ATTORNEY - VISTA FELLOWSHIP

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Job location
500 East Lexington Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
Maryland Legal Aid
Street address: 
500 East Lexington Street
City: 
Baltimore
State: 
Maryland
ZIP: 
21202
Job type: 
Legal - Civil
Position Description: 

Fellowship Announcement
Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps VISTA Fellowship
Baltimore, Maryland (Two Positions)

AGENCY DESCRIPTION: Since 1911, Maryland Legal Aid has been providing civil legal assistance to low-income individuals in Maryland to help them meet their basic human needs to housing, subsistence income, healthcare, protection from violence and abuse, and maintenance of safe and stable family arrangements. Services are provided through 16 offices and court-based self-help centers throughout the state. Maryland Legal Aid is funded by federal (including the Legal Services Corporation), state, and local government grants and contracts as well as private foundations and individual donors. .

POSITION SUMMARY: Americorps VISTA Legal Fellows (Legal Fellows).
Two Legal Fellows will work with tenants of Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) buildings to develop and improve their properties and the surrounding communities. The Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) allows Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) to convert public housing to long-term Section 8 property-based contracts―either Project-Based Section 8 or Project-Based Vouchers. One of the main objectives of RAD is to address the very large backlog of capital needs that has accumulated over the years for the nation’s 1.2 million units of public housing. This backlog is estimated at over $26 billion, or about $23,365 per unit.
Specifically, Legal Fellows will engage tenant leaders and residents, in coalition with management and other partners, to advocate for themselves and for enhanced services related to living conditions in the community, including:
• Increasing educational opportunities for adults and children and resources to reduce and prevent crime;
• Expanding access to economic opportunity through job training and job placement, to improved healthcare and public health services, and to resources for residents with disabilities and older adults to enable them to live independently in their communities.
• Increasing resources for youth development.
Legal Fellows will serve a minimum of one year and have the opportunity to serve for an additional year.
Two Fellowships are available in the Maryland Legal Aid Baltimore City office in the Statewide Advocacy Support Unit. One fellow will focus efforts on Baltimore City RAD properties, the other on properties outside of Baltimore. Based on Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps guidelines, the term of service will begin in early August of 2017 for one year (with a possible renewal for one more year).

RESPONSIBILITIES AND DUTIES:

• Provide legal and programmatic information to tenants on topics including educational opportunities; job opportunities, training, and placement resources, criminal record expungement; crime prevention; and public health and healthcare;
• Provide legal information and advocacy on matters of tenant rights under the RAD program;
• Address substandard housing or neighborhood conditions;
• Advocate for improvements and increased resources for government services, schools, day care centers, playgrounds, commercial district improvements, and public safety;
• Advise tenant groups and associations on their rights and responsibilities through workshops and community education sessions;
• Assist residents to transition from living in public housing to housing administered private management companies;

COMPENSATION
• VISTAs make a commitment to live among and at the economic level of the population served
• AmeriCorps VISTA provides living allowances of $13,296.00 ($1,108.00/month) to each fellow
• Maryland Legal aid will provide additional financial support for living allowances such as housing, food, student loan repayment, and transportation.

Other benefits:
• $5,750 AmeriCorps Legal Education Award upon successful completion of service;
• Student loan forbearance and interest accrual payment for eligible loans upon successful completion of service;
• Participation in Equal Justice Works training opportunities and conferences, as applicable;

Requirements: 

QUALIFICATIONS
The Fellow will have excellent oral and written communication ability as well as interpersonal, organizational and negotiation skills and be a good team player. Diverse economic, social and cultural experiences and a second language are plus. The Fellow should be admitted to practice law in Maryland or be available to sit for the next available bar examination in Maryland.

Anyone interested in applying must send an updated resumé and cover letter, list of 3 references with email addresses and telephone numbers, law school transcript, and legal writing sample to Gregory Countess, Director of Advocacy for Housing and Community Economic Development. To apply online, visit our website at www.mdlab.org/contact/employment or copy this URL https://workforcenow.adp.com/jobs/apply/posting.html?client=legaidbeu1&j... or click here.

To apply: 

Anyone interested in applying must send an updated resumé and cover letter, list of 3 references with email addresses and telephone numbers, law school transcript, and legal writing sample to Gregory Countess, Director of Advocacy for Housing and Community Economic Development. To apply online, visit our website at www.mdlab.org/contact/employment or copy this URL https://workforcenow.adp.com/jobs/apply/posting.html?client=legaidbeu1&j... or click here.

Notes: 
Equal Opportunity Employer
Submission deadline: 
Thursday, August 31, 2017
Expiration date: 
Thursday, August 31, 2017