Employment & Internships

LOCATION: 2100 N. Broadway Ave., Ste 209, Santa Ana CA 92706
SALARY: Range $45,760-$62,000 annually, DOE

ABOUT US: Veterans Legal Institute (VLI) is a 501 (c)(3) organization that provides pro bono legal assistance to homeless, at-risk, disabled, mentally ill, and low income current and former service members to eradicate barriers to housing, health care, education and employment and to foster self-sufficiency.

POSITION DESCRIPTION: VLI seeks a talented full-time Staff Attorney with 0-10 years experience to provide free legal services to help disabled, low-income, and homeless veterans gain access to critical income-support benefits and healthcare by submitting veteran benefits claims and appeals, discharge upgrades and attending legal clinics at various locations. Candidate will also spend time working on a partial combination of family law, expungements, landlord-tenant work including unlawful detainers, estate planning, bankruptcy, civil litigation, and more.

The Staff Attorney will lead trainings and provide technical assistance to volunteers and review completed applications for eligibility, legal work, and/or placement with a pro bono attorney.

Active or pending membership in the California State Bar;
Demonstrated knowledge of applicable law and community legal needs;
Excellent written and verbal communication and organizational skills;
Ability to work cooperatively with staff effectively at all levels of the organization;
Good people skills and the ability to maintain positive relations with a diverse population;
Ability to interact with a wide range of clients utilizing client-centered lawyering and trauma-informed frameworks;
Ability to assume responsibility quickly and work independently and as part of a team;
Ability to use good judgment, multitask, and meet deadlines;
Experience in developing and leading trainings preferred;
Experience working with veterans, people with disabilities, and people who are low-income and/or homeless preferred;
Strong teaching and public speaking skills preferred;
Previous experience in a legal services program preferred;
VA Accreditation a plus;
Experience in representing mentally ill, low-income people, special populations, or military in civil litigation or administrative proceedings a strong plus;
Knowledge of VA or government benefits, including SSI/SSDI, a strong plus; and
Military service, related military background, or military familiarity of modern issues a plus.

Maintain an active caseload and provide quality legal services to mentally ill, low-income, disabled and homeless former and active service members;
Interview former and active service members to determine what the legal issue is and if they are eligible for VLI's services- Common areas of law include discharge upgrade, VA benefits, government benefits, SSI/SSDI, landlord-tenant, expungements and more;
Partake in case review meetings to ensure that legal services provided are consistent with VLI’s priorities, policies and procedures, and that they maximize office resources to provide the highest quality client service;
Work with Managing Attorney to meet the overall goals of the organization;
Work with and assist volunteers, including law students and pro bono attorneys, with tasks;
Liaison with the client veteran community and represent VLI at networking events (occasional nights and weekends required);
Staff, coordinate and supervise legal clinics and trainings on a variety of legal issues that affect veterans;
Other duties as assigned.

HOW TO APPLY -Please submit a cover letter, resume, writing sample and three references via email combined in one PDF to abalta@vetslegal.com. Include “Staff Attorney Application” in the subject line.

PROBATIONARY PERIOD - A one year probationary period will be required.

VLI is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to their race, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, transgender status, age, disability, marital status, or medical condition.


Job Type: Unpaid Internship (Potential stipend available)
Schedule Type: Full Time

Practice Areas: Community Economic Development, Consumer Protection/Debt/Bankruptcy, Criminal Law, Disability Law/Rights, Discharge Upgrade, Employment/Labor, General Legal Services, Health Law, Housing/Landlord-Tenant, Immigration, LGBTQ, Non-Profit, Probate/Trust & Estate Issues, Public Benefits/Social Security, Veteran benefits

Job Description: Veterans Legal Institute® (VLI) is a 501(c)(3) that provides pro bono legal assistance to homeless, at risk, disabled and low income current and former service members that eradicates barriers to housing, education, employment and healthcare and foster self-sufficiency. VLI also advocates on behalf of its clients by providing community education and policy advocacy in an effort to increase awareness, resources, and overall protections to current and former members of the US military. VLI is amongst the only military specific full public interest law firms in the United States.

General job duties: Law clerks will gain a diverse arena of skills including Client interviewing and counseling. Clerks, under the supervision of the managing attorney, will be able to conduct intakes in person, in the office, at clinics and over the phone with potential and retained clients. Clerks will collect facts, draft memos and supporting documents, and discuss each case with the managing attorney. Clerks will also partake in legal research and writing. All law clerks will conduct legal research and writing in a variety of areas including veterans benefits, discharge upgrades, expungements housing, consumer law and more. Clerks will learn to draft memos, motions, pleadings, and other documents. Clerks with have the opportunity to attend legal clinics at the VA Hospital in Long Beach, Starbucks, Saddleback College, Irvine Valley College, and other areas. Clerks will also have the option to attend various events.

Qualifications: Law clerks should be a 1L, 2L or 3L, or a recent law school graduate with a passion to assist veterans.

Salary: Potential funding/stipend opportunities through nonprofit organizations including Equal Justice Works. Unpaid internships also available.

Application Instructions: All interested parties should email a cover letter, resume, writing sample and references to opportunities@vetslegal.com. Applicants will be hired on a rolling basis. Email inquiries only.

Contact Information:
Antoinette Balta
2100 N. Broadway, Ste. 209
Santa Ana, CA 92706

General Internship Opportunities

The Veterans Legal Institute® has many volunteer opportunities in which law students, paralegals, clerks, grant writers and marketing students can receive critical training while making a difference for deserving veteran clients. We are currently accepting letters of inquiry for fall and year round internships. To apply, please send a cover letter, resume and writing sample of no more than 10 pages to opportunities@vetslegal.com.

Fellowship Opportunities

VLI welcomes applications from law school graduates whose schools provide post-graduate funded fellowships to further its mission to serve the low income veteran community. We do not have an application form separate from those used by the organizations that fund the fellowships. If you are interested in participating in a fellowship program where you help low income veterans, please send a letter of inquiry to opportunities@vetslegal.com.

VLI is an equal opportunity employer.