistent with public health and local and state emergency orders.
PUBLIC COUNSEL EEO POLICY
Public Counsel is an Equal Opportunity Employer that does not discriminate against employees or prospective employees on the basis of union membership or activity, race, religious creed, religious observance, ethnicity, color, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information or predisposition, military service, military and veteran status, pregnancy, child birth and related medical conditions, marital and family status, national origin, ancestry, age, medical conditions as defined by state or federal law, or disability, or any other basis prohibited by law.
All qualified applicants with criminal histories will be considered in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring.
Our leadership team is dedicated to this policy with respect to recruitment, hiring, placement, promotion, transfer, training, compensation, benefits, employee activities discipline, discharge and general treatment during employment.