Mental Health Advocacy Services,


1 month ago
Employment type
Los Angeles
Closing date

About this organization

Mental Health Advocacy Services, Inc. (MHAS) is a private, non-profit organization whose mission is to protect and advance the legal rights of low-income adults and children with mental health disabilities and empower them to assert those rights in order to maximize their autonomy, achieve equity, and secure the resources they need to thrive. MHAS assists both children and adults, with an emphasis on obtaining government benefits and services, protecting rights, and fighting discrimination. MHAS also serves as a resource to the community by providing training and technical assistance to attorneys, mental health professionals, consumer and family member groups, and other advocates. Finally, MHAS participates in impact litigation and policy work in an effort to improve the lives of people with mental health disabilities.

About this job


ANNUAL SALARY RANGE: $71,000 - $84,000.


On January 1, 2023, MHAS proudly and permanently adopted a four-day work week. After completing a six-month trial of a four-day work week in 2022, MHAS found what almost all other companies that have moved to a four-day work week have found: the four-day work week improves organization productivity and employee health, reduces gender inequality, and creates a more sustainable work environment. All full-time MHAS employees, including this position, work four, eight-hour days per week. Candidates seeking part-time employment may also apply. The MHAS office is closed on Fridays.

Other benefits include paid vacation, holidays, and sick leave; employee health, dental, vision, long term disability, and life insurance; and parking/transit fare reimbursement.

MHAS is proud of its collegial, family-friendly culture that respects the work/life balance of its employees. To that end, MHAS is willing to consider flexible work schedules on a case-by-case basis. MHAS also provides employees with frequent wellness opportunities, including trainings on stress management and mindfulness, group meditations, and regular, informal staff gatherings.

MHAS attorneys work remotely with access to the MHAS headquarters office as needed. MHAS equips all employees working from home with needed technology and other office supplies. This position will spend 2 days/month on site at the Norwalk Courthouse. All staff must be vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19.

Roles & responsibilities


MHAS seeks to hire an attorney to lead MHAS’ Self-Help Clinic Project in partnership with the Los Angeles County Mental Health Courthouse. Through this Clinic, the attorney will provide Court-approved information and resources about Mental Health Court proceedings to litigants and other members of the public who are not currently in custody. The attorney will also offer information and resources on a range of ancillary civil legal issues with a goal of helping litigants achieve greater overall stability. Finally, the attorney will host biannual workshops open to the public on Psychiatric Advance Directives (PADs). PADs are legal documents in which individuals specify their wishes regarding desired treatment, medications, and decision-making proxies should they become psychiatrically hospitalized. By making PADs available to Mental Health Court litigants, MHAS provides individuals with mental health disabilities with this essential, effective, and highly under-utilized legal instrument.

The ideal candidate will be expected to respond quickly to legal referrals from the Mental Health Court and other Court partners in a wide range of subject areas, including conservatorships, housing, public benefits, consumer finance, tickets and expungement, and mental health. This position will focus on providing legal information and appropriate referrals in these subject areas. Due to the self-help nature of the Clinic, this position will not provide strategic legal advice or representation to litigants who interact with the Clinic. However, opportunities to provide more extensive services under other MHAS projects may be available.

Other responsibilities will include providing legal training and technical assistance to both litigants and Court partner agencies. The attorney will also take on such other client and policy work from time to time as deemed appropriate to MHAS’ mission and client goals.


1. Providing competent legal information and referrals to litigants, their family members, and other members of the public;

2. Developing expertise in a broad range of poverty law and mental health law issues;

3. Maintaining a high-volume workload in an organized and efficient manner;

4. Providing technical assistance and training to litigants and staff at court partner agencies;

5. Assisting with project administration and reporting;

6. Participating in policy advocacy projects as requested; and

7. Assisting with other projects and tasks as identified related to MHAS’s mission.



1. J.D. degree and membership in the California State Bar.

2. Commitment and sensitivity to the rights of people with mental health disabilities and other vulnerable populations.

3. Excellent legal research skills.

4. Excellent oral and written communication skills with attention to detail.

5. Excellent organizational skills including ability to prioritize tasks, manage time, and meet deadlines.

6. Cultural sensitivity and demonstrated ability to work well with diverse social, economic, and ethnic groups.


1. Spanish language fluency or proficiency helpful but not required.

2. Experience advocating on behalf of vulnerable populations.

To apply

APPLICATION PROCESS: Review full job announcement at Submit the following to (state “Employment Application” in subject line):

1. Resume;

2. Writing Sample; and

3. Cover letter discussing any and/or all of the following: your motivation for seeking the position; your interest in working with people with mental health


Mental Health Advocacy Services seeks to fill all positions with people who share our values, including our organizational commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We encourage all interested individuals to apply - especially people of color; women; people from low-income backgrounds; people experiencing mental health and/or physical disabilities; people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender non-conforming, or non-binary; immigrants; people who have been affected by mass incarceration; and people from other underrepresented and historically marginalized groups. We believe that the resulting diversity is both a source of program strength and a matter of fundamental human fairness.

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