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Staff Attorney (Health - Patients' Rights)


MHAP’s Patients’ Rights Unit protects the civil rights of mental health consumers in Santa Clara County through direct client representation, systemic advocacy, training, and education.  The Patients’ Rights Attorney’s responsibilities include: 1) representing patients in locked psychiatric facilities in administrative hearings to challenge involuntary detention for mental health treatment or to preserve a patients’ right to refuse psychiatric medications; 2) investigating and resolving complaints from or concerning recipients of mental health services regarding abuse, neglect, and improper denials of rights; 3) monitoring mental health facilities and services for compliance with statutory and regulatory patients’ rights provisions; and 4) providing technical assistance, training, and outreach regarding the rights of mental health consumers to mental health providers, law enforcement, consumers, and community members.  The attorney may also have opportunities to work on issues involving public benefits and other civil legal needs.

Primary Duties

  • Represent clients in locked psychiatric facilities in detention and capacity hearings (currently performed via videoconferencing and telephone until deemed safe to perform in-person representation);
  • Provide advocacy and representation to people with complaints about mental health services;
  • Monitor and investigate mental health facilities for legal violations, including improper use of seclusion, restraint, and involuntary medication, improper denials of patients’ statutory rights, and failure to comply with due process requirements for involuntary detention;
  • Address system reform needs of MHAP clients through impact projects;
  • Conduct outreach and community education presentations;
  • Respond to requests for technical assistance from non-profits, providers, and family members;
  • Participate in MHAP intake, information and referral services;
  • Attend community meetings and events that concern or impact MHAP clients;
  • Participate in Law Foundation events, committees and operations;
  • Work in collaboration with supervisory and program staff.



$54,888-$87,235; compensation based upon bar admission date and comparable experience. All compensation determined by the wage table of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement between SEIU Local 521 and LFSV.  Excellent benefits provided, including paid holidays, vacation, health insurance and 401(k).


The Law Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Affirmative Action Employer.  We encourage people of color, women, people living with disabilities, older people, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people to apply.  It is the policy of the Law Foundation to prohibit discrimination and harassment of any type and to afford equal employment opportunities to employees and applicants, without regard to race, color, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, pregnancy, medical condition or genetic information, veteran status, national origin, disability, marital or other protected status.  The Law Foundation will conform to the spirit, as well as the letter of all applicable laws and regulations.



  • California Bar Membership, willingness to take California Bar Exam, or otherwise eligible to practice law in California (individuals awaiting California Bar Exam results or eligible for provisional license are eligible to apply);
  • Direct experience with or general knowledge of services and issues affecting individuals living with mental health disabilities desired.  Past or current consumers of mental health services are encouraged to apply;
  • Commitment to the rights of individuals living with mental health disabilities;
  • Demonstrated experience working with and/or sensitivity to persons living with mental health or developmental disabilities;
  • Ability to identify, investigate, and resolve client problems;
  • Ability to analyze, write, and present ideas and legal concepts clearly and concisely;
  • Ability to negotiate solutions to problems between service providers and clients;
  • Bilingual in English and Spanish or Vietnamese desired;
  • Commitment and ability to work with underrepresented communities, including people living with mental health disabilities or other disabilities, clients of diverse ethnic, cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and clients who are currently or formerly involved with the criminal justice system;
  • Candidates of diverse ethnic, cultural and linguistic backgrounds, persons living with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ community encouraged to apply;
  • Valid California Driver’s License and regular access to a vehicle to travel throughout Santa Clara County required.


To Apply: 


Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until position is filled. Please submit the following via email to Please use subject: PRU Staff Attorney: (1) a resume, (2) three professional references, and (3) a cover letter that explains your interest and also addresses the question below.


To best serve our clients and our community, the Law Foundation is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace in which differences are acknowledged and valued. How has your personal background or experiences, professional or otherwise, prepared you to contribute to social justice, race equity and diversity among our staff?




Submission Deadline: 
December 22, 2020
Organization Information: 
Law Foundation of Silicon Valley
4 North Second Street, Suite 1300
San Jose, CA 95113
United States
Phone: 408-280-2435