STAFF ATTORNEY, HOUSING

STAFF ATTORNEY, HOUSING

CASA de Maryland Synopsis:  CASA de Maryland seeks to create a more just society by building power and improving quality of life in low income immigrant communities.  Through its dual strategies of community organizing and direct services, CASA generates a dynamic and sustainable cycle of progressive advancement for immigrants and society in general. This calls for the integration of these strategies in each of CASA’s endeavors including our legal work.  Department Synopsis:  Since its inception more than fifteen years ago, the CASA legal program has been at the forefront of creative strategies to combat the many injustices immigrants face in the state of Maryland and the Washington metro region. We bring creative legal strategies to CASA’s arsenal of tools for building broad, transformative solutions through the involvement and leadership of our members.  These have included direct legal representation to recover as much as a quarter of a million dollars a year for wage theft, discrimination and other employment abuses and redress and legal status in human trafficking cases; collective and class action litigation addressing civil rights abuses and disparate public policies; support of legislative and advocacy campaigns; broad based legal education, pro-se assistance and direct representation regarding immigration matters and legal support to CASA’s vibrant community organizing  campaigns to stop immigration enforcement abuses, anti-immigrant ordinances and anti-immigrant hate crimes.

Collectively, CASA’s bi-lingual and bi-cultural legal team brings decades of dedicated, creative legal service to CASA’s 25 years’ experience in community organizing and non-profit development.   We seek a talented and highly committed bi-lingual attorney to take on primary responsibility for the housing component of our program while also engaging in all of our legal strategies involving employment law, immigration and defense of civil rights.

Position Synopsis:  Full Time Staff Attorney Position      Department / Program:  Services/ Legal CASA Site:  Based in CASA’s Multicultural Center in Hyattsville, Maryland. The location may change according to CASA’s needs. Classification:  Exempt Category 3 Hours:  Primarily Monday through Fridays, work hours often include weekends, and evening hours Direct Supervisor:  Senior Manager of Legal Program Salary:  $42,000 to 50,000 plus benefits      Duties/ Responsibilities:  A Casa of Maryland staff attorney is on the front line in defending members of the low-income immigrant community against abuse by landlords, employers, police and immigration officials.  This is an excellent opportunity for a committed public-interest attorney to develop new legal skills, build power in the immigrant community, make a lasting difference in the state of Maryland and to work with a dynamic group of paralegals, lawyers, organizers and social service staff in a friendly, fast-paced, bi-lingual and multi-cultural office.

Duties may include, but are not limited to, some of the following which are discussed and prioritized by the employee and supervisor, and reflected in individual and program annual workplans:

Strategic Work with Tenant Organizers • Support legal needs of dedicated housing organizers who have developed vibrant tenant associations fighting substandard housing conditions, illegal evictions, retaliation for organizing, and race and national origin discrimination  • Co-counsel with other legal services providers or pro-bono counsel to pursue impact litigation leading especially to  affordable and decent housing conditions, but also to other progressive measures, in low-income immigrant communities • Engage in advocacy and community organizing efforts and campaigns for improved laws affecting members of the low-income immigrant community at local, state and federal level by drafting legislation, presenting testimony, organizing hearings and lobbying

Direct Legal Work • Develop and implement legal strategies to advance progressive community development including the availability of low-income housing and institution of effective measures to ensure fair housing conditions.  • Oversee and provide legal orientation, counseling and education regarding substandard housing conditions, illegal evictions, retaliation, race and national origin discrimination and other legal problems faced by members of the low-income immigrant community. • Provide referrals, brief legal services and direct representation in individual and collective cases of  CASA members who meet established criteria. • Research and identify tenant purchase and condominium conversion opportunities and other strategies to preserve low-cost housing in suburban Maryland.

Outreach/Popular Education  • Engage in education and outreach through “know your rights” presentations, design and dissemination of materials and “training of trainers” workshops in which organizers and workers are trained to reach out to others to inform them of their rights

Administrative Work • On-going data entry and bi-weekly internal activity reports • Annual planning process: developing and executing individual workplans, evaluating and providing feedback on plans as the year progresses. • Meet deadlines established by supervisor and in Department and individual work-plan • Contribute creative ideas about ways to improve further his/her specific job and CASA as an organization      Qualifications:  • J.D. and admitted to Maryland Bar or willingness to sit for Maryland Bar exam  (or attorney bar for those with five years of practice experience) • Knowledge of Maryland or another state’ tenant, real estate, or federal civil rights law preferred or demonstrated ability to learn new area of law quickly • Excellent written and oral communication skills • Bilingual (English and Spanish) • Ability to work well independently –highly organized and able to manage multiple ongoing projects—but also excellent “team player” • Strong professional client management skills • Must own a vehicle and be able to travel to different locations as needed   CASA of Maryland, Inc. is bound by a Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Communication Workers of America. This is a union position. We are members of Local WBNG 32035 -Communication Workers of America (CWA).  If you are offered and accept this position, you will be invited to become a member of the union. All bargaining unit positions require membership or agency fee payer status. Please send all cover letters and resumes to hr@casamd.org with a copy to egonzalez@casamd.org. The name of the position applied for must be included in the subject line of the e-mail. For more information about CASA de Maryland please visit our website at www.casademaryland.org.

CASA de Maryland, Inc. does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability or sexual orientation