Staff Attorney, Public Benefits Law Unit

Public Benefits · Washington, District of Columbia
Department Public Benefits
Employment Type Full-Time
Minimum Experience Entry-level

The Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia seeks a staff attorney for its public benefits law unit. As the District’s oldest and largest civil legal services program, Legal Aid’s mission is to make justice real—in individual and systemic ways—for persons living in poverty in the District of Columbia. Our clients are individuals and families, predominantly of color, in need of legal assistance in areas ranging from housing and domestic violence law to public benefits and consumer law. Legal Aid attorneys provide our clients with high-quality, zealous legal representation, while also seeking systemic solutions to the problems they face, through litigation, court reform, and legislative and agency advocacy.

Tasks and Duties

Legal Aid has a broad and energetic public benefits law unit currently consisting of thirteen full-time attorneys and one volunteer staff attorney. The unit helps families and individuals overcome legal barriers to accessing essential safety net benefits such as Unemployment Insurance, SNAP, SSI, Social Security, TANF, Medicaid, and DC Alliance. Unit attorneys represent and advise clients in matters before federal and local agencies, including the D.C. Office of Administrative Hearings, and engage in systemic policy advocacy and litigation on behalf of our client community. The staff attorney will handle a caseload of public benefits matters (including ones involving access to public benefits for non-citizens) and engage in community outreach, policy advocacy, and systemic reform efforts. The attorney will be based out of Legal Aid’s main NW office but will also help staff intake hours at its community offices in SE Washington, D.C.  (Note: As a result of the public health emergency, Legal Aid is currently operating remotely and, dependent on current circumstances, the individual hired for this position may start their employment working remotely and participate in remote hearings at the D.C. Office of Administrative Hearings.)



The ideal candidate will have the following:

  • A demonstrated commitment to social, economic, and racial justice;
  • Strong legal, organizational, oral and written communication, and leadership skills;
  • The ability to work collaboratively with clients, Legal Aid staff, legal and social services providers in other organizations;
  • Legal experience in public benefits work and/or immigration work a plus;
  • Litigation and/or advocacy experience a plus; and
  • Fluency or proficiency in Spanish, Amharic, or another language prevalent in Legal Aid’s client community strongly preferred, but not required.

Membership or eligibility for membership in the DC Bar is required.

Salary and Benefits

The attorney will be paid in accordance with Legal Aid’s competitive attorney salary scale based on years of experience, with a starting salary of $55,852 for an entry-level attorney who has just passed the bar, followed by a salary step each year thereafter. Legal Aid offers a generous benefits package.

To Apply


Legal Aid values an inclusive, diverse workplace and encourages applications from interested persons from diverse backgrounds of any race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, personal appearance, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, genetic information, or any other legally protected status. We strongly encourage applications from people with personal experience with the criminal justice system and/or with lived experiences in the communities we serve.


Interested persons are encouraged to apply immediately and should submit a letter of interest and resume through our online portal. Applications will be reviewed as they are submitted.


More about the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia

Legal Aid, founded in 1932, provides free civil legal services to persons living in poverty in the District of Columbia. The largest part of our work is composed of direct representation in housing, family/domestic violence, public benefits, and consumer law. We also work on immigration law matters and help individuals with the collateral consequences of their involvement with the criminal justice system. From the experiences of our clients, we identify opportunities for law reform, public policy advocacy, and systemic reform litigation. We have grown to a staff of more than 90 attorneys and staff, serving some 10,000 DC residents annually through direct legal services, and tens of thousands more through systemic advocacy and litigation. For more information about Legal Aid please visit our website,, and our blog, www.MakingJusticeReal.Org.

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  • Location
    Washington, District of Columbia
  • Department
    Public Benefits
  • Employment Type
  • Minimum Experience