Staff Attorney (Homelessness Prevention)
Mental Health Advocacy Services, Inc. (MHAS) is a private, non-profit organization whose mission is to protect and advance the legal rights of children and adults with mental health disabilities in order to maximize autonomy, promote equality, and secure the resources needed to thrive in the community. 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. In addition, MHAS participates in impact litigation in an effort to improve the lives of people with mental health disabilities.
ANNUAL SALARY: $60,000 + depending on experience.
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 Metro card. 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 staff gatherings featuring food, a daily stretch break, and trainings on stress management and mindfulness.
MHAS seeks to hire a full-time attorney to lead a new behavioral health legal partnership in which legal services intervention specifically targeting low-income tenants with mental health disabilities at risk of homelessness is holistically integrated in partnership with three of the largest mental health services providers in Los Angeles - Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, Hathaway-Sycamores Child & Family Services, and Mental Health America Los Angeles. Through this project, MHAS will provide legal advocacy for 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 be expected to respond quickly to legal referrals from the partners in a wide-range of subject areas, including housing, public benefits, consumer, education, tickets and expungement, and health and mental health. This position will provide the clients with eviction defense and other tenant defense assistance in landlord-tenant rental disputes, including pre-eviction and eviction legal services, and legal services to improve habitability and ensure receipt of eligible income or benefits to improve housing stability and homelessness prevention.
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:
- Providing competent legal assistance to clients through advice and counsel, research and writing, negotiation, administrative advocacy, and court advocacy;
- Developing expertise in a broad range of poverty law issues;
- Maintaining a caseload in an organized and efficient manner;
- Providing technical assistance and training to staff and clients at the mental health partner agencies;
- Assisting with project administration;
- Participating in policy advocacy projects; and
- Assisting with other projects and tasks as identified related to MHAS’s mission.
- J.D. degree and membership in California State Bar.
- Commitment and sensitivity to the rights of people with mental health disabilities and other vulnerable populations.
- Excellent legal research skills.
- Excellent oral and written communication skills with attention to detail.
- Excellent organizational skills.
- Ability to prioritize tasks, manage time, and meet deadlines.
- Demonstrated ability to analyze complex problems and develop creative solutions.
- Cultural sensitivity and demonstrated ability to work well with diverse social, economic, and ethnic groups.
- Spanish language fluency or proficiency helpful but not required.
- Experience advocating on behalf of vulnerable populations.
Submit the following to firstname.lastname@example.org (state “Employment Application” in your e-mail subject line):
- Resume; and
- Cover letter describing how applicant meets the minimum and desirable qualifications and discussing applicant’s motivation for seeking the position.
MHAS seeks a candidate who is available to begin work in January, 2020.
View job announcement at http://mhas-la.org/employment-opportunities/
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.