BayLegal seeks an attorney with a strong commitment to public interest and social justice advocacy 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 regional housing practice and social justice team. This position is based in our San José office and requires travel to all parts of the county as necessary to best serve our low-income clients. 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 BayLegal Housing Attorney you will have the opportunity:
- 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;
- Represent low-income tenants in administrative hearings and eviction proceedings at every stage of litigation, including motions, discovery, trials and appeals;
- Learn and assist with the diverse legal needs of underserved and vulnerable communities in Santa Clara County and the broader Bay Area;
- Provide workshops and technical assistance to community partners and client community on 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 BayLegal's operations as a non-profit
Requirements/Qualifications/About the Successful Candidate:
- Cultural 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.
- Licensure: Member of CA Bar in good standing, or admitted to practice in another state and eligible to practice in California for 3 years under the California State Bar rules for the Registered Legal Services Attorney Program.
- Experience directly representing clients in litigation or another similar setting preferred.
- Must have received or be willing to receive and maintain up to date COVID-19 vaccination (including eligible boosters) by date of hire to be considered. Proof of vaccination required.
- Language fluency and proficiency in Spanish, Vietnamese, or another language regularly used in services to our client community preferred (wage differential available upon passing test for fluency and written proficiency).
- Experience and skills maintaining organization of time, managing diverse activities, and meeting 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
- Detail oriented
- Sense of humor and proactive problem-solver.
COVID-19 work: BayLegal is committed to the health and safety of our staff, clients, and community. BayLegal has implemented detailed health and safety protocols to minimize risk of exposure and has an evolving plan for expanding local office reception hours to the public and increased in-person activities in our offices and community-based advocacy sites. Employees are expected to reside in California and at a distance allowing them to commute to their physical BayLegal base location and service delivery locations as needed and in compliance with public health advisories. During the initial phase employees are expected to be in the offices a minimum of two days per week. Due to the COVID-19 crisis and its impact on personal lives, BayLegal is open to providing flexibility regarding work schedules to the extent feasible for the position
Compensationand 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; BayLegal student debt reimbursement program; long term disability insurance; employee assistance program; wage differentials for multi-lingual employees whose non-English language skills are regularly used in the provision of work tasks and pass a request test of fluency and/or proficiency; dependent childcare employer contribution program; employer paid CA Bar license and/or social work license fees; and 401k retirement plan with BayLegal contribution following first year. BayLegal has a generous paid leave policy which includes sick leave; parental leave; 15 holidays each year; 3 floating holidays each year (days chosen by employee); 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 ranges from $73,166-$138,127 depending on years of experience; the salary scale can be found on our BayLegal union positions salary scale for 2022-2026.
Application Instructions: 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 QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, 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. We are committed to equal employment opportunity and providing reasonable accommodations to qualified candidates and employees pursuant to applicable law. We value and encourage diversity and solicit applications from all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, gender, sex, age, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, marital status, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, medical condition, military and veteran status, gender identity or expression, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. If you require a reasonable accommodation as part of the application process, please contact BayLegal’s Human Resources Manager at (510) 250-5225.
BayLegal will begin reviewing applications upon receipt and continue until the position is filled. Please submit (1) cover letter that includes a response to the question below (no page limit), (2) resume, (3) references, and (4) a writing sample through BayLegal’s career application portal located at https://bayarealegalaid.applytojob.com/apply.
As part of your cover letter,pleaseaddress 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.
Feel free to think broadly about your response to this question: 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? Include various aspects of your life and personal experiences in your cover letter.