Staff Attorney

Job Type

Full Time

Salary

Details: DOE

Published

09/11/2018

Address

610 S. Ardmore Avenue
Los Angeles
CA
90005
United States

Description

ORGANIZATIONAL BACKGROUND

Public Counsel is the largest pro bono public interest law firm in the country. Founded in 1970, it is dedicated to advancing equal justice under law and addressing economic, racial, 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, 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 120. We seek to have a racially inclusive staff.


Public Counsel’s Homelessness Prevention Law Project (HPLP) serves individuals who are homeless or at high risk of becoming homeless. HPLP provides pro bono representation to homeless individuals and families to secure food, shelter, clothing and other vital benefits. In addition, HPLP assists unrepresented low-income litigants in unlawful detainer actions, and helps address tickets and warrants that present barriers to an individual’s housing and stability.


JOB SUMMARY

The Staff Attorney will provide eviction defense and tenant counseling through two HPLP programs. The Shriver Housing Project is a collaborative of four non-profit legal services organizations in the Los Angeles area, including Public Counsel. It is the largest of the statewide Shriver Right to Counsel Pilot projects exploring the benefits of representation of poor people facing evictions. The Shriver Housing Project assists thousands of unrepresented low-income litigants in unlawful detainer actions. The Staff Attorney will also participate in the Preventing and Ending Homelessness Program, which focuses on delivering comprehensive, trauma-informed, wrap-around legal services designed to remove barriers to housing. This new program serves youth, families and single adults in the communities within Los Angeles County’s Service Planning Area (SPA) 6, encompassing South Los Angeles, Compton, Florence, Rosewood, Willowbrook, Crenshaw, West Adams, Lynwood, Paramount and Windsor Hills, in partnership with regional Coordinated Entry System (CES) health and social service partners. This innovative program is designed to remove barriers to housing that require legal intervention, including eviction prevention and landlord dispute resolution.


The Staff Attorney is a full-time position based at Public Counsel’s 610 S. Ardmore office and at satellite locations, as appropriate. It will involve off-site meetings and court appearances throughout Los Angeles County as needed. The position has the following responsibilities:


  • Carry a caseload of unlawful detainer cases, which includes responsibility for: client interviews; drafting pleadings, motions, discovery, briefs, and correspondence; negotiating with outside parties; representing clients in court and conducting jury trials;
  • Provide landlord-tenant counseling and services;
  • Act as a resource regarding housing issues for other Public Counsel staff and community partners;
  • Provide technical assistance to, or co-counsel with, pro bono attorneys handling unlawful detainer cases and other housing matters;
  • Participate in community outreach, including preparing and presenting trainings and special projects;
  • Assist with grant reporting, billing, and outcome tracking for housing work; and
  • Other duties as assigned.


ESSENTIAL JOB SKILLS AND ABILITIES REQUIRED

Candidates must possess the following:


  • Juris Doctor degree and a member in good standing of the California Bar;
  • Eviction defense litigation experience preferred;
  • Commitment to trauma-informed legal advocacy: empathy, responsive listening, restraint from judgment, and demonstration of authentic care and concern;
  • Commitments to race equity work and community lawyering, and willingness to incorporate race equity principles and community lawyering in practice;
  • Strong sense of professional responsibility;
  • Desire to learn as well as share knowledge with other team members;
  • Excellent client skills and comfort working with indigent clients;
  • Ability to work in a fast paced, high volume environment;
  • Strong interpersonal skills;
  • Work well as part of a team, but also be able to work independently with minimal supervision;
  • Organized and detail oriented;
  • Strong written and oral communication skills;
  • Excellent negotiation skills; and
  • Ability to commute throughout Los Angeles County.


In addition, as required by funder and our service partners, candidates must:

  • Obtain certification that candidate is free of active tuberculosis prior to contact with clients; and
  • Participate in other health and security clearances.


Ability to read, write and speak fluently in Spanish is strongly preferred.

Benefits

Excellent benefits.

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

J.D.

How To Apply

Email a cover letter, résumé, list of references and brief writing sample (in PDF format) to:

Nisha Vyas

Directing Attorney – HPLP

hplpjob@publiccounsel.org

Please include “Housing Attorney” in subject line. No phone calls please. 

Public Counsel is an Equal Opportunity Employer

All qualified applicants shall receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, ethnic group identification, ancestry, sex, age, marital status, political affiliation, condition of physical or mental disability, gender identity or sexual orientation, in accordance with requirements of Federal and State laws.

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.


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