Staff Attorney - Community Equity Initiative (Hybrid)

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Job location
3747 E Shields Ave
Fresno, CA 93726
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc.
Street address: 
1430 Franklin St Suite 103
Job type: 
Legal - Civil
Position Description: 

WHO ARE WE: Founded in 1966, CRLAs mission is to fight for justice and individual rights alongside the most exploited communities of our society. Through a network of regional offices and cross-cutting programs, CRLA provides legal services to tens of thousands of low-income people annually. Our work impacts farmworkers, indigenous populations, individuals with disabilities, immigrant populations, LGBTQ+ communities, women, children, and low-income families in rural areas. The Community Equity Initiative (CEI) program addresses environmental justice issues in some of California’s most underinvested communities.

Position: CEI Staff Attorney
Experience: 3+ years
Application Deadline: Open until filled
Location: Fresno Office (hybrid)
Other: FLSA Exempt, Union Position, Full-Time
Position Description:

CEI utilizes a community lawyering model to address environmental justice issues in disadvantaged communities. The model calls for creative, innovative advocacy that uses a multipronged approach to address the issues and their systemic roots. Approaches such as community leadership development and advocacy around policies are as important to the work as traditional legal advocacy. The CEI Staff Attorney should be creative and willing to partner with community residents to address the issues and their underlying causes.

The CEI program covers a wide array of legal areas ranging from access to services such as water and broadband to the inequitable distribution of resources and siting of hazardous land uses. CEI’s client communities are Disadvantaged Unincorporated Communities (DUCs) that suffer the consequences of historical underinvestment and discriminatory policies. They bear the burden of unjust and inequitable conditions and decisions.

The CEI Staff attorney will work with the CEI Legal Director and staff to develop and implement creative advocacy strategies to address community-identified environmental justice issues in the Fresno region. Primary responsibilities include legal advocacy/litigation support, factual research, community outreach and education, community leadership development, and analysis of pending policies.

Essential Responsibilities/Duties:

Provide legal services (advice, negotiation, litigation & administrative advocacy) to low-income client communities in accordance with program priorities and case-handling policies.

Take on significant statewide impact activity, including group litigation.

Monitor and attend governmental hearings and other public meetings.

Advocate in legislative, administrative, and regulatory forums, as permissible.

Develop community leadership and support community residents’ capacity to participate in public decision-making.

Develop and implement community-specific strategies in client communities.

Prepare and provide community education regarding legal rights.

Coordinate advocacy in substantive areas through collaboration with other organizations, communities, and advocacy groups.

Raise awareness of successes and challenges facing DUCs through media, presentations, and participation in issue- and community-based coalitions.

Work with and supervise the work product of Community Workers and Support Staff relating to all clients being advised or represented.

Develop specialized knowledge in water law and other substantive areas of environmental justice and community leadership development, and act as a resource for other CRLA staff.

Participate in training programs, case reviews, staff meetings, and other CRLA activities.

Collaborate with members of the private bar as necessary.

Maintain contemporaneous time records in the case management system.

Maintain great working relationships with staff.

Other duties as assigned.


Required Education and Experience:

Litigation experience.

Demonstrated commitment to working with low-income clients.

Demonstrated commitment to environmental justice.

Admitted to practice law in the State of CA or admitted before the court of any state and willing to take the next CA bar.

Excellent written and verbal communication.

Ability to manage a caseload with minimal supervision.

Good people skills and the ability to maintain positive relations with a diverse population.

Willingness to work some evenings and weekends and to travel regionally.

Preferred Education and Experience:

A highly qualified and desirable candidate would also have the following:

Experience with issues related to the environment, local governance, land use, planning, leadership development, or civil rights.

Experience working with low-income families and communities.

Experience in a non-profit legal services environment.

Bilingual (English & Spanish)

This job description is not designed to contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time, with or without notice.

Compensation & Benefits:

We offer a diverse, family-friendly environment and compensation based on competitive public interest salaries; generous benefits package which includes 100% employer-covered medical, dental, vision, life, and short & long-term disability insurance for employees and up to 50% for dependents coverage; and 401K retirement plan with CRLA contribution effective immediately. Some professional dues are paid by CRLA (Bar Fees) and, if qualified, up to $6,000 law school Loan Reimbursement Assistance Program (LRAP). Generous paid leave policy which includes; 15 days of sick leave, 15 holidays each year, and vacation (accrue 15 days for the first year of service and 20 days after one year of service at CRLA). This is a union position (Legal Service Workers for Rural California "LSWRC" ), and the salary ranges from (Staff Attorney: $65,500-$90,000) depending on each year of admission to practice law in any U.S. jurisdiction and any relevant law-related work experience prior to being admitted to practice law.

To apply: 

CRLA invites all applicants to include in their cover letter a statement about how your unique background and/or experiences might contribute to the diversity, cultural vitality, and perspective of our staff and legal services practice.

California Rural Legal Assistance thrives on our diversity, and we are proud to be an equal-opportunity employer. We are committed to building a culturally diverse workplace and strongly encourage women, persons of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, veterans, persons with disabilities, and persons from other underrepresented groups to apply.

Equal Opportunity Employer
Salary range: 
$65,500 - $90,000