Social Justice and Impact Litigation Section
The Office of the County Counsel's Social Justice and Impact Litigation Section litigates high-impact cases, drafts innovative local ordinances, and develops new policies and programs to advance the County’s goal of achieving social and economic justice for all its residents and to promote local, state, and national public policy reform. Impact Section attorneys also provide a broad range of legal advice to County agencies and defend the County in select cases implicating the County’s ability to provide critical safety-net services.
Our current cases include one of the nation’s first lawsuits to hold drug companies accountable for their role in the nationwide epidemic of opioid abuse and addiction; several lawsuits challenging actions by the President and his Administration, including a challenge to the President’s Executive Order defunding sanctuary jurisdictions, in which we won a permanent nationwide injunction; continuing litigation in our longstanding lawsuit against former lead paint companies, through which we obtained a judgment for hundreds of millions of dollars to abate lead paint in low-income communities throughout California; and several other cases that aim to address corporate misconduct, protect environmental and public health, and protect the County’s most vulnerable populations. We also have an active amicus practice and have recently authored amicus briefs in cases challenging the federal government’s efforts to withhold grant funding from sanctuary jurisdictions, defending the rights of LGBTQ people, preserving access to contraception, and protecting voting rights. In addition, we are working on policy initiatives related to pay equity, bail reform, LGBTQ rights, immigrants’ rights, public health, homelessness, and environmental health. We have also established a partnership with Stanford Law School through which students and faculty help us develop policy initiatives.
Additional information about the Social Justice and Impact Litigation Section is available here
2019-2021 Fellowship Position
In 2008, the Office established a fellowship program that selects talented new lawyers and trains them as local government litigators and advisors equipped to advance social and economic justice in the County and beyond. The 2019-2021 Fellow will contribute to a growing movement to use the power and perspective of local government to drive long-lasting social change. As an integral part of the Impact Section, the Fellow will conduct legal research and analysis; draft memos, ordinances, and resolutions; participate in ongoing litigation and amicus efforts; draft public comments on proposed federal regulations; and help identify and develop new cases and projects. The fellowship is also intended to provide exposure to a broad array of local government practice areas, and our fellows are regularly assigned projects in other sections of the Office. These projects may involve researching and drafting memoranda for the Board of Supervisors, providing legal advice to County agencies, and assisting with other litigation matters. Special attention is paid to the professional development of fellows to foster a lifelong commitment to public service with a focus on local governance.
The two-year position is open to recent law school graduates, judicial law clerks, and current third-year law students (J.D. expected in spring 2019), and begins in September 2019
. For members of the California Bar, the starting salary is approximately $100,000 per year. A list of current and past fellows is available here
Application Process and Deadline:
To apply, please send a resume, cover letter describing your experience and interest in working through local government to advance the public interest, legal writing sample, list of three references, and unofficial law school transcript to our Fellowship Hiring Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org
. Applications must be submitted by August 20, 2018
. We expect to complete the hiring process in October or November 2018.
The County of Santa Clara is an Equal Opportunity Employer