Public Interest Fellowship
Baltimore City Office
Do you want to use your legal skills to advocate to end homelessness? Do you enjoy interdisciplinary thinking and collaboration? If you desire a position where you have the opportunity to provide direct legal representation and advocate for systemic change that prevents and ends homelessness, the Homeless Persons Representation Project (HPRP) is seeking a candidate to sponsor for a full-time public interest fellowship. HPRP welcomes applications from current and rising law students in their final year or recent law graduates to apply for a public interest legal fellowship in the 2018-2019 funding cycle.
HPRP provides free legal services and advocacy to persons who are experiencing homeless or at risk of homelessness in Maryland. Encompassing all of HPRP’s programs is the deep understanding that people who are experiencing 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, soup kitchens, government offices, community centers and the street.
If selected, HPRP would work with the successful applicant to develop a project proposal to start a medical legal partnership between HPRP and an innovative health clinic that provides integrated health care to people experiencing housing insecurity in Baltimore, Maryland. This project will be designed and implemented in a way that promotes race equity. The project will also strategically address the health and income security of LGBTQ clients. Approximately 60% of the position will be direct services work and 40% will be advocacy to address systemic issues informed by individual case work, interdisciplinary collaboration, and/or in response to federal changes to eligilbity for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and Medicaid.
HPRP is seeking applications to sponsor for Skadden, Equal Justice Works, and/or Open Society Institute Baltimore Community Fellowships. HPRP would also sponsor an applicant for the Gallogly Family Foundation Public Interest Fellowship Program (open to recent graduate of American University Washington College of Law, the University of Oklahoma College of Law, or the University of Texas, Austin). If selected, the candidate would work intensely with HPRP in August and September 2018 on developing the project and writing the applications. If awarded, the fellowship will start Fall of 2019, unless the applicant is awarded an OSI Baltimore Fellowship, in which case the fellowship will start in November 2019.
- Launch a Medical Legal Partnership in Baltimore by developing strong relationships with providers, opening and staffing legal clinics at health clinics in Baltimore City and Baltimore County that serve people experiencing housing insecurity;
- Provide individual representation in public benefit cases (primarily TANF cases, but also SNAP, Medicaid, Temporary Disability Assistance Program);
- Collaborate with the SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) program to identify a limited number clients to represent in hearings on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) appeals;
- Create client and community education materials;
- Conduct know your rights presentations with clients and health/medical providers;
- Participate in coalitions and task forces on matters relevant to the practice area; and
- Engage in administrative and legislative advocacy at the local and state levels to improve public benefits systems.
HPRP is a mid-size office and all staff, including attorneys, assist in a cooperative manner with maintenance of the office, including the upkeep of the waiting area, kitchen, and office space on a rotating schedule. Occasional evening and weekend hours may be required. HPRP’s Board meets 6 times per year in the evening and all staff attend. The attorney must have access to reliable transportation to locations in the Baltimore area and Annapolis.
- Prior experience with people living in poverty or experiencing homelessness;
- Demonstrates a high level commitment to racial justice;
- J.D. required by start of fellowship;
- Preference will be given to candidates who will be admitted to the Bar in any state by September 2019;
- Ability to communicate effectively and build rapport with HPRP’s clients, community members and partners, and government agencies;
- Excellent legal research, writing, analytical, and oral skills;
- Ability to effectively set priorities and handle multiple tasks in a fast-paced environment;
- Demonstrates initiative and good judgment; and
- Ability to work independently and collaboratively with staff and community partners.
Starting salary for an attorney at HPRP is $50,000. HPRP provides excellent benefits: Vacation (20 days), sick leave (10 days), personal days (3 days), and holidays. Employee premiums 100% covered for medical, prescription, dental, vision. Short and Long Term Disability Insurance and Retirement plan with supplemental employer contribution (a 1% contribution is approved for FY 2018) also provided. HPRP’s regular work schedule is at least 40 hours per week from 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. with a 30 minute unpaid lunch break. HPRP also provides for a flexible work schedule.
E-MAIL resume, cover letter, a writing sample, and names and contact information of three references to firstname.lastname@example.org (and specify “Fellowship – Baltimore Office” in the subject line). 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 have a comprehensive understanding of root causes of housing and income insecurity, identity-based oppression, and structural racism, including how structural racism perpetuates barriers to housing and income. HPRP values a diverse work environment and strongly encourages people of color, people who identify as LGBTQ, people with disabilities, people who have experienced poverty or homelessness and people who have had prior contact with the juvenile, criminal, or child welfare systems to apply. HPRP invites all applicants to include in their cover letter a statement about how your unique background and/or experiences might contribute to the diversity, cultural vitality, and perspective of our staff and legal services practice.
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until July 18, 2018.
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.