Staff Attorney

Job Type

Full Time




United States


The Investigations Staff Attorney shares responsibility with other legal and advocacy staff for providing information, technical assistance, outreach and training, and representation in administrative and judicial proceedings to clients with disabilities.



Investigations Staff Attorney essential functions:

Assist Clients – 75%

- Conduct confidential investigations into allegations of abuse and neglect of persons with disabilities.

- Conduct interviews, review and analyze documentary evidence, and perform other investigatory activities.

- Draft clear and concise detailed written documents, including internal memorandum and public reports.

- Participate in public policy activities which might include the review and draft of legislation and regulations.

- Participate in statewide and regional teams which might include impact teams.


Outreach / Training – 20%

- Engage in community-based advocacy, outreach, and training to disability communities and organizations.

- Prepare training materials, publications, reports, and special projects.


Support Services – 5%

- Assist in the development and implementation of systems reform activities.


Investigations Staff Attorney marginal functions:

- Assist with organizational development and planning.

- Perform other duties as assigned. 



This position has no supervisory responsibilities.



Moderate travel required: Ability to travel frequently for activities such as out-of-town meetings, client visits, inspect facilities, hearings, education, training, or outreach activities up to 40% of the time.



Juris Doctor degree (J.D.) or equivalent and membership in the California State Bar or eligible to practice under the Registered Legal Services Attorney Program [admitted to practice in another state and eligible to practice in California for three (3) years under the California State Bar rules for the Registered Legal Services Attorney Program, and required admittance to the California Bar within three (3) years.] Plus:

- Two years paid or voluntary legal experience in any combination of the following: a) a social services, human services, community-based, public interest, civil rights or health care environment; b) as an attorney in the practice of public interest law; or c) directly representing clients in administrative hearings and/or litigation. Judicial clerkships or externships may be counted as up to one year of experience.

- Experience working with or sensitivity to individuals with disabilities.

- Experience working with or sensitivity to individuals from ethnic or language distinct communities.



- Experience in licensing or with agencies which specifically address abuse, neglect, crimes, and quality of care issues affecting people with disabilities.

- Experience in laws, rights, and services as they pertain to people with disabilities, and/or representation of people with disabilities.

- Experience in client representation, particularly in public interest and civil rights law.

- Experience reviewing financial, disability related benefits, or medical records or other clinical documents.

- Able to communicate fluently and write effectively in Spanish or an Asian language; or able to communicate using American Sign Language.

- Experience working with and/or sensitivity to persons with disabilities and/or experience working with and/or sensitivity to persons from multi-ethnic communities.

- Life experience as a person with a disability OR direct experience as a caregiver of a family member with a disability.

- Familiarity and/or extensive contacts with one or more of the following: homelessness, criminal justice, substance abuse or Gay/Lesbian/Bi-Sexual/Transgender/Intersex (GLBTI) communities.



The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the job responsibilities.



Ability to read, analyze, and interpret common legal documents, financial reports, and technical journals. Ability to respond to common inquiries or complaints from clients, regulatory agencies, or members of the business community. Ability to write legal arguments and articles for publication that conform to prescribed style and format. Ability to effectively present information to government entities, public officials, and/or boards of directors.



Ability to engage in conversation in a clearly participatory manner, write routine informal and some formal correspondence, and understand the main idea and supporting details of authentic narrative and descriptive texts in order to communicate information on autobiographical topics, as well as topics of community, national, or international interest. 



Ability to calculate figures and amounts such as discounts, interest, commissions, proportions, percentages, and area. Ability to apply concepts of basic numerical techniques to solve problems and to compare solutions.



Ability to define problems, collect evidence, establish facts, and draw valid legal conclusions. Ability to interpret an extensive variety legal information and deal with several abstract and concrete variables. Ability to compare law to a set of facts.



- Commitment to the agency’s mission and values.

- Comply with agency policies and procedures.

- Comply with California laws and regulations pertaining to reporting incidents of abuse and neglect.

- Comply with California Rules of Professional Conduct.

- Demonstrate advocacy skills.

- Proficiency in fact development, assessment, and legal advocacy preparation.

- Exercise appropriate judgement in analyzing a variety of situations, use sound and logical reasoning, and the proper level of authority.

- Case management consistent with Practice Group’s standards.

- Develop contacts with client groups in order to improve Disability Rights California services to people with disabilities.

- Develop contacts in the disabilities community.

- Provide education, outreach and training.

- Participate in an impact team.

- Extract and compile factual data.

- Produce analytically sound reports.



Proficient in Microsoft Office applications with the ability to use multiple functions within word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, calendar, database, email, internet, and able to learn new software applications.



Duties are performed between an office environment and the field in a wide range of settings, including health care facilities; in client, group, or family homes; community agencies; or in community-based outpatient settings. Work areas are often noisy. Duties frequently require sitting, talking and/or hearing and occasional periods of standing, stooping, kneeling, and crouching. Weights to be lifted and/or moved up to 20 pounds are frequently encountered. Must be able to transport oneself to work-related meeting, centers, etc.


Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

No requirement

How To Apply


If you are interested in becoming a part of DRC, please submit the following:

  1. Online Disability Rights California Application Form
  2. Your resume
  3. Detailed cover letter.

We are committed to the principle that to effectively serve Californians with disabilities, our staff should reflect California's diverse population. Diversity comes from a wide variety of characteristics such as disability, language and ethnic identity, gender, age, race, national origin, religion, culture, sexual orientation, gender identity, military or veteran status, and life experiences. If you are interested in pursuing this opportunity, include a cover letter addressing how you your background meets the requirements of the position, and how you may help enrich our diverse workforce.

    4. Sample of legal writing (i.e., a legal argument, letter or analysis) consisting of no more than 10 pages of text.


Disability Rights California is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age for individuals over forty years of age, military and veteran status, sexual orientation, and any other basis protected by applicable federal, state, and local law. DRC endorses and supports the intent of the Americans with Disabilities act of 1990 (ADA) and the California Fair Employment and Housing act (FEHA) and provides reasonable accommodations for qualified applicants and employees with disabilities.