Position title
Staff Attorney

The Legal Services Unit provides legal assistance and representation to the low-income and homeless veteran population of the Bay Area. In addition, we address systemic causes of our clients’ inability to access benefits and relief through policy efforts and impact litigation. We practice federal administrative law before the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense, and we focus our assistance on veterans experiencing PTSD and other mental health conditions and those with less than honorable discharges.

Swords to Plowshares invites applications for a one-year position for a full-time Staff Attorney, with the possibility that the position may be extended into a permanent one. The Staff Attorney will be responsible for case management, including initial interviewing and providing advice and representation to claimants before the Department of Veterans Affairs, Military Discharge Review Boards, and Boards for Correction of Military Records. An active state bar license is required but does not need to be from the State of California.

  • Provide the following services to veterans in need of legal assistance with VA benefits claims and military discharge upgrades: (1) outreach; (2) brief legal advice and assessment; and (3) direct legal representation
  • Develop and necessary evidence, including military records, medical & mental health records, court-martial transcripts, witness statements, and/or non-governmental documents, to assist in case evaluation, preparation, and representation
  • Conduct legal research and draft legal briefs
  • Represent clients at hearings before the VA Regional Office, and Board of Veterans Appeals
  • Coordinate within legal team on case strategies
  • Perform in-depth research and prepare written materials relating to legal issues faced by veterans
  • Submit reports, attend meetings, and perform administrative tasks, as required
  • Work with other program providers to integrate services within Swords to Plowshares’ continuum of care
  • Perform other duties as required by Legal Director
  • Employee must be able to perform all essential job requirements and responsibilities within what would be considered reasonable accommodation
  • Juris doctor from an ABA-accredited law school
  • Experience with or sensitivity to the needs of clients who are homeless, trauma survivors, experience mental health symptoms, and/or live with disabilities
  • Familiarity with veteran issues is preferred
  • Familiarity with public benefits advocacy is preferred
  • Active bar membership in the United States, or awaiting results
  • Sound professional judgment
  • Administratively self-sufficient
  • Demonstrated ability to work cooperatively and remain calm under pressure
  • Commitment to the mission of Swords to Plowshares
  • Extended periods of sitting, at a desk/computer station, meeting with clients in your office
  • Performing some tasks outside the office, such as attendance at legal clinics, meetings, and hearings
  • Veterans strongly encouraged to apply
  • Must be able to communicate effectively with a variety of personalities and be comfortable working with an at-risk client population, including embracing the organization’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiative
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Excellent legal research and writing skills
  • Ability to work independently and in a team-oriented environment
  • Basic computer skills with proficiency with Microsoft Word and case management software
Job Benefits

Compensation is based on a competitive public interest salary scale. Swords to Plowshares offers a generous benefits package including the following benefits:

  • Excellent medical and dental packages
  • 403(b) retirement plan with employer contribution
  • 17 vacation days in the first year
  • 12 holidays every year
  • Wellness program
Date posted
December 19, 2019
Employment Type
Full-time, exempt, temporary
Job Location
San Francisco, CA
Base Salary
$ 60000

Please submit a thoughtful cover letter explaining your interest in Swords to Plowshares, where/how you found out about this career opportunity, and your salary requirement. Email the cover letter along with your resume to [email protected]

Please include the exact title for this position in the subject line of your email: Staff Attorney

Position: Staff Attorney

Thank you for submitting your application. We will contact you shortly!