Job Title: Staff Attorney
Reports to: Directing Attorney
Salary Range: $70,000 – $95,000
The Staff Attorney will primarily be responsible for providing legal representation to clients from disadvantaged rural communities. In collaboration with LCJA Co-Directors, Directing Attorneys, and staff, the Staff Attorney will identify, develop, and implement advocacy strategies related to land use, built environment, public financing, local government, access to basic infrastructure, transportation, and community development that is equitable across the region in an effort to improve conditions of rural communities in the San Joaquin Valley and throughout the state. This position will also engage in community education and organizing campaigns throughout the San Joaquin Valley to support the development of advocacy strategies.
Duties & Responsibilities
· Act as primary legal representative to clients
o Develop and enter into retainer agreements with clients
o Represent clients in negotiations
o Represent clients in litigation
o Ensure clients maintain full understanding of substantive and procedural issues involved in representation
o Communicate with clients as often as necessary but no less often than monthly
· Engage in policy advocacy
o Identify targets for regulatory and legislative reform
o In collaboration with co-directors, develop and implement a policy agenda
o Develop and communicate comments to advance regulatory advocacy
o Conduct legal analyses of local and statewide regulatory and legislative policies – current and pending
o Attend legislative hearings, conferences and other meetings related to advocacy priorities as identified by LCJA
o Collaborate with local, state, and national partners to further advocacy goals
o Develop and maintain relationships with government officials and elected representatives to further the organization’s mission and policy objectives
· Develop and maintain positive and productive relationships with law firms, law schools and other potential legal resources
· Supervise interns
· Engage in community education and organizing to further LCJA issues and priorities
o Develop curriculum for education and organizing
o Develop relationships with community residents and agency partners
o Develop advocacy plan in collaboration with staff and community partners
o Coordinate and attend relevant community events
· Author and co-author relevant reports and studies in collaboration with co-directors
· Represent LCJA in local, state, and national level conferences to further organizational mission and goals
· Administrative duties
o Maintain time records of all activities as directed by co-directors
o Maintain files in accordance with office policies
· Help implement a communications plan
· Contribute to Fundraising Efforts
This job description is not intended to be all-inclusive and the employee will also perform other reasonably related duties as assigned by the supervising manager or co-executive directors.
Skills and Qualifications
· Graduation from an accredited school of law with J.D.
· Licensed to Practice Law in California
· Member in good standing of the California Bar Association
· 1-2 years of demonstrated experience working with and on behalf of low-income regions of the State
· Ability to work evening and weekend hours
· Ability to travel within the State of California including to within the San Joaquin Valley, East Coachella Valley, Sacramento and out of state 1-2 times each year
· Advanced computer skills including Microsoft Office Suite and Google Office Suite
· Demonstrated knowledge of social justice issues impacting low-income rural communities
· Excellent verbal and writing skills
· Bilingual and biliterate in English and Spanish
· Must be insurable under the organization’s malpractice insurance
· Access to and able to use personal vehicle for work related travel
· Current driver’s license and auto insurance coverage required
· Knowledge of local government processes, land use, and public finance policies and laws
· Comfortable with working with residents and organizations from diverse backgrounds
Physical Requirements & Work Environment
The physical demands listed are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of the job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Ability to drive frequently and for up to 8 hours in a day to community meetings, hearings, conferences, and other related activities, ability to work long days occasionally up to 14 hours in a day, ability to conduct door-to-door outreach and conduct meetings, lifting materials and supplies such as chairs, easels, tables. Typically, these will weigh 30 pounds or less. Position involves sitting at a desk and working on a computer for most of the workday. The employee is regularly required to stand, walk, sit; use hands for clerical duties and keyboarding. The employee is occasionally required to reach with hands and arms; stoop and kneel. Specific vision abilities required by this job includes close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus. Acute hearing is necessary for telephone and in-person communication with callers and community members, and visual acuity sufficient to read a computer screen and paper documents.
This position engages in functions both indoors and outdoors, in office environments with light to moderate noise, and in community gathering venues, private homes or government buildings with both small and large groups of people where noise levels may be higher than in a typical office setting.
Employees share office space with one or more other staff members. Out-of-office meetings both meetings will include meetings in other offices, in community centers, in homes, in government buildings, and outside.
Equal Employment Opportunity & Accommodations
Leadership Counsel is proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity employer, and strictly prohibits any unlawful harassment and/or discrimination against applicants for employment or anyone in its employ based on sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions), marital status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity (including transgender status), gender expression, religious belief or practice, race (including natural hairstyle or hair texture related thereto), color, national origin (including possession of a driver’s license issued under Vehicle Code Section 12801.9 which authorizes licenses to individuals who cannot provide satisfactory proof of their presence in the U.S. under federal law), ancestry, age (40 and over), physical or mental disability, medical condition (including cancer-related physical or mental health impairment or history of same), genetic information, military and veteran status or any other consideration made unlawful by federal, state or local laws. To comply with applicable laws ensuring equal employment opportunities to qualified individuals with a disability, Leadership Counsel will make reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with a disability who are applicants or employees unless undue hardship would result. Any applicant or employee who requires an accommodation in order to complete the application process or to perform the essential functions of the job should contact their supervisor or one or both of the co-executive directors to request the accommodation.