Staff Attorney for Housing Justice Fellowship

Mid-Shore Pro Bono, Inc.

Location

Lower Shore (Wicomico, Worcester, & Somerset counties), Maryland

Category

Attorney

Posted

July 28, 2022

Type

Full-Time

Description/Duties

Mid-Shore Pro Bono, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that connects people with limited resources to legal representation for civil matters. Our mission is to connect individuals and families in need of civil legal help with volunteer attorneys and community resources. Our vision is that all people are empowered to resolve civil legal issues. MSPB connects over 3,000 clients on the Eastern Shore of Maryland with legal representation every year. MSPB is based in Easton, Maryland and has satellite offices located in Chestertown and Salisbury.

Job Summary: MSPB seeks an energetic and compassionate Attorney Fellow for Housing Justice to provide direct legal assistance for housing and related matters including counseling, advice, document preparation, negotiation, and representation in judicial litigation. The Attorney Fellow will generate and cultivate partnerships with other civil legal services providers and community resources, and work proactively to build community education and understanding about legal rights related to housing stability. The ideal candidate will have a demonstrated commitment to public service, a compassionate approach to working with clients and the public, excellent ability to collaborate with staff and community partners, and strong cultural competency such as diverse economic, social and cultural experiences. Fluency in Spanish and/or Haitian Creole a plus. The position will be based in Salisbury, Maryland and will serve the Lower Shore (Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester Counties). Salary: $65,000 annually for 2-year fellowship, generous benefits package including excellent vacation and sick leave, individual health care, vision, dental, and matching funds towards 403(b) retirement savings plan. MSPB supports a family friendly, collaborative work environment with options for hybrid and flexible work schedules. Opportunities for professional development and cross training.

Staff Attorney for Housing Justice Fellowship:
Mid-Shore Pro Bono, Inc. (MSPB) seeks diverse and dynamic applicants for a two-year, full-time attorney position at MSPB an Equal Justice Works Fellow in the Housing Justice Program. The Fellowship ideally begins in August 2022. MSPB has been selected by Equal Justice Works as an implementing partner of Equal Justice Works’ Housing Justice Program. Equal Justice Works is the nation’s largest facilitator of opportunities in public interest law. The Equal Justice Works Housing Justice Program (HJP) is a program comprised of Attorney Fellows and Organizer Fellows who, over the course of a two-year fellowship term, will be part of a targeted initiative to address the justice gap in the Maryland Specifically, HJP Fellows will serve at one of the participating community-based and/or legal services organizations, and work as a unified front to fight a variety of injustices related to housing instability and involuntary displacement in Maryland, particularly due to eviction.

The selected Fellow will be employed by MSPB to fulfill all fellowship duties at a local and/or state level. The Fellow will report to the Senior Staff Attorney and Legal Director for day-to-day supervision, mentoring and performance evaluation.

Fellowship responsibilities include
• Providing direct legal services addressing civil legal issues that arise from housing instability for low-income households, especially in eviction/unlawful detainer cases – legal screening, advice, brief service, full-scope representation, and pro bono assistance through legal clinics and referrals. Services will include day of court representation for weekly rent court dockets. Other practice areas of law may include consumer debt, foreclosure, bankruptcy, real property, and expungements as it relates to housing stability. These legal services will be primarily provided to the counties of the lower shore of Maryland, such as Wicomico, Worcester, and Somerset.
• Keeping up to date records of case status in MSPB’s case management system (Legal Track), tracking cases, and working collaboratively with the Community Organizer Fellow, MSPB’s Legal Director, and MSPB’s Senior Paralegal to coordinate case management, tracking, and reporting.
• Building key stakeholder relationships in furtherance of the Fellowship objectives; creating, fostering, and cultivating partnerships among legal services providers, tenant associations, community social services providers, and other community-based entities.
• Strategizing, planning and conducting training and outreach to communities and community organizations in furtherance of housing stability and affordability for low-income community members; engaging in peer-to-peer learning with other Equal Justice Works Housing Justice Program Fellows.
• Actively contributing to and participating in Housing Justice Program cohort activities (resource exchanges; mandatory webinars and conference calls; and training events, including Equal Justice Works Leadership Development Training in fall 2022 and 2023).
• Exercising leadership competencies as an Equal Justice Works Fellow.
• Contributing to required programmatic reporting and overall program evaluation.
• Assisting in the management and supervision of interns and volunteers.

Skills/Qualifications

Qualifications

Candidates will possess the following qualifications:
• Licensed to practice law in Maryland and in good standing with the Maryland Bar
• Commitment to social justice

• Excellent writing, communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills
• Strong oral and negotiation skills, and the ability to work as a team member
• Prior experience in managing independent projects or assignments
• Experience with delivering training and presentations a plus
• Diverse economic, social and cultural experiences and a second language are preferred
• Law school clinic, externship, summer, or other relevant practice experience
• Knowledge of housing benefits law and/or experience with housing and benefits agencies.
• An ability to work collaboratively in a multidisciplinary setting to facilitate a coordinated community response and provide holistic services to clients
• Prior experience in the legal areas of landlord/tenant, foreclosure, consumer debt, bankruptcy, and/or expungements are preferred but not required.
• Selected candidate must be fully COVID-19 vaccinated (including boosters) by first day of employment with MSPB.

Please note all Fellows are expected to fulfill the complete duration of the Fellowship and will be required to sign a Fellowship Agreement with Equal Justice Works.

Compensation

Salary and Other Benefits:
The Equal Justice Works Housing Justice Program attorney will receive an annual salary of $65,000 annually for the 2-year fellowship, and generous benefits package including excellent vacation and sick leave, individual health care, vision, dental, and matching funds towards 403(b) retirement savings plan.

How To Apply

Application Instructions:

Please submit the following application materials via email to Legal Director, Laura L. Chafey, Esq. at LChafey@midshoreprobono.org:
1. Resume
2. Letter of Interest
3. Certificate of Good Standing from the Maryland Court of Appeals

Application Deadline: August 1, 2022 but candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

MSPB is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer that encourages all interested persons to apply regardless of race, color, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, citizenship, creed, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, transgender status, age, religion, genetic information, physical or mental disability, marital status, or any other legally protected status. We strongly encourage Black, Hispanic or Latino/a, Indigenous, and other applicants of color, people with disabilities, and other people historically underrepresented in the civil legal services field to apply.