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’re hiring a family law staff attorney to help us resolve family conflicts, protect victims, and to ensure that courts make decisions in the best interests of children. Open Door Legal has a unique and innovative model of practice: we represent both men and women in all areas of family law, including child custody and visitation, child support and paternity, divorce, guardianship, adoption, and restraining orders. Our family practice changes lives by healing families and reducing conflict, setting our clients (and their children) up for future success. The attorney in this position will get to work closely with their clients and will help counsel them through everything from mediation to full-scope litigation.

There is a strong leadership component to this position. We expect the attorney to manage and mentor an array of interns, volunteer attorneys, pro bono counsel, and fellows. We also expect the attorney to represent our organization and values to a wide variety of stakeholders, including with other organizations.

Overall, this position is intended to be an extremely challenging experience for someone looking to be a highly effective direct services attorney. Your supervisor will be our Legal Services Director.


  • Own/manage approximately 50 family law cases simultaneously while being assisted by a paralegal and volunteers
  • Appear in San Francisco Family Law court representing clients approximately 2-3 times a week on custody/visitation, child support, DVRO affirmative and defense and divorce
  • Work quickly on challenging, intellectually interesting, and interpersonally difficult cases.
  • Provide culturally and economically sensitive services and support to our low-income clients.
  • Be flexible: that is, be willing to appear in court on short notice when necessary, up to four times per week
  • Embrace our mission of universal access to civil legal aid and make sure that family case needs of residents in our service area are met.


  • Membership in good standing with the California State Bar. Applicants without active California bar membership will not be considered. However, those without a license are encouraged to apply to volunteer with us at opendoorlegal.org/volunteer.
  • Must have experience appearing in court and/or at administrative law hearings.
  • Must genuinely enjoy working with low-income clients and be able to work competently with clients who have experienced trauma. Must be culturally competent and sensitive to barriers low-income residents face when attempting to access the justice system.
  • Must be willing to make a two-year commitment to the organization.

Bonus Points:

  • Comfortable practicing, translating and interpreting in Cantonese/written Chinese.
  • Comfortable practicing, translating and interpreting in Spanish.
  • Knowledge of California family law.
  • Experience representing clients in contested divorce matters.
  • Experience appearing in San Francisco Civil Court, Unified Family Court.
  • Experience working with low-income and vulnerable populations.
  • Experience working in a high-volume legal aid or similar environment.
  • Supervisory and leadership experience.
  • Having lived a significant period of your life in San Francisco proper.

Starting compensation is $75,000 per year


  • We also offer medical benefits, four weeks of paid time off per year, paid parental leave, and a retirement plan.
  • Loan Repayment Assistance - for staff pursuing 10-year public interest debt forgiveness, we will pay the minimum payment on all qualifying loans so that you don’t ever need to worry about student debt (this is a conditional benefit).
  • 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.

Applications received before Aug 3, 2019 will be given priority

Note: in addition to this role, we will be hiring for a six-month temporary family law attorney starting in September.