Community Economic Development Attorney
Community Economic Development Attorney
Hybrid remote work schedule: 3 days in office/field and 2 days remote
Base office can be at any of our offices located in our 18-county Wester n North Carolina region
Position Status: Full-Time
FLSA Status: Exempt
Pisgah Legal Services (PLS) is a community-based non-profit legal aid agency governed by a local Board of Directors. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina (WNC), Pisgah Legal Services provides free civil legal assistance to low-income people in WNC. The organization currently has offices in Asheville, Brevard, Burnsville, Hendersonville, Highlands-Cashiers, Marshall, Newland, and Rutherfordton. With over 120 dedicated staff, including over 30 attorneys plus program staff, and an active group of 300 volunteer attorneys, the program provides free services to nearly 20,000 people per year to meet their basic needs, primarily in the poverty law areas of housing, public benefits, domestic violence prevention, health care, immigration, and consumer law.
PLS is seeking a full-time North Carolina licensed attorney, or an individual otherwise eligible for admission to the North Carolina Bar, to work in our Community Economic Development program on community-based projects which support social impact related to affordable housing, job creation and retention, asset building, health, education, at-risk youth, historic preservation, or food security and systems justice. Transactional legal skills including structuring legal entities, drafting and negotiating contracts, financing the development of affordable housing, working with local government, or experience working within federal and state regulations would be useful, as would experience in working with 501c3 nonprofit corporations in any capacity. The CED team uses an intersectional analysis of barriers to economic opportunity for people of color and low-income persons and prioritizes clients and projects that address systemic bias. When applying, please speak to your experience in working in and with diverse communities on grassroots and community-led initiatives. Additionally, legal aid experience and/or fluency in Spanish would be helpful.
Passion for promoting justice and overcoming barriers facing low-income people, being a creative and diligent staff member and a team-player, and a demonstrated commitment to achieving lasting results for clients and low-income communities are all important. By ensuring that the lowest-income people in Western North Carolina have access to holistic services and support for their ideas and projects, we will increase opportunities for positive outcomes at the individual and community levels.
- Commitment to PLS’ mission, values, and vision.
- Identify and support projects that include creation of affordable housing, development of community-controlled businesses and new living wage jobs, legal guidance for groups engaged in community wealth building projects, and expansion of health, educational, employment, and other services and social impact areas.
- Develop public education presentations on topics including community economic development strategies, equitable development, affordable housing advocacy, and nonprofit and small business law, as needed.
- Develop and maintain community relationships including neighborhood leaders, other nonprofit agencies, government officials and employees, and others.
- Advocate for local policy changes and help groups leverage federal and other funding streams to further local community economic development.
- Travel within our service area and also to meetings or conferences in other parts of NC.
- Adhere to program priorities and case handling policies, procedures, and standards of practice, as well as the highest professional and ethical standards.
- Keep abreast of developments in the law and disseminate information to staff, volunteer attorneys, and the public.
- Work with volunteers, including volunteer attorneys, on a regular basis.
- Assist in fundraising in coordination with PLS Development Team.
Salary ranges from $60,000 – $108,000 depending on experience. Additional language skills that are applicable to this role may qualify for up to an additional $3k upon completing a language assessment test.
Our salary scale is predetermined based on the years of relative professional work experience that qualify for this position to ensure equity in pay. Pisgah Legal Services is a Living Wage Certified Employer.
Employees are eligible for medical, dental, vision and life insurance coverage the 1st of the month following the start date. Pisgah Legal Services (PLS) pays 100% of the Employee and 50% of the Dependent Cost for BCBS Medical and Dental coverage. PLS pays 50% of the Employee Coverage Cost for BCBS Vision coverage. PLS pays 100% of Long-Term & Short-Term Disability Coverage, Life Insurance Coverage of 5x base salary + an additional $15,000 Life & AD&D Coverage. 401k Retirement Plan after 6 months of employment. Additional Fringe Benefits includes Pet Insurance, Paid Parental Leave, Paid Bereavement Leave, 13.5 Company Holidays, 22 Paid Leave Days, Paid Sabbatical Leave for eligible staff, Employee Assistance Program for entire household and a great working environment with work life balance!
- N.C. licensed attorney, or otherwise eligible for admission to the North Carolina Bar.
- Demonstrated experience with transactional law (or ability to learn) used to support grassroots initiatives and community-led groups.
- Demonstrated commitment to serving low-income people and communities.
- Demonstrated skills at socio-economic and cultural sensitivity and ability to assist upset or ill people in programs outside of CED team.
- Excellent writing and verbal communication skills.
- Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work well with teams and independently.
- Fluency in Spanish would be an asset.
- Possess a valid driver’s license.
Submit your online application with resume and cover letter through our Career Center located at https://www.pisgahlegal.org/jobs.
PLS invites all applicants to include in their cover letter a statement about how your unique background and/or experiences might contribute to the diversity, cultural vitality, and perspective of our staff and legal services practice.
Pisgah Legal Services is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.
As an Equal Opportunity Employer, we will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified persons with disabilities. Prospective and current employees are encouraged to discuss ADA accommodations with our Human Resources department.