Economic Justice Law Clerk, Summer 2020
Summer full-time, unpaid position
Are you passionate about increasing access to food, health, and income for people experiencing housing insecurity and homelessness? Do you want to use your legal skills to advocate to end homelessness? If you desire a position where you have the opportunity to work with a dedicated and supportive team to provide direct legal representation and advocate for systemic change that prevents and ends homelessness, the Homeless Persons Representation Project (HPRP) is seeking to hire a full-time summer law clerk to assist its Economic Justice Project in our Baltimore office. Although the position is unpaid, HPRP is happy to work with the applicant selected for the position to apply for available funding.
HPRP provides free legal services and advocacy to persons who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in Maryland. HPRP’s services are grounded in the deep understanding that people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness struggle to access legal services offered in a traditional manner. The hallmark of HPRP’s legal program is its ability to reach clients where they live, eat, and spend time. HPRP’s staff and volunteers pursue this mission by offering legal services through outreach in shelters, drop-in centers, health clinics, community centers and the street.
HPRP’s economic justice practice focuses on representing clients in administrative appeals of critical state and federal public benefits, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Medicaid, Temporary Disability Assistance Program, and Supplemental Security Income / Social Security Disability Insurance. These benefits enable people to access basic human needs: food, health and adequate shelter. Greater income security also creates more economic activity in the communities where people live. Our direct representation informs our broader advocacy and impact litigation efforts. HPRP is also launching a Medical-Legal Partnership with Healthcare for the Homeless to reduce barriers to legal representation in public benefits appeals. HPRP monitors and engages in regular advocacy with the Baltimore City Department of Social Services and the Department of Human Services, and participates in public policy work at the state and local level.
HPRP’s Baltimore office is located at 201 North Charles Street Baltimore, MD 21201.
Reports to: Senior Staff Attorney
- Legal research and writing, including motions practice at the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) and any appeals
- Obtaining and analyzing documents to develop a theory of the case and incorporating that theory in hearing/trial preparation (opening statement, direct and cross exam, closing argument)
- Assist attorney with client interviews and maintaining organization of client files
- Communication and collaboration with diverse group of individuals and organizations, including: clients, department of social services, courts, coalitions, and partner agencies
- Assist attorney with legal rights presentations and outreach at shelters and government agency offices
- Research and writing related to advocacy and/or impact litigation
- Participate in HPRP’s ongoing race equity work
- Work collaboratively and respectfully
- Interest in working with people experiencing homelessness or with low incomes
- Students who have completed at least one year of law school
- Excellent legal research, writing and analytical skills
- Ability to set priorities and handle multiple tasks in a fast-paced environment
- Aptitude to work well under pressure and meet frequent deadlines
- Ability to work independently and collaboratively with other staff and community partners
- Demonstrates a commitment to diversity by using a personal approach that values all individuals and respects differences in regard to race, ethnicity, age, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstances
- Experience working with people experiencing homelessness or with low incomes
- Experience working with people experiencing homelessness or with low income individuals and families
- Students who have completed two years of law school
- Prior case handling experience as a law clerk or in a law school clinic
Applicants should submit cover letter and resume to Carolyn Johnson, Managing Attorney, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Writing sample and references will be requested if selected for an initial interview. We are looking for thoughtful, personalized cover letters that demonstrate the applicant’s qualifications, work style and interest in being part of a team working to eliminate homelessness in Maryland. We are looking for applicants who understand how racism and oppression perpetuate barriers to housing and income. Resume reviews begin immediately and applications will be accepted until position is filled, although priority will be given to applications received by January 15th, 2020.
HPRP is an equal opportunity employer. All interested persons encouraged to apply regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, age, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, HIV status or religious affiliation.