ABOUT PUBLIC COUNSEL
Public Counsel is a nonprofit public interest law firm dedicated to advancing civil rights and racial and economic justice, as well as to amplifying the power of our clients through comprehensive legal advocacy. Founded on and strengthened by a pro bono legal service model, our staff and volunteers seek justice through direct legal services, promote healthy and resilient communities through education and outreach, and support community-led efforts to transform unjust systems through litigation and policy advocacy in and beyond Los Angeles.
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 150. 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 HOMELESSNESS PREVENTION LAW PROJECT
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.
Reporting to the Supervising Attorney, the new Staff Attorney will:
- 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
- Juris Doctor degree and a member in good standing of the California Bar;
- Willingness and ability to conduct jury trials, with appropriate supervision and training;
- 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;
- Ability to commute throughout Los Angeles County;
- Strong interpersonal skills;
- Detail oriented; and
- Ability to work well as part of a team, but also work independently with minimal to moderate supervision.
PREFERRED EXPERIENCE AND ABILITIES
- 1-5 years of litigation experience preferred;
- Eviction defense experience preferred;
- Familiarity with housing laws;
- Experience with data collection and creating reports;
- Ability to read, write and speak fluently in Spanish is strongly preferred.
JOB TYPE AND BENEFITS
- Full-time, Exempt position
- This position is available immediately. This position is part of a special program created using designated funds. Please note that this position is contingent on ongoing funding.
- The salary range for a Staff Attorney with 0-5 years of experience is $65,000 -$72,775.
- 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
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 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. As of June 6, 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.