Director, Group Representation Unit, Preserving Affordable Housing Program
- Job posted by Brooklyn A (Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A)
260 Broadway, 2nd Floor
Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A (Brooklyn A) seeks a Director for its Group Representation Unit, of its Preserving Affordable Housing Program.
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.
Brooklyn A’s 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; low-income tenants in fair housing litigation; as well as community groups involved in struggles against exclusionary rezonings, pervasive housing discrimination, the perpetuation of neighborhood segregation, and other issues critically affecting the future of their communities.
Working closely with a team of Deputy Directors, the Unit Director will lead the Unit and manage all aspects of its advocacy work and staffing. The responsibilities of this position include the supervision of a large team of attorneys, advocates, and administrative staff representing tenant associations and individual tenants in Brooklyn suffering from harassment and displacement due to prior/imminent local rezonings.
In this role, the Unit Director will design and implement the strategic vision for the Unit’s work in the neighborhoods Brooklyn A serves, including all facets of the unit’s legal advocacy, representation of its clients, and close collaborations with community-based organizations and partners. The Unit Director will ensure adequate supervision of the Unit’s staff attorneys and that the Unit is engaging in a wide variety of litigation including: affirmative litigation to protect tenants’ rights and their homes; representation of tenants in eviction proceedings; enforcement actions (administrative, state, and federal) under fair housing laws to combat systemic housing discrimination; and representation of tenants in administrative proceedings. In addition, the Unit Director is responsible for overseeing all of the Unit’s funding, sustaining and growing its fiscal resources to support the work. The Unit Director will develop community partner relationships and expand local outreach to augment the Unit’s efforts to fight tenant harassment, displacement and residential segregation in these neighborhoods. The Unit Director shall be responsible for developing relationships with pro bono attorneys, law firms, law schools, public interest legal practices, bar associations, and other advocacy partners that collaborate with Unit staff in litigation or with other advocacy initiatives. The Unit Director will represent the Unit in citywide conversations, coalition work, and outreach efforts that further the mission and on-the-ground activities of the Unit. Such responsibilities include oversight of the Unit’s educational efforts, i.e., workshops and seminars; and participation in neighborhood advocacy efforts with community groups, as well as citywide dialogue and policy reform efforts. Additional duties involve overseeing all aspects of Unit administration and advocacy, including grant reports; contract deliverables; staff trainings; public outreach; publications; and speaking engagements.
Candidates must have relevant interest, experience, skills and commitment. Willingness, desire and ability to attend frequent evening tenant association and community meetings is a necessity.
Applicants must have the following qualifications:
- Significant expertise in housing litigation in a legal services environment, from housing court to state/federal practice and particularly involving the representation of tenant groups in affirmative proceedings as well as eviction defense
- Significant expertise working with low-income tenant groups, community organizations and community coalitions in anti-gentrification and anti-displacement advocacy
- Significant experience in the supervision of attorneys, paralegals, advocates, and administrative staff of varying experience levels as well as in the management of public/private funding that supports legal services advocacy
- Significant experience in leading state/federal fair housing litigation as well as representing tenants in innovative and varied types of affirmative cases in order to defend their rights and combat harassment
- Firm understanding of the neighborhoods that Brooklyn A traditionally serves, the systemic issues facing the clients we represent, as well as the advocacy partners on the ground with whom Brooklyn A works
- Excellent legal writing, litigation and advocacy skills as well as demonstrated involvement in larger legal services networks/associations, including through educational/professional activities
- Demonstrated ability to analyze critically and comment on the underlying legal and advocacy issues facing the clients and communities that Brooklyn A represents
- Excellent interpersonal skills, particularly in the supervision and oversight of legal/advocacy staff
- Effective communication skills, including the ability to work with people in desperate crisis
- Ability to work independently with strong motivation, to manage and supervise case loads and launch innovative legal and community advocacy efforts
- Demonstrated ability to effectively communicate with individuals from diverse backgrounds and local organizations
- At least eight (8) years’ worth of litigation experience
- Admission to the bar of the State of New York and Eastern District of New York
Applicants possessing the following qualifications will be viewed favorably:
- Commitment to cultural competence demonstrated through present or past residence in our clients’ communities
- Language proficiency relevant to our clients in the communities we serve, especially Spanish
- Demonstrated ability to effectively advocate on behalf of clients and Brooklyn A in a wide variety of legal, policy, and community settings
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. Excellent health and other benefits provided.
Minimum Education Required
How To Apply
To apply, forward a cover letter with your resume to:
Human Resources Department
Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A
Put ‘Group Representation Director’ in the subject line