Dependency Advocacy Center (DAC), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, provides interdisciplinary family defense legal services to indigent parents and children involved with Santa Clara County’s juvenile dependency system. Our clients face the removal of their children due to concerns of abuse and neglect. A myriad of issues is presented, including substance abuse, domestic violence, poverty, and mental health.
Dependency Advocacy Center provides zealous legal representation to indigent clients in the juvenile dependency system to promote timely reunification and preservation of families in a safe, healthy environment. DAC believes that every parent and child entering the dependency system has a right to be treated with dignity, compassion and respect.
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 (or a provisionally licensed eligible 2020 law school graduate pursuant to California Rule of Court 9.49)
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
Please include in your cover letter to 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?
Additional Salary Information: A provisionally licensed eligible 2020 law school graduate pursuant to California Rule of Court 9.49 will also be considered ($70,000)
About Dependency Advocacy Center
Dependency Advocacy Center (DAC), a nonprofit organization, provides free legal services to indigent parents and some children involved with the juvenile dependency system. DAC is the contract provider for these services in Santa Clara County, CA. Our clients face the removal of their children due to concerns of abuse and neglect. A myriad of issues are presented, including substance abuse, domestic violence, and mental health, among others.
Mission Statement: DAC provides zealous representation to indigent clients in the juvenile dependency system to promote timely reunification and preservation of families in a safe, healthy environment. DAC believes that every parent and child entering the dependency system has a right to be treated with dignity, compassion and respect.