The Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia is soliciting applications for our inaugural Steptoe Housing Law Fellow. Legal Aid is the oldest and currently largest general civil legal services program in the District of Columbia. This new and exciting two-year fellowship, made possible through the generous support of The Steptoe Foundation, will begin Fall 2019.
Since 1932, Legal Aid has been working to make justice real—in individual and systemic ways —for persons living in poverty in the District of Columbia. Legal Aid provides individual representation, advice, and brief services in a wide range of domestic violence/family, housing, public benefits, and consumer law matters. We also work on immigration matters and help individuals with the collateral consequences of their involvement with the criminal justice system. From our work with clients, we identify opportunities for—and engage in—law and court reform work, public policy advocacy, and appellate and impact litigation. In addition, Legal Aid maintains a robust pro bono program. For more information about Legal Aid, please visit our website, www.LegalAidDC.org, and our blog, www.MakingJusticeReal.Org.
Public service at Steptoe has been an integral part of the firm’s history, ethos, and operations. The principle of increasing access to justice guides its pro bono efforts. Many pro bono matters handled by Steptoe lawyers involve significant legal issues with far-reaching effects, such as race, age, gender, sexual orientation, and disability discrimination; human rights; freedom of speech; prisoners' rights; and voting rights. For nearly 40 years, Steptoe maintained a loaned associate program at Legal Aid. In addition, Steptoe has represented hundreds of pro bono clients referred by Legal Aid in areas of housing, family law, public benefits, among others. Steptoe is proud to be continuing this longstanding pro bono partnership with Legal Aid through the creation of the Steptoe Housing Law Fellow. Learn more about Steptoe’s pro bono program at https://www.steptoe.com/en/about/pro-bono-service.html.
Legal Aid has a broad and energetic housing practice. We give priority to cases that involve the prevention of an avoidable eviction, efforts to address dangerous or unhealthy housing conditions, and the preservation of affordable and subsidized housing. In addition to an active litigation docket, we engage in significant efforts to address issues of public policy. The Steptoe Housing Law Fellow will join the Housing Law Unit, which currently includes four supervising attorneys, eleven staff and senior staff attorneys, a senior project attorney, a Skadden fellow, three “loaned associates” from law firms, three legal assistants, and a case manager.
The Steptoe Housing Law Fellow will work at Legal Aid’s central office and out of its community office in Southeast DC. The Fellow will a docket of litigation and advocacy matters involving one or both of two housing-related projects: our Eviction Defense Project, in which we represent low-income tenants facing eviction, including through a legal services office sited in the Landlord and Tenant Branch of D.C. Superior Court; and our Affordable Housing Preservation Project, which seeks to preserve and expand safe and affordable housing for low-income District residents through building-wide legal representation. In addition, the Fellow will help facilitate the pro bono relationship between Legal Aid and Steptoe.
Unlike many other fellowships, the Steptoe Housing Law Fellowship is not limited to recent law school graduates or individuals who have completed a judicial clerkship or will have completed a clerkship. Applicants with experience may also apply. The successful candidate will have the following:
Membership or eligibility for membership in the D.C. Bar is required. The Steptoe Housing Law Fellow will be paid in accordance with Legal Aid’s attorney salary scale. Legal Aid offers a generous benefits package.
Legal Aid values an inclusive, diverse workplace and encourages applications from interested persons from diverse backgrounds of any race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, personal appearance, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, genetic information, or any other legally protected status. We strongly encourage applications from people with personal experience with the criminal justice system and/or with lived experiences in the communities we serve.
Salary and Benefits
The Steptoe Housing Law Fellow will be paid in accordance with Legal Aid’s attorney salary scale. Legal Aid also offers a competitive benefits package.