Staff Attorney - Clients' Rights Advocate 1 or 2

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Job location
Modesto, CA
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
Disability Rights California
Street address: 
1831 K street
Job type: 
Position Description: 

HYBRID SCHEDULE (home/min. of 2 days in the office)

Salary Range (Depending on Experience):
Clients’ Rights Advocate 1: $62,470 - $91,243 annually
Clients’ Rights Advocate 2: $67,477 - $98,817 annually
We base salary and position offers on experience and an internal equity analysis.

EXCELLENT BENEFITS including 8% 401k Match and a LRAP (Loan Repayment Assistance Program) program that pays up to $300 per month depending on salary and debt. Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) - eligible employment.

DEADLINE: Open until filled.

Disability Rights California (DRC) is a statewide, non-profit legal organization dedicated to advancing the rights of Californians with disabilities to live with autonomy, dignity, and respect in a barrier-free, inclusive, and diverse world that values each individual and their voice.

Office of Clients’ Rights Advocacy (OCRA)
Disability Rights California has entered into a contract with the Department of Developmental Services (DDS), State of California, to provide Clients’ Rights Advocacy services for clients of each of the 21 regional centers located statewide. That contract funds the Clients’ Rights Advocate (CRA) position. We are a team of zealous advocates building a culture of teamwork and working for a world where all disabled people have power, are treated with dignity and respect, and make their own decisions.

Position Summary:
The CRA advocates for people with developmental disabilities who are regional center clients, including people who reside in state developmental centers and community facilities. The CRA is a generalist who provides information, advice, and representation on a wide range of legal topics impacting people who receive regional center services. Examples are special education, Social Security, IHSS, healthcare and insurance, and living in the community.

The CRA works under the direct supervision of a supervising attorney and in collaboration with other OCRA advocates and attorneys in their advocacy and outreach efforts.

This position is located in a location convenient to the regional center and is eligible for a hybrid schedule working both remotely and in-office.

Essential functions are the job responsibilities an employee must be able to perform, with or without reasonable accommodation. CRA essential functions include:

Assist Clients – 70%
· Assist with the diverse legal needs of client’s with developmental disabilities who are consumers of the Regional Center.
· Represent clients at administrative proceedings related to IHSS, Regional Center Eligibility, Regional Center Services, Special Education, and SSI/SSDI.
· Identify and employ impact advocacy strategies to remove systematic barriers for individuals with disabilities.
· Develop and engage in relationships and collaborations with a range of public and private community partners, including governmental agencies, and community-based organizations, to ensure integrative services for consumers of the Regional Center.
· Investigate, facilitate, and report on findings on the resolution of complaints of violation, withholding, or denial of rights made by or on behalf of clients.

Supervision – 15%
· Directly supervise one Assistant Clients’ Rights Advocate (ACRA).

Outreach / Training – 15%
· Develop an outreach plan to serve the developmental disabilities communities.
· Develop and conduct outreach, education, and training for regional center clients and their families, community groups, and others in clients’ rights advocacy.

Other Duties
- Perform other duties as assigned.

Directly supervises one (1) ACRA in OCRA and carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the agency's policies and applicable laws. Responsibilities include interviewing, hire, and train employees; plan, assign, and direct work; appraise performance; reward and discipline employees; address complaints, and resolve problems.


Education and Experience
- Juris Doctor degree.
- Two or more years:
Advocating for the rights of people with developmental disabilities;
Working in a paid or volunteer position relating to regional center services, special education, or
Social Security;
Demonstrating commitment – through lived experience and/or employment history – to working with
people with disabilities, people of color, or low-income clients.
- Ability to conduct research and analysis of pertinent legal authority.
- Written and verbal communication skills sufficient to communicate complex legal questions and issues to the general public.
- Experience working with or sensitivity to people with disabilities.
- Experience working with or sensitivity to people from ethnic or language distinct communities.

Licenses / Certificates
For placement as a CRA 2, you must be admitted to the California State Bar, or eligible to practice under California’s Registered Legal Services Attorney Program. If eligible under the RLSA Program, you must become admitted to the California State Bar within three (3) years. If you are a CRA 1 and later become licensed, you are eligible for an immediate promotion to CRA 2

- Three or more years advocating for the rights of people with developmental disabilities.
- Knowledge of statewide resources available to people with developmental disabilities.
- Experience reviewing medical or educational records.
- Ability to read, write, and speak Spanish or Tagalog, or to communicate in American Sign Language, with sufficient fluency to interview clients and conduct trainings.
- Alternate dispute resolution training and practice.
- One or more years supervising colleagues in a work or volunteer setting.
- Contacts with disability organizations and/or within disability communities.
- Experience with or extensive contacts in ethnic or language distinct communities.
- Experience providing training to a diverse range of people.
- Life experience as a person with a disability or direct experience as a caregiver of a person with a disability.

Occasional travel required: Ability to travel occasionally for activities such as out-of-town meetings, training, or outreach activities up to 10% of the time.

The following describes general working conditions and requirements of the job, which the CRA can perform with or without disability-related reasonable accommodations. CRA performs duties in conjunction with the ACRA in a two-person office. Duties regularly require sitting using computer equipment and talking or hearing. Duties occasionally require periods of standing, stooping, kneeling, and crouching primarily related to filing and processing paperwork. CRA may lift and/or move filing boxes and other packages up to 25 pounds.

To apply: 

If you are interested in becoming a part of DRC, please submit the following:
1. Online Disability Rights California Application Form
2. Your resume
3. Cover Letter: We need a workforce that can utilize insights and strategies that can come from both professional and personal experience. In your cover letter, please tell us about yourself and why you are a great fit for this position and for DRC
4. A list of 3 professional references;
5. Sample of Legal Writing (i.e., a legal argument, letter or analysis) consisting of no more than 10 pages of text.

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Equal Opportunity Employer; Individuals who are Deaf or Disabled are encouraged to apply.
Salary range: 
Clients’ Rights Advocate 1: $62,470 - $91,243 annually Clients’ Rights Advocate 2: $67,477 - $98,817 annually
Submission deadline: 
Wednesday, November 30, 2022