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Staff Attorney - Public Benefits Stockton (Remote)

Office location: Stockton

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, indigenous populations, individuals with disabilities, immigrant populations, LGBTQ+ communities, women, children, and low-income families in rural areas.

  • Position: Staff Attorney
  • Experience: 6+ months 
  • Application Deadline: Open until filled
  • Location: CRLA Stockton Office (Remote)
  • Term of Employment: Temporary (Long Term, through 7/30/2023), Full-Time
  • Other: FLSA Exempt, Union Position

The Public Benefits Attorney/Law Graduate will help San Joaquin County residents with physical, mental, and/or cognitive disabilities apply for SSI, Social Security disability benefits, and other economic benefits to which they may be entitled. The Public Benefits Attorney/Law Graduate will represent residents with appeals and hearings to secure a stable income and help residents exit homelessness.

CRLA seeks a passionate and empathic person to work with and represent unhoused San Joaquin County residents with disabilities in their claims for SSI, Social Security, and other benefits. The Attorney/Law Graduate will work collaboratively with a community worker and support staff in case assessment, strategy, and management to support clients, move their legal cases forward, and accessible housing.


Essential Responsibilities/Duties:

  • Learn and assist with the diverse legal needs of underserved and vulnerable communities;
  • Help to reduce homelessness, enhance economic and housing stability, and promote social justice;
  • Represent clients in a range of public benefits matters, including primarily Social Security disability benefits, SSI, and CAPI claims and appeals;
  • Represent clients in all stages of administrative proceedings related to their public benefits claims, from initial applications through federal court;
  • Assist clients with accessing other county, state, and federal benefit programs, as needed;
  • Identify and employ impact advocacy strategies to remove systematic barriers to public benefits for client populations, including particularly vulnerable groups such as immigrants and refugees, survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking, people experiencing homelessness, and people with disabilities;
  • Develop relationships and collaborate with community partners, including governmental agencies and community-based organizations;
  • Work collaboratively with attorneys practicing in CRLA’s other substantive areas; and
  • Participate in training, case reviews, staff meetings, and other CRLA activities
  • Prepare and provide community education regarding legal issues related to housing stability, including housing and income maintenance.
  • Collaborate with members of the private bar as necessary
  • Maintain contemporaneous time records and client case records in the case management system
  • Maintain a great working relationship with all staff
  • Engage in other tasks and projects that further CRLA’s mission



QUALIFICATIONS & QUALITIES of our ideal candidate: We intend to bring a candidate with as many of the following qualifications and qualities as possible.

 Required Education and Experience:

  • Admitted to practice law in the State of CA, eligible for California’s Provisionally Licensed Lawyer program, or before the court of any state and willing to take the next CA bar.
  • 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, empathy, patience, and the ability to maintain positive relations with a diverse population.
  • This position is based in our Stockton office and requires travel throughout the city/county as necessary to best serve our clients.
  • Applicant must have the ability to perform all of the above duties.


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.
  • Additional language ability relevant to the primary communities served.
  • Advanced degree in social work, social welfare, marriage, family and child counseling, counseling psychology, social psychology, or equivalent. • Licensure (e.g., LCSW, LMFT) or progress towards licensure (e.g., ASW, MFT Intern or Trainee).
  • Additional language ability relevant to the primary communities served.

This job description is not designed to contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties, or responsibilities required for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time, with or without notice.


 Compensation & Benefits:

We offer a diverse, family-friendly environment, compensation based on competitive public interest salaries, and a generous benefits package. CRLA's benefits package includes 100% employer-covered medical, dental, vision, life, and short & long-term disability insurance for employees and up to 50% for dependents coverage; CRLA's student loan reimbursement program; employee assistance program; employer-paid CA Bar license; and 401K retirement plan with CRLA contribution effectively immediately.  CRLA has a generous paid leave policy which includes;  15 days of sick leave, 15 holidays each year, and vacation (starting at 15 days and increasing to 20 days after one year of service at CRLA).

CRLA requires that all employees are Fully Vaccinated, defined as a CDC-approved COVID vaccination and one booster shot. This offer is contingent on meeting this requirement. The complete vaccination policy, including the process for reasonable allowable accommodations, is available for your review upon request.



CRLA invites all applicants to include in their cover letter a statement about how your unique background and/or experiences might contribute to the diversity, cultural vitality, and perspective of our staff and legal services practice.

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.


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