Staff Attorney, Pro Bono Programs
Baltimore City Office
Want to advocate to end homelessness? Want to eliminate barriers to employment? Want to assist veterans? If you desire a position where you have the opportunity to leverage the use of volunteers to increase legal services that prevent and end homelessness, the Homeless Persons Representation Project (HPRP) is seeking a full-time staff attorney for its Pro Bono Program.
HPRP provides free legal services and advocacy to persons who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in Maryland. Encompassing all of HPRP’s programs is 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, soup kitchens, government offices, community centers and the street.
HPRP’s Pro Bono Programs leverage the resources of HPRP’s staff by recruiting, training, and mentoring volunteer attorneys, paralegals, and law students to conduct intakes and provide legal representation in criminal record expungement, veterans benefits, and military discharge upgrade matters. HPRP’s Pro Bono Program is substantial, and it currently encompasses the work of over 400 volunteers. Particularly in these economic times, HPRP’s Pro Bono Programs provide the person power to assist the increasing number of individuals seeking legal assistance to prevent homelessness, find housing, or remove barriers to employment.
HPRP operates pro bono supported Community-Based Intake Programs at Our Daily Bread Employment Center, The Franciscan Center, Baltimore VA Medical Center Annex, Chesapeake Health Education Program on the grounds of the Perry Point VA Medical Center in Cecil County, and the Three Oaks Center in St. Mary’s County.
Reports to: Director of Pro Bono Programs
Supervises: Volunteer attorneys, law students, and paralegals (100+ at any one time)
The Staff attorney will be engaged in all aspects of the pro bono program, including:
- Recruiting, training, supervising, and retaining volunteer attorneys, paralegals and law students;
- Developing written materials for volunteers and clients including registration materials, education materials, etc.;
- Maintaining the infrastructure necessary to monitor the work of the volunteer attorneys and providing on-going support and supervision to volunteers as needed;
- Assisting with grant reports; and
- Maintaining HPRP’s existing off-site intake programs and establishing new locations for HPRP’s off-site legal program
The Staff attorney will be responsible for:
- Conducting legal and policy research on veterans benefits and criminal record expungement;
- Providing individual representation ,including attending court hearings and drafting legal memoranda, in:
- approximately 10 criminal record expungement cases per year; and
- at least 2 veterans benefits or military discharge upgrade cases per year
The Staff attorney will also participate in the pro bono program’s community engagement initiatives, including:
- Conducting Know Your Rights and informational sessions at local shelters and other community-based programs on topics covered by HPRP’s Pro Bono Program;
- Maryland Veterans’ Legal Assistance Conference
- The Partners for Justice Conference
- Developing relationships with the private bar and government lawyers
- Representing HPRP in community programs and conference planning and programming including:
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.
- Prior experience with people living in poverty or experiencing homelessness;
- Ability to set priorities and handle multiple tasks in a fast-paced environment;
- Admitted to practice law in Maryland or other US State. For applicants admitted in a State other than Maryland, please indicate willingness and eligibility to sit for the February 2019 Bar or Attorney’s exam in cover letter;
- 2-4 years legal experience with at least 2 years of legal writing experience drafting legal memoranda and motions. Law school clinic, law school internship, and post-graduate judicial clerkship can count towards experience. Please specify legal writing experience in cover letter or resume;
- Excellent oral and written communication skills;
- A team player with a strong sense of self-motivation with flexibility and good judgment;
- Excellent administrative and organizational skills, detail oriented and able to produce work with high degree of accuracy;
- Experience with policy and legislative research and advocacy;
- Initiative in identifying and troubleshooting problems and challenges; and
- Aptitude to work well under pressure, meet frequent deadlines and maintain confidentiality
- Prior experience representing clients in any of the following areas: criminal record expungement, VA service-connected disability, or Social Security disability;
- Previous experience in program development and supervising volunteers;
- Experience with a large case load (50+);
- Experience with database entry and reporting; and
- Experience with court and/or administrative hearings
- Fluency in Spanish is a plus
Salary and Benefits
$53,000 - $56,000 depending on experience. HPRP provides excellent benefits: vacation (20 days per year), 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 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Occasional evening and weekend hours are required for six (6) board meetings per year, as well as four (4) evening clinics and 2-3 Saturday outreach events per year. Attendance at the evening clinics and Saturday outreach events is shared between the Director of Pro Bono Programs and the Staff Attorney. HPRP provides for a flexible work schedule.
Apply by sending a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and the names and contact information of three professional references (one of which must be a supervisor that supervised your legal work as an attorney) to firstname.lastname@example.org (please specify Pro Bono Programs Staff Attorney in the subject line). References will be contacted following final interviews. 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 oppression, and structural racism, including how structural racism perpetuates barriers to housing and income. HPRP invites all applicants to include in their cover letters an optional 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. Resume reviews begin immediately and applications will be accepted until position is filled.
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.