SSI Temporary Staff Attorney

Oakland, CA
Temporary
Legal Services - Social Security Disability & SSI Advocacy
Entry Level

BayLegal works to address the immediate legal needs of our clients, and the underlying and compounding issues that create barriers to long-term stability and opportunities. We believe that all people should be treated with respect and have the resources they need to meet their goals. To that end, we engage in civil legal representation, social work, community collaborations, and systemic advocacy, in partnership with the communities we serve.

Position:  BayLegal seeks an attorney with a strong commitment to the public interest and social justice advocacy to join our Alameda County Regional Office.  The COVID-19 public health and economic crisis has made civil legal services ever more critical to help individuals and families avoid homelessness  and to provide opportunities for stability and self-sufficiency.  This position provides the opportunity to address a range of issues facing low-income individuals, with a focus on economic justice and access to public benefits, including primarily eligibility for Social Security disability benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and the Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI).  

This position is based in our Alameda County office and may require travel throughout the county as necessary to best serve our clients. As a member of BayLegal’s regional practice, there may be travel within BayLegal’s broader service area for purposes of meeting with clients and as necessary for training and advocacy. See below for a description of our current work environment due to COVID-19.

Duties & Responsibilities - as a Temporary Economic Justice Attorney, you will:

  • Learn and assist with the diverse legal needs of underserved and vulnerable communities;
  • Help to reduce homelessness, enhance economic and housing stability, and promote social justice;
  • Represent clients in a range of public benefits matters, including primarily Social Security disability benefits, SSI and CAPI claims and appeals;
  • Represent clients in all stages of administrative proceedings related to their public benefits claims, from initial applications through federal court;
  • Assist clients with accessing other county, state, and federal benefit programs, as needed;
  • Identify and employ impact advocacy strategies to remove systematic barriers to public benefits for client populations, including particularly vulnerable groups such as immigrants and refugees, survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking, people experiencing homelessness, and people with disabilities;
  • Develop relationships and collaborate with community partners, including governmental agencies, and community-based organizations;
  • Provide public benefits trainings to BayLegal staff and community partners;
  • Work collaboratively with attorneys practicing in BayLegal’s other substantive areas; and
  • Engage in other tasks and projects that further BayLegal's mission.

Requirements/Qualifications/About the Successful Candidate:

  • A commitment to fostering inclusivity and equity, as well as humility when working with clients and colleagues at the intersection of multiple identities, including race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, immigration status, religion, physical and mental disability, and/or limited English proficiency.
  • Passion for and desire to work with low-income individuals;
  • Member of CA Bar in good standing or admitted to practice in another state and eligible to practice in California for 3 years under the California State Bar rules for the Registered Legal Services Attorney Program.
  • Candidates who have recently passed the CA Bar or graduated and will be taking the bar exam at the next sitting are welcome to apply;
  • Experience with government benefits programs preferred;
  • Experience with impact litigation and/or policy advocacy preferred;
  • Excellent communication, writing and public speaking skills;
  • Strong community outreach and training skills;
  • Strong interpersonal skills and an ability to work collaboratively with a dynamic team; and
  • Curious and self-directed with an ability to take initiative

COVID-19 work: BayLegal is committed to the health and safety of our staff, clients, and community. BayLegal has implemented detailed health and safety protocols to minimize risk of exposure and has an evolving plan for expanding local office reception hours to the public and increased in-person activities in our offices and community-based advocacy sites.  Employees are expected to reside in California and at a distance allowing them to commute to their physical BayLegal base location and service delivery locations as needed and in compliance with public health advisories.  During the initial phase employees are expected to be in the offices a minimum of two days per week.  Due to the COVID-19 crisis and its impact on personal lives, BayLegal is open to providing flexibility regarding work schedules to the extent feasible for the position.

Compensation and Benefits: : We offer a diverse, family friendly environment, and compensation based on competitive public interest salaries along with medical and dental benefits, paid holidays, and sick leave. Compensation is based on experience and competitive public interest salaries. The estimated annual salary range is $72,000 - $92,000 (placement in range determined primarily by years of related experience). This is a temporary position and is expected to last 9 months.

Applications: BayLegal thrives on our diversity, and we are proud to be an equal opportunity employer.  We are committed to building a culturally diverse workplace and strongly encourage women, LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Intersex, Asexual) and QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) individuals, veterans, individuals who have been impacted by the criminal justice system, persons with disabilities, and persons from other underrepresented groups to apply.  We are committed to equal employment opportunity and providing reasonable accommodations to qualified candidates and employees pursuant to applicable law.  We value and encourage diversity and solicit applications from all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, gender, sex, age, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, marital status, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, medical condition, military and veteran status, gender identity or expression, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. If you require reasonable accommodation as part of the application process, please contact BayLegal’s Human Resources Manager at (510) 250-5225. 

BayLegal will begin reviewing applications upon receipt and continue until the position is filled. Please submit (1) cover letter including response to question below (no page limit), (2) resume, (3) references, and (4) writing sample through BayLegal’s career application portal.

As part of your cover letter, please address the following:

BayLegal’s clients are low-income and very low-income members of our communities. They include LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Intersex, Asexual) and QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) individuals, the working poor, seniors, people who are limited English proficient, veterans, persons with disabilities, survivors of abuse and exploitation, individuals impacted by the criminal justice system, and people who are experiencing or at risk of homeless, and persons from other underrepresented groups. To ensure our organization is best serving these populations, BayLegal strives to promote an evolving set of behaviors and attitudes amongst our staff, as well as policies that enable us to work effectively across cultures, with clients, with our coworkers, and with the community. We see this as a commitment to enhance the provision of our services to all clients; to raise the level of positive client outcomes; and to create an inclusive and respectful workplace in which differences are acknowledged and valued.

How do you think your experiences, professional or otherwise, prepared you to serve our diverse client base effectively, work effectively with colleagues from different backgrounds than your own, and to contribute to our commitment to humility, inclusion, and diversity? Feel free to think broadly about your response to this question, applying various aspects of your life and personal experiences.

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