Skip to content

Mental Health Advocate

The Advocate Classification is a non-exempt hourly position at the Disability Law Center.  Grade II level Advocates work under general supervision, requiring a greater level of independent work. The Grade requires considerable knowledge of disability rights and services and may focus on a specific area of advocacy, requiring more specific knowledge in an area in order to investigate civil rights violations of individuals/groups with disabilities in regards to their health, safety, programmatic and treatment needs and preferences and recommend appropriate resolution and plan, implement and monitor remedial course of action to achieve client satisfaction with general guidance and assistance from higher level advocate and legal supervisor.

Position Purpose:
This position’s primary responsibility is to: provide advocacy to ensure that persons with mental illness in Utah can increase their independence and /or enhance their quality of life. This position will be focused on building the DLC’s capacity and knowledge of Utah’s service system to support individuals with mental health disabilities. This position requires a willingness and interest in understanding local, state, and federal programs that support this population and an ability to work closely with consumers and professionals in the mental health community.

▪ Meeting with PAIMI eligible individuals to investigate issues and their needs and the ability of the DLC to provide services.
▪ Consulting with Supervisory and Staff Attorneys assigned to the Community Integration team and to develop appropriate advocacy strategies for PAIMI eligible clients.
▪ Acting as an advocate for clients' rights in formal and informal settings.
▪ Addressing systemic issues before agencies, boards, legislature, etc.
▪ Providing education and training to individuals with disabilities, their family members, guardians, advocates, and service providers.
▪ Providing outreach to rural communities and minorities as requested.
▪ Prepare newsletter articles and handouts for consumers and others.
▪ Attend seminars, conferences, and training sessions as appropriate.
▪ Assist with completing all required federal, state, and private grant reports for the PAIMI program.
▪ Assist with completing DLC quarterly and annual reports.
▪ Assisting the Executive Director and other staff in the development of grant proposals and other activities to secure funds for the PAIMI program.
▪ Assisting in the development of suitable outreach, education and training materials related to these activities.
▪ Serve as the DLC’s liaison/primary assigned staff to the PAIMI Council; and
▪ Attend staff and other meetings.

Reports to: Supervising Attorney

Budget: This position has no direct fiscal management responsibilities.
Clientele: Staff and Board of Trustees of the Disability Law Center, persons living with disabilities in the state of Utah, federal and local government officials, federal and private funders, health care providers, social security recipients, assistive technology providers, and the broader disability

This position works directly with the staff of the Disability Law Center, other community based organizations, state and federal agencies serving persons with disabilities, National Disability Rights Network (NDRN), Utah’s disability community, federal and state funding agencies, private foundations, consultants and others. Cooperative working relationships are maintained with these individuals/agencies to ensure that the Disability Law Center functions well internally and is seen as an effective, efficient, and responsible agency.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
• Demonstrated ability to plan for, develop, coordinate, and provide legally based advocacy services. Ability to perform legal research, writing, and coordinate legal advocacy services under the supervision of an attorney. Requires working knowledge of relevant federal and state law.
• Ability to prepare and deliver persuasive arguments and think clearly and quickly in extemporaneous situations.
• Proven ability to advocate for systemic policy changes in both a legislative and litigation context.
• Experience working with community partners to understand and analyze gaps in service systems.
• Experience in research methods and design, as well as a demonstrated ability to analyze qualitative and quantitative data.
• Ability to analyze federal and state statutes and regulations.
• A strong writing ability, including report writing and other professional publications.
• Knowledge of state and federal systems such as Medicaid, local mental authorities, and institutional and community-based care.
• Ability to work successfully in a collaborative, team-based environment.

Must demonstrate commitment to advocating for vulnerable populations including people with disabilities and sensitivity to people with disabilities. Requires excellent interpersonal skills to relate to clients, various professionals, and mediate conflicts. May require broad knowledge of disabilities and impairments, and the service delivery system for individuals with disabilities.

Four-year degree with experience in education, direct client services, advocacy and/or rehabilitation required. Masters level degree in fields such as Public Health, Public Administration, Public Policy, and Social Work preferred.

Problem Solving
Ability to effectively delegate, supervise and organize work. Must have skill in both verbal and written communication, including that with persons of varying cognitive levels and communication skills. Must have the ability to prioritize workload and meet deadlines. Demonstrated ability to conduct staff and client assessments for the purposes of planning and evaluation of DLC services, strategies, and goals. Needs demonstrated organizational and problem-solving skills. Must be able to solve problems with minimal supervision.

Freedom to Act
The incumbent has general freedom to act within the assigned responsibilities and with supervision of the Executive Director, Legal Director, and staff attorneys. Reporting is accomplished through oral and written reports to the Executive Director and / or Associate Legal Director.

How to Apply
Please submit a letter of interest, and a copy of your resume with references to Jennifer Carver, Paralegal at  The position will remain open until filled, and applicants will be assessed on a rolling basis.

Share this article:


This jobs board is provided as a courtesy to our social work community. All job postings are the responsibility of the posting entity. Prospective applicants should do their due diligence in confirming/investigating any posted job opportunity. The University of Utah is not responsible for the content of, nor any resulting employment arrangements resulting from, job postings from outside entities.

Job Opportunities

Discussion channel for insightful chat about our events, news, and activities.



Last Updated: 12/16/21