Legal Fellow

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Job location
3602 Inland Empire Blvd
Ontario, CA 91764
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
Disability Rights California
Job type: 
Policy Development/Advocacy
Position Description: 

DEADLINE: Open until filled. Applications should be received by February 23, 2018 to be considered for the first round of interviews.

Looking for a place where your passion and abilities can positively impact the lives of others? Come join us!

Disability Rights California (DRC) is a well-established and innovative non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the rights of Californians with disabilities. DRC works to achieve fairness and justice for people with disabilities through quality representation, advocacy, investigations of abuse and neglect, peer/self-advocacy services, community partnerships, legislative and regulatory advocacy work, education and outreach. Our legal work includes individual and impact litigation, meaning litigation of cases that have the potential to broadly impact conditions for many similarly situated people or highlights a particular issue.

Working at DRC is more than just a job - it's that rare opportunity to do what you're good at while making a difference in the lives of Californians with disabilities. Learn more about us at

Working in an agency that so positively impacts the lives of others has its own rewards to be sure. Working with others who are committed to our mission creates a unique environment of passion and meaning. Our compensation is industry competitive, and we provide a generous benefit package that includes: medical, dental, flexible spending accounts (e.g., medical and dependent care); basic, life, short- and long-term disability insurances; voluntary vision; supplemental life and long-term care; paid holidays, paid sick and vacation time. We also provide a significant contribution to the retirement plan (401k) for those who choose to take advantage of it.

The Legal Fellow shares responsibility with other legal and advocacy staff for providing information, technical assistance, outreach and training and representation in administrative and judicial proceedings to clients with disabilities. The Legal Fellow works under the direct supervision of Practice Group staff and in collaboration with other Disability Rights California attorneys and advocates in their legal, advocacy, and outreach efforts.

The Legal Fellow will work in the Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) Practice Group. Through a combination of legal representation and systemic advocacy, the I/DD Practice Group works to enforce the rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to: 1) avoid institutionalization; 2) access regional center services of their choosing to live, work, and play in their community; and 3) address disparities in access to services and supports for regional center consumers from language and ethnic-distinct communities.

The specific job responsibilities for the Legal Fellow may include any or all of the following, to the extent that they are consistent with the terms and focus of the Fellowship:
1. Provide information and short-term assistance to DRC clients.
2. Represent clients in negotiations, mediations, and judicial and administrative proceedings.
3. Prepare training materials, publications, reports, and special projects. Specifically, the fellow will have the opportunity to work alongside other DRC staff to update one of DRC’s most widely read publications, “Rights Under the Lanterman Act”.
4. Participate in impact litigation and systemic advocacy work, including reviewing policies that may be negatively affecting funding disparities among regional center consumers from ethnically and linguistically diverse communities.
5. Participate in public policy activities including the reviewing and drafting of legislation and regulations.
6. Engage in community-based advocacy, outreach, and training to disability communities and organizations, particularly to underserved communities.
7. Assist with DRC organizational development and planning, including the planning and development of DRC’s Advocacy Plan, and participate in statewide and regional teams.
8. Other duties as assigned.


(Applicants MUST meet EACH of the minimum qualifications to be considered for an interview)
1. J.D. Degree
2. Eligible to take the California bar exam.
3. Paid or volunteer work experience in any of the following: (a) advocacy in the social service, human service, public interest or health care environments, (b) advocacy representing clients in administrative hearings and/or litigation, (c) a position working directly with persons with disabilities, or (d) judicial clerkships.
4. Ability to analyze complex problems and develop creative solutions.
5. Effective communication skills sufficient to represent clients in legal hearings, meetings, negotiations or administrative proceedings, to actively promote legal, policy and legislative developments at state and local government levels, and to develop and conduct trainings.
6. Experience working with or sensitivity to individuals with disabilities.
7. Experience working with or sensitivity to individuals from ethnic or language distinct communities.
8. The ability to work independently with appropriate supervision.

1. Knowledge of laws, rights, and services as they pertain to people with disabilities, and/or direct representation of people with disabilities, particularly people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
2. Experience in client representation, particularly in public interest and civil rights law that would support the needs of the clients served by the I/DD Practice Group.
3. Fluency in Spanish or an Asian language, or ability to communicate using American Sign Language,
4. Experience in the disability rights movement and/or extensive contacts in the disability community.
5. Experience with and/or extensive contacts in ethnic or language distinct communities.
6. Familiarity and/or extensive contacts with one or more of the following: homelessness, criminal justice, substance abuse or Gay/Lesbian/Bi-Sexual/Transgender/Intersex (LGBTI) communities.

To apply: 

To be considered for this position, applicants MUST submit the following:
1) Resume
2) Cover letter which MUST indicate:
a) your personal & professional motivation for seeking this position;
b) a discussion of how you meet EACH OF THE MINIMUM and ANY OF THE DESIRABLE qualifications for this position. If your letter does not contain a specific description of how you meet the minimum qualifications, your application may NOT be considered.
3) Sample of legal writing (i.e., a legal argument, letter or analysis) consisting of no more than 10 pages of text.

Equal Opportunity Employer
Salary range: 
$52,231- $69,995/year
Submission deadline: 
Friday, February 23, 2018
Expiration date: 
Friday, February 23, 2018