Staff Attorney (Medical Legal Partnership)
WHO WE ARE:
Founded in 1966, CRLAs mission is to fight for justice and individual rights alongside the most exploited communities of our society. Through a network of regional offices and cross-cutting programs, CRLA provides legal services to tens of thousands of low-income people annually. Our work impacts farmworkers, individuals with disabilities, immigrant populations, LGBTQ+ communities, women, children, and families in rural areas.
Position: Staff Attorney
Experience: 0-3 Years Experience
Application Deadline: Open until filled
Location: CRLA Salinas Office
Term of Employment: Temporary (long term), Full-Time
Other: FLSA Exempt, Union Position
CRLA’s Monterey County Medical-Legal Partnership seeks a staff attorney to promote rural health equity through direct legal services, community partnership, and legal education. The foundation of health begins in homes, schools, workplaces, and neighborhoods. Integrating legal services with the healthcare system can be a means to disrupt a cycle of returning people to the unhealthy conditions that would otherwise bring them right back to the clinic or hospital. CRLA’s Monterey County Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP) addresses the health-harming legal needs of patients at the Monterey County Health Department Clinics, which provide healthcare to a largely farmworker community regardless of ability to pay. Healthcare providers refer patients to MLP staff attorneys, who conduct intakes on-site at the clinics and provide comprehensive legal services to eligible clients in diverse areas of the law, including employment, housing, education, public benefits, and environmental justice—in accordance with CRLA program guidelines, the ABA Standards for Providers of Civil Legal Services and the Code of Professional Responsibility. MLP staff attorneys generally work on-site at a Monterey County Health Department Clinic at least one day per work.
The medical-legal partnership is an innovative model where attorneys are out in the community meeting with clients in a setting that reveals a wide range of legal issues, including some that may not ordinarily present themselves in CRLA’s field offices. The model lends itself to attorneys that can work across different legal issue areas, enjoy working with community partners, and are willing to think outside the box. Client representation will include interviews, negotiations with opposing parties/government agencies, research and writing, and representation at administrative and court proceedings. MLP staff attorneys are also expected to train health professionals on the issue-spotting and triage of the civil legal needs of their patients and to engage in outreach with social services and other community organizations. MLP staff attorneys resolve specific problems for individual patients while also helping healthcare staff navigate system and policy barriers and transform institutional practices.
- Provide legal services (advice, negotiation, litigation & administrative advocacy) to low-income clients in accordance with the program priorities and case handling policies.
- Work collaboratively with health care providers to identify and address the most important individual and systemic problems that impact their low-income patients.
- Engage with the low-income patient communities to devise and seek systemic solutions to health care access and other legal needs presented by the client population.
- Think creatively about strategic legal issues and problems.
- Regularly conduct outreach and develop and provide training to health care providers and client families on a broad range of legal issues, including identification of legal needs.
- Develop collaborative working relationships with advocates addressing related issues through advocacy task forces or workgroups to address systemic issues.
- Prepare and provide community education regarding legal rights.
- Review/supervise the work product of Community Workers and Support Staff relating to all clients being advised or represented.
- Develop leadership in working with the community, clients, and other advocacy groups related to statewide impact issues.
- Develop specialized knowledge in a substantive area of poverty law and acts as a resource for other CRLA staff through participation in at least one CRLA task force.
- Coordinate advocacy in substantive areas by collaborating with other human services providers, non-profit organizations, community, client, or other advocacy groups.
- Participate in training programs, case reviews, staff meetings, and other CRLA activities.
- Collaborate with members of the private bar as necessary.
- Maintain contemporaneous time records in the case management system.
- Maintain a great working relationship with all staff.
- Other duties as assigned.
This job description is not designed to contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties, or responsibilities that are required for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.
Required Education and Experience:
- Admitted to practice law in the State of CA or willingness to take the next CA Bar Exam.
- Demonstrated commitment to working with low income clients.
- Excellent written and verbal communication.
- Able to meet deadlines and perform multiple tasks while maintaining attention to detail.
- Good people skills and the ability to maintain positive relations with a diverse population.
- Bilingual (English & Spanish) Fluency.
Preferred Education and Experience:
A highly qualified and desirable candidate would also have the following:
- Experience working with low-income families and communities.
- Experience in a non-profit legal services environment.
- Prior experience in legal services and additional language ability relevant.
Compensation & Benefits:
Based on a competitive public interest union salary scale; generous benefits package includes Medical, Dental, Vision, Disability, Life Insurance, and 401K retirement plan contribution. Fourteen (14) paid Holidays, generous vacation and sick leave policy, some professional dues paid by CRLA and if qualified - participation in the School Loan Reimbursement Assistance Program (LRAP).
California Rural Legal Assistance thrives on our diversity and we are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to building a culturally diverse workplace and strongly encourage women, persons of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, veterans, persons with disabilities, and persons from other underrepresented groups to apply.