CORA – Legal Advocate

The purpose of this position is to provide legal advocacy services to victims/survivors of domestic violence with family law (restraining orders, divorce, child custody, etc.) and related criminal law issues.  The Legal Advocate will provide legal information and referrals; assist in preparation of legal documents and correspondence; accompany clients to court proceedings; and assist with volunteer coordination.

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Who We Are:

CORA (Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse), the only agency in San Mateo County providing crisis intervention and supportive services to survivors of domestic violence and their children, seeks a full-time Legal Advocate to provide support and advocacy to survivors of domestic violence with family law and related criminal law issues.

Primary Responsibilities:

Legal Support for Clients:

  • Assist survivors in completing and filing family court paperwork.

  • Provide supportive services including legal information and referrals to survivors in-person and via CORA’s legal information line.

  • Provide court accompaniment, support, and advocacy for clients at restraining order hearings, mediation appointments, law enforcement interviews, and other legal proceedings.

  • Provide client-specific advocacy to meet identified client needs, such as contact with other service providers, law enforcement, etc.

  • Provide assistance in navigating the civil justice, criminal justice, and social services systems; referrals; follow up services; and ongoing support to victims/survivors.

  • Communicate tactfully and effectively while advocating for clients with law enforcement, courts, district attorney, and other community agencies.

Record Keeping/Operations:

  • Collect and maintain statistical records on services provided, as required by Grants Officer and funders, and ensure compliance with funding requirements.

  • Support legal team with case management; including serving legal documents by mail, completing forms, opening and closing files, and filing documents at court.

  • Train, supervise, and coordinate assignments of legal advocacy volunteers.

  • Maintain the confidentiality of client, staff, volunteer, and agency information.

  • Maintain appropriate boundaries with clients and other staff.

  • Maintain collaborative relationships and provide liaison services with the legal community, law enforcement, and court systems. 

  • Provide professional training to groups (staff/volunteers, law enforcement, partner agencies, etc.) and participate in community meetings as assigned by supervisor.

  • Work closely with other CORA departments in order to best serve clients and the community.

  • Ask for guidance and mentoring from Manager of Legal Services when appropriate.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • BA degree in social work, psychology, counseling, or related field; or an equivalent combination of education and experience in the provision of social services.

  • Knowledge of family and criminal court systems.

  • Completion of the 40-hour training mandated by the California Office of Emergency Services.  Candidates who have not completed the training will be required to do so.

  • Demonstrated ability to work with all persons regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, economic background, immigration status or sexual orientation.

  • Demonstrated ability to provide culturally competent services and work with a diverse staff and clientele in an empathetic and non-judgmental manner.

  • Ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing.

  • Ability to work independently and set priorities, and as a member of a team.

  • Must be flexible, work well under pressure, prioritize tasks, and manage time effectively.

  • Must have valid California driver’s license, access to car, and insurance.

  • Must be available by cell phone during regular business hours (CORA will supply a phone if needed).

  • Successful results from Livescan criminal background check required.

Qualifications of the Ideal Candidate:

  • Bilingual in oral and written English/Spanish strongly preferred.

  • Knowledge of and experience with providing trauma-informed services.

  • Experience working with domestic violence survivors in Civil, Family or Criminal Court.

  • Experience with systems advocacy; ability to envision and explore big picture solutions.

  • Familiarity with Judicial Council Forms.

  • Ability to comprehend and analyze legal information, including statutes, and to explain it in an understandable way to clients.

  • Prior experience and/or training as a legal advocate, legal assistant, or paralegal.

Reports to:

Manager of Legal Services

Benefits/ Compensation:

This is a full time, non-exempt position. Salary range is $21 - $23 per hour based on a 37.5 hour work week; non-negotiable. CORA offers excellent health benefits (medical, dental, vision, chiropractic), generous time-off policies (including 3 weeks of vacation in 1st year), LT disability, life insurance, and a matching retirement plan..

To Apply:

Please send resume and cover letter to: Melissa Gibbs, Manager of Legal Services, 2211 Palm Avenue, San Mateo, CA 94403, or via email to

CORA History and Overview

CORA has provided services to survivors of intimate partner abuse for nearly 40 years. Our programs include Crisis Intervention Services, including a 24-hour hotline, collaboration with law enforcement, and support groups. Family Support Services provides mental health therapy, transitional housing for survivors and their children, and a children’s program that provides supportive counseling, weekly art and literacy programs, and developmental support.   CORA also provides education about domestic violence and legal assistance.

CORA is strengths-based, collaborative, accessible, and client-centered. CORA believes that everyone deserves to be treated with respect in their intimate relationships.  We provide safety, support and healing to individuals who experience abuse in an intimate relationship and educate the community to break the cycle of domestic violence. Regardless of a survivor’s race, class, gender, sexual orientation, or culture, we save lives and provide an opportunity to begin again.

CORA inspires work of the highest caliber by fostering staff engagement through transparency and inclusion in agency decisions wherever possible. We strive to ensure our policies and communications reflect an appreciation of the impact of social inequities, historical and current, and actively promote healthy relationships amongst staff by demonstrating mutual respect in all our communications.

Websites: and

CORA is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We seek diversity with respect to race, color, age, sex, (including breastfeeding and medical conditions related to breastfeeding), religion (including religious dress or grooming practices), national origin, mental or physical disability, genetic characteristics and information, ancestry, marital status, family status, political belief, sexual orientation, gender (including gender identity and expression), medical condition, military, or veteran status or any other category or status protected by Federal, State or other applicable laws.

All applicants are welcome. Individuals who are bilingual, people of color, members of the LGBTQ community and/or survivors of domestic violence are strongly encouraged to apply.  The position will remain open until filled.

No phone calls please.