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Philadelphia, PA 19118
(267) 277-3404 (phone)

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Staff Attorney (Investigations Unit)


Location: Sacramento, Oakland, Fresno or Remote

(Northern or Central California Only)


Make a difference! We stand for the rights of people that have disabilities....JOIN US!


Individuals who are Deaf or Disabled are encouraged to apply.


SALARY RANGE (Depending on Experience): $67,477 - $98,817 annually

We base salary and position offers on experience and an internal equity analysis.   


EXCELLENT BENEFITS including 8% 401k Match, a language differential up to $, a LRAP (Loan Repayment Assistance Program) that pays up to $300 per month depending on salary and debt. Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) - eligible employment.


Application Deadline:  Open until filled.


Disability Rights California (DRC) is the Protection & Advocacy (P&A) system for the state of California.  DRC defends, advances, and strengthens the rights and opportunities of people with disabilities. DRC works for a world where all disabled people have power and are treated with dignity and respect. In this world, people with disabilities are supported, valued, included in their communities, afforded the same opportunities as people without disabilities, and make their own decisions.


DRC values all forms of human diversity. We are committed to a culture of belonging where all people are welcome. In order to be effective advocates for all people with disabilities, we must address discrimination in all its forms, including the unique challenges faced by people who experience the intersection of multiple systems of discrimination.


Investigations Unit

The Investigations Unit (IU) is a statewide team of zealous advocates who engage in non-litigation strategies to eliminate the abuse and neglect of people with disabilities. IU investigates allegations of abuse and neglect in facilities and programs such as state hospitals, developmental centers, nursing facilities, group homes, community crisis homes, jails, and immigration detention facilities. IU investigates individual incidents of abuse and neglect, failures of the abuse response system, and the root causes of abuse and neglect of people with disabilities. IU strives to address the intersectional needs of people with all types of disabilities experiencing abuse and neglect, especially those from traditionally underserved and underrepresented populations.


We value lived experiences with disability, incarceration, and/or institutionalization, and experiences working with our clients across a range of settings. Please consider discussing such experiences in your cover letter, especially if they are not reflected in your resume.



The IU Staff Attorney is responsible for conducting abuse and neglect investigations on behalf of people with disabilities and pursuing policy reform stemming from the outcome of those investigations. This includes interviewing, analyzing records, writing detailed case reports and publications, reviewing and drafting legislation and regulations, and participating in stakeholder meetings on issues related to abuse and neglect of individuals with disabilities. 

The Staff Attorney works under the direct supervision of a Supervising or Senior Attorney in the IU and in collaboration with other Disability Rights California attorneys, investigators, and advocates in their legal, advocacy, and outreach efforts. This position will require traveling throughout the state, and occasional travel out of state.

Please note that this is a non-litigation attorney position. The IU attorney will not be providing direct legal services to clients and will advance advocacy through grassroots, policy, and legislative strategies.




Education and Experience

  • Admitted to California Bar or eligible to practice under California’s Registered Legal Services Attorney program[1] and at least one year of legal experience.
  • Experience working with people across a variety of backgrounds in the community, including people with disabilities, individuals from language or ethnically distinct communities, people at risk of or experiencing homelessness, elderly populations, and a variety of socioeconomic groups.
  • Ability to conduct research and analyses of pertinent legal authority.
  • Ability to analyze complex problems and develop creative solutions.
  • Written and verbal communication skills sufficient to communicate legal questions and issues to a team of attorneys and the general public.
  • The ability to work independently with appropriate supervision.



  • Experience in licensing or with agencies which specifically address abuse, neglect, and quality of care issues affecting people with disabilities.
  • Experience reviewing medical records or other clinical documents.
  • Knowledge of disability laws including state and federal laws and services that pertain to people with disabilities, and/or direct representation of people with disabilities.
  • Experience with community and movement-based lawyering.
  • Experience filing complaints with state and federal agencies.
  • Experience advocating with policymakers at the federal, state, and/or local level.
  • Ability to read, write, and speak a language other than English, including American Sign Language, with sufficient fluency to interview clients and conduct trainings.
  • Experience in the disability justice movement and/or extensive contacts in the disability community.
  • Experience with and/or extensive contacts in ethnic or language distinct communities. 
  • History of support and familiarity with one or more of the following: homelessness, criminal legal system, institutional settings, or Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender/Queer/Intersex/Asexual (LGBTQIA+) communities.



To Apply: 
If you are interested in becoming a part of DRC, please submit the following: 1. Online Disability Rights California Application Form at 2. Your resume 3. Cover Letter: We need a workforce that can utilize insights and strategies that can come from both professional and personal experience. In your cover letter, please tell us about yourself and why you are a great fit for this position and for DRC. 4. Sample of legal writing (i.e., a legal argument, letter or analysis) consisting of no more than 10 pages of text.   Incomplete applications will not be considered.


Submission Deadline: 
August 16, 2023
Organization Information: 
Disability Rights California
1831 K ST
SACRAMENTO, CA 95811-4114
United States
Phone: 916-504-5927