Centro Legal de la Raza Seeks Tenants’ Rights Paralegal

The Organization: Founded in 1969 and located in Oakland, California, Centro Legal de la Raza (Centro Legal) is a comprehensive legal services agency focused on strengthening low-income, immigrant, and Latino individuals and families by providing bilingual and culturally competent legal representation, education, and advocacy. The mission of Centro Legal is to protect and expand the rights of low-income people, particularly monolingual Spanish-speaking immigrants.

Centro Legal’s Tenants’ Rights Program (aka Housing Program) is focused on serving the needs of our most vulnerable community members who are at most risk of displacement in the midst of the current Housing Crisis. We do this through the provision of limited scope consultations (advice and counsel, assistance with pleadings, discovery, etc.) and legal representation on issues ranging from unlawful rent increases to unlawful evictions.

The Position: The paralegal will provide direct support to our tenants’ rights team. Duties will include:

1. Screen individuals, over the phone and in the office, for eligibility for services.
2. Provide administrative support to attorneys with preparation, serving, and filing of legal pleadings (civil and administrative), including preparing answers to unlawful detainer complaints, Oakland Rent Adjustment Program petitions/responses, Hayward Rent Stabilization petitions, exhibits, and other materials as necessary.
3. Respond to intake calls, emails, and letters from individuals seeking assistance;
4. Meet with clients to gather documents, complete administrative and civil complaint forms, interview clients, and draft client statements for attorney review.
5. Translate letters and documents.
6. Enter data into client database to ensure accurate accounting of information and services disseminated as required for grant or project reporting.
7. After training, the paralegal may prepare various legal papers, such as pleading caption pages, list of exhibits, etc.
8. Help attorneys conduct community outreach events as well as any other appropiate community education events.
9. Manage and coordinate databases, case files, attorneys’ correspondence files, etc.
10. Perform other special projects and other duties as assigned by the Tenants’ Rights Program Director.

Qualifications: First and foremost, the applicant must profoundly share Centro Legal’s mission and vision of social justice. Below are additional qualifications.

1. Minimum 2 years’ experience in a legal services environment; Bachelors’ degree or Paralegal Certificate may substitute for experience requirement.
2. Fluency in Spanish required.
3. Excellent word-processing and computer skills, including knowledge of Microsoft Word and Excel.
4. Must be well organized, efficient, highly motivated, able to handle multiple tasks at once, work well under pressure, and take initiative.
5. Must have outstanding written, verbal and interpersonal skills, superb attention to detail, and excellent phone manner.
6. Ability to work independently as well as within a team.
7. Willingness to conduct training and outreach activities in the community.
8. Experience working with low-income, immigrant, and monolingual Spanish-speaking communities.
9. Strong commitment to serving low-income and underserved communities, with an ability to relate to and communicate with a broad range of clients and colleagues.

Compensation and Benefits: Salary commensurate with background and experience. Plus medical, vision, dental, FSA, and 401(k) benefits. Generous vacation and holiday package.

Applications: Review of applications will begin immediately and continue on an ongoing basis. Applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Submit via email only: (1) detailed cover letter describing desire to work with low-income, monolingual Spanish-speaking community, (2) resume, (3) short writing sample in Spanish and (4) a list of three professional references to “jobs@centrolegal.org“. Place these words in the subject line “Housing Paralegal.”

Centro Legal de la Raza is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, disability, gender, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or any other prohibited category. Centro Legal de la Raza is an affirmative action employer and strongly encourages women, people of color, immigrants, LGBTQ, older persons, persons with disabilities and all qualified persons to apply.