Job Responsibilities and Duties
The staff attorney will be responsible for a full caseload representing parents and some children at all stages of the juvenile dependency process. The position requires extensive court appearances and daily client contact. Representation includes client interviews, providing ongoing assessments of the merits of cases, conferring with social workers, opposing counsel, and other service providers, appearing at all court hearings, preparing witnesses for trial, participating in mediations and presenting clients’ cases to the court during uncontested hearings and bench trials. The attorney will also participate in frequent trainings to build legal knowledge, strengthen courtroom skills, and develop a deeper understanding of relevant systemic and social issues.
- Member in good standing of the State Bar of California
- Knowledge and experience of juvenile dependency law preferred
- Experience in courtroom advocacy preferred
- Ability to work compassionately and respectfully with clients in crisis
- High degree of professionalism
- Ability to interact respectfully with judicial officers and adhere to the court’s schedule
- Demonstrated commitment to public interest issues
- Ability to flourish in a high-energy environment
- Ability to multi-task and be a productive team player
- Excellent verbal, interpersonal, writing, interviewing, and organizational skills
- Bilingual skills preferred
- Ability to work collaboratively as part of an interdisciplinary team of social workers and mentor parents
Salary: $83,000 annually. Medical, dental, and vision coverage available.
Please send cover letter and resume via email to DACjobs@sccdac.org. Cover letter to include answers to the following questions:
- Why are you interested in working as a family defense attorney and at DAC specifically?
- In order to best serve our clients and our community, DAC is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace in which differences are acknowledged and valued. How has your personal background or experiences, professional or otherwise, prepared you to contribute to social justice, race equity, and diversity among our staff?
DEPENDENCY ADVOCACY CENTER VOLUNTEER AND INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
DAC has had the good fortune to work with a number of exceptional law student, paralegal and high school interns. If you are interested in volunteer opportunities with DAC, please send your email inquiry to DACjobs@sccdac.org.
“The staff at Dependency Advocacy Center (DAC) are a truly unique group. I’m inspired by their compassion and level of service that each team member provides daily. The staff shares a message of advocacy, determination, and hope to motivate allies, professional partners, and families to work together to build stronger families. DAC is not only a remedy for the problems associated with child maltreatment & neglect but offers a viable solution to helping families reunify while achieving stability and self-sufficiency. DAC provides a holistic approach by using a multi-disciplinary team to increase family reunification and improve the quality of lives for families to thrive.
I’m incredibly grateful to have interned at Dependency Advocacy Center. I gained a well-rounded learning experience in working with families, especially within the juvenile dependency system. I have learned to assess the bio-psycho-social aspects of an individual and client, recognizing the client’s challenges and above all their support systems, strengths, and resiliency to overcome traumas and hardships.
I will forever by grateful to my Field Instructor Hilary, DAC staff, and the clients I served during my internship that have taught me the true spirit of determination, resiliency, persistence, and strength. Thank you!”
-Y.C., San Jose State University School of Social Worker, MSW Intern 2017-18
“I’ve worked in many different areas of dependency law, from policy making at the Judicial Council, to representing the Agency with the County Counsel. No other environment provided the depth of personal interaction with clients and attorneys, and no other experience inspired me to pursue an area of law as much as my time with the Dependency Advocacy Center has.
I was able to meet real people and help them with their deepest struggles, as they were fighting to keep their family together. They were often battling very significant personal problems, but it was deeply moving to see how much they would accomplish, and the obstacle they could overcome, when motivated by love for their family.
The DAC attorneys are extremely intelligent and also abundantly compassionate. As advocates in the court room, they are effective and determined. As counsel for their clients, they are firm and direct about the work that must be done, but also encouraging and supportive. I was especially impressed with how supportive the attorneys also are of each other and their staff. The atmosphere of camaraderie in the office allows the attorneys, staff, and clients to share the burden of their difficult and emotional cases, and alleviate additional stress.
Working here would be an incredible opportunity for anyone interested in a meaningful and rewarding legal career.”
-T.G., USF School of Law, Summer Intern 2009