Staff Attorney- Tenants’ Right to Counsel Project
Maryland Legal Aid
August 15, 2023
Maryland Legal Aid (MLA) provides life-changing civil legal assistance to eligible residents in every part of the State. Since 1911, MLA has provided high-quality legal services to low-income and marginalized individuals and communities–helping them remedy their civil legal issues and become empowered to overcome challenges, achieve stability and independence, and an overall better life.
MLA is dedicated to preserving the basic human needs and basic human rights of clients, particularly as they navigate the justice system. MLA’s team of over 100 attorneys strive to level the legal playing field so that those most in need achieve equal access to justice. Because of our attorneys’ drive, expertise, and commitment to serve communities across the state, MLA is able to uplift the experiences of tens of thousands of economically disadvantaged and vulnerable Marylanders every year before judges, legislators, and government officials.
MLA is committed to ensuring legal representation for all Marylanders facing eviction or forced displacement. Since its inception in October 2022, MLA’s Tenants’ Right to Counsel Project (TRCP) has represented over 1,600 households. Now, operating across the state, TRCP seeks to hire one Staff Attorney in the Prince George’s County office, located in Landover, MD, for admitted attorneys or recent bar-exam takers who are passionate about public interest law and social justice and want to work closely with communities burdened by systemic socioeconomic barriers to prevent eviction and homelessness.
Housing insecurity was endemic in Maryland even before the massive economic and social disruptions that marked the COVID-19 pandemic. As the uneven economic recovery disparately impacts the communities MLA represents, our legal services are as critical now as ever to preventing evictions, fighting unfair rental practices, and preserving affordable housing. TRCP staff attorneys work at the front line of Maryland’s housing justice movement as we serve renters at court on their day of trial and engage them through grassroots outreach. TRCP is building a committed, collegial, and hard-working team to lead multi-faceted advocacy focused on trial representation, appeals, community outreach, and policy work. The Tenants’ Right to Counsel Project also prioritizes training, professional development, and mentorship. The Staff Attorney positions offer both new and experienced attorneys a welcoming place to gain an array of valuable legal skills in a fast-paced, rigorous, and compassionate work environment.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
Handle a full caseload of full representation and same-day representation in court proceedings for Failure to Pay Rent, Tenant Holding Over, and Breach of Lease eviction cases. This work involves routine trial practice, communication with clients, communication with administrative agencies on behalf of clients, negotiations, frequent writing for litigation, and occasional discovery and depositions.
Advocate before administrative agencies, including local housing authorities and the state Department of Housing and Community Development. This includes representation of clients in “Section 8” terminations of assistance.
Participate in client intake in person, by phone, and at community outreach initiatives.
Maintain case records for clients in the LegalServer case management system.
Continue professional development and education through participation in trainings and other programs sponsored by Maryland Legal Aid.
Assist with broader advocacy efforts, as needed, including through policy advocacy, print media, broadcast media, social media, public speaking, and participation in coalitions and strategic partnerships.
Perform other duties as assigned within the scope of the position’s essential functions.
Admitted to practice in the State of Maryland or admitted in another jurisdiction and eligible for admission in the State of Maryland.
Juris Doctorate (J.D.) degree from an ABA-accredited law school.
Knowledge of principles of civil law, judicial procedures, and rules of evidence.
Ability to use a computer, web-based applications, and computer programs such as Office 365, including Word, Outlook, Excel, and PowerPoint.
Excellent research, critical thinking, writing, and communication skills.
Self-starter with the ability to juggle multiple priorities and meet regular deadlines in a fast-paced environment while balancing a full workload.
Ability to provide quality legal advocacy and representation for a low-income, diverse client base.
Ability to travel locally and regionally in Maryland as needed.
Knowledge of Westlaw Edge or other legal research software is a plus.
One (1) to seven (7) years of post-bar admission legal experience is preferred but not required.
Prior experience and/or interest in public-interest litigation, or non-profit legal services is a plus.
Spanish language proficiency is desirable.
Work duties are typically performed in a general office setting with regular interaction via telephone, videoconference, instant messaging, and email, in-person, and in a courtroom. Certain work duties may be performed in community settings.
Staff Attorneys will be paid in accordance with MLA’s Workers Union current salary scale, which is subject to revision annually through collective bargaining negotiations. For example:
one (1) year of experience is $67,585.
five (5) years of experience is $71,585.
Ten (10) years of experience is $76,585.
The current salary range for the staff attorney classification is $66,585.00 – $106,585.00.
In addition, MLA provides employees with a generous benefits package that includes health, dental, vision, life insurance, a 401(k)-retirement plan that includes employer contributions, 2 weeks paid time off, sick leave, 14 annual paid holidays, a standard 35-hour work week, a hybrid work arrangement, and more. MLA staff are also eligible to apply for the Maryland Janet L. Hoffman Loan Assistance Repayment Program (LARP).
How To Apply
Please submit a resume, legal writing sample, and cover letter describing your interest and qualifications with your online application.
References will be required at the time of the final interview.
No telephone calls, please. The position will remain open until filled.
Maryland Legal Aid is committed to equity, justice, and inclusion. As an equal opportunity employer, MLA seeks to hire individuals from diverse backgrounds and perspectives that are reflective of the communities we serve, including people with disabilities, people of color, women, and members of traditionally underrepresented groups.