About Us:

Open Door Legal is pioneering the country’s first system of universal access to civil representation and working to show that when everyone has access to the law, poverty will be dramatically reduced.

We won the 2015 Google Impact Challenge and we’ve been recognized by the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation for our innovative, results-oriented program. Long term, we plan to replicate our services across San Francisco, make this city the first in the country with universal access to civil legal representation, and become a model for national replication.

We’re only going to achieve this if we continue our tradition of hiring the best possible people. We hire people who are extremely passionate, quixotic, love tackling tough problems, client-centered and believe in continuous personal growth. We believe injustice is the heart of poverty and we invite you to join us in having a systemic impact on how we, as a society, ensure justice for the poor.

Overview of Position:

We are hiring a paralegal or legal secretary to provide critical support to our housing team. In this team, we help low-income families stay in their homes, obtain housing, prevent homelessness, or cure uninhabitable conditions. The work is high-pace and requires good critical thinking skills.

Day to day tasks includes: providing basic tenant rights advice, drafting UD answers, conducting intakes, completing court forms, coordinating filing and service of process, and communicating case progress to clients.

Overall, this position is intended to be a challenging yet extremely rewarding experience for someone looking to make a difference in client’s lives with an innovative, results-oriented, and fast-growing organization.

The position is currently based out of our Bayview location but you may be asked to spend some time at potential future locations in the Excelsior and/or Western Addition. We are open to flexibility about your location preferences.


  • Provide tenant rights counseling and case management, including maintaining and providing necessary follow-up with clients.
  • Be the liaison between Open Door Legal and the Eviction Defense Collaborative on unlawful detainer cases which are funded under the San Francisco Tenant Right to Counsel law.
  • Conduct emergency answer intakes and fill out the forms for same day answer filing under the oversight of our housing attorneys.
  • Help clients navigate rental assistance, housing application, and other tenant’s rights service organizations in San Francisco.
  • Provide outreach and support directly to clients at public housing sites, as time permits.
  • Process and arrange for the timely and high-quality filings, mailings, and service of process on all our housing cases.
  • Support our two housing attorneys, with the understanding that our organization is growing and we will likely be hiring two more attorneys in this practice area in the next six months.
  • Provide interpretation, translation and case management for Spanish-speaking or Cantonese-speaking clients, if applicable.
  • Embrace our mission of universal access to civil legal aid and make sure that the needs of residents in our service area are met.


  • Must have an associate or bachelors degree.
  • Must have high comfort using technology and case management systems.
  • Must genuinely enjoy working with low-income clients and have a commitment to providing trauma-informed services.
  • Must have some experience in the legal field and/or office environment.
  • Must be willing to make a two-year commitment to the organization.

Bonus Points:

  • Basic knowledge of California housing law.
  • Previous experience as a paralegal, legal secretary, tenant organizer or client advocate.
  • Comfortable practicing, translating and interpreting in Cantonese/written Chinese.
  • Comfortable practicing, translating and interpreting in Spanish.
  • Knowledge of San Francisco housing law and specifically the unlawful detainer procedure.
  • A paralegal certificate.
  • Experience working with low-income and vulnerable populations.
  • Having lived a significant period of your life in San Francisco proper.

Starting compensation is $50,000 per year


  • We offer a fun and challenging work environment for anyone who's passionate about making a difference.
  • We use best-in-class technology solutions, including Salesforce.
  • We offer medical benefits, four weeks of paid time off per year and a retirement plan.
  • We offer annual merit-based raises.

Applications received before June 28, 2019, will be given priority