POSITION: Temporary Housing Staff Attorney – HILA Tenant
DAYS/HOURS: Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM- 4:30 PM with one unpaid hour for lunch
REPORTS TO: Lead Housing Attorney Rochelle Jones
STATUS: Full-time, Exempt
LOCATION: 7 Winthrop Square, Floor 2, Boston, MA 02110
SALARY/WAGES: Starting at $60,000 commensurate with experience
*This position is hybrid that also requires in person attendance to weekly Housing clinics in Boston.
This application will remain open until the position is filled.
SUMMARY OF POSITION:
Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP) seeks a Temporary Staff Attorney for a special project addressing COVID-19 related evictions. The staff attorney works in VLP’s housing unit to represent tenants facing eviction as a result of COVID-19. The staff attorney will identify appropriate housing cases to be referred to pro bono attorneys and provide mentorship for those attorneys. In this position, the attorney will also supervise paralegals, and interns who support the housing unit. Additionally, the attorney will supervise volunteers at the weekly Lawyer for the Day and Answer & Discovery clinics. The staff attorney may also plan and conduct trainings and perform outreach. Fluency in a second language is preferred, specifically Spanish, Haitian Creole, Cape Verdean Creole, Portuguese, Cantonese, or Vietnamese as a large percentage of our client population is limited English proficient.
The Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities formally Department of Housing & Community Development (DHCD) has engaged the Volunteer Lawyers Project to participate in a coordinated legal services delivery system to deliver free legal assistance to income eligible tenants and owner occupant landlords facing eviction issues due to COVID-19. The Project seeks to ensure that legal assistance is available to all who are eligible.
The Project will provide referrals, legal information, assistance and limited legal representation in all sittings of the Massachusetts Housing Court to preserve or achieve housing stability. The initiative will serve tenants in the greater Boston areas and income eligible owner-occupied landlords of up to a 3-family home in a statewide. The Project will provide legal assistance statewide to low-income tenants and owner-occupants who are at 200% or below the Federal Poverty Level in COVID-related eviction cases. Through the Project, trained staff and pro bono attorneys will help owner occupants and tenants as they navigate the eviction process.
This is a grant-funded position through June 30, 2024.
- Law degree from an accredited law school
- Admission to and good standing in Massachusetts bar
- Experience in Landlord/Tenant law and Summary Process
- Experience with Legal Server case management software
- Demonstrated commitment to social justice and serving low-income populations and communities
- Supervision experience
- Fluency in Spanish
REQUIRED MENTAL/PHYSICAL ABILITIES/SKILLS:
- Strong verbal and written communication skills
- Ability to absorb and retain new information quickly
- Strong interpersonal skills
- Strong organizational and time management skills
- Ability to excel working independently and within a team
- Ability to learn and navigate computer, case management software, and phone systems
- Ability to be flexible and adapt to various client situations and changes in program procedures
- Strong data entry and typing skills
- Ability to manage stress and identify self-care as needed
- High level of attention to detail and accuracy
- Ability to analyze and problem solve quickly
- Ability to communicate effectively and efficiently over the phone, electronically, and in person
- Ability to use a computer several hours per day
ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO:
- Represent clients in housing cases in various courts
- Staff VLP housing clinics
- Identify appropriate cases for referral to pro bono attorneys
- Recruit, train, and mentor interns and pro bono attorneys in housing cases
- Other program duties as assigned
The Volunteer Lawyers Project is committed to a diverse work environment and is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. Our ideal candidates are respectful of an inclusive work environment. VLP strives to ensure that those working in our organization reflect the diversity of the communities we serve. VLP encourages applicants from a broad spectrum of backgrounds to apply for positions.