Be a critical member in a team of social justice advocates! The Public Justice Center seeks an attorney to join its Human Right to Housing Team.
The Public Justice Center (“PJC”) and the Human Right to Housing Project
The Public Justice Center pursues systemic change to build a just society. Founded in Maryland in 1985, the PJC uses legal advocacy tools to pursue social justice, economic and racial equity, and fundamental human rights for people who are struggling to provide for their basic needs. The PJC is a civil legal aid office that provides advice and representation to low-income clients, advocates before legislatures and government agencies, and collaborates with community and advocacy organizations. www.publicjustice.org.
The Human Right to Housing Project seeks the realization of a human right to housing that is fair, affordable, habitable, and accessible, with security of tenure and cultural adequacy. The Human Right to Housing Team develops and implements its project priorities with the goal of dismantling white supremacy and advancing race equity. Attorneys provide legal services to low-income tenants in eviction and habitability cases, collaborate with community organizing partners to build tenant power, and advocate in state and local legislatures and government agencies for tenants’ rights. Recent team successes include:
- Litigating five precedent-setting appellate opinions protecting tenants’ rights;
- Obtaining systemic relief in three class actions as well as a HUD administrative complaint;
- Supporting Renters United Maryland and Baltimore Renters United in successfully advocating to pass legislation creating a right to counsel in eviction proceedings, expanding due process rights for tenants, requiring landlords to be licensed to operate, and enhancing other tenants’ rights.
COVID-19 Info: This position is partly remote and partly in the office and at court. Our current policy provides that staff will be required to come to the office, the courts, or other public meetings as necessary, but policies concerning COVID-19 may change as the situation changes. The PJC is providing PPE for employees and guests and maintaining other risk reduction measures in the office.
- Providing legal advice and representation to low-income tenants facing eviction;
- Supporting tenant-organizing groups and developing impact strategies for litigation.
- Providing know-your-rights trainings and outreach to community groups;
- Thorough and timely case and file management, including timekeeping;
- Developing and advancing the goals of the Human Right to Housing Team at the PJC, including contributing to the team’s workplan and race equity analysis;
- Participating in coalition and team meetings and advancing policy advocacy as needed.
Desired Skills and Experience
The following qualifications are valued for this position. Applicants should also identify other related or supplementary skills and experiences.
- Maryland bar admission or admission to another state bar.
- Spanish/English bilingual (or proficient) in writing and speaking is strongly preferred.
- Prior legal experience with low-income and other oppressed communities and clients.
- Passion for social justice and commitment to the vision of the Public Justice Center.
- Understanding of the principles of race equity analysis and the intersection of racism and poverty and their application to the PJC’s organizational life and to our work.
- Attention to detail and keen organization skills.
- Ability to work under deadline and manage multiple tasks.
- Lived experience with our client communities highly desired.
- Ability to empathize and sensitively respond to people in crisis situations.
- Excellent use of MS Outlook, Word, and Excel; database programs a plus.
- Strong problem-solving abilities, time management, and organizational skills.
- Ability to work independently and collaboratively both in and outside of the PJC.
This is a full-time, exempt, professional position. An attorney may be called upon to work hours in excess of 40 hours in a workweek, including the potential for evening and weekend work. Local travel will be required at times. Salary range for an attorney with 1-15 years of experience is $60,000-90,000 and increases with experience, plus a signing bonus and a $1,000 Spanish language bonus if qualified. The PJC will be reviewing and updating its salary scale in the coming months and strives to maintain parity with state legal employers such as the Offices of Attorney General and Public Defender. An excellent cafeteria benefit package in the annual amount of $15,000 is also provided. This package offers health, vision, dental, disability and life insurance, and retirement options. Cafeteria benefits packages give employees flexibility to choose how to direct their benefits. For example, this package can cover 100% of employee healthcare premiums, but an employee can choose to direct those funds towards retirement if they already have health insurance. PJC employees receive at least 20 days of paid leave, with increases based on length of tenure, 10 paid holidays, and 15 days of sick leave annually.
Physical/Mental Demands and Office Environment
The physical/mental demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
The Public Justice Center is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer that encourages all interested persons to apply regardless of race, color, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, citizenship, creed, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, transgender status, age, religion, genetic information, physical or mental disability, marital status, or any other legally protected status. We strongly encourage Black, Latine, Indigenous, and other applicants of color, people with disabilities, and other people historically underrepresented in the practice of law to apply.
Applications should be submitted by June 20, 2023, to be assured of consideration, but applications will be accepted and interviews conducted on a rolling basis until the position is filled. To apply, please submit, by email only, a cover letter explaining your interest, resume, two legal writing samples, and the names and telephone numbers of three references. Send applications to Matt Hill, firstname.lastname@example.org with “Housing Attorney applicant” in the subject.