Program Directing Attorney

Location
San Francisco, California
Salary
starting salary $85,000
Posted
Feb 17, 2021
Closes
Mar 19, 2021
Focus Areas
Housing / Shelter
Position Type
Full Time
Degree Level
JD
Willingness to Travel
up to 25%
Experience Level
Executive

Shelter Client Advocate Program Directing Attorney

The Eviction Defense Collaborative (EDC) seeks a Directing Attorney for our Shelter Client Advocate Program to assist our team in fighting for tenants’ rights and preventing homelessness and displacement. As the Directing Attorney you will play a key role in supporting the successful implementation of tenant right to counsel in San Francisco at the forefront of the universal right to representation movement.

At present, and until further notice, EDC is operating remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. EDC provides employees with the necessary IT equipment and remote access to work from home. EDC’s COVID-19 Safety Plan adheres to the CDC’s health and safety guidelines and the federal OSHA requirements for workplace safety.

The Organization

Eviction Defense Collaborative (EDC) is the only legal services organization in San Francisco solely focused on eviction prevention. EDC’s goal is to prevent displacement, stabilize communities, and ensure housing equity in San Francisco. Formed in 1996 as the primary clearinghouse for tenants filing initial responses to unlawful detainers (UD), EDC has developed an effective, client-centered, trauma-informed, and culturally sensitive triage clinic model to process the high volume of clients through our daily, open door clinic model. We offer legal services in response to an eviction, tenant rights education, rental assistance, and advocacy for clients in shelter, all under one organizational umbrella. In 2019, EDC provided legal services to over 4,800 individuals (326 of which included full scope legal representation in an eviction proceeding - with a 100% rate of positive outcomes, successfully preventing displacement and homelessness). EDC disbursed $816,318 in loans and grants to low-income tenants, and represented 267 shelter clients at hearings with an 87% success rate, keeping these clients housed at local shelters and off the streets. The Shelter Client Advocate program follows an empowerment model that incorporates a harm reduction approach. It utilizes restorative justice practices and provides skill building, improving relationships with shelter providers.

Our unique, comprehensive approach allows clients to receive the services critically needed to remain housed, while limiting their visits to multiple agencies (especially critical in a crisis, where every moment counts to prevent eviction). EDC prides itself on being the safety net for San Francisco tenants, serving tenants regardless of income, immigration status, or neighborhood. 

Job purpose

The Shelter Client Directing Attorney (Directing Attorney) is primarily tasked with overseeing Shelter Client Advocates (Advocates) as they represent homeless shelter residents at administrative hearings relating to their shelter residence. Because we strive to be barrier-free and client-centered, the position requires individuals who truly enjoy working with people, have the skills and capacity to respond in an empathetic and respectful way to clients who are often in crisis, and can work effectively in a collegial and fast paced environment

Qualifications

First and foremost, the applicant must profoundly share EDC’s mission and vision of social justice and be able to manage stressful situations with empathy and calm. Below are additional qualifications.

  • CA licensed attorney in good standing. Experience in litigation, administrative hearings, drafting legislation, and/or human rights advocacy a plus
  • Strong management and leadership skills, with a minimum of two years of experience supervising two or more direct reports. For example:
  • Strong time management skills.
  • Able to delegate effectively.
  • Excellent communication (verbal and written), interpersonal, and negotiation skills.
  •  Strong problem-solving skills.
  • Able to handle confidential information with discretion.
  • Ability to make quick decisions and exercise good judgment.
  • Ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously and handle a high volume of activity and be able to work efficiently and effectively under pressure.\
  • Lived experience of homelessness preferred.
  • Experience collaborating with and/or supervising individuals with lived experience of homelessness.
  • Experience working with the very low income communities and the unsheltered individuals.
  • Spanish speaking skills highly preferred. Facility in Cantonese, Mandarin, Tagalog, Russian or other third language a plus.
  • Must be comfortable working in community settings.
  • Willingness to work collaboratively, but with the capacity to work independently.

