Housing Attorney – Bread for the City

May 19, 2017

Mission:  Bread for the City provides, in an atmosphere of dignity and respect, comprehensive services to Washington, DC residents living with low-incomes. The services include supplemental food, clothing, medical care, and legal and social services. We recognize that all people share a common humanity, and that all are responsible to themselves and to society as a whole. Therefore, we promote the mutual collaboration of clients, volunteers, donors, staff, and other community partners to alleviate the suffering caused by poverty and to rectify the conditions that perpetuate it.

Bread for the City’s Legal Clinic works to ensure better access to justice for individuals in our nation’s capital. The Legal Clinic provides front-line civil legal services primarily in three areas of law: housing, family, and public benefits. Our Housing Law practice includes defending tenants against complaints for possession of real estate, affirmative litigation on behalf of tenants and tenant associations, representation at administrative agencies, and advice and counsel in a variety of housing-related matters.

Position Description: The Legal Clinic seeks an attorney for its housing practice, which consists of a dedicated team of 6 housing attorneys and 1 half-time associate loaned from an area law firm. Our housing team focuses primarily on two innovative housing projects: (1) Landlord-Tenant Court-Based Legal Services Project, through which our attorneys help staff, with another legal services provider, an office at the Landlord/Tenant Branch of DC Superior Court and provide immediate representation to tenants they meet for the first time at a critical point in their landlord-tenant case (many of those cases are retained by our clinic for continued representation) and (2) Housing Right to Counsel Project, a joint initiative with two other local legal services providers that focuses on expanding access to representation to tenants in subsidized housing at risk of eviction.

Our practice at the courthouse office is fast-paced, high-energy and requires the commitment of someone who is able to multi-task as typically attorneys represent 2-3 clients at each appearance. Attorneys in this practice are generally in court 1-2 times per week with the remainder of their time spent completing ongoing casework. Some time may be spent on administrative hearing work representing participants in federal subsidy programs or at the District’s Office of Administrative Hearings. Finally, the Housing Attorney will help support housing-related advocacy and policy reform efforts in the District through participation in various stakeholder groups and legislative reform efforts.

 

Qualifications:

  • Member of the DC Bar or eligible for waiver into the DC Bar;
  • Demonstrated commitment to social, economic, and racial justice and/or willingness to learn and carry out Bread for the City’s commitments in these areas;
  • Strong organizational, research, and oral and written communication skills;
  • Litigation experience;
  • Ability to proceed effectively in court with little time for preparation;
  • High degree of flexibility;
  • Sense of humor, seriously;
  • Ability to work with other staff and interact with a wide variety of people, including volunteers, in a professional and collaborative manner;
  • Comfortable working in an open work environment, with no private offices for staff;
  • Familiarity with Google Organization & Productivity tools (Gmail, Google Docs, Calendar) and/or ability to learn new technology systems;
  • Prior experience in a legal services or other public interest setting;
  • Knowledge of or experience with DC housing law a plus; and
  • Bilingual (Spanish/English) skills preferred but not required.

Compensation: Bread for the City offers competitive non-profit salaries based on experience and a generous benefits package. Also, the DC Bar Foundation offers a Loan Repayment Assistance Program to qualified Bread for the City attorneys, providing renewable one-year, interest-free, forgivable loans, of up to $12,000 per year. For more information see https://dcbarfoundation.org/lrap/.

To apply: You must complete an application through Bread for the City’s ADP portal. Go to www.breadforthecity.org/work and click on the “Housing Attorney” position. Then select “apply” at the top right hand corner to register for a login and apply for the position. Please upload a resume and cover letter through this online application process. Only those candidates selected for interviews will be contacted. No phone calls, please.

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