Senior Staff Attorney, Affirmative Litigation for Tenant Rights
- Job posted by Brooklyn A (Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A)
Details: Based on Experience
260 Broadway, 2nd Floor
Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A (Brooklyn A) seeks an attorney, with at least 5 years experience, to work in its Preserving Affordable Housing Program, Group Representation Unit, which brings affirmative litigation and fair housing cases on behalf of low-income tenants in Brooklyn. Since 1968, Brooklyn A has provided free legal services for low-income residents and organizations of Brooklyn, pursuing a uniquely neighborhood-based mission of justice, empowerment and community development.
The attorney will join Brooklyn A’s Group Representation Unit of its Preserving Affordable Housing team. The Group Representation Unit works in collaboration with an extraordinary coalition of neighborhood organizations throughout North, East, and Central Brooklyn and their tenant and community organizers in order to preserve and expand affordable housing for lower income residents of those areas—in the face of rapid gentrification and tenant displacement throughout their neighborhoods. The work involves representing low-income tenant associations confronting landlords harassing low-income residents and seeking to vacate buildings; individuals and families facing eviction; low-income tenant co-ops seeking to reinforce and sustain themselves; community institutions facing closures or adverse actions due to extraordinary market pressures and neighborhood displacement; low-income tenants in fair housing litigation; as well as community groups involved in struggles against pervasive housing discrimination, neighborhood segregation, and other issues critically affecting the future of their communities.
This position will involve representing tenant associations and individual tenants in Brooklyn suffering from harassment and displacement particularly due to prior/imminent local rezonings—especially, and initially, in the communities of Bushwick, East New York, Brownsville, and Cypress Hills.
The attorney will work to stop such pernicious practices in these communities by bringing innovative, affirmative litigation to protect tenants’ rights and their homes; defending tenants in eviction proceedings; combating systemic housing discrimination through enforcement actions under fair housing laws; representing tenants in administrative proceedings; and providing advice and legal services to help improve conditions in their homes. The attorney will collaborate with organizers from local community-based organizations and coalitions in order to conduct Know-Your-Rights housing workshops, clinics, and other educational efforts to ensure that tenants are aware of their protections under housing laws. The attorney will also be expected to participate in neighborhood advocacy efforts to stop tenant harassment, displacement, and residential segregation; participate in citywide dialogue around these issues; and contribute to the Unit’s efforts to shape our housing advocacy and legal strategy so as to effectively respond to the ongoing needs of our communities.
Candidates must have relevant interest, experience, skills, and commitment. Spanish language ability is required; willingness, desire and ability to attend frequent evening tenant association and community meetings are necessary.
Applicants must have the following qualifications:
- Admission to the bar of the State of New York or eligible for admission
- At least 5 years of relevant practice experience
- Demonstrable Spanish language ability
- Cultural competence demonstrated through present or past residence in, or employment at organizations serving, our clients’ communities
- Demonstrated ability to effectively communicate with individuals from diverse backgrounds and local organizations.
- Excellent legal writing, litigation and advocacy skills
- Excellent interpersonal skills
- Effective communication skills, including the ability to work with people in desperate crisis
- Ability to work independently with strong motivation, to manage a high case load, track case data, meet deadlines, and to be flexible
- Computer proficiency sufficient to independently review and generate materials relevant to the position as well as track client information in our database, prepare reports for grantors, attend meetings, and perform tasks related to the work such as timekeeping and case notes.
Applicants possessing the following qualifications will be viewed favorably:
- Experience in housing law practice
- Experience working with low-income tenant groups, community organizations, and coalitions
- Commitment to cultural competence demonstrated through present or past residence in our clients’ communities
- Demonstrated ability to publish articles effectively advocating on behalf of clients and Brooklyn A
Brooklyn A is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will be afforded equal employment opportunities without discrimination because of race, religion/creed, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, military status, predisposing genetic characteristics, victim of domestic violence status or marital status. Salary will be commensurate with experience; excellent health and other benefits will be provided.
Brooklyn A offers an excellent benefits package.
Level of Language Proficiency
Demonstrable Spanish language ability
Minimum Education Required