Deputy Director, Group Representation - Brooklyn Legal Services Corp. A
Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A (Brooklyn A) seeks a Deputy Director for its Group Representation Unit, of its Preserving Affordable Housing Program.
Since 1968, Brooklyn A has provided free legal services for low-income residents and organizations of Brooklyn, pursuing a uniquely neighborhood-based mission of justice, empowerment and community development. Brooklyn A’s Group Representation Unit works in collaboration with an extraordinary coalition of neighborhood organizations throughout North, East, and Central Brooklyn and their tenant and community organizers in order 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; low-income tenants in fair housing litigation; as well as community groups involved in struggles against exclusionary rezonings, pervasive housing discrimination, the perpetuation of neighborhood segregation, and other issues critically affecting the future of their ommunities.
The Deputy Director will work closely with the Unit Director and other Deputy Directors in the management and leadership of the Unit. The responsibilities of this position include the supervision of a large team of attorneys, advocates, and administrative staff representing tenant associations and individual tenants in Brooklyn suffering from harassment and displacement due to prior/imminent local rezonings and gentrification, including the communities of Bushwick, East New York, Brownsville, and Cypress Hills.
In this role, the Deputy Director will assist the Unit Director in the development and implementation of the
strategic vision for the Unit’s work in these neighborhoods, including all aspects of the unit’s legal advocacy, representation of its clients, and close collaborations with community-based organizations and partners. The Deputy Director will help with the supervision of the Unit’s staff attorneys and manage/participate in a wide variety of litigation including: affirmative litigation to protect tenants’ rights and their homes; representation of tenants in eviction proceedings; enforcement actions (administrative, state, and federal) under fair housing laws to combat systemic housing discrimination; and representation of tenants in administrative proceedings. The Deputy Director will build community partner relationships and expand local outreach to augment the Unit’s efforts to fight tenant harassment, displacement and residential segregation in these neighborhoods. Such responsibilities include oversight of the Unit’s educational efforts,
i.e., workshops and seminars; and participation in neighborhood advocacy efforts with community groups, as well as citywide dialogue and policy reform efforts. Additional duties involve assisting with various aspects of Unit administration and advocacy, including grant reports; contract deliverables; staff trainings; public outreach; and publications and speaking engagements.
Candidates must have relevant interest, experience, skills and commitment. Willingness, desire and ability to attend frequent evening tenant association and community meetings is a necessity.
Applicants must have the following qualifications:
• Relevant and demonstrated expertise in housing litigation, or other relevant public interest litigation, including and especially with supervisory responsibilities
• Capacity to supervise a large team of attorneys, paralegals, advocates, and administrative staff
• Expertise working with low-income tenant groups, community organizations and/or coalitions
• Excellent legal writing, litigation and advocacy skills
• Excellent interpersonal skills, particularly in the supervision and oversight of legal/advocacy staff
• Effective communication skills, including the ability to work with people in desperate crisis
• Ability to work independently with strong motivation, to manage and supervise caseloads and launch innovative legal and community advocacy efforts
• Demonstrated ability to effectively communicate with individuals from diverse backgrounds and local organizations
• At least four (4) years’ worth of litigation experience
• Admission to the bar of the State of New York or eligible for admission
Applicants possessing the following qualifications will be viewed favorably:
• Commitment to cultural competence demonstrated through present or past residence in our clients’ communities
• Language proficiency relevant to our clients in the communities we serve, especially Spanish
• Demonstrated ability to effectively advocate on behalf of clients and Brooklyn A in a wide variety of legal, policy, and community settings
Brooklyn A 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. Excellent health and other benefits provided.
Salary will be commensurate with experience; excellent health and other benefits will be provided.
To apply, forward a cover letter with your resume to:
Human Resources Department
Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A
Put ‘Group Representation Deputy Director’ in the subject line