Senior Attorney

Job Type

Full Time


Minimum: $84,327
Maximum: $105,575
Details: Depending on Experience




United States


The Senior Attorney represents clients in legal matters that involve disability related issues. The Senior Attorney provides law reform leadership and mentoring in one or more substantive issue areas on either regional or statewide basis, leading impact litigation, and oversees select administrative tasks.


The Civil Right Practice Group (CRPG) is a statewide team of attorneys focused on litigating complex and impactful cases to stop discrimination against people with disabilities. Our current goals include increasing and maintaining affordable, accessible housing; advocating against the criminalization of people with disabilities including those that are homeless; enforcing disability access rights and reducing discrimination in private and public programs and services; and ensuring that people with disabilities have access to courts, administrative agencies, and legal services. 



Assist Clients – 55%

- Provide legal assistance which may include litigation in judicial and administrative proceedings, mediations, and/or negotiations.

- Lead and/or participate in impact litigation.

- Lead agency’s teams in litigation or major policy advocacy which may include targeted representation, complex litigation and/or appeals, or major policy advocacy at the state level, which may include review and draft of legislation and regulations.

- Provide technical assistance and substantive training to other regional office staff in areas of expertise and participate in the identification and development of substantive and skills-based training for staff.

- Monitor, summarize, and analyze case law, legislation, and administrative policy and practices for staff and other organizations.


Support – 25%

- Prepare training materials, publications, reports, or prepare presentations about legal work, which may include reports to funding entities and the Board of Directors.

- Participate with other agencies and organizations to address recurring problems and issues in the provision of services to clients.

- Identify complex legal challenges and initiate needed law reform activities and impact work.

- Lead or co-lead a work team with an emphasis on assisting the team in developing and implementing strategies to accomplish work team goals.


Community-Based Advocacy – 20%

- Engage in community-based advocacy and community leadership, representing the agency as the voice of our clients.

- Participate in outreach, and training to disability communities and organizations.


Other Duties

- Participate in public policy activities.

- Assist with organizational development planning.

- Perform other duties as assigned.



Directly supervises one (1) or more subordinate attorneys or advocacy staff in the department and carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the agency's policies and applicable laws. Responsibilities include to interview, hire, and train employees; plan, assign, and direct work; appraise performance; reward and discipline employees; address complaints and resolve problems.



Occasional travel required: Ability to travel occasionally for activities such as out-of-town meetings, training, or outreach activities up to 25% of the time.



The following describes general working conditions and requirements of the job, which can be performed with or without disability related reasonable accommodations. 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 10 pounds are frequently encountered. Must be able to transport oneself to work-related meeting, centers, etc.



Master's degree (MA or MS) or Juris Doctor degree (JD) plus 5 or more years related experience and/or training, or equivalent (Ex: combination of education and experience.

- Four years experience as an attorney in the practice of public interest law or five years experience as an attorney directly representing clients in administrative hearings and litigation. Legal clerkships or externships may be counted as up to one year of litigation experience.

- Experience supervising or mentoring legal assistants, advocates, or attorneys.


Licenses / Certificates

- Must be a member of 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; requires admittance to the California Bar within three (3) years.]



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

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

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

- Experience in the disability rights movement and/or extensive contacts in the disability community.

- Experience with and/or extensive contacts in ethnic or language distinct communities.

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



The competencies below represent the knowledge, skills, behaviors and/or abilities required to be successful at DRC, with or without disability related reasonable accommodations. Identify the level of each necessary for this particular job. Each higher level includes the skills that came before it.



Ability to participate in stakeholder meeting with government officials/offices. Ability to provide legal advice and represent individuals in litigation. Ability to lead individual litigation. Ability to influence public policy



Ability to read, analyze, and interpret the most complex documents/terminology, laws, financial and technical reports. Ability to respond effectively to the most sensitive inquiries or complaints. Ability to write using original or innovative techniques or style. Ability to negotiate to serve the interest of the client or reconcile divergent interest and opinions. Ability to make effective and persuasive presentations on controversial or complex topics to governmental entities, facility leadership, public groups/officials, and/or boards of directors.


Critical Thinking 

Understands that few things are black and white. Ability to explore factors in any situation for the purpose of determining the array of best possible solutions. Incorporates facts, impact on others, and communication strategy into problem solving methodology.


Diversity & Inclusion 

Creates an environment of learning about, valuing, encouraging, and supporting differences. Creates opportunities for inclusion in a variety of settings. Promotes and sustains a community that acknowledges and celebrates differences.


Relationship Building 

Ability to take proactive steps to reach out to clients, community partners, facilities and/or community agencies in more direct, relevant, and personal ways. Addresses issues in an open, constructive, professional manner, and persuades others to approach issues in the same manner. Seeks to resolve confrontations and disagreements constructively. Focuses on the situation, issues, or behaviors, rather than the people. Supports the good ideas of others.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required


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.

    5. List of significant litigation


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.