Staff Attorney, Housing Law Unit

Housing · Washington, District of Columbia
Department Housing
Employment Type Full-Time

The Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia seeks an attorney to support its eviction prevention and affordable housing work. 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.” 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 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. Our unit is currently staffed by four supervising attorneys, four staff attorneys, eight senior staff attorneys, two “loaned associates” from law firms, a project coordinator, a legal support coordinator, and two legal assistants.   

  

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 advice, brief services, and same-day and extended representation to low-income tenants facing eviction or at risk of 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. With local eviction protections winding down, landlords have started filing new eviction cases and we expect the number of cases to increase significantly in the coming months. This means staff attorneys will be expected to handle a caseload of both limited and full representation cases and attend (remote for now) court hearings. Even though court hearings are remote, our work does sometimes require in-person meetings with clients. 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.   


Note: Legal Aid is currently operating remotely, but has a hybrid work plan scheduled to take effect in June 2022. Based on this plan, some in-person work will be required starting on August 1, 2022.

 

Qualifications: 

 

The ideal candidate will have the following:  


  • Experience in legal services, ideally with a background in housing law;  
  • Strong litigation, organizational, communication, and leadership skills;  
  • A demonstrated commitment to racial, social, and economic justice;   
  • Ability to work collaboratively with Legal Aid colleagues and other legal services providers;   
  • Ability to multi-task and prioritize assignments; and  
  • Bilingual skills (in Spanish, Amharic, or another language prevalent in Legal Aid’s client community) strongly preferred but not required.  


Membership or eligibility for membership in the DC bar is required.  


Salary and Benefits:  


The attorney will be paid in accordance with Legal Aid’s salary scale based on years of experience, with a starting salary of $58,365 for an entry-level attorney who has just passed the bar, followed by a salary step each year thereafter. Generous benefits package includes fully paid health insurance (for the employee), annual discretionary retirement match, 12 paid holidays, three personal days and generous annual and sick leave allotments starting at 15 days of vacation and 15 days of sick leave per year.


To Apply: 

 

Legal Aid values an inclusive, diverse workplace and encourages applications from 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 here. No emails or phone calls, please.

   

Applications will be reviewed as they are submitted. Position remains open until filled.   

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  • Location
    Washington, District of Columbia
  • Department
    Housing
  • Employment Type
    Full-Time