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 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, energetic, love tackling tough problems, 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:

With the generous support of Shartsis Friese LLP, we’re hiring a litigation fellow to help us litigate important cases. Open Door Legal has a unique model of practice: we assist people in over 35 areas of civil law, both in litigation and before litigation. This position will manage all our small claims cases, civil restraining order cases and provide support to our cases in active litigation. Litigation support includes witness preparation, document preparation, drafting pleadings, and drafting motions. You will also work very closely supporting clients with mental health conditions and trauma through their legal cases, especially when they need to appear on their own in small claims court.

There is a strong housing component to this position: almost all of our small claims cases deal with housing issues, and many of the cases in litigation do as well. Examples include bringing actions over security deposit fraud and tenant property destruction.

Overall, the fellowship is intended to be an extremely challenging and formative experience for someone looking to become a highly effective direct services attorney. This position, like all our staff positions, may involve managing unpaid volunteers, interns/externs, and working closely with the office support staff team. Your supervisor will be our general practice litigation attorney.

This position requires someone who is flexible, resourceful, comfortable appearing in court, has excellent advocacy skills, is good at comprehensive legal research, and loves interacting with legal aid clients.

Salary is $55,000


  • Own/manage approximately 20 cases simultaneously, including all the small claims cases, and work collaboratively with your supervising attorney on at least another 20 cases, as needed.
  • 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 and fill in for the Senior Housing Attorney or the Litigation Attorney.
  • Embrace our mission of universal access to civil legal aid and make sure that housing case needs of D10 residents 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 Bayview/Hunters Point residents face when attempting to access the justice system.
  • Must be willing to make a commitment to the organization until the end of the fellowship on September 30th, 2019.

Bonus Points:

  • Comfortable practicing, translating and interpreting in Cantonese/written Chinese.
  • Comfortable practicing, translating and interpreting in Spanish.
  • Experience appearing in San Francisco civil court.
  • Knowledge of California housing law, especially affirmative causes of action.
  • Experience working with low-income and vulnerable populations.
  • Experience working in a high-volume legal aid or similar environment.
  • Supervisory and leadership experience.
  • Social work or similar background.
  • Having lived a significant period of your life in San Francisco proper.


  • 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 also offer medical benefits, four weeks of paid time off per year, a retirement plan, and flexible hours.

Applications received before June 15, 2018 will be given priority