BayLegal seeks an advocate or attorney with a strong commitment to public interest and social justice advocacy to join our dynamic Legal Advice Line team. The Legal Advice Line (LAL) team provides immediate legal assistance to low-income individuals and families in the areas of housing, family law, public benefits, and consumer law through our regional hotline. The LAL team plays a critical role to empower clients with the tools to address their immediate legal needs, identifying systemic issues and patterns and engaging in broader advocacy. Advocates work under the supervision of the Legal Advice Line Managing Attorney. This position is based in Oakland and will focus on eviction prevention, fair housing, and preventing loss of affordable housing. See COVID-19 work.
Duties and Responsibilities:
- Learn and assist with the diverse legal needs of low-income communities in the Bay Area to help reduce homelessness, enhance stability, and address social injustice;
- Provide advice and counsel, legal information, and referrals to low-income tenants by staffing shifts on our Legal Advice Line;
- Assist with preparing legal pleadings (ex. Answers to Unlawful Detainer eviction lawsuits), letters and reasonable accommodation requests;
- 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;
- 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 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 and Qualifications:
- 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.
- Must have received or be willing to receive and maintain up to date COVID-19 vaccinations (including boosters) by date of hire to be considered. Proof of vaccination is required.
- If you are an attorney applicant, 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 preferred. Candidates who have recently passed the CA Bar or graduated and are eligible for provisional licensure may be considered. Likewise, non-attorney applicants with relevant experience may be considered.
- Bilingual ability in Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Hindi, Punjabi or Russian preferred
- Strong 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
- Interest and demonstrated experience working 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.
COVID-19 remote work: BayLegal is committed to the health and safety of our staff, clients, and community. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, most BayLegal employees at least partially work remotely. BayLegal has implemented detailed health and safety protocols to minimize risk of exposure and has an evolving plan to increase local receptions hours open to the public and increased in-person activities in our offices and community-based advocacy sites. Currently, most BayLegal employees work a hybrid model including on-site and in-person work and working from home on a part-time basis. 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 per established work schedule and as needed.
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 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; 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 for this year ranges from $58,680 - $84,577 depending on licensure and years of experience. Click on the link to view the BayLegal union positions salary scale for 2022-2026 for more info.
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 (510) 250-5225.
BayLegal will begin reviewing applications upon receipt and continue until the position is filled. Please submit (1) cover letter including response to question below (no page limit), (2) resume, (3) references, and (4) writing sample through BayLegal’s career application portal.
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.