Director, Housing Unit - Manhattan Legal Services
Manhattan Legal Services (MLS) is seeking a dynamic and committed attorney to serve as the Director of our Housing Unit.
About the Organization:
Manhattan Legal Services is part of Legal Services NYC (LSNYC), the largest provider of free civil legal services for low-income people in the country. The Manhattan office is dedicated to providing high quality legal services in the areas of housing, family law, public benefits, employment, immigration, consumer, education, and disability rights. Working in partnership with community-based organizations in the communities we serve, we fight poverty and seek racial, social, and economic justice.
The Housing Unit preserves affordable housing, prevents eviction, and partners to empower Manhattan tenants through representation in eviction proceedings. The unit partners with community-based organizations and tenant organizers to support tenants’ associations and bring affirmative litigation to challenge abusive and discriminatory conduct that displaces low-income families and undercuts affordable housing.
Role & Responsibilities:
The Director will work with staff and other supervisors to lead, coordinate and supervise over 50 staff members in both (1) our general housing unit with its primary focus on eviction defense and the implementation of the right to counsel in housing court which is paired with community education, affirmative litigation, and advocacy work, and (2) our Tenants’ Rights Coalition unit with its primary focus on community-led impact work to improve housing conditions, prevent harassment, preserve affordable housing and build tenant power to ameliorate the impacts of gentrification, housing discrimination and attempts to maximize profit from housing at the expense of tenants.
Develop, communicate and implement a vision for our housing work to ensure our services are high quality, impactful, and community-focused;
Supervise Housing Unit supervisors and other staff members as needed;
Ensure quality supervision, consistent with our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging values, is provided to all members of the housing unit;
Focus on the professional development of staff to ensure opportunities for training and growth;
Provide housing expertise to the unit, office staff, and community partners;
Work with the team to develop and strengthen relationships with partner community-based organizations;
Work with internal and external partners citywide to identify and address substantive and practice issues and collaborate to address them, to further pro bono participation, cultivate referral sources and ensure our work complies with ethical and programmatic rules;
Manage city, state, and private contracts to retain and increase funding for services;
Oversee hiring, retention, and training of unit staff; and
Participate as a member of the MLS’ management team to help ensure that we provide the highest quality legal services to Manhattan residents;
Admission to the New York State Bar;
A demonstrated passion for social justice and a commitment to working with low income communities, including communities of color and the LGBTQ+ community to advance equity;
A minimum of 6 years’ experience providing civil legal services to low-income people or comparable relevant experience;
A minimum of 4 years’ experience in housing, landlord/tenant, or related advocacy;
A minimum of 3 years’ experience supervising;
Excellent analytical, writing, and communication skills;
Strong organizational skills and ability to supervise a diverse, fast-paced, and high volume practice;
Excellent leadership skills;
An ability to communicate effectively with individuals from diverse backgrounds;
Demonstrated commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging issues;
Strong cultural or personal ties to the communities we serve are preferred; and
Fluency or proficiency in Spanish, a Chinese dialect or other languages prevalent in the communities we serve is helpful, but not required.
How to Apply:
Interested applicants should send a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and three references by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put “Housing Unit Director” in the subject line.
Manhattan Legal Services is an Equal Opportunity Employer. People of color, women, people with disabilities, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender persons, and persons over 40 are welcome and are encouraged to apply.
Bar Associations and other organizations: Manhattan Legal Services seeks and welcomes your recommendations for candidates who meet the foregoing qualifications and, in addition, requests that you or your organization encourage such candidates to apply.
To safeguard the health and well-being of our employees and clients, LSNYC requires all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, unless a medical or religious exemption is approved.
Salary Range: $112,134 - $168,201
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