Staff Attorney (Housing Justice)
Position Title: Staff Attorney, Housing Justice
Reports to: Director of Housing Justice
Location of Job: Chicago, Illinois
The Shriver Center on Poverty Law fights for economic and racial justice. Over the past 50 years, we have secured hundreds of law and policy victories with and for people experiencing economic instability in Illinois and across the country. Everything we do is powered by communities most affected by poverty. We litigate, shape policy, and train and convene multistate networks of lawyers, community leaders, and activists to advance opportunity for all—not just the few. Our country is rife with laws and policies that systematically disadvantage certain groups while advantaging others based on their race, gender, and other facets of their identities. We believe laws and policies—and the institutions that apply them—should be designed to support people. Together, we’re turning this ideal into reality. We are building a future where all people, families, and future generations have equal dignity, respect, and power under the law. Through our advocacy initiatives, we work to win positive change and provide a range of professional development resources that build and support the national network of advocates engaged in those efforts.
The Shriver Center is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from qualified candidates of all backgrounds.
Position Description: The Shriver Center seeks a Staff Attorney experienced in housing law and policy. Utilizing the full advocacy toolbox (legislative advocacy, coalition building, litigation, etc.), the Staff Attorney will help the Shriver Center accomplish its mission by advancing our housing advocacy efforts nationally and in Illinois. The Staff Attorney participates in advocacy to preserve safe, decent, affordable housing for very low-income families, advance fair housing, and expand housing access for disproportionately excluded populations.
- Conduct outreach, education, and litigation to protect the homes of families living in publicly supported affordable housing in Chicago and throughout Illinois.
- Support the work of tenant and community organizers in building and strengthening tenant associations.
- Work with partner organizations to formulate and carry out strategy to enforce newly enacted Illinois law prohibiting source of income discrimination in housing.
- Engage in legislative, administrative, and other policy advocacy to promote policies that provide stable housing for low-income families and expand fair housing protections.
- Serve as co-counsel or lead counsel in Shriver Center’s litigation, including lawsuits asserting claims under the Fair Housing Act, Illinois Human Rights Act, and Fair Credit Reporting Act.
- Participate in other housing-related advocacy and in Shriver Center efforts to transfer its successes and knowledge to a national or multi-state scale.
- Contribute to raising funds for advocacy activities, including assisting with grant proposals, attending site visits, and identifying new funding sources.
- Continue to learn about issues and potential or systemic housing solutions through contact with clients, direct service providers and community organizations, and to develop strategies for accomplishing positive changes for our clients.
- Contribute to the strategic thinking of all of the Shriver Center’s anti-poverty and race equity efforts.
- Engage in in-depth research and scholarship on matters related to housing equity and oversee work of volunteers and law student interns as needed.
- Participate as needed in various administrative tasks and committees of the Shriver Center.
- Travel to Springfield, Illinois, and national conferences and meetings as needed.
- Other duties as assigned.
These responsibilities describe the general nature of the work to be performed and should not be construed as an exhaustive list of responsibilities, duties, and skills required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
- J.D., licensed to practice law in Illinois, and 2 years’ experience practicing law.
- Experience in litigating federal and state housing matters, engaging in local, state, or federal housing policy advocacy, or working as a housing organizer required.
- Knowledge of and experience working with federal subsidized housing programs strongly preferred.
- Excellent research, analysis, and writing skills.
- Experience in or demonstrated commitment to public interest law and advocacy on behalf of families living in poverty.
- Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
- Ability to develop and lead new and existing projects.
- Ability to participate in evening and weekend community and client meetings.
- Ability to travel for work-related meeting and conferences.
Salary/Benefits: This full-time position offers a competitive public interest salary ranging from $75,470 to $94,337 and a comprehensive benefits package that includes health, dental, vision, life, and disability insurance, generous paid leave, flexible work schedules, pre-tax flexible spending accounts, pre-tax commuter benefits, and a 401(k) plan. To maintain internal and external pay equity, the annual salary offered to the candidate of our choosing is nonnegotiable and commensurate with experience.
Opening/Closing Date: Open immediately; we will accept applications until August 21, 2022, at which time the job announcement will be removed from our website. We hope that one of those applications is yours.
At the Shriver Center, we know that a richly diverse mix of professionals makes organizations more effective. As such, we make demographic and experiential diversity a hallmark and priority of all our work. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Send a cover letter, résumé, writing sample, and three references via email to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com with the subject line “Housing Staff Attorney Application.” Please note that the hiring committee will review the cover letter to evaluate each candidate’s relevant background and experience related to the responsibilities and qualifications listed in the job description.