Tenant Organizing Attorney – Brooklyn
Communities Resist Inc., a project of Southside United HDFC (CoRe), seeks an experienced housing attorney to join a team combatting gentrification, displacement, social disenfranchisement, and structural injustice through affirmative litigation before housing, state, and federal courts as well as administrative agencies.
CoRe is a legal services organization for housing and community justice steeped in the 50-year tradition of community lawyering in North and East Brooklyn. We have spent years working together with neighborhood organizations and organizers in representing hundreds of tenants and tenant associations toward enforcing their right to social citizenship by struggling, resisting, and enduring against any attempts to deny working communities, largely of color, their agency.
The staff attorney will work in collaboration with this extraordinary coalition of neighborhood organizations and their tenant and community organizers in Queens or Brooklyn to preserve and expand affordable housing for lower income residents of those areas—in the face of rapid gentrification and tenant displacement throughout their neighborhoods. The work involves representing low-income tenant associations confronting landlords harassing low-income residents and seeking to vacate buildings; individuals and families facing eviction; low-income tenant co-ops seeking to reinforce and sustain themselves; community institutions facing closures or adverse actions due to extraordinary market pressures and neighborhood displacement; low-income tenants in fair housing litigation; as well as community groups involved in struggles against pervasive housing discrimination, neighborhood segregation, and other issues critically affecting the future of their communities.
The staff attorney will work to stop such pernicious practices by bringing innovative, affirmative litigation to protect tenants’ rights and their homes; defending tenants in eviction proceedings; combating systemic housing discrimination through enforcement actions under fair housing laws; representing tenants in administrative proceedings; and providing advice and legal services to help improve conditions in their homes and buildings. The attorney will also collaborate with organizers from local community-based organizations and coalitions in order to conduct Know Your-Rights housing workshops, clinics, and other educational efforts to ensure that tenants are aware of their protections under housing laws. The attorney will also be expected to participate in neighborhood advocacy efforts to stop tenant harassment, displacement, and residential segregation; participate in citywide dialogue around these issues; and contribute to CoRe’s efforts to shape our housing advocacy and legal strategy to effectively respond to the ongoing needs of our communities.
This position will involve representing tenant associations and individual tenants suffering from harassment and displacement particularly due to prior/imminent local rezonings and, more recently, the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Candidates must have relevant experience advocating in Queens or Brooklyn Housing Court, interest, skills and commitment. Willingness, desire, and ability to attend (remote and eventually in-person) evening tenant association and community meetings are also required.
Applicants must have the following qualifications:
- Admission to the bar of the State of New York or eligible for admission.
- Cultural competence demonstrated through present or past residence in, or employment at organizations serving, our clients’ communities.
- Demonstrated ability to effectively communicate with individuals from diverse backgrounds and local organizations.
- Excellent legal writing, litigation and advocacy skills.
- Excellent interpersonal skills.
- Effective communication skills, including the ability to work with people in desperate crisis.
- Ability to work independently with strong motivation, to manage a high caseload, track case data, and to meet deadlines.
- Computer proficiency sufficient to independently review and generate materials relevant to the position as well as track client information in our database, prepare reports for grantors, attend meetings, and perform tasks related to the work such as timekeeping and case notes.
Applicants possessing the following qualifications will be viewed favorably:
- Fluency in Spanish, Bengali, Korean or Mandarin.
- Demonstrated ability to publish articles effectively advocating on behalf of clients.
CoRe is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will be afforded equal employment opportunities without discrimination because of race, religion/creed, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, military status, predisposing genetic characteristics, victim of domestic violence status or marital status. Salary will be commensurate with experience; excellent health and other benefits. The position is currently hybrid but required in-person starting Fall 2022.
Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.
To apply, forward a cover letter with your resume to:
Lina Lee, Executive Director Communities Resist Inc.
Please Put ‘Staff Attorney’ in the subject line.