Employer: Charleston Legal Access
Fellowship: Equal Justice Works Housing Justice Program
Charleston Legal Access (“CLA”) seeks diverse and dynamic applicants for a two-year, full-time attorney position at Charleston Legal Access as an Equal Justice Works Fellow in the Housing Justice Program. The Fellowship ideally begins in August 2022.
Charleston Legal Access was created to fill a void in the legal community and offer services not provided by any other organization in the state. Our mission is to expand legal representation and access to justice in the Lowcountry by providing low-cost, quality legal representation and assistance to the working poor and others of modest means who do not qualify for free legal aid but who cannot afford a private attorney. In addition, we take on projects to expand access to justice like increasing language access in the courts and the Housing Court Pilot project to reduce the rate of evictions in Charleston County.
CLA serves those whose gross annual income is 400% or below the Federal Poverty Line. We serve Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester counties and handle a wide range of civil legal matters, including housing, landlord tenant, property, elder law, guardianships, conservatorships, probate, victims’ rights, and family law.
CLA has been selected by Equal Justice Works as an implementing partner of Equal Justice Works’ Housing Justice Program. Equal Justice Works is the nation’s largest facilitator of opportunities in public interest law. The Equal Justice Works Housing Justice Program is a program comprised of Attorney Fellows and Organizer Fellows who, over the course of a two-year fellowship term, will be part of a targeted initiative to address the justice gap in the South Carolina through responsive, context-specific innovations and interventions focused on housing justice. Specifically, Attorney Fellows and Organizer Fellows will serve at one of the participating community-based and/or legal services organizations, and work as a unified front to fight a variety of injustices related to housing instability and involuntary displacement in South Carolina, particularly due to eviction.
An Equal Justice Works Fellowship is an opportunity to transform your passion for equal justice into a career. As a Housing Justice Program Fellow, you will be part of a prestigious program that, since its inception in 2019 in Virginia, has successfully improved housing stability in served communities by preventing more than 4,000 tenants from being evicted and conducting education and outreach efforts for more than 40,000 people. Most critically, former Fellows of the Housing Justice Program helped generate momentum for tenants to have the right to be represented by counsel in housing cases – a legal right to counsel – something that seemed inconceivable in Virginia just two years ago. Building on the success of Fellows in Virginia, Equal Justice Works is expanding the Housing Justice Program to South Carolina.
As a Fellow, you will develop experience and skills to be a leader in social justice while promoting tenant protections and working directly with households experiencing housing instability. As a cohort, Fellows are expected to actively participate in peer-to-peer learning and required trainings delivered by Equal Justice Works and training partners throughout the year. In addition, Fellows will attend Equal Justice Works’ Leadership Development Training in October 2022 and 2023.
The selected Fellow will be employed by Charleston Legal Access to fulfill all fellowship duties at a local level. The Fellow will report to Sarah Schreiber for day-to-day supervision, mentoring and performance evaluation. The Fellow’s main goal is the expansion of Housing Court to Berkeley and Dorchester Counties. The primary objectives are to reduce the rate of homelessness and poverty and increase housing stability by keeping families in their homes; ensure safe and healthy living conditions for families; build collaborative partnerships with community organizations to provide referrals for wraparound services; identify any systemic problems related to housing matters and to the extent that we see them, work with partners to bring impact litigation or propose policy change.
Fellowship responsibilities include
- Creating and implementing a strategy to expand Housing Court in Berkeley and Dorchester Counties based on the existing model in Charleston County.
- Providing direct legal services addressing civil legal issues that arise from housing instability for low-income households, especially in eviction/unlawful detainer cases – legal screening, advice, brief service, full-scope representation, and referrals.
- Building key stakeholder relationships in furtherance of the Fellowship objectives; creating, fostering, and cultivating partnerships among legal services providers, tenants’ associations, community social services providers, and other community-based entities.
- Strategizing, planning and conducting training and outreach to communities and community organizations in furtherance of housing stability and affordability for low-income community members; engaging in peer-to-peer learning with other Equal Justice Works Housing Justice Program Fellows.
- Actively contributing to and participating in Housing Justice Program cohort activities (resource exchanges; mandatory webinars and conference calls; and training events, including Equal Justice Works Leadership Development Training in fall 2022 and 2023).
- Exercising leadership competencies as an Equal Justice Works Fellow.
- Contributing to required programmatic reporting and overall program evaluation.
Candidates will possess the following qualifications:
- Licensed to practice law
- Commitment to social justice
- Excellent writing, communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills
- Strong oral and negotiation skills, and the ability to work as a team member
- Prior experience in managing independent projects or assignments
- Experience with delivering training and presentations a plus
- Law school clinic, externship, summer, or other relevant practice experience
- Knowledge of housing benefits law and/or experience with housing and benefits agencies.
- An ability to work collaboratively in a multidisciplinary setting to facilitate a coordinated community response and provide holistic services to clients
- Dedication to and competency in serving a diverse range of clients with a variety of financial, racial, educational, and physical characteristics
- Diverse economic, social and cultural experiences and a second language are preferred
- Commitment to CLA’s team values
Please note all Fellows are expected to fulfill the complete duration of the Fellowship and will be required to sign a Fellowship Agreement with Equal Justice Works.
Salary and Other Benefits
The Equal Justice Works Housing Justice Program attorney will receive an annual salary of $60,000, health insurance, Flex Spending Account, phone stipend, flex time, and 3 weeks PTO provided by Charleston Legal Access. Interested applicants should contact Lana Kleiman at [email protected] with any follow-up questions.
Application Instructions: Submit cover letter, resume, and legal writing sample to [email protected] with subject line “EJW Attorney Fellow Application.”
Charleston Legal Access is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, disability, familial or veteran status, and we strongly encourage applications from persons of diverse backgrounds.
Application Deadline: Candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.