Staff Attorney-Community Development Project
Los Angeles, CA Community Development Project
Job Type



Public Counsel is the nation’s largest provider of pro bono legal services. 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.



Public Counsel’s Community Development Project (CDP) strives to build healthy, inclusive, economically stable communities through the delivery of pro bono legal services to community-based coalitions, nonprofits and small businesses in Los Angeles County. CDP supports community led advocacy groups and community based organizations in their efforts to advance racial and economic justice and build power in low-income communities and communities of color. CDP supports these groups in their efforts to maintain a strong voice in the development of their communities by providing legal assistance and policy support. Further, CDP advocates for the creation and preservation of affordable and supportive housing and provides transactional legal services to nonprofits that assist lower income people and neighborhoods and to qualifying entrepreneurs that meet our income requirements. 



The Staff Attorney must be passionate about achieving justice and overcoming barriers facing low-income communities and communities of color, a creative and zealous lawyer and a team-player, committed to achieving lasting results through a movement lawyering model.

  • Provide legal assistance to community-based organizations and coalitions of community-based organizations on campaigns to advance affordable housing, tenant protections, equitable community development, and racial and economic justice—types of matters include, but are not limited to policy drafting in collaboration with community groups; legal analysis of zoning codes and housing laws; direct representation of low-income street vendors and other micro-entrepreneurs; partnering with community organizers to create popular education curriculum to demystify complex laws and policies; drafting advocacy materials, legal memos, and model legislation; representing community groups in meetings with state and   local officials; and engaging in impact litigation;
  • Identify systemic barriers to housing and economic justice and inequities that impact low income communities and communities of color, and work within coalitions to develop strategies to remove such barriers and inequities; 
  • Identify and pursue opportunities for collaboration and coalition-building in furtherance of CDP’s mission;
  • Create and deliver educational programming and substantive legal trainings to clients, community-based organizations, and pro bono attorneys;
  • Represent the Community Development Project on panels and engage in other public facing dialogue to elevate client priorities and campaigns; 
  • Conduct outreach and client intakes, and act as a spokesperson on significant community development issues, including with the media;
  • Contribute to the team and organization as a whole by taking part in organization-wide activities, including integrating diversity, equity and inclusion policies into our work and workplace; and
  • Other duties as assigned



  • At least 5 years of legal experience;
  • Must be a member in good standing of the State Bar of California; 
  • At least 3 years of legal experience in areas such as land use, affordable housing production, rent control and tenant protections, real estate transactions, entrepreneurship, and legislative advocacy; 
  • Experience working with coalitions of community-based organizations preferred; 
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to work well as part of a team;
  • Experience working with low-income, diverse ethnic groups, and non-English speaking clients;
  • Fluency in a language representative of the communities we serve preferred, including but not limited to Spanish, Mandarin, Tagalog, Korean, Vietnamese, or Thai;
  • Strong commitment to trauma-informed advocacy, economic, racial, and social justice and community lawyering;
  • Experience with affirmative litigation seeking policy change preferred;
  • Data and policy analysis skills a plus



  • Full-Time, Exempt position
  • Bargaining
  • Salary Range: The salary range for this position, $72,775-$96,393.75, is commensurate with 5 to 12 years of 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,         
  • 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



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



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. All employees with Public Counsel are 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 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.