Community Legal Services – Philadelphia Housing Attorney position

July 13, 2017

Staff Attorney—CLS Housing Unit

Community Legal Services (CLS) of Philadelphia is seeking an attorney in its Housing Unit. CLS is one of the leading legal services programs in the country. This exciting and demanding position is for a lawyer to represent clients in public housing and private landlord-tenant matters. This position primarily entails zealous representation of a significant number of individual clients each week in court and administrative hearings. The position also entails helping to identify systemic issues and engaging in systems and policy advocacy work in consultation with the managing attorney. The staff attorney will also have housing related intake duties, project management and supervision of staff and interns as needed.

Lawyers in the Housing Unit zealously represents private, public, and subsidized housing tenants in matters involving eviction, illegal lockouts, fair housing violations, termination or loss of subsidy, and substandard housing. Representation includes all the elements of litigation including client interviewing, investigation, discovery, identifying and preparing witnesses and exhibits, pleadings, briefs, and representation at hearings at trial level and appellate levels as appropriate.

Lawyers will also be expected to provide supervision and support to paralegals, social workers, and interns who are providing advice, brief service, and some representation.

Lawyers in Housing Unit also engage in non-litigation focused advocacy, including policy, administrative and legislative advocacy, as well as organizing and teaching community and professional education sessions on a variety of issues, including lead paint elimination, domestic violence, criminal records and barriers, federal housing policy changes,  tenant eviction laws etc.

Lawyers in Housing unit also work with the Managing Attorney and other attornys in the Unit to establish connections to community and government agency partners and to develop impact advocacy strategies to remove barriers to housing and general access to the courts for low-income individuals and families.

We seek applicants with the following qualifications:

•           Litigation and trial advocacy experience strongly preferred

•           Minimum of 2-5 years of housing and/or litigation experience preferred

•           Ability and interest in zealously representing a significant number of tenants in court and administrative hearings

•           Ability to manage a significant caseload of individual clients with both public and private landlord-tenant matters

•           Excellent legal analysis skills

•           Excellent work ethic, organization, and communication skills

•           Excellent legal research and writing skills

•           Excellent oral advocacy skills

•           Experience and interest in policy and others forms of advocacy

•           Possess sound professional and legal judgment

•           Supervisory experience preferred but not required

•           Experience and ability to work with low-income and vulnerable individuals

•           Illustrate a high level commitment to racial justice advocacy

•           Fluency in another language helpful, but not required

To Apply: CLS will accept applications on a rolling basis until the position has been filled. You can submit your application on CLS’s website online at:

What to Include in your application:

Please include a cover letter, resume, three professional references and one brief writing sample (10 pages or less).  Community Legal Services values a diverse work environment and strongly encourages women, people of color, people who identify as LGBTQ, and people with disabilities to apply.  CLS invites all applicants to include in their cover letter a statement about how your unique background and/or experiences might contribute to the diversity, cultural vitality, and perspective of our staff and legal services practice.

This is a full-time position covered by the collective bargaining agreement between Community Legal Services, Inc. (CLS) and the Philadelphia Legal Services Union N.O.L.S.W./Local 2320/UAW.  The current minimum starting salary is governed by that agreement and is subject to change according to the provisions of the current collective bargaining agreement.  Raises and benefits are also governed by that agreement.


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