The Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia seeks a Supervising Attorney or experienced Staff Attorney in its Housing Law Unit. Legal Aid was formed in 1932 to “provide legal aid and counsel to indigent persons in civil law matters and to encourage measures by which the law may better protect and serve their needs.” Legal Aid is the oldest general civil legal services program in the District of Columbia. The largest part of our work is comprised of individual representation in housing, domestic violence/family, public benefits, and consumer law. From the experiences of our clients, we identify opportunities for law reform, public policy advocacy, and systemic reform litigation. Legal Aid also believes that meaningful pursuit of our anti-poverty mission requires an unwavering commitment to racial justice and equity. We aspire both to reflect the rich racial diversity of the communities we serve and to value, respect, and empower our staff and clients to be effective agents of change. For more information about Legal Aid please visit our website, www.LegalAidDC.org, and our blog, www.MakingJusticeReal.Org.
Tasks and Duties
Legal Aid has a broad and energetic housing practice. We give priority to cases that involve the prevention of an avoidable eviction and the preservation of safe and affordable housing and subsidized housing. In addition to an active litigation docket, we engage in significant efforts to address issues of public policy. Our unit is currently staffed by three supervising attorneys, seven staff attorneys, six senior staff attorneys, three “loaned associates” from law firms, a project coordinator, a legal support coordinator, two legal assistants, and a case manager.
When the courts and our offices are not operating remotely, the staff in our Housing Unit work at Legal Aid’s central office, its community office in Southeast DC, and our court-based office in the Landlord and Tenant Branch of the D.C. Superior Court. Staff work primarily on two projects: our Eviction Defense Project, which provides same-day and extended representation to low-income tenants facing eviction; 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. While working remotely, and with a local moratorium on evictions and eviction case filings in place for the past year-plus, staff attorneys have spent a larger than usual portion of their days conducting intake and providing advice and brief services to tenants at risk of eventual eviction. With local eviction protections currently winding down, we expect new case filings and hearings in Court (potentially still remote) to begin towards the end of 2021. All of this work is coordinated with other legal services providers and includes strong pro bono partnerships with area law firms and other attorneys in the community.
An experienced staff attorney would handle a caseload of housing cases, perform intakes, and engage in community outreach, policy advocacy, and systemic reform efforts. An experienced attorney also might assist in supervising volunteer interns and law firm loaned associates.
A Supervising Attorney would co-supervise the housing unit staff while handling a modest individual caseload, providing project management assistance, working on policy advocacy, conducting intakes, and helping to shape the direction of Legal Aid’s housing law unit.
Membership or eligibility for membership in the DC bar is required. The ideal candidate for either Supervising Attorney or experienced Staff Attorney will have the following:
In addition to the above qualifications, the ideal Supervising Attorney candidate will have the following:
Salary and Benefits
The attorney will be paid in accordance with Legal Aid’s competitive attorney salary scale based on years of experience, with a starting salary of $62,380 for a Staff Attorney with three years of experience or $79,628 for a Supervising Attorney with five years of experience, followed by a salary step each year thereafter. Legal Aid offers a competitive benefits package.
Legal Aid values an inclusive, diverse workplace and encourages applications from all interested persons 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 legal system and/or with lived experiences in the communities we serve.
Interested persons are encouraged to apply immediately and should submit a letter of interest and resume through our online portal. Applications will be reviewed as they are submitted. Position remains open until filled.
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