Duties and responsibilities

Advocacy and Policy Duties (20%)

  • Represent shelter clients at administrative hearings and arbitrations.
  • Provide clients information on SCA and any additional appropriate resources.
  • In coordination with other Advocates, manage client assistance requests,  and administrative hearings and arbitration calendars.
  • In coordination with the Executive Director, act as the primary contact for media on questions regarding San Francisco’s policies and services for its unsheltered population.
  • Act as a liaison between SCA and external partners including the City and County of San Francisco, the Coalition on Homeless, and homeless services providers.
  • Harness our on-the-ground experience to better-inform policy regarding services to San Francisco’s unsheltered population.
  • Along with Advocates, advocate with shelters to solve any conflicts that arise.
  • Coordinate education and outreach to shelter clients by Advocates.
  • Review (and comment on as appropriate) changes to the shelter system (including the Shelter Grievance Policy) proposed by the city.
  • Attend shelter related commission and committee meetings representing EDC.

Supervision - Administrative Duties (70%)

  • Oversee program to ensure SCA is meeting all program deliverables including:
    • Organizing daily activities based on the program and EDC’s goals.
    • Set goals for employees and provide guidance to them as they endeavor to execute them.
    • Organize and divide tasks into activities that can be accomplished by team members.
    • Communicate and motivate the team while establishing appropriate methods to evaluate and support their job performance.
    • In collaboration with the Executive Director and/or Director of Operations and Development to ensure program staff receive professional development training.
    • Ensure all data is entered on time and correctly to support program evaluation and outcomes tracking.
    • Generate policies, procedures, and best practices to meet program deliverables.
    • Identify and provide program-specific training to Advocates (e.g. conflict resolution skills)
  • Prepare and administer monthly, quarterly, and annual reports and/or program evaluations as required by our contracts with funders and/or at the request of the Executive Director.
  • Use salesforce to monitor cases and staff caseload and prepare reports.
  • Assist in managing the program and agency budget.

General Administrative Duties (10%)

  • Attend weekly program meetings, monthly agency staff meetings, and relevant supervision meetings. Represent EDC at community meetings/events as required.
  • Perform other duties as assigned in furtherance of EDC’s mission.

Compensation

Salary is linked to the scale in the collective bargaining agreement (CBA). The starting salary for the position is $85,000.  This is an exempt position. Benefits include:

  • Health, dental, vision, long term disability, and short term disability coverage;
  • 401(k)
  • 13 paid holidays;
  • One hour paid lunch daily
  • Vacation accrual rate starts at two weeks in the first year of employment and increases to three weeks on the third anniversary

EDC is a 501(c)(3) organization, which qualifies for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.

Union

EDC staff are represented by the National Organization of Legal Services Workers (NOLSW, UAW Local 2320, AFL-CIO). This position is not a union position.

Working conditions

The position requires working with individuals during moments of extreme stress and instability. The position also requires the provision of culturally-sensitive and empathetic services. Some evening and weekend work may be required. Furthermore, because of the nature of the work, the employee is expected to be in the office during normal business hours and to communicate with staff regarding whereabouts when elsewhere for meetings or other obligations. 

At present, and until further notice, EDC is operating remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. EDC provides employees with the necessary IT equipment and remote access to work from home. EDC’s COVID-19 Safety Plan adheres to the CDC’s health and safety guidelines and the federal OSHA requirements for workplace safety. 

Physical Requirements

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

● Prolonged sitting/standing.

● Extensive typing/data entry.

● Periodic lifting/carrying/transporting of materials in excess of 40 lbs.

● Close visual acuity to prepare and analyze data, text, and figures.

● Prolonged computer use.

Direct reports

The employee will supervise all Advocates.

Application Process

Email Resume and Cover Letter as attachments to jobs@evictiondefense.org with “SCA Program Directing Attorney” in the subject line.

We are reviewing applications on a rolling basis. Applicants who do not meet all of the qualifications above are encouraged to apply with a cover letter detailing how their relevant experience qualifies them for the position.

Commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

EDC is committed to continually building a diverse and inclusive workplace. We do so because it is the right thing to do, and because we know it makes our work stronger and more effective. We encourage applications from people of all backgrounds. EDC understands and values a workplace with staff from diverse educational backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities, races, sex, gender identity and expression, national origin, ages, languages spoken, veteran’s status, skin color, religion, disability, sexual orientation and beliefs. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment. The Eviction Defense Collaborative believes that all persons are entitled to equal employment opportunity and does not discriminate on any basis prohibited by applicable law.

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