Staff Attorney & Pro Bono Manager
About Swords to Plowshares
Founded in 1974, Swords to Plowshares is a community-based not-for-profit organization that provides counseling and case management, employment and training, housing, and legal assistance to homeless and low-income veterans in the San Francisco Bay Area. We promote and protect the rights of veterans through advocacy, public education, and partnerships with local, state, and national entities. War causes wounds and suffering that last beyond the battlefield. Swords to Plowshares’ mission is to heal the wounds of war, to restore dignity, hope, and self-sufficiency to all veterans in need, and to prevent and end homelessness and poverty among veterans. To learn more about Swords to Plowshares, please visit our website at www.swords-to-plowshares.org.
About our Legal Services Program
Our Legal Services have been a core component of Swords to Plowshares’ work since its founding. Swords to Plowshares is one of the few organizations in the country that provides free legal consultation and attorney representation to veterans seeking assistance with Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability benefits and military discharge upgrade cases. Our attorneys play an essential role by helping veterans remove unjust legal barriers to VA benefits. Our services are targeted to address the needs of homeless and low-income veterans. All services are free of charge. We are a small, passionate, and dynamic team. We employ a legal empowerment approach that allows for creative solutions to ensure access to crucial VA benefits. We are committed to tireless advocacy and quality representation.
Summary: The Staff Attorney & Pro Bono Manager is responsible for the cultivation of relationships with key pro bono stakeholders and the provision of a strategic vision for Swords’ Pro Bono Program. In addition, this position will carry a small case load as a Staff Attorney and is responsible for making eligibility determinations, interviewing, and providing outreach, advice, and representation to claimants before the US Department of Veterans Affairs (the VA), the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, military Discharge Review Boards, and Boards for Correction of Military Records.
Duties include, but may not be limited to:
Pro Bono Manager (75%)
- Recruit, train, and supervise volunteer attorneys for the Pro Bono Program
- Develop strategic vision for Swords’ pro bono work; create and implement annual pro bono program plan
- Strengthen and maintain relationships with law firms, corporations, bar associations and other entities
- Provide ongoing case management and mentoring assistance to volunteer attorneys.
- Expand volunteer training programs and materials
- Coordinate and manage off-site legal clinics
- Develop client case files and screening memos; operate a smooth case placement process.
- Supervise the Pro Bono Program Legal Assistant position
- Create and oversee quality control procedures, including case monitoring, case updates, troubleshooting, and ongoing communications with clients and volunteer attorneys
- Create and manage effective case closing process, including the timely closing of completed matters and the collection and review of information from clients and volunteers about their experience
- Maintain communication and ongoing engagement with Pro Bono Advisory Board.
- Spearhead volunteer appreciation and recognition activities
- Prepare statistical reports and use the information to evaluate, improve, and promote the Pro Bono Program
- Submit reports; attend meetings
- Perform other duties as required by Legal Director
Staff Attorney (25%)
- Provide the following services to veterans in need of legal assistance with VA benefits claims and military discharge upgrades: (1) outreach; (2) brief legal advice and assessment; and (3) direct legal representation
- Develop and marshal necessary evidence, including military records, medical and mental health records, court-martial transcripts, personal statements, and/or non-governmental documents, to assist in case evaluation, preparation, and representation
- Conduct legal research and draft legal briefs
- Represent clients at hearings before the VA Regional office, Board of Veterans Appeals, and military corrections boards as required
- Coordinate within legal team on case strategies
- Provide technical assistance and training to other veterans’ legal advocates
- Perform in-depth research and prepare written materials relating to legal issues faced by veterans
- Submit reports, attend meetings, and perform administrative tasks, as required.
- Work with other program providers to integrate services within Swords to Plowshares’ continuum of care
- Perform other duties as required by Legal Director
- Must be a current member, in good standing, of the State Bar of California. Other state bar membership may qualify, if it satisfies VA rules for attorney representation and meets eligibility requirements for admission to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
- Experience effectively communicating with legal professionals and community leaders; ability to engage with diverse stakeholders; strong public speaking skills
- Strong, accurate research skills; impeccable written and verbal communication skills.
- Highly motivated and able to manage own work and case loads
- Demonstrated experience with or sensitivity to the needs of homeless and disabled veteran populations, particularly “hard to reach / serve” populations
- Patience; creativity; attention to detail; excellent organizational skills
- Demonstrated ability to work cooperatively and remain calm under pressure
- Commitment to the mission of Swords to Plowshares
- Veteran preferred, or demonstrated familiarity with VA and veteran issues
- Experience in administrative, military, and veterans law
- Familiarity with public benefits
- Management experience, including the supervision of other attorneys and legal professionals
- Familiarity with local legal community
This position requires extended periods of sitting at a desk/computer station, meeting with clients, and doing administrative work such as data entry, photocopying, word processing, etc. This role also requires performing some tasks outside the office such as monthly legal clinics.
Salary & Benefits
Compensation is based on a competitive public interest salary scale. Salary range for this position is $65,000 - $85,000, DOE. Swords to Plowshares offers a generous benefits package including the following benefits:
- Excellent medical and dental packages
- 403(b) retirement plan with employer contribution
- 17 vacation days in the first year
- 12 holidays every year
- Wellness program
Minimum Education Required
How To Apply
Please send a (1) cover letter detailing your interest in the position along with (2) a resume, (3) brief writing sample, and (4) list of three references to: email@example.com.
Please write the exact title for this position in the subject line of your email: Staff Attorney & Pro Bono Manager
DEADLINE: Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis; applicants are encouraged to submit their materials as soon as possible; position will be open until filled.
Swords to Plowshares is an inclusive employer and we are proud of the rich diversity among our staff. Please join us!
No calls please.