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Directing Attorney of Housing Advocacy

Description: 

South Coastal Counties Legal Services, Inc. (SCCLS) and its subsidiary, the Justice Center of Southeast Massachusetts, (Justice Center), the primary provider of free civil legal aid to low income residents of Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod & the Islands, seeks a Directing Attorney for Housing Advocacy (DAHA).

South Coastal Counties Legal Services seeks to hire an experienced housing attorney to identify, develop and implement a system changing housing advocacy program for the organization. Reporting to the Executive Director of SCCLS, the Program Manager of the Justice Center or their designee, the DAHA will work with the organization’s leadership team, a talented housing advocacy staff, engaged statewide advocates, and volunteers to utilize legal tools, in conjunction with robust and inclusive client and community engagement, to address the most intractable practices keeping low income people from securing safe, affordable housing. The DAHA will have an excellent opportunity to contribute to the strategic growth of the organization and its advocacy and to creatively address the housing issues facing the region’s low-income communities. SCCLS staff now numbers 75 due to sustained growth over the past several years. Nearly 50% of the program’s work is focused on creating or maintaining affordable housing opportunities in the region.

Duties and Responsibilities

Working with the organization’s leadership team, the DAHA will:

 Identify, develop and implement a systems changing housing advocacy program; maintain a small and strategic caseload.

 Effectively engage with the organization’s leadership team, advocacy staff, community groups and organizations, and the statewide justice community to develop and manage strategic initiatives, community needs assessments, and to respond to emerging trends and changing policies affecting the poor.

 Develop and promote systems for providing effective systemic litigation, appellate work, and policy advocacy that is client and community centered to jointly address the most intractable housing injustice policies and practices.

 Develop and support the litigation, appellate work, and policy advocacy of the organization’s housing practice.

 Develop and promote, in collaboration with organizational training team(s) programs to enhance staff skills with respect to: litigation, appellate advocacy, policy advocacy, communications strategies, and substantive issues that advance the systems changing strategic advocacy vision for housing advocacy

 Assist in developing/revising standards of practice for the organization and work with the organization’s leadership team to ensure adherence to program and case handling standards, funder requirements and the highest professional standards.

 Engage housing advocacy staff with other program advocates, local community groups and organizations, and the statewide advocacy community to address legal issues confronting our diverse and low-income communities.

 Effectively mentor and act as a resource to housing advocacy staff regarding their systemic advocacy efforts.

 Seek opportunities to increase attorney fees.

 Work with SCCLS’ Executive Director and/or her designee to pursue new funding opportunities for systemic housing advocacy.

 Other responsibilities as assigned.

Requirements: 

 Admitted to practice in Massachusetts, or able to seek admission.

 Ten years of experience as a practicing attorney; substantive expertise in housing and poverty law issues; significant experience with advocacy in a variety of forums including federal, state, and appellate courts, administrative agencies, and/or legislative bodies.

 Strong leadership and mentoring skills and a leadership style that inspires and encourages professional growth in others; demonstrated ability to supervise across differences

 Demonstrated commitment to race equity, anti-racism and economic justice in the workplace and in the provision of legal services

 Ability to foster inclusivity, equity and humility when working with clients, colleagues and in supervising staff at the intersection of multiple identities, including race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, immigration status, religion, physical and mental disability, and/or limited English proficiency

 Capacity to facilitate groups and meetings equitably with a framework that embraces race equity principles

 Excellent written and verbal communication skills.

 Demonstrated creativity in identifying and pursuing legal issues on behalf of low-income residents.

 Demonstrated experience centering client and community in working with community groups, organizations, and advocacy groups.

 Demonstrated ability to identify and respond to emerging issues and changing policies affecting the poor.

 Fluency in Portuguese, Spanish, or Haitian Creole desirable.

To Apply: 

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Please submit a letter expressing your qualifications, vision for, and interest in the position. Include a resume, writing sample, and contact information for three references. Materials and any questions should be submitted to Lissl Thelin at lthelin@sccls.org. Subject Line: Directing Attorney for Housing Advocacy

Salary/Benefits

The salary for the position is based on a competitive public interest salary scale and commensurate with experience. Multi-lingual annual increment to base salary may be added for demonstrated language skills. SCCLS offers a comprehensive benefits package which include medical and dental for employees and dependents, long and short- term disability, life insurance, student loan repayment, PFMLA benefits, a 403b retirement plan, and generous leave.

SCCLS is an Equal Opportunity Employer and we welcome applicants from a broad range of backgrounds and experiences. We strive to foster a healthy, inclusive environment where all staff, clients and community members are valued, empowered and recognized, especially individuals who come from marginalized communities that are often under resourced, underserved and underrepresented. If assistance is needed to participate in the pre-employment process, please inform SCCLS.

Information

Submission Deadline: 
May 31, 2022
Organization Information: 
South Coastal Counties Legal Services
22 Bedford Street
Fall River, MA 02720
United States