We’re hiring!

JOB OPPORTUNITY: Senior Attorney 

YIMBY Law is seeking an experienced land use litigator to help enforce state and federal housing law in California. We are also interested in candidates who are able to practice and have experience  in other US States in addition to California. 

YIMBY (Yes In My Back Yard) Law’s mission is to make housing more accessible and affordable. Our vision is a racially & economically integrated and environmentally sustainable society in which every person has access to a safe, affordable home near jobs, services, and opportunity. We enforce laws such as the Housing Accountability Act, the Permit Streamlining Act and state Housing Element law. We are in an exciting growth phase and plan to expand to other states and to support the growing national conversation around housing shortages.

The Senior Attorney must have experience in California suing cities for violating the Housing Accountability Act, the Permit Streamlining Act or other closely related code sections. Experience with other relevant areas such as zoning, CEQA, and environmental and administrative law preferred. The Senior Attorney must be an active member of the California bar and experienced with all phases of civil litigation in California including discovery, motions practice, trials, and appellate litigation. This position will supervise our existing staff attorney on California cases, but not necessarily on non-California cases, and will report to the Executive Director of Yes In My Back Yard. 

YIMBY Law is a political advocacy organization that is looking to expand its reach. If you have prior significant experience with political advocacy or impact litigation in other states or federally please note this in your application. A successful candidate will be willing to push the envelope and develop novel legal theories. So far we have won every case, but not because we are risk averse. We pursue arguments that might not succeed, because we are a political organization, not a business. A successful candidate will be aware that the law is part of politics. A background in epistemology is appreciated, and we would love for you to have read “Industrial Conspiracies” by Clarence Darrow. 

Responsibilities may include: 

  • Draft and file moving and opposition papers, writ briefs, appellate briefs, and other litigation documents. Make in-court and online appearances on active litigation matters. Calendar and track litigation and other deadlines.Conduct discovery in connection with litigation matters. Organize and process pleadings, correspondence, exhibits, and other documents.

  • Monitor local planning commission and city council agendas and conduct assessments about potential litigation arising out of local planning decisions. Prepare public information requests, review responses, and engage in follow-up correspondence. Conduct pre-litigation correspondence with public entities and other potential litigation targets. Write to Planning Departments, Planning Commissions and City Councils informing them of their duties under state law. 

  • Assist with the development of educational materials for public talks and publications. Write memos, blog posts, letters and other kinds of copy to facilitate broadcasting the results of your research. Collaborate with staff to update the yimbylaw.org website, including the blog, housing-law library, and Housing Element database.

  • Coordinate with our Director of Policy as necessary. Collect and record information identifying strengths and weaknesses of existing law.

  • Respond to inquiries from activists, legislators, press, elected officials and developers about the implications of particular California state housing laws. 

  • File complaints with state regulatory agencies such as the California HCD and Attorney General’s office. Potentially collaborate with coalition partners to drive volunteers to make complaints. Write talking points or other guidance for sophisticated volunteers to be able to translate their knowledge about what is happening in their locality to a complaint that is actionable to HCD or the CA AG. 

 Skills Required:

  • Experience drafting, filing, serving, and responding to motions and other papers in state or federal courts, or in connection with administrative proceedings, is required. Experience arguing motions and appeals, experience with land use or administrative agency litigation, or experience with writ matters is preferred.

  • Familiarity with search techniques and operation of Lexis and similar legal research databases. Working knowledge of software tools necessary to conduct litigation (e.g., Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Acrobat, and document management systems). Be able to use Google Calendar, Google Sheets or Excel, Airtable, Squarespace and Slack. 

  • Strong time management, organization, reasoning, and research skills.

  • Be comfortable speaking in person and on the phone with a wide range of actors.

  • Be able to explain complex concepts to diverse audiences. 

Don’t meet every single requirement? Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply to jobs unless they meet every single qualification. At Yes In My Back Yard we value a diverse workplace, so if you’re excited about this role but your past experience doesn’t align perfectly with every qualification in the job description, we encourage you to apply anyway. You may be just the right candidate for this or other roles.


Flexible within the United States; this could be either a remote position or in person anywhere on the California coast. Note that internal and external meetings are generally scheduled between 10am and 5pm Pacific Time, and so time zone alignment may be desirable.


Full time 40 hours/week. Some flexibility of schedule, but internal staff meetings are held 10 am – 5 pm PT. Evenings and weekends may be required.


$120,000 - $150,000 / year salary depending on experience and qualifications.


  • Up to 100% employer funded comprehensive medical coverage

  • 401k enrollment opportunities

  • 3 weeks of paid vacation plus another 20 paid holidays

  • Paid sick time

  • Paid family & disability leave

  • Significant professional development opportunities, including paid professional development stipend

  • Flexible work hours within a 40 hour work week

  • Membership in YIMBY Action nationwide activist network and vibrant 3,700+ member Slack community

  • Access to YIMBY Action network of elected officials, journalists, and business leaders

To Apply

Upload resume and cover letter here as soon as possible. This ad was first distributed on Feb 8 2023. Email Sonja Trauss sonja@yimbylaw.org with questions.

YIMBY provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.