Staff Attorney (Stay Housed Program – Piloting Four Day Week Program)
Mental Health Advocacy Services, Inc. (MHAS) is a private, non-profit organization whose mission is to protect and advance the legal rights of low-income adults and children with mental health disabilities and empower them to assert those rights in order to maximize their autonomy, achieve equity, and secure the resources they need to thrive. 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. Finally, MHAS participates in impact litigation and policy work in an effort to improve the lives of people with mental health disabilities.
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 transit fares.
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 trainings on stress management and mindfulness, group meditations, and regular, informal staff gatherings.
MHAS is currently determining its “post-pandemic” plan. Since March 2020, all MHAS employees have been successfully working from home and MHAS foresees at least some amount of working from home continuing indefinitely. MHAS equips all employees working from home with any needed technology and other office supplies. MHAS is currently exploring having staff return to the office a minimum of two days per week at a date to be determined in 2022. All staff must be vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19.
FOUR DAY WORK WEEK PILOT PROGRAM:
MHAS is proud to be joining the future of work as a participant in the 2022 Four Day Week Global Pilot Program. From April 1-September 30, 2022, all full-time MHAS employees will work four, eight-hour days per week and continue to receive 100% of their full-time pay. The four-day work week has been proven to improve organization productivity and employee health, reduce gender inequality, and create a more sustainable work environment. MHAS is joining the Four Day Week Pilot Program alongside several other for-profit and non-profit organizations across the United States and is optimistic that it will permanently adopt this model at the end of the Pilot Program.
MHAS seeks to hire an attorney to serve low-income tenants with mental health disabilities referred to MHAS from the Stay Housed L.A. partnership. Through this project, MHAS will provide legal advocacy for vulnerable clients to ensure they have the information and support needed to exercise their rights and remain safely in their homes. This position will focus on homelessness prevention, providing direct representation to clients in conflicts with landlords, housing authorities, and non-profit housing and service providers, including pre-eviction legal services, and legal services to improve habitability and ensure receipt of income or benefits to improve housing stability. This position will not provide eviction defense representation in court.
The ideal candidate will be expected to respond quickly to legal referrals from the Stay Housed L.A. partnership and assist clients who are being threatened with eviction, threatened with termination of housing subsidies, and/or denied reasonable accommodations to which they are entitled. All MHAS attorneys, including this position, will also provide some assistance to clients calling the MHAS General Intake Line on a wide range of subject areas including housing, public benefits, consumer, education, tickets and expungement, and health and mental health.
Other responsibilities will include providing legal training and technical assistance to both staff and clients at 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 and in particular housing law issues for individuals with mental health disabilities;
- Maintaining a caseload in an organized and efficient manner;
- Providing technical assistance and training to staff and clients at partner agencies;
- Assisting with project administration and reporting;
- Participating in policy advocacy projects; and
- Assisting with other projects and tasks as identified related to MHAS’s mission.
COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY, EQUITY, & INCLUSION:
Mental Health Advocacy Services seeks to fill all positions with people who share our values, including our organizational commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We encourage all interested individuals to apply - especially people of color; women; people from low-income backgrounds; people experiencing mental health and/or physical disabilities; people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender non-conforming, or non-binary; immigrants; people who have been affected by mass incarceration; and people from other underrepresented and historically marginalized groups. We believe that the resulting diversity is both a source of program strength and a matter of fundamental human fairness.
- 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; and
- Cultural sensitivity and demonstrated ability to work well with diverse social, economic, and ethnic groups.
1. Bilingual language fluency or proficiency helpful but not required; and
2. Experience advocating on behalf of vulnerable populations.
- Writing Sample; and
- Cover letter discussing any and/or all of the following: your motivation for seeking the position; your interest in working with people with mental health disabilities; how you meet the minimum qualifications; and/or how your personal background or experiences, professional or otherwise, have prepared you to contribute to our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
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.