Directing Attorney - Homelessness Prevention Law Project
Los Angeles, CA Homelessness Prevention Law Project
Job Type
Full-time
Description

ABOUT PUBLIC COUNSEL


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, social, 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 & Economic Justice, 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 130. We are committed to building a diverse staff and encourage applications from people of color, people with disabilities, and people of all gender identities, gender expressions, and sexualities.


  

ABOUT THE HOMELESSNESS PREVENTION LAW PROJECT


The Homelessness Prevention Law Project works to prevent and end homelessness in Los Angeles County by advocating for a system where all people have access to legal counsel, safe and affordable housing, and fundamental supports and services.


Through services such as tenant counseling, eviction defense, fighting fines for quality-of-life infractions and misdemeanors, and government benefits advocacy, we contribute to the creation of a strong social safety net to serve individuals who are at risk of or currently experiencing homelessness. We also engage in advocacy, public education and a limited amount of affirmative litigation, to create positive institutional and systemic change on behalf of low-income communities. Through these efforts—and through meaningful engagement with community partners and government agencies—we strive to keep families and individuals housed through a community lawyering approach.

  


POSITION OVERVIEW


Reporting to the Vice President & Chief of Programs, the Homelessness Prevention Law Project (HPLP) Directing Attorney provides direction and leadership for Public Counsel’s dynamic and growing team of 18 homelessness prevention advocates, including attorneys, paralegals, and administrative staff, in the delivery of legal services, policy advocacy, and litigation. As public support to address causes of homelessness increases, HPLP is responding by increasing its capacity to provide eviction defense and tenant counseling services, in addition to other critical legal support for low-income communities.


The Directing Attorney provides the management and strategic direction to carry out HPLP’s mission and vision, and is accountable for setting and meeting the established short- and long-term goals of the Project. This includes oversight of all HPLP programs, legal services, litigation, policy advocacy, and fund development efforts. Public Counsel strives to provide holistic services to our clients, working towards integrating social work into our service delivery. The Directing Attorney must support Public Counsel’s values of equity, inclusion, and client- and community-centered advocacy. A passionate, collaborative, and effective leader, the next Directing Attorney will expand the impact of Public Counsel’s Homelessness Prevention Project to combat homelessness and make a difference in the lives of individuals and the broader community.



  

ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES


Strategy and Organizational Leadership:

  • Leads HPLP’s efforts to bring about systemic and meaningful change on behalf of our clients, including by identifying opportunities to build our impact litigation practice and by engaging in advocacy at the local, state and national levels;
  • Provides vision and support to HPLP’s supervising attorneys and unionized staff to deliver high quality legal services, including direct representation, impact litigation, and policy advocacy. 
  • Engages with external partners, community stakeholders, and the media to pursue strategic goals in partnership with management, HPLP staff, and Public Counsel’s communications team;
  • Supports HPLP staff by overseeing recruitment and hiring, and providing mentorship, training and growth opportunities to both attorney and paraprofessional staff and effective supervision that values staff well-being, including sustainable workloads;
  • Collaborates with management to inform, enhance, and execute agency-wide policies and initiatives;
  • Collaborates with management and HPLP staff to further diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as trauma-informed services, within the organization.

Community Relations & Programming

  • Collaborates with community partners, including grassroots organizations, legal service providers, social service agencies, and governmental agencies, to advocate for community-led and movement-based solutions to homelessness and housing instability;
  • Conducts and coordinates outreach directed towards key audiences such as immigrants, low-income households, and communities of color;
  • Leads collaborative process with management and the HPLP team both to support and, if necessary, to modify existing programs and to design new programs in response to the stated needs of low income communities we serve;
  • Recruits pro bono attorneys to engage in impact litigation and direct legal services, and advises pro bono attorneys in HPLP’s substantive areas of law;
  • Collaborates with Public Counsel’s Director of Social Work to identify needs and social work resources.

Financial Management and Fund Development

  • Works with HPLP staff, development staff, and leadership to maintain existing grant funding and seek new sources of funding to support and, where appropriate, expand HPLP’s objectives and impact;
  • Manages grant compliance, including applications, program design, tracking and reporting;
  • Oversees HPLP budget development and manages the HPLP budget.
Requirements

 QUALIFICATIONS

  • At least 10 years of legal experience preferred;
  • Must be a member in good  standing of any state bar, but State Bar of California membership preferred; if not licensed in California, must be prepared to join the California Bar if selected; 
  • Significant management and mentorship experience in the non-profit and legal services sector preferred;
  • Significant leadership experience and vision for—as well as demonstrated commitment to—advancing justice for tenants and unhoused Angelenos, including by working in coalition with external partners and community stakeholders;
  • Expertise with state and/or federal litigation in eviction law, housing, and/or homelessness-related issues preferred;
  • Demonstrated  commitment to anti-oppression, racial and economic justice, and advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace and in the communities Public Counsel serves;
  • Experience and comfort working with clients living in poverty, including unhoused clients and clients experiencing addiction or mental health issues; 
  • Demonstrated commitment to trauma-informed legal advocacy; 
  • Experienced and effective communicator who works cooperatively across teams, levels, and functions within the organization;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, with a preference for experience communicating with the press;
  • Excellent interpersonal,  management, and organizational skills; 
  • Collaborative, transparent, and compassionate management style; 
  • Ability to read, write, and speak fluently in a language other than English (particularly Spanish) is a plus, but not required.

  

JOB TYPE AND BENEFITS

  • Full-time, Exempt position
  • Non-Bargaining
  • Salary starts at $125,000 and is commensurate with abilities and experience
  • Public Counsel offers a competitive benefits package including:
  • Medical, dental, and vision coverage with both HMO and PPO options, 
  • The option to enroll in a Flexible Spending Account, 
  • A 403(b) retirement plan with elective contribution and a discretionary employer contribution after a year of employment, and 
  • Employer-paid life insurance and disability plans.
  • Generous paid time off and compensatory time up to 40 hours per calendar year
  • Parking and transit benefits

  

HOW TO APPLY


We value lived experiences and experiences working with clients across a range of settings. Please discuss such experiences in your cover letter, especially if they are not reflected in your resume. 


We strongly encourage interested candidates to apply by no later than August 4, 2022.


Resume, cover letter, three references, and writing sample requested. The writing sample should be uploaded along with your resume as one attachment. 


  

PUBLIC COUNSEL VACCINATION POLICY AND COVID-19 PROTOCOLS


Public Counsel requires vaccination against COVID-19 for all employees, including new hires. Pursuant to federal and state laws, Public Counsel will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified employees with disabilities or sincerely held religious beliefs, unless doing so would pose an undue hardship.


Public Counsel is generally office-based, but remote work has been permitted during the pandemic. Starting in June 2022, all employees with Public Counsel will be required to work in the office at least one day per week, at the discretion of the head of department. This policy is subject to redesign by leadership. Public Counsel will work in a manner consistent with public health and local and state emergency orders. 


  

PUBLIC COUNSEL EEO POLICY


Public Counsel is an Equal Opportunity Employer that does not discriminate against employees or prospective employees on the basis of union membership or activity, race, religious creed, religious observance, ethnicity, color, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information or predisposition, military service, military and veteran status, pregnancy, child birth and related medical conditions, marital and family status, national origin, ancestry, age, medical conditions as defined by state or federal law, or disability, or any other basis prohibited by law.


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.


Our leadership team is dedicated to this policy with respect to recruitment, hiring, placement, promotion, transfer, training, compensation, benefits, employee activities discipline, discharge and general treatment during employment.