*Note: We’re in the final stages of the grant process with a new funder. The position is contingent on securing this funding.*

About CaRLA

The California Renters Legal Advocacy and Education Fund’s core mission is to make lasting impacts to improve the affordability and accessibility of housing to current and future Californians, especially low- and moderate-income people and communities of color. We use legal advocacy and education to ensure all cities comply with their own zoning and state housing laws and do their part to help solve the state’s housing shortage. We work with homeowners, small developers, and city and state government officials, providing free legal aid, education and workshops, counseling and advocacy, and pursuing housing impact litigation. When a city violates state housing law, we bring lawsuits to correct the violation and ensure all cities are held accountable for their obligations to help mitigate California’s housing shortage.

If you have a love of housing, diving into administrative records, analyzing state law, and bringing cities to court when they try to use housing policy to exclude, we can use your help! This is a great opportunity to help build a growing nonprofit dedicated to creating new homes throughout California.

CaRLA is a small office consisting of three full-time staff and two interns. We are currently a remote-only office, but may have a small office space or shared workspace available in the next few months. At that time, we will offer a flexible “some days in-office and some days remote” hybrid style of work.

About the Position

The fellowship is a one-year grant-funded position with the possibility of permanent employment thereafter, funding permitting. The Legal Fellow will report directly to the Executive Director but will also work closely with the Director of Development and Outreach and Director of Policy and Investigations, and be responsible for managing legal interns.

The Legal Team at CaRLA will consist of this position and the Executive Director, with assistance from legal interns and investigations staff.  

Summary of Essential Job Functions

Case Development:

  • Work with the Executive Director and Investigations team to monitor local housing policy, review meeting agendas for local planning commissions and city councils.
  • Identify and develop impact litigation to challenge local housing policy.
  • Work with homeowners, developers and potential plaintiffs and city governments on issues on compliance with state housing laws.  

Litigation:

  • Draft and file papers, write briefs, appellate briefs, and other litigation documents.
  • Make in-court appearances on active litigation matters.
  • Calendar and track litigation and other deadlines.
  • Conduct discovery and prepare administrative records in connection with litigation matters.
  • Organize and process pleadings, correspondence, exhibits, and other documents.
  • Coordinate with outside counsel on active and potential litigation.

Education:

  • Work with the rest of the CaRLA team to develop educational materials to help accelerate the implementation of state housing policy in local governments.
  • Work with Investigations Director to organize and conduct educational events to empower the public, promote CaRLA’s work and encourage public engagement on housing law and policy.
  • Work with CaRLA staff to coordinate with partners and elected officials on policy proposals and new legislation.

Requirements

Experience and Qualifications:

  • Juris doctor degree from an ABA Accredited Law School required.
  • Desired full-time experience as a practicing attorney in litigation. 
  • Ability to organize time and track hours spent on individual cases and assignments. 
  • Experience arguing motions and appeals, experience or demonstrated interest with land use, housing, or administrative agency litigation is plus.
  • Experience and knowledge of housing policy and law at the state and local levels and a passion to get more housing built.
  • Ability to synthesize and simplify large amounts of sometimes complex information, including CaRLA’s library of past and current housing impact litigation.
  • Working knowledge of software tools necessary to conduct litigation (e.g., Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Acrobat, and document management systems).
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills.
  • Exceptional time management and organizational skills and the ability to work independently on essential duties and responsibilities.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work well with others on shared duties.

Expectations:

  • Exemplify highest standards of integrity, professionalism, discretion, excellence and accountability; demonstrates emotional intelligence and self-awareness; inspires confidence and trust; welcomes feedback.
  • Exercises initiative to identify and solve problems with drive, flexibility, resourcefulness and creativity.
  • Able to interact in an effective, tactful and professional manner internally, externally and with the public at large; responds graciously and promptly to the needs and requests of others.
  • Plan to participate in communications efforts and public events/activities as a member of the development and communications team.

Salary and Benefits

Salary commensurate with experience, with a minimum starting salary of $75,000  annually. Benefits include paid vacation, sick leave, holidays, and health insurance, as well as being part of a small team (two full time staff, three interns) that values teamwork, collaboration, a relaxed work environment, and life-work balance. 

To Apply 

Please send a resume, cover letter, and a legal writing sample to the CaRLA Team at hi@carlaef.org with the subject line “First Name Last Name – Legal”. In your cover letter, in addition to your relevant experience and qualifications, be sure to address what makes you passionate about housing. 

California Renters Legal Advocacy and Education Fund is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer. Black, Indigenous, People of Color, LGBTQ+ candidates, people of all gender identities, persons with disabilities and individuals over 55 are encouraged to apply.

Open until filled. 

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