Work and Family Staff Attorney
Legal Aid at Work (LAAW) enforces and expands the employment and civil rights of low-wage workers, their families, and communities by engaging in outreach and education, providing clients with legal advice and representation, and advocating for policy reforms.
LAAW has seven core program areas: (1) Racial Economic Justice; (2) Gender Equity & LGBT Rights; (3) Disability Rights; (4) Wage Protection; (5) Work & Family; (6) National Origin and Immigrants’ Rights; and (7) Community Legal Services. Through these programs, LAAW:
- Provides free, individualized legal advice and counsel throughout California to thousands of low-income workers;
- Pursues targeted enforcement and impact litigation to strengthen and clarify the law;
- Conducts community outreach and education for workers, their advocates, their families, and their health and social service providers; and
- Advocates for laws, regulations, and policies at the local, state, and national levels to strengthen civil and workplace rights
As a social justice organization, Legal Aid at Work’s mission is rooted in the firm belief that all people deserve respect, dignity, and self-determination at work, at school, and in their communities. Structural and systemic racism—with the oppression of Black and Indigenous people at its core—and other forms of injustice shape the society and the civic, political and legal systems in which we work and live. Legal Aid at Work is committed to developing and nurturing an organizational culture that will dismantle systems of oppression and uplift people from underrepresented communities and create a workplace that is truly equitable and inclusive. As such, we strongly encourage candidates from underrepresented communities to apply.
The mission of the Work and Family Program is to improve the economic stability, health and wellbeing of workers and their families by ensuring that low-wage workers and workers of color can care for themselves and their loved ones without risking their livelihood. Our clients are predominantly low-wage workers, immigrant workers, and workers of color who are pregnant, parenting, dealing with their own health conditions or caring for a family member, and/or are survivors of violence.
Our recent work includes championing groundbreaking legislation that provided family and medical leave to up to 6 million Californians who were previously excluded, legislation providing comprehensive lactation accommodations, and a far-reaching settlement to improve the culture of pumping at work. We are leading experts on leave and related laws, featured in national and statewide media outlets (Supplemental Paid Sick Leave; Federal COVID-19 Protections; Paid Parental Leave), and have been called to testify before Congress, the California legislature and at a local level.
The Work and Family Program serves over 1,000 clients a year through a dedicated helpline; represents clients at the administrative level and in individual and class actions; and engages in policy advocacy and systems change to improve access to paid family and medical leave and related protections. The team also provides extensive strategic education through partnering with health care providers, government agencies, and community organizations.
With oversight from the Program Director, the Staff Attorney may be involved in all aspects of the Program’s activities including, but not limited to: representing low-wage workers in litigation and pre-litigation matters; providing individualized counseling to callers on the helpline; supervising and mentoring law students; conducting outreach and education; and advocating for policy and systems change to improve protections for working families including paid family and medical leave, paid sick days, and accommodations for pregnant and lactating workers, survivors of domestic and sexual violence, and workers with caregiving responsibilities.
The Work and Family Staff Attorney position requires California Bar membership or willingness to take the next California Bar Examination if currently a member of another state bar. The candidate must possess a commitment to LAAW’s mission. The ideal candidate will have at least 2-5 years of relevant legal experience, but all qualified candidates are encouraged to apply. Fluency in Spanish, or other commonly spoken languages from our client communities, is strongly preferred. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, extensive remote work will be required initially.
The ideal candidate will:
- Have personal or professional experience engaging with impacted communities
- Have knowledge of and/or interest in federal and California employment law and court and administrative procedures
- Have experience and/or interest in policy advocacy as well as experience and/or interest in work and family justice or a related gender justice field
- Possess strong attention to detail and excellent legal research, writing, and oral communication and advocacy skills
- Be a creative problem solver, strategic thinker, and legal innovator
- Be able to work independently and collaboratively within teams
- Be comfortable managing multiple projects and cases simultaneously and with flexibility; be able to prioritize competing deadlines
- Be able to collaborate effectively with other staff at Legal Aid at Work and a wide range of external stakeholders including outside co-counsel, government agencies, and community-based organizations and service providers
- Possess a client-centered approach, strong interpersonal skills, initiative, leadership, and organizational abilities
- Have experience working with a racially, ethnically and socioeconomically diverse team and client community
- Possess a commitment to racial equity work and incorporating racial equity principles into legal work
- Be willing to supervise and mentor law students
- Be willing to travel as necessary within California and to other parts of the country for legislative hearings, court proceedings, meetings, and conferences.
Legal Aid at Work offers salaries that are competitive in the Bay Area public interest law community. Benefits include health plans, long-term disability and life insurance, 403(b) retirement plan with employer match and contribution, and generous paid vacation and holidays. As a unionized organization, LAAW believes in the importance of employees organizing to improve their working conditions. This position is included in the bargaining unit represented by ESC Local 20. The current negotiated salary scale for the position can be found here: https://www.ifpte20.org/federal-legal-professionals/legal-aid/.
Applications must include (1) a cover letter explaining your interest in this position and the ways in which you satisfy the qualifications specified above, (2) résumé, (3) two legal writing samples, and (4) three professional references, including one direct supervisor and one direct supervisee, if applicable (please indicate your relationship to each reference). All materials should be submitted to:
Work and Family Staff Attorney Search Committee, Legal Aid at Work
Email: [email protected]