Staff Attorney, Community & Economic Development Program

Job Type

Full Time


Details: Salary will be commensurate with experience




619 Throop Avenue
New York
United States


Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A (Brooklyn A) seeks an attorney with 2 or more years practice experience to work in its Community and Economic Development (CED) Program. 

Since 1968, Brooklyn A has provided free legal services for low income residents and organizations primarily located in North and East Brooklyn, pursuing a neighborhood-based mission of justice, empowerment and community development. For over forty years, Brooklyn A has sustained its CED Program, representing 100s of nonprofit community-based organizations (CBOs) and community development corporations (CDCs) in low-income neighborhoods. Our CED attorneys provide CBOs and CDCs with ongoing, comprehensive legal counsel in their daily operation and functioning and at all stages of project and program development. With our CED attorneys’ assistance, our clients are able to increase their organizational strength, the effectiveness of the services they deliver, and their ability to meet their community’s needs. Our CED clients seek to create, develop, and operate new and rehabilitated affordable housing; provide high quality health care services; develop community-wide sustainable development strategies; provide support and educational services to youth from infancy through college (or GED); and generally work for social and economic justice in local low-income communities.

In Summer 2017, Brooklyn A launched its Small Business Support Project, which broadened the scope of the CED Program to include transactional representation of small businesses. The initial focus of the Small Business Support Project is the Commercial Lease Assistance Program (CLA Program). Through the CLA Program, Brooklyn A partners with two other non-profit legal service providers to represent small businesses in all five boroughs in non-litigation commercial lease related matters. This legal consortium also works with several CBO sub-contractors and other partners to assist with outreach, education and organizing to and amongst small businesses.

Brooklyn A’s CED attorneys, as “in-house” and special project counsel, offer nonprofit clients ongoing, long-term representation that encompasses the full range of services that private sector corporations routinely receive from their corporate counsel. As we continue to grow the Small Business Support Project, it is our goal to provide a similar range of services to our small business clients in the near future. Our attorneys act as counselors, negotiators, tacticians, strategists and troubleshooters. The CED attorney will provide services in the following substantive areas including, but not limited to:

  • Real estate, including pre-development coordination and title and loan closings
  • Strategic alliances (mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures)
  • The drafting and negotiation of contracts
  • Financing (public and private)
  • Regulatory representation and negotiations with governmental authorities
  • Corporate and tax advice
  • Legal research, advice, representation and advocacy on issues such as environmentally sustainable development, land use and zoning, affordable housing, social entrepreneurship and small business preservation
  • Corporate formation, including incorporation, obtaining tax-exempt status and organizational structuring

The attorney will handle independent matters appropriate to their level of experience and often work with other members of the Program on shared projects. As appropriate to the attorney’s level of experience, the attorney will assist with the support and mentoring of more junior staff, externs, fellow, volunteers, and interns. The position offers a unique opportunity to practice in a variety of practice areas of the law while building collaborative relationships with local community-based organizations. As appropriate to the attorney’s level of experience, the attorney will also be expected to contribute to discussions regarding program development, grant development and focus so as to maximize opportunities to serve communities served by Brooklyn A.

Candidates must have relevant interest, experience, skills and commitment. Applicants must have the following qualifications:

  • Admission to the bar of the State of New York
  • Have between 2-8 years’ post-law school experience in transactional law practice (including, but not limited to, corporate, real estate, finance, and contract law)
  • Have excellent transactional, analytical, legal writing, negotiation and advocacy skills, including high-quality precision in contract drafting, an understanding of market terms relevant to nonprofits and small businesses, and skill in high-level and detailed analysis
  • Ability to facilitate educational workshops and develop and update programmatic and educational materials
  • Have excellent organizational and interpersonal skills
  • Have effective communication skills, including the ability to work with people in complex multi-party transactions and with nascent community groups and small business owners with limited legal knowledge
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively; to manage a high caseload and complex projects; to manage and meet deadlines; and to be flexible
  • Prior experience (with increasing responsibility) in representing clients on complex transactions
  • Strong judgment in critical decision-making and ability to prioritize
  • As appropriate to the attorney’s level of experience, ability to anticipate client and project needs and be proactive
  • 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 administrative tasks related to the work, such as timekeeping and case notes
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively communicate with individuals from diverse backgrounds and local organizations
  • Willingness to assist the CED Program Director and Brooklyn A’s development team with grant reporting
  • Positive attitude, collegiality and appreciation for teambuilding, including open dialogue
  • Strong drive for client, team, and organizational success
  • Desire to understand the financial and operational challenges and goals that underpin the CED practice model (and nonprofits generally)
  • Openness to attending occasional client meetings and events during evening hours.

Applicants possessing the following qualifications will be viewed favorably:

  • Demonstrated ability to work with diverse populations and to foster cultural competency both personally and organizationally, as potentially demonstrated, for example, through long-term present or past residence, work, or volunteering in our clients’ communities or similar communities
  • Appreciation for cultural inclusion and personal commitment to growth in cultural awareness
  • Willingness to participate in related coalition advocacy groups, committees, and taskforces
  • Commitment to professional/career development (skill-building, goal-setting, and accountability)
  • Commitment to public interest work and furthering neighborhood-based community development in low-income communities
  • Experience in community economic development law practice
  • As appropriate to the attorney’s level of experience, ability to coordinate and manage a complex and diversified transactional practice
  • Creative strategizing and leveraging in otherwise difficult negotiation positions
  • Experience working with non-profit community organizations, especially in the areas of affordable housing, health care and education/youth services development, strongly preferred
  • Language proficiency relevant to our clients, especially Spanish, a plus.

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.


Competitive health care (medical/dental/vision) and other benefits, such as Flexible Spending Account, 401K, Life Insurance, etc. will be provided.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required


How To Apply

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. To apply, please submit a cover letter and resume (preferably as a single PDF named as follows: “LastName_FirstName_CED.pdf”) to:

Human Resources

Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A


Please put “CED Attorney” in the subject line