Since 1971, Project Sentinel, a non-profit, civil rights agency, has advanced fair housing goals by counseling and investigating complaints of housing discrimination. We seek to develop and promote fairness and equality of opportunity in all areas of housing for all persons. In addition to fair housing services, the agency operates two other program areas: comprehensive tenant/landlord counseling and dispute resolution and homeownership services of mortgage foreclosure counseling/ intervention and first time homebuyer education. The agency currently makes its services available to over 3 million people in eight diverse Bay Area counties: Alameda, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Sacramento, Monterey, Stanislaus and Merced. For more information about Project Sentinel, please visit our website at www.housing.org.
We are looking for one or two full-time Law Clerks to work out of either our Redwood City or Santa Clara offices. The Law Clerks will work in Project Sentinel's Fair Housing Program and will provide support in counseling and conducting investigations of housing discrimination complaints throughout our service areas, and will participate in the full range of advocacy, educational and enforcement work done in our offices. Law Clerks will be given significant responsibility, will be expected to work independently, and will have the opportunity for direct client contact. To ensure that they receive meaningful feedback on their work and the training necessary to do the work, law clerks will be closely supervised by experienced Staff Attorneys who are all law school graduates, most active members of the California Bar. The position is ideal for someone interested in working in civil rights who wants to gain experience working in the non-profit world and who would like exposure to the broad range of advocacy, policy and enforcement work intrinsic to a private non-profit agency working in a legal area. Law Clerks will also have many opportunities to network with other Bay Area non-profit organizations and will be encouraged to attend professional educational seminars, as opportunity permits. We are committed to providing a robust educational experience for our Clerks, one that will be extremely valuable for any law student hoping for a career working in non-profit agencies or civil rights advocacy organizations. We are looking for someone interested in working with us the entire summer.
Duties and Responsibilities
- Working under the supervision of experienced Staff Attorneys, conduct fair housing investigations, including case intake and processing of complaints, interviewing parties and witnesses, collecting and analyzing evidence, drafting case analysis and investigation summaries, researching and analyzing legal issues, drafting tester profiles and analyzing test results, drafting administrative complaints of discrimination with HUD or DFEH, attending mediations and administrative proceedings, and participating in discovery for cases in litigation;
- Provide fair housing complaint counseling and referrals to alternative agencies where necessary;
- Research legal issues and prepare memos;
- Maintain accurate and complete case management database records and information and referral records for all cases and calls;
- Provide support for community outreach and education on fair housing issues, such as preparing written materials and power point presentations;
- Drafting content for our social media and web platforms;
- Writing articles on common fair housing issues for newspaper publications;
- Monitor rental advertisements and other housing advertising forums for fair housing violations;
- Work cooperatively with the other Fair Housing team members to achieve agency objectives, including working on special team and individual projects to affirmatively further fair housing;
- Draft mediation briefs and case summaries;
- Negotiate solutions to housing problems for disabled tenants needing reasonable accommodations; and
- Perform other miscellaneous work as assigned, including answering phones, recording and compiling data, preparing reports, and attending meetings.
- Candidate must have a desire to work on behalf of civil rights protections and to work and interact with, as well as demonstrate respect for, individuals and groups without regard to race, religion, sex, color, national origin, sexual orientation, familial status, or disability;
- Must be enrolled in law school or a recent graduate and working towards a J.D. or studying for the bar exam;
- Experience working in or volunteering for non-profit or civil rights environment highly valued, or ability to demonstrate a genuine interest in working in such an environment;
- Experience in diverse communities high valued, whether through life experience or work experience;
- Excellent oral and written communication skills;
- Fluency in a second language strongly preferred, particularly Spanish, Vietnamese, Mandarin, or other Asian languages;
- Ability to manage an active case load and short timelines efficiently and effectively;
- Highly motivated, and capable of working in a busy and occasionally stressful environment;
- Organized and able to maintain accurate records with attention to detail;
- Creative problem-solving skills, flexibility, and strong desire to help people essential!
- Team oriented, flexible, and have a good sense of humor;
- Excellent computer skills. Proficiency with Microsoft Excel and/or Access necessary.
Areas of focus:
1490 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA, US 95050
Application deadline:April 14, 2017
Start date:May 22, 2017
End date:August 11, 2017
Hours per week:35
Stipend/Wage:$20 per hour