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Senior Attorney (Full-Time or Part-Time)

Description: 

ORGANIZATION DESCRIPTION:

Mental Health Advocacy Services, Inc. (MHAS) is a private, non-profit organization whose mission is to protect and advance the legal rights of low-income adults and children with mental health disabilities and empower them to assert those rights in order to maximize their autonomy, achieve equity, and secure the resources they need to thrive. MHAS assists both children and adults, with an emphasis on obtaining government benefits and services, protecting rights, and fighting discrimination. MHAS also serves as a resource to the community by providing training and technical assistance to attorneys, mental health professionals, consumer and family member groups, and other advocates. Finally, MHAS participates in impact litigation and policy work in an effort to improve the lives of people with mental health disabilities.

 

FRINGE BENEFITS AND WORK CULTURE:

Generous fringe benefits include paid vacation, holidays, and sick leave; employee health, dental, vision, long term disability, and life insurance; and parking pass or transit fares.

 

MHAS is proud of its collegial, family-friendly culture that respects the work/life balance of its employees. To that end, MHAS is willing to consider flexible work schedules on a case-by-case basis. MHAS also provides employees with frequent wellness opportunities, including trainings on stress management and mindfulness, and (in non-pandemic times) regular, informal staff gatherings and a daily stretch break.  

 

MHAS is currently determining its “post-pandemic” plan.  Since March 2020, all MHAS employees have been successfully working from home and MHAS foresees at least some amount of working from home continuing indefinitely.  MHAS equips all employees working from home with any needed technology and other office supplies. MHAS is currently exploring having staff return to the office a minimum of two days per week beginning in January 2022.  All staff must be vaccinated against COVID-19.

 

JOB DESCRIPTION:

MHAS seeks to hire an experienced attorney to join the MHAS Team as a Senior Attorney.  MHAS is open to considering candidates who seek either part-time or full-time employment.  MHAS Senior Attorneys provide substantive expertise and guidance to the entire legal services team and may provide leadership on one or more of the following core projects: MHAS’ participation in the LA County Whole Person Care Medical-Legal Partnership, MHAS’ Homelessness Prevention project, MHAS’ Reentry project, MHAS’ Fair Housing project, MHAS’ General Intake Line, MHAS’ Consumer Finance Project, and/or MHAS’ Special Education project. Through all of these projects, MHAS provides legal advocacy for and direct legal services to vulnerable clients to ensure they have the resources and support needed to achieve better mental health outcomes and overall well-being. 

 

The ideal candidate will have significant legal aid experience and will be able to provide substantive legal supervision and guidance to staff attorneys in at least one, if not more, of the following subject areas: mental health law, housing, public benefits, consumer law, special education, and tickets and expungement. Other responsibilities will include providing legal training and technical assistance to both staff and clients at our mental health partner agencies. The attorney will also take on such other client and policy work from time to time as deemed appropriate to MHAS’ mission and client goals.

 

JOB RESPONSIBILITIES WILL INCLUDE:

  1. Provide substantive expertise and leadership on at least one of MHAS’ projects and/or practice areas and ensure that MHAS staff attorneys and other advocates in these projects/practice areas provide competent legal assistance to clients through advice and counsel, research and writing, negotiation, and administrative/court advocacy; 

  2. Maintain an active caseload and provide direct legal assistance to clients;

  3. Participate in interviewing, selecting, and training of staff attorneys, legal fellows, law clerks, and non-attorney advocates; 

  4. Mentor staff attorneys and other non-attorney advocates via regular individual check in meetings and team case review meetings;

  5. Assist with managing grants including tracking progress towards grant deliverables, drafting reports, and overseeing data collection/analysis;

  6. Maintain expertise in a broad range of poverty law issues;

  7. Provide technical assistance and training to staff and clients at MHAS’ mental health partner agencies and other community organizations; and

  8. Execute other projects and tasks as identified, related to MHAS’s mission.

 

 

COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY, EQUITY, & INCLUSION:

Mental Health Advocacy Services seeks to fill all positions with people who share our values, including our organizational commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We encourage all interested individuals to apply - especially people of color; women; people from low-income backgrounds; people experiencing mental health and/or physical disabilities; people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender non-conforming, or non-binary; immigrants; people who have been affected by mass incarceration; and people from other underrepresented and historically marginalized groups.  We believe that the resulting diversity is both a source of program strength and a matter of fundamental human fairness.

 

 

Requirements: 

JOB RESPONSIBILITIES WILL INCLUDE:

  1. Provide substantive expertise and leadership on at least one of MHAS’ projects and/or practice areas and ensure that MHAS staff attorneys and other advocates in these projects/practice areas provide competent legal assistance to clients through advice and counsel, research and writing, negotiation, and administrative/court advocacy; 

  2. Maintain an active caseload and provide direct legal assistance to clients;

  3. Participate in interviewing, selecting, and training of staff attorneys, legal fellows, law clerks, and non-attorney advocates; 

  4. Mentor staff attorneys and other non-attorney advocates via regular individual check in meetings and team case review meetings;

  5. Assist with managing grants including tracking progress towards grant deliverables, drafting reports, and overseeing data collection/analysis;

  6. Maintain expertise in a broad range of poverty law issues;

  7. Provide technical assistance and training to staff and clients at MHAS’ mental health partner agencies and other community organizations; and

  8. Execute other projects and tasks as identified, related to MHAS’s mission.

 

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:

  1. J.D. degree and membership in California State Bar.

  2. Four + years of employment or volunteer experience in a law firm, legal aid organization, or law-related field.

  3. Commitment and sensitivity to the rights of people with mental health disabilities and other vulnerable populations.

  4. Excellent oral and written communication skills with attention to detail.

  5. Demonstrated ability to analyze complex problems and develop creative solutions.

 

To Apply: 

APPLICATION PROCESS: View full job announcements for all openings at http://mhas-la.org/employment-opportunities/. Submit the following to info@mhas-la.org (state “Employment Application” in subject line):

  1. Resume; 

  2. Writing sample; and

  3. Cover letter discussing any and/or all of the following:

  • your motivation for seeking the position, 

  • your interest in working with people with mental health disabilities, 

  • how you meet the minimum qualifications, and/or

  • how your personal background or experiences, professional or otherwise, have prepared you to contribute to our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion


MHAS is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender, national origin, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy, mental or physical disability, or any other basis protected by law.

Information

Submission Deadline: 
January 25, 2022
Organization Information: 
Mental Health Advocacy Services, Inc.
3255 Wilshire Blvd Suite 902
Los Angeles, CA 90010
United States