Senior Attorney

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Job location
Petersburg, VA
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
Legal Aid Justice Center
Job type: 
Policy Development/Advocacy
Position Description: 

About the Legal Aid Justice Center:

The Legal Aid Justice Center is a nationally recognized nonprofit organization that partners with communities and clients to achieve justice by dismantling the systems that create and perpetuate poverty. Justice means racial justice, economic justice, and social justice.

From its offices in Charlottesville, Richmond, Petersburg, and Falls Church, LAJC is a fierce advocate for low-income clients and communities in Virginia. Just in the past year, we permanently repealed Virginia’s driver’s license suspension for court debt scheme, secured an injunction slashing the number of immigrants detained by ICE at the largest detention center in the Mid-Atlantic and passed a law giving Virginia oversight authority, won the nation’s first COVID-specific, statewide, and enforceable workplace safety standards, passed legislation enabling communities to set up civilian oversight for law enforcement, and decriminalized school-based disorderly conduct, which was a leading contributor to the school-to-prison pipeline, especially for Black students.

Founded in 1967, LAJC provides services under four key program areas: Civil Rights & Racial Justice, Economic Justice, Youth Justice, and Immigrant Advocacy. LAJC boldly tackles issues of systemic injustice and aims to raise public and policymaker awareness of some of the most pressing challenges facing low-income Virginia residents. For more information, visit www.justice4all.org.

About the positions:

The Legal Aid Justice Center is seeking a Senior Attorney for our Petersburg office. This position will maintain a general practice handling a variety of legal matters presented by individual clients within the greater Petersburg community, including Hopewell, Colonial Heights and surrounding counties. These matters primarily involve housing issues (i.e., evictions, conditions, and discrimination issues), but could also evolve to include education matters (i.e., enrollment, special education, and school discipline issues), public benefits work (i.e., reduction or termination of social security/Medicaid/SNAP benefits), or consumer or unemployment matters. Individual representation may also include expungement matters and/or criminal court debt. The Senior Attorney will also work closely with the Petersburg organizer/s, community members, local organizations, and other LAJC advocates to advance systemic change in these areas through a combination of individual representation, community outreach, impact litigation, and state and local policy advocacy.

Job Duties:

Provide individual representation and advice to low-income community members in Petersburg and the surrounding cities/counties in administrative hearings and state and federal court.
Engage in community meetings such as City Council meetings, Redevelopment and Housing Authority Board meetings, School Board meetings, tenants’ association meetings, or other community gatherings designed to learn, advocate for, and support client rights.
Conduct, or coordinate with other LAJC staff, education and outreach regarding tenants’ rights, education rights, public benefits access and maintenance, and consumer rights. This may include conducting Know Your Rights trainings for tenant or parent groups, attending community events to provide Know Your Rights materials, or responding to partner requests for such information.
Review proposed policies or laws affecting housing, education, public benefits, and consumer rights and advocating on such policies (often in conjunction with community partners).
Develop impact strategies to maintain and improve safe, affordable, and equitable housing for our client communities, promote education equity, and advance racial justice.
Work in collaboration with the Petersburg organizer, other LAJC community organizers, and other attorneys across LAJC practice areas to advance campaigns. •
Work in collaboration with outside partners, including other legal aids, local or statewide coalitions, housing or poverty advocacy groups, tenant-based community groups, parent advocates, private co-counsel, the local bar, etc., to achieve LAJC’s goal of protecting and expanding access to housing, education, public benefits and consumer rights.

Location:

This role will be based in our Petersburg, Va office. Occasional travel between offices will be required. Although a regular presence in the office is required, LAJC offers a remote work policy to support employees in co-creating schedules and arrangements that allow us all to do our best work.

Deadline:

October 16, 2022. We accept applications on a rolling basis and encourage candidates to apply as soon as possible.

Benefits:

Our mission is compelling, and our team members are passionate about their work, and so we recognize the need to provide generous benefits and encourage rest and a healthy work environment. For example, we provide:

- Generous paid time off every year, including 3 to 6 weeks of vacation, 12 days of health leave, 6 weeks parental leave, and - 14 holidays (not including bonus holidays/rest days allocated as needed)
- 100% employer paid health, dental, and vision insurance, plus excellent family insurance with annual max of $2,400 premium contribution to LAJC-sponsored health plan
- 403(b) retirement plan with 4% employer contribution (no required match)
- Strong commitment to professional development
- Law school loan repayment assistance and full reimbursement for VA bar and CLE expenses
- Relocation package

Requirements: 

- At least 3 years of relevant experience in housing law, including eviction defense and tenant rights
- Strong commitment to social, economic, and racial justice
- Professional or lived experience advocating in low-wealth communities
- Outstanding oral advocacy, research, writing, and leadership skills
- Ability to work effectively across multiple teams
- Ability to communicate effectively across lines of identity
- This attorney will supervise 1-3 attorneys or paralegals, which includes day-to-day supervision and mentorship including conducting regular check-ins and managing workflow.
- Membership in the Virginia State Bar, or eligibility and willingness to become a member of the VSB promptly – either by passing the bar exam in February 2023, or meeting requirements to “waive” into bar membership without taking the bar exam. (Note that new Virginia Supreme Court Rule 1A:9 allows most lawyers who have practiced continuously in another jurisdiction for two years to become members of the VSB if they practice for Virginia legal aid organizations (like LAJC) under a “Legal Aid Counsel Certificate.”) LAJC provides bar study leave and application fee coverage.

To apply: 

Email a cover letter, a relevant writing sample, and resume to Miriam Torian at [email protected]. If you’re able, please submit your application as a single PDF titled “[date submitted in yyyy.mm.dd format][last name][first name][position sought].” Please include “Senior Attorney – Petersburg” in the email subject.

Notes: 
The Legal Aid Justice Center is an equal opportunity employer, committed to inclusive hiring and dedicated to diversity in our work and staff. We strongly encourage candidates of all identities, experiences, and communities to apply. The Legal Aid Justice Center is committed to strengthening the voices of our low-income clients, working in collaboration with community partners, and rooting out the inequities that keep people in poverty. We strive to take on the issues that have broad impact on our client communities and to be responsive to client input. Recognizing the particular impact of racism on our clients and staff, we devote special attention to dismantling racial injustice. All applicants must be dedicated to working in and sustaining an environment that enables staff and clients to feel empowered, valued, respected, and safe. In reviewing applications, we look for evidence that applicants have experience and/or thoughtfulness in working with traditionally marginalized populations.
Salary range: 
Salary range is $75,000 to $95,000 based on years of relevant experience and LAJC’s formal salary scale.
Submission deadline: 
Friday, September 16, 2022