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.Position:
BayLegal seeks an attorney with a strong commitment to public interest and social justice advocacy to address a wide range of issues facing low-income individuals, with a focus on economic justice, access to public benefits, including CalWORKs, CalFresh, General Assistance/ County Adult Assistance Program (GA/CAAP), Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI), along with overcoming legal barriers to employment. The COVID-19 public health and economic crisis has made civil legal services ever more critical to help individuals and families avoid homelessness, devastating debt, and to provide opportunities for stability and self-sufficiency. This position is based in our San Francisco office, and requires travel throughout 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 transportation-challenged clients, and as necessary for training and advocacy. See below description of our current work environment due to COVID-19.As an Economic Justice Attorney, You Will Have the Opportunity To:
Requirements/Qualifications/About the Successful Candidate:
- Learn and advocate for the diverse legal needs of communities affected by systemic and structural inequities in San Francisco County and the broader Bay Area to reduce homelessness, enhance stability, and address social injustice;
- Assist low-income people with legal issues that present a barrier to employment or self-sufficiency, such as suspended drivers’ licenses, collateral consequences of conviction, health access, housing habitability, and benefits/immigration eligibility issues;
- Represent clients in a range of public benefits matters, including CalWORKs, CalFresh, GA/CAAP, Social Security, SSI, and CAPI;
- Help clients access other state and federal benefits programs;
- Identify and employ impact advocacy strategies to remove systematic barriers to public benefits for client populations, including particularly vulnerable groups such as refugees, survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking, homeless individuals, and people with disabilities;
- Provide public benefits trainings to BayLegal staff, and work collaboratively with attorneys practicing in BayLegal’s other substantive areas;
- Provide workshops and technical assistance to community partners and the client community on public benefits, employment barriers, 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 mission and operations as a non-profit.
Temporary COVID-19 remote work:
- 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.
- Passion for and desire to work with low-income individuals.
- Member of CA Bar in good standing or admitted to practice in another state and eligible to practice in California under the California State Bar rules for the Registered Legal Services Attorney Program.
- Experience with county and state benefits programs, Social Security and SSI claims, including administrative hearings, preferred.
- Bilingual ability in Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Tagalog or Russian preferred.
- Strong personal work ethic and ability to organize time, manage diverse activities, and meet critical deadlines with minimal supervision.
- Excellent public speaking, 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.
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/.