Temporary Staff Attorney, Legal Services for Entrepreneurs (LSE)
Accepting applications until:
Are you an attorney who wants to help close the racial wealth gap, through supporting small business owners of color in Bay Area communities? The pandemic has disproportionately impacted Black and Latinx small businesses that are key to our communities’ resilience, and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCRSF) is expanding our Economic Justice team to rise to this challenge. If you’re fired up to do this work, we invite you to consider joining us.
We are looking for a skilled attorney with at least two years’ experience and excellent written and oral advocacy skills, who is devoted to movement lawyering and dismantling unjust systems, passionate about racial and economic justice, and committed to working in a collaborative environment. The position is for one year, with the possibility to extend. The ideal candidate will have experience representing commercial or residential tenants in eviction cases, and a strong commitment to assisting small businesses of the SF Bay Area.
As one of the oldest civil rights institutions on the West Coast, LCCRSF works to dismantle systems of oppression and racism and to build an equitable and just society. Formed in 1968 to bridge the legal community and the Civil Rights Movement, we’re known for advancing the rights of people of color, immigrants, refugees and low-income individuals. We also invest in legal fellows and support a network of over 1,000 active pro bono attorneys who stand with us.
We are in this work for the long haul. Our goal is to make this work sustainable, to take care of each other and our communities, and to rest so we can be fierce in the face of power through our core issue areas of Racial Justice, Immigrant Justice, Economic Justice, and Educational Justice. Learn more at www.lccrsf.org.
About the Economic Justice Team and LSE Program
Our Economic Justice Team is working to innovate state and local economic policies, guided by our direct legal work with small businesses in communities of color. Currently, we are working to create state and local public banks; launch and support the first contracting cooperative for Black, Brown, and women-owned contractors; advise land trusts and economic justice nonprofits; and fight for expansion of the rights of low-income commercial tenants of color.
Our Legal Services for Entrepreneurs (LSE) program works to close the racial wealth gap one business at a time, by providing free legal services to low-income entrepreneurs of color, with a broad network of over 200 volunteer attorneys. We help negotiate commercial leases, draft and review contracts, and advise on entity choice, formation, employment law and intellectual property. We are preparing to meet the anticipated high demand in legal services requests from commercial tenants as California’s commercial eviction rent moratoria are set to expire in fall 2021. As described below, this position plays a leading role in LSE’s response to this anticipated surge.
- Direct representation – both limited- and full-scope services (75%): You’ll handle a portfolio of small commercial tenants who are facing potential or active eviction, one of the most pressing challenges of the pandemic. Work includes pre-litigation negotiations with landlords, drafting pleadings, reviewing settlement offers, and negotiating rent repayment plans.
- Trainings and advocacy (25%): You’ll work with pro-bono attorneys, supervising bi-weekly free legal clinics (currently virtual), where you’ll both handle your own limited scope cases and advise pro-bonos. You will partner with community groups to provide “Know Your Rights” trainings to commercial tenants, and on policy campaigns to support advocacy efforts to protect small businesses from eviction. You’ll also respond to questions on LSE’s email and telephone hotline.
You’ll be part of a dynamic and talented 6-person team, with a senior attorney, staff attorney, two program coordinators and an administrative assistant.
Salary, Benefits, Work location
This position is full-time, exempt, with a starting salary of $70-75k DOE, and reports to the Economic Justice Senior Attorney. Full benefits package includes 100% paid medical + 80% for dependents and more. Generous time off: 3 weeks vacation, 12+ holidays, plus Summer Short Fridays and one week Winter Break.
Our office is located on the Embarcadero in downtown San Francisco, close to many transit options. We’re currently remote through at least 12/31/21 with our office available for optional use. We expect to offer at minimum part-time remote in 2022.
General working hours are 9am-5pm M-F. LCCRSF is woman- and minority-led, with about 30 staff. We are flexible and family-friendly and value health, wellness and balance. We will encourage and support you to take care of yourself! We follow ADA guidelines – reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with different abilities to perform the essential functions.
- A minimum of two years of post-graduate legal experience (this may include up to one year of a post-graduate judicial clerkship).
- Eviction defense experience.
- California Bar membership.
- Knowledge of and experience with working in transactional law and providing legal services to small businesses, strongly preferred.
- Prior experience working with/ties to low-income communities of color and immigrant communities in Northern California.
- Proficiency in a foreign language (particularly Spanish, Cantonese, or Mandarin) is desired but not required.
- Excellent oral and written communication skills.
- Values working cooperatively with others, both within the organization and in the community.
- Strong leadership skills; ability to balance multiple tasks and problem-solve effectively.
- Demonstrated commitment to LCCRSF’s core values.
Job is open until filled and applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. We hope to have someone start ASAP! Applicants should submit 1) a thoughtful cover letter; 2) a resume and 3) three professional references by email to firstname.lastname@example.org (put “LSE Attorney” in the subject line.) Questions can also go to that email.
In your cover letter, in addition to describing your interest in the position and qualifications, please respond to the following question: What in your background and experience has prepared you to work for an organization dedicated to advancing racial equity and social justice? Feel free to think broadly about your response, applying professional or personal experiences.
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area thrives as an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer. BIPOC, LGBTQ+ candidates, people of all gender identities, persons with disabilities and individuals over 55 are encouraged to apply.