UNIT DEPUTY DIRECTOR, HOUSING STATEN ISLAND LEGAL SERVICES
Staten Island Legal Services (across the street from the ferry) is seeking a full-time Unit Deputy Director to join our housing law practice.
Staten Island Legal Services (SILS), part of Legal Services NYC (LSNYC), fights poverty and racial seeks, social, and economic justice for low-income New Yorkers. SILS provides high-quality, innovative representation to address the pressing legal needs of Staten Island’s diverse low-income populations. SILS focuses on the problems that have the greatest impact on our clients — preserving affordable and decent housing, representing survivors of domestic violence, obtaining immigration status and preventing deportations, advocating for the LGBTQ community, preventing foreclosures, and advocating for students with educational needs. In addition to being the largest provider of civil legal services in the country, LSNYC provides numerous opportunities for growth and professional development. Our Justice Learning Center provides opportunities to earn free CLEs and gain experience as a trainer. LSNYC prides itself on its Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) efforts. As a social justice organization, we are committed to fighting for a workplace that is as diverse, equitable, and inclusive as possible for everyone. Our DEIB committee and numerous affinity groups work to foster collegial relationships among staff and allow staff to explore and advocate for racial justice and anti-oppression growth within our organization and through our legal work. All employees are expected to learn about, seek to understand, and work to realize our DEIB goals.
Housing Unit Description
The unit has 14 individuals, including the Director, Deputy Director, Staff Attorneys, and Paralegals. The ideal candidate is excited to work in a fast-paced environment with housing advocates focused on preserving affordable housing for low-income communities through the representation of tenants in both affirmative and defensive matters. The Housing Unit represents clients in Housing Court eviction proceedings, administrative hearings, and state and federal court. All members of the Housing Unit work collaboratively with community-based organizations and local elected officials and their staff. Given the diversity of our clients and team, the Deputy Director must be able to thoughtfully navigate issues regarding racial equity. In addition, the team aims to protect tenants’ rights, prevent harassment, preserve affordable housing, and avoid displacement, particularly on Staten Island’s North Shore. The Unit preserves affordable housing through the representation of low-income tenants in eviction proceedings and affirmative litigation to challenge abusive and discriminatory conduct that displaces low-income families and eliminates affordable housing.
Roles and Responsibilities:
The Deputy Director will
• Work closely with the Housing Unit Director to provide support for the implementation of Universal Access to Counsel (“UAC”) and Tenants Rights Coalition (“TRC”) work.
• Supervise regular appearances in civil, supreme, federal court, and administrative appearances, both virtually and in person.
• Review draft pleadings, motions, and court submissions.
• Supervise paralegals in housing advocacy work.
• Assist attorneys and paralegals with developing case strategies and litigation plans. Support the filing of affirmative cases on behalf of tenants.
• Strengthen relationships with community partners by proactive outreach and coalition building.
• Collaborate with the Housing Director and staff to identify opportunities for group litigation and tenant empowerment.
• Oversee and conduct weekday, evening, and weekend outreach and off-site intake with our partners.
• Lead training sessions both internally and externally, including “Know your Rights” training, and other legal trainings.
• Inspire the team to engage in creative strategies to preserve housing and build tenant power.
• Handle administrative and grant responsibilities, including compiling and assessing data in response to inquiries and as required by funders.
• Handle a small caseload and assist in handling emergency cases.
• Report to the Housing Unit Director and assist the Unit Director as needed in support of the team, including tasks related to onboarding and training of new staff.
• Aid in transitioning the team to in-person work activities in court and the office, and supervise a hybrid in-person and remote work housing legal team.
Experience and Qualifications:
Applicants must have a JD from an accredited law school and be admitted to practice in New York;
Minimum of 4 years of litigation experience, including demonstrated expertise in local, state, and federal housing law policy, housing court practice, housing programs and subsidies, and/or public benefits;
Experience litigating affirmative cases on behalf of groups of tenants including motion practice and discovery;
Strong interpersonal, teaching/training, and organizational skills;
Experience working with diverse low-income communities and familiarity with structural and systemic racism and its intersection with poverty. Strong ties to or understanding of the Staten Island low-income communities is a plus;
Commitment to social justice and working in low-income communities and communities of color to advance equity.
Excellent leadership, analytical, oral, and written communication skills;
Strong interest in working directly with clients, specifically clients in crisis;
Strong time management and organizational skills;
Spanish language fluency is a plus.
Competitive public interest salary, hybrid remote work policy, and excellent benefits package. To safeguard the health and well-being of our employees and clients, LSNYC requires all employees to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, unless a medical or religious exemption is approved.
How to Apply:
Interested individuals should e-mail a resume, cover letter, and writing sample to: [email protected].
Please write “SILS HOUSING DEPUTY DIRECTOR” in the subject line
Salary is commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits package.
Only candidates selected for interviews will be contacted. Please no phone calls.
Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Additional information about the practice may be found on our website, www.legalservicesnyc.org. Legal Services NYC is an equal-opportunity employer. People of color, women, people with disabilities, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, and people over the age of 40 are strongly encouraged to apply.
Salary Range: $101,000 – $135,000
Job#100_2022; Posted 10.2022
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