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 at high risk of becoming homeless or are currently unhoused. HPLP assists unrepresented low-income litigants in unlawful detainer (eviction) actions, and provides pre-litigation counsel and advice to tenants who are involved in a landlord-tenant dispute. HPLP also provides pro bono representation to homeless individuals and families to help remove legal barriers to obtaining permanent housing. In addition, we run several community clinics to connect low-income Angelenos with free legal advice, and provide educational workshops in collaboration with community-based organizations.
In addition to our homelessness prevention and anti-displacement efforts, our recent work includes:
- Supporting local tenants in their successful efforts to obtain and preserve COVID-related eviction protections;
- Working with community-based organizations to provide know-your-rights presentations and workshops to tenants on new and constantly-changing housing laws;
- 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 Staff Attorney, the Staff Attorney is a full-time position, based primarily at Public Counsel’s main office at 610 S. Ardmore. The position also involves some off-site clinic work in South Los Angeles communities and other parts of Los Angeles County.
The Staff Attorney will be a part of Public Counsel’s “Preventing and Ending Homelessness Project” (PEHP). PEHP focuses on delivering comprehensive, trauma-informed, wrap-around legal services designed to remove barriers to housing. This program, launched in spring 2018, serves youth, families and single adults in the communities within Los Angeles County’s Service Planning Area (SPA) 6, encompassing South Los Angeles, Compton, Florence, Rosewood, Willowbrook, Crenshaw, West Adams, Lynwood, Paramount and Windsor Hills, in partnership with regional Coordinated Entry System (CES) health and social service partners. This innovative program is designed to remove barriers to housing that require legal intervention, including but not limited to: eviction prevention, landlord dispute resolution, government benefits, worker compensation/unemployment benefits, clearing financial debt, professional licenses and identification, and expungement of criminal records.
The Staff Attorney position will work on a team of two or more Staff Attorneys and two or more coordinators who provide full-scope legal representation and limited scope (counsel and advice) services to indigent people in the program’s service area.
This is a full-time position that will involve performing intakes, court appearances, legal research and writing, formal and informal advocacy on behalf of clients, and meeting with clients and community partners. The position has the following responsibilities:
- Provide wraparound, trauma-informed legal services to individuals at risk of or currently experiencing homelessness;
- Carry an individual caseload of clients facing eviction or who are currently unhoused;
- Carry out litigation tasks as needed such as propounding and responding to discovery, writing and filing motions, collecting evidence, and preparing for trial;
- Administrative tasks related to the PEHP program and PEHP cases, including grant compliance, case management, document management, and timekeeping, as well as participating in interviewing and hiring committees;
- Assist with ensuring data accuracy for monthly grant reports regarding referrals and case outcomes;
- Participate in monthly in-person legal clinics in partnership with homeless service providers in the community;
- Plan and facilitate external meetings with legal services and homeless service provider partners and participate in discussions about program design;
- Attend virtual and in-person court hearings as required;
- Act as a resource for other Public Counsel staff and community partners; and
- Other duties as assigned.
ESSENTIAL JOB SKILLS AND ABILITIES
- Juris Doctor degree and a member in good standing of the California Bar, also willing to consider individuals waiting for results of the July 2023 California Bar Exam;
- Relevant poverty law or volunteer experience;
- In-court litigation and/or eviction defense experience a plus;
- Comfort with trauma-informed legal advocacy: empathy, responsive listening, restraint from judgment, cultural humility, and demonstration of authentic care and concern;
- Excellent time management and communication skills, to be consistently responsive to team members dealing with time-sensitive tasks;
- Organizational skills to juggle multiple cases with competing deadlines simultaneously;
- Commitments to race equity work and community lawyering, and willingness to incorporate race equity principles and community lawyering in practice;
- Strong interpersonal skills and ability to interact with a diverse client base including clients with disabilities;
- Attention to detail, and strong written and oral communication skills;
- Ability to commute throughout Los Angeles County if needed.
JOB TYPE, SALARY AND BENEFITS
- Full-time, Exempt position
- Position is created with designated funds and is contingent on ongoing funding for the program
- Salary Range: Salary range for Attorney with 0 - 5 years of experience is $75,000 - $83,800 DOE
- 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 60 hours per calendar year
- On-site parking or public transportation reimbursement available
HOW TO APPLY
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. 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 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.