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 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 Homelessness Prevention Law Project (HPLP) serves individuals who are homeless or at high risk of becoming homeless. The Shriver Housing Project is a pilot project authorized under the Shriver Civil Counsel Act (AB 590) to demonstrate the benefits of providing counsel to clients in high-stakes civil litigation such as the possible loss of housing. Although not a pure civil Gideon project, the Shriver Housing Project assists thousands of unrepresented low-income litigants in unlawful detainer actions.
In addition to our homelessness prevention and anti-displacement efforts, our recent work includes:
- Supporting local tenants in their successful efforts to obtain an Eviction Moratorium ordinance.
- Teaming up with other non-profit legal services providers, tenant organizers and community-based organizations throughout Los Angeles County to push forward the implementation of a Right to Counsel for all tenants in eviction proceedings.
The Staff Attorney position is a full-time position based at Public Counsel’s 610 S. Ardmore office. It will involve off-site meetings and in-person court appearances throughout Los Angeles County as needed. The position has the following responsibilities:
- Carry a personal caseload litigating unlawful detainer cases which includes: client interviews; drafting pleadings, motions, discovery, briefs, and correspondence; negotiating with outside parties; representing clients in court and conducting jury trials;
- Provide legal counsel, advice, and limited scope representation to low-income individuals regarding evictions and related housing matters;
- Act as a resource regarding unlawful detainer cases and other housing issues for other Public Counsel staff and partner agencies;
- Some work with a large network of pro bono attorneys to handle unlawful detainer cases and other housing matters;
- Participate in community outreach, including preparing and presenting trainings and doing special projects as assigned;
- Assist with grant reporting, billing, and outcome tracking for housing work; and,
- Other duties as assigned.
ESSENTIAL JOB SKILLS AND ABILITIES REQUIRED
- Juris Doctor degree and a member in good standing of the California Bar
- 1-5 years of litigation experience preferred;
- Eviction defense experience preferred;
- Willingness and ability to conduct jury trials, with appropriate supervision and training;
- Familiarity with housing laws;
- Strong written and oral communication skills;
- Excellent negotiation and organizational skills;
- Ability to spot legal issues and comfort with providing real-time counsel & advice;
- Desire to learn as well as share knowledge with other team members;
- Comfort with practicing trauma-informed legal advocacy: empathy, responsive listening, restraint from judgment, and demonstration of authentic care and concern;
- Ability to work with and have sensitivity to individuals in crisis and at-risk of homelessness;
- Commitments to race equity and community-centered work, and willingness to incorporate race equity principles and community-centered approaches in practice;
- Ability to work in a fast paced, high volume environment;
- Experience with data collection and creating reports;
- Ability to commute throughout Los Angeles County;
- Strong interpersonal skills;
- Detail oriented; and
- Work well as part of a team, but also be able to work independently with minimal to moderate supervision.
Ability to read, write and speak fluently in Spanish is strongly preferred.
START DATE AND SALARY RANGE
- This position is available immediately. Attorney salaries are set on a scale corresponding to years of legal experience, starting at $62,500 for full-time attorneys in their first year of practice and going up to $70,000 for attorneys in their fifth year. This position is part of a special program created using designated funds. Please note that this position is contingent on ongoing funding.
- Public Counsel offers a competitive benefits package including: (1) medical, dental, and vision coverage with both HMO and PPO options, (2) the option to enroll in a Flexible Spending Account, (3) a 403(b) retirement plan with elective contribution and an employer contribution after a year of employment, and (4) employer-paid life insurance and disability plans.
- Public Counsel follows all emergency state and local orders arising from the current COVID-19 crisis. Though generally this position is office based, currently all staff must work remotely from their homes. Public Counsel will assess when the physical office will reopen in a manner consistent with public health and local and state emergency orders.
Public Counsel VACCINATION POLICY
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 EEO Statement
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.