Housing Attorney

Website Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County

Our mission at the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County is to fight social injustice through civil legal advocacy for people living in poverty. We believe every person should have the basic necessities of life, including safe affordable housing, access to health care, economic security, secure immigration status, an appropriate education, and freedom from violence and abuse.

Legal Aid SMC seeks candidates who share our aspirations for a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace. We are committed to affirming differences in race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity and expression.

Legal Aid SMC’s Housing team seeks an attorney to join us on the front lines of the housing affordability crisis. Housing team members work to defend tenants against eviction, enforce existing tenant protections through impact litigation, and advocate for effective and equitable housing policies in partnership with impacted communities. The Housing team includes lawyers, law clerks, and project coordinators who work collaboratively on all aspects of the program.


  • Litigation: Represent clients with a full and active eviction defense caseload. The attorney will be responsible for evaluating unlawful detainer cases for full legal representation, assessing defenses, developing a case strategy, developing evidence, preparing pleadings, discovery and motions, and making court appearances, including hearings and trials.
  • Advocacy: Advocate for the rights of tenants whose housing is threatened by issues such as eviction notices, discrimination, reasonable accommodations, retaliation, habitability, harassment, subsidized housing/Section 8, and rent increases.
  • Consultation: Consult with clients weekly in person or by telephone, advising on evictions and other legal issues that challenge the housing stability of low-income tenants. The attorney may, with training and supervision from the Director Attorney, also supervise volunteers conducting client intake interviews and preparing pro per responses to unlawful detainer complaints.
  • Community engagement and policy advocacy: Participate in community outreach events and regional task force meetings; conduct tenant education workshops and organizing meetings; work collaboratively with community groups to advance local and state policy that benefits low-income tenants.

Required Qualifications: We are looking for a motivated and organized attorney who is dedicated to advocating for a diverse, low-income client population. The right candidate is someone who can prioritize multiple demands and execute tasks efficiently in a fast-paced litigation environment, demonstrates excellent client relations, works well on a collaborative team, and is committed to social justice. Other requirements include:

  • California State Bar membership
  • Outstanding legal research, writing and public speaking skills
  • Demonstrated commitment to working on behalf of low-income populations

Compensation and Benefits

Salary: $75,000-$110,000/year DOE. Full-time exempt position.

Benefits: Excellent benefits including up to $3,600/year law school loan repayment assistance. $2,500 stipend for proficiency in Spanish or another language spoken by our client community.

COVID-19 Workplace Expectations:  Legal Aid SMC is primarily working remotely except for court appearances, limited outreach, and work that must be performed in the office. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required. Employees are expected to be available to commute to the office as needed. We provide computers, equipment, supplies, and reimbursement for home internet and cell phone service needed to work remotely. We expect to offer hybrid in-office/remote work schedules for most positions in the future.

To Apply: Send your resume, cover letter, and a writing sample to [email protected]

Legal Aid SMC is committed to creating a diverse work environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. Persons of color, persons with disabilities, immigrants, older adults, and members of the LGBTQ+ community are strongly encouraged to apply.

To apply for this job email your details to jobs@legalaidsmc.org