California School Employees Association

California School Employees Association

Lead Staff Attorney

Based in San Jose, CA


The California School Employees Association is recruiting for a Lead Staff Attorney to handle a caseload of civil litigation in state courts to enforce wage-hour statutes and defend employer appeals to the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB). The Lead Staff Attorney provides advice on labor or employment issues to our Field Offices, and Governmental Relations department.

This is a great position if you have hands-on experience in employment or labor law or in labor relations, and want to make a difference in public education. We are a stable union representing over 250,000 members working in 767 school districts and colleges in California. Our members provide support services to students: they’re para-educators, administrative assistants, cafeteria workers, security officers, bus drivers, custodians, and skilled employees in grounds, maintenance and operations. CSEA is the largest independent classified school employees union in the world.

CSEA currently has a Legal Department comprised of a Chief Counsel, Deputy Chief Counsel, two staff attorneys assigned to field/GR work, one staff attorney assigned to provide non-labor advice to our members, a paralegal and two administrative staff. The Lead Staff Attorney position is vacant due to retirement.

Examples of duties
Typical duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Evaluate litigation requests made by staff to enforce the rights of CSEA and its members under the Education Code, Government Code, and other statutes
  • Handle civil litigation and PERB appeals on behalf of both the association and its local chapters and members
  • Provide legal opinions to CSEA management and staff on laws that affect CSEA
  • Evaluate and defend PERB charges occasionally filed by members against CSEA
  • Provide training for staff on legal procedures, labor law and other subjects
  • Draft appropriate contract language and bill language for other staff
  • Act as main liaison to one or more field offices
  • Investigate and advise member committees, officials and staff on internal disciplinary charges against members and internal appeals
  • Provide lead guidance to staff attorneys and our paralegal on the above matters

The ideal candidate should have the following qualifications and experience
A combination of experience and training that would likely provide the required knowledge and abilities may be qualifying.

  • A minimum of 7 years’ experience in either the practice of law or labor relations (work prior to bar passage will be considered).
  • At least one year’s experience in labor law is required; experience preferred in the California legislative process or local government law.
  • Some experience in a lead capacity
    • JD
    • Candidates with JD but not admitted to the California Bar must pass the Bar within one year of hire.
    • Knowledge of collective bargaining or public employment

Ability to:

  • Provide leadership to CSEA staff and members
  • Represent CSEA in state courts and administrative hearings before PERB (and occasionally arbitration on complex cases)
  • Interpret laws, rules and policies
  • Provide trainings on California legal issues
  • Prepare briefs, points, authorities, and other written materials
  • Present persuasive arguments in trial and appellate courts
  • Exercise good judgment
  • Remain calm and think clearly under pressure
  • Exercise considerable independ¬ence, initiative, and judgment in researching and proceeding with issues and cases
  • Foster collaborative relationships with diverse cultural groups, as well as with professional, technical, administrative and service employees
  • Work occasional weekends or travel overnight

To apply:
This position works at our headquarters office in San Jose, CA near the soon-to-open Milpitas BART station. CSEA has 12 offices in California with approximately 300 dedicated employees. A list of offices and locations is on our website. CSEA offers outstanding salary and benefits and is an exceptional place to work with no billable hours.

The salary range for the Lead Staff Attorney is $106,494.10 - $154,915.18. Starting salaries are typically at the first step on our salary range, although consideration may be given for candidates with exceptional qualifications and experience. Additional benefits include 17 paid holidays, 3 weeks’ vacation to start and 5 weeks after 7 years, medical benefits for you and your family primarily paid by CSEA (which includes retiree with dependent coverage after 10 years), life insurance, longevity premiums, and a defined-benefit pension plan.

When you apply, upload your résumé, writing sample and cover letter. Explain why your energy and experience uniquely qualifies you for this position and why you want to work for CSEA.

Questions? Contact HR at HREmail@csea.com or go to: www.csea.com/employment to apply.


WHEN APPLYING: Be sure to indicate that you saw this information at UNIONJOBS.COM.