STAFF ATTORNEY - CONSUMER RIGHTS PROJECT

Job Type

Full Time

Salary

Details: DOE

Published

08/11/2018

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 Consumer Rights Project is one of the oldest projects within Public Counsel. Our mission is to advance economic justice by providing legal counsel for low-income individuals and their families, addressing inequalities in bargaining power, opposing those who take advantage of the vulnerable, and holding wrongdoers accountable.


A few of our current cases include the following:


           1. PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) Real Estate Fraud

           We have filed two class actions involving the “PACE” program, which advertises the ability to get home improvements to make homes more energy efficient, through a “government program.” However, the program has no effective consumer protection requirements and, as a result, many individuals are entering into these agreements without any analysis that the homeowner will be able to afford the payments. Thousands of low-income homeowners are at risk of losing their homes because of the increased assessments. The cases are currently pending in LA Superior Court in the Complex Department.

           2. VideoSymphony (Student Loan Debt from For-Profit College)

           We represent two students on behalf of themselves and a class of individuals who were sued to recover on a debt by a former for-profit school owner. We have filed a class action Answer and Cross-Complaint to the debt collection complaints on the ground that there are class-wide defenses and affirmative claims that apply to all similarly situated defendants. The cases are filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.

           3. Rodriguez v. City of Los Angeles (Gang Injunction Removals)

           We are currently in the implementation phase of a settlement agreement with the City of Los Angeles. The case was a class action against the City of Los Angeles for serving unconstitutional gang injunctions on purported gang members. As part of the novel settlement, we have 1) a $30,000,000 Jobs and Education program available to class members or a family member; 2) an expedited process for getting off the gang injunctions, and 3) a tattoo removal process. We are now processing the requests for removal from the gang injunction and representing or securing pro bono counsel for all of the claimants whom the City will not voluntarily remove from the gang injunction.

           4.        Criminal Justice Debt (potential cases)

           We are investigating potential litigation regarding numerous aspects of the interaction between debt and the criminal justice system, including money bail, fines and fees, and disproportionate policing of people of color.


JOB SUMMARY


The Staff Attorney position is for a mid-career level attorney who will join the Consumer Rights Project’s Director, two other staff attorneys, one Equal Justice Works Fellow, two paralegal/ legal assistants, and a variety of volunteer attorneys. The main responsibility will be to litigate complex federal and state cases and to handle intakes and litigate or support pro bono attorneys in litigating smaller individual cases. This attorney would also work with attorneys in other Public Counsel projects on litigation involving housing, homelessness, community development, and women’s issues, among others.


The Staff Attorney may also participate in clinics that we conduct bi-monthly in the community, conduct outreach, prepare self-help and educational materials, participate in lobbying activities, draft amicus briefs and comment letters, network with other advocates, and provide trainings and information to the public as well as other consumer and civil rights attorneys. Our work focuses both on issues within the State of California and nationally.


ESSENTIAL JOB SKILLS AND ABILITIES REQUIRED


  • Excellent oral and written communication skills (Spanish-language fluency preferred);
  • Demonstrated ability to litigate independently and under pressure, preferably in a civil rights or public interest context;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to work well as part of a team;
  • Three to ten years of litigation experience preferred, including some experience in public interest cases;
  • Admission to California Bar;
  • Comfort working with low-income, racially diverse clients;
  • A commitment to economic and racial justice;
  • Driver’s license and access to a car.

Benefits

Excellent benefits

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

J.D.

How To Apply

Please send a cover letter and resume to:

Anne Richardson

Director, Consumer Law Project

Public Counsel

610 South Ardmore Avenue

Los Angeles, California 90005

Email: clpjob@publiccounsel.org

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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