Staff Attorney (Consumer)
Join the Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County (NLSLA) and become part of an energetic team of advocates that provide a wide-range of legal services aimed to address issues that disproportionately impact low income communities. These services include litigation, providing training and technical assistance, and community education.
Founded in 1965 as part of our nation’s War on Poverty, Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County (NLSLA) is now one of the largest and most prominent public interest law firms in California. NLSLA provides free assistance to more than 115,000 low-income residents of Los Angeles County each year. The NLSLA staff of 190, including 80 attorneys, specialize in areas of the law that disproportionately impact low-income people, including affordable housing and eviction defense, access to public benefits, support for domestic violence victims, access to healthcare, worker and consumer rights, services for justice-involved adults and youth, education rights, clean slate initiatives, and employment and training.
Through a combination of individual representation, high impact litigation, and public policy advocacy, NLSLA’s advocacy combats the immediate and long-parting effects of poverty and expands access to health, opportunity and justice. NLSLA serves all of Los Angeles County with a special emphasis on the poverty communities of the San Fernando, San Gabriel, Pomona and Antelope Valleys, as well as the central county cities of Glendale, Burbank and Pasadena. In addition, NLSLA advocates are co-located in courthouses in Van Nuys, Lancaster, Chatsworth, Pomona, Pasadena, and Downtown LA; Hospitals and health centers in Sylmar, Van Nuys, North Hollywood and El Monte; and with social services providers in the Antelope Valley.
Summary of Position:
NLSLA is seeking a Consumer Attorney to work on state consumer debt collection actions and help debtors to file Ch. 7 bankruptcy. The position provides self-help assistance as well as limited and full representation services. The successful application will have the opportunity to develop litigation skills in state and federal courts and to contribute to the growth of our consumer and bankruptcy practice. Areas of focus include credit card debt collection actions in limited civil; Chapter 7 bankruptcy and related proceedings, such as adversary proceedings; discharge of student loans, either through bankruptcy or administrative proceedings; and collections practices as regulated by the FDCPA and the Rosenthal Act.
The ideal candidate will be a skillful attorney who can excel in a fast-paced environment and is capable of fiercely advocating on behalf of NLSLA clients in multiple forums. The candidate must have a demonstrated passion and commitment to public interest law and prior experience serving low-income individuals and client groups, with a sensitivity to those in crisis. The ideal candidate must possess strong research and organizational skills; the ability to effectively communicate verbally and in writing; and well-developed analytical skills. Of critical importance is that the candidate be self-motivated and can work as part of a collaborative team. Travel within LA County required.
Duties and Responsibilities:
The Staff Attorney is expected to maintain expertise on a range of consumer issues. Initially this position will focus on the expected increase in credit card lawsuits, bankruptcies, and other financial challenges. This position will focus on holistic community-based legal services to low-income workers. The attorney will represent clients in litigation and administrative hearings as well as staff self-help consumer debt and bankruptcy community clinics, some of which are offered during non-traditional business hours. The attorney will supervise and train volunteer attorneys, legal assistant(s), interns, and non-attorney volunteers when needed, and will work in close coordination with other NLSLA attorneys and community-based organizations. Responsibilities also include designing and conducting presentations for self-represented litigants, keeping records as needed for purposes of measuring outcomes and grant reporting. Advocacy may include participation in high-impact projects/litigation involving systemic or policy issues affecting low-income people.
Excellent Benefits which include: choice of medical, dental, vision; life and disability insurance plans; flexible spending account (FSA)125 plan; 403(b) with employer contribution, loan reimbursement, bilingual pay supplement, sick and vacation pay, and 14 employer-paid holidays. Salary range $76,000- $84,000, commensurate with experience.
California Bar membership is required with at least 2 years’ experience in representing chapter 7 debtors or in consumer litigation. Candidate must be highly motivated and passionate about public service work, with sensitivity to those in crisis. Excellent writing, speaking and organizational skills and the ability to communicate effectively with clients, community organizations, attorneys, the judiciary and the public. Experience working with low-income client groups strongly preferred. Bilingual ability in Spanish or Chinese preferred, but not required.
COVID-19 vaccination is required as a condition of employment. Reasonable accommodations will be considered.
NLSLA is committed to the principle of equal employment opportunity for all employees and to providing employees with a work environment free of discrimination and harassment. All employment decisions at NLSLA are based on organizational needs, job requirements and individual qualifications, without regard to age, race, color, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran, disability status, family or parental status, or any other status protected by federal and CA state laws. NLSLA will not tolerate discrimination or harassment based on any of these characteristics. NLSLA provides equal benefits to employees with spouses and its employees with domestic partners.
Please provide a cover letter, resume, and writing sample on the application.