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Posted by: Lizbeth Lopez - 5/16/2019
Job Expires: 6/16/2019
Eviction Defense Staff Attorney for Veterans' Tenants' Rights Unit/Public Benefits Unit

The New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) has an immediate opening for a staff attorney to represent tenants facing eviction with a focus on representing tenants who are veterans. The position will be co-located in the Veterans Practice of NYLAG?s Public Benefits Unit and its Tenants? Rights Unit. Half of the attorney?s work focus on assisting veterans experiencing housing problems and the other half will be representing low income tenants facing eviction in New York City.

NYLAG's Veterans Practice is focused on ensuring New York City veterans who cannot afford to hire a private attorney have access to free legal services. The Veterans Practice follows a holistic care model, where attorneys help veterans and households with veterans access the legal services they need to achieve economic security. This involves coordination with local organizations to facilitate appropriate referrals and to help arrange for non-legal services. This year the Veterans Practice will provide assistance to over 500 low-income veterans and their families. NYLAG's Tenants' Rights Unit represents low-income tenants facing eviction and homelessness. TRU, which has an extremely committed, collegial, and hard-working team of nearly 30 staff attorneys, 10 paralegals, and seven supervisors, is a great place to start or build your legal career and gain valuable litigation skills.   

One recent successful outcome is Mr. Johnson, a disabled 87 year old Korean War Veteran. Mr. Johnson has lived in his rent stabilized apartment for approximately 40 years with his nephew and primary care taker. Mr. Johnson suffers from severe heart conditions that have rendered him too critically ill to live alone and his nephew has served as a medical assistant and financial administrator for Mr. Johnson in his deteriorating conditions. When Mr. Johnson fell behind in his rent, his landlord initiated a nonpayment proceeding to recover the arrears owed. Mr. Johnson's nephew then sought legal counsel from NYLAG on behalf of his uncle to attempt to avoid eviction. An application was submitted on behalf of Mr. Johnson to the Elks National Veterans Service Commission to assist with the payment of arrears. The Elks National Service Commission is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving veteran and military members in need. As a result of NYLAG's advocacy, Mr. Johnson was awarded $2,500.00 in financial arrears assistance. Additionally, NYLAG assisted Mr. Johnson in applying for VA Pension to increase his income and further ensure he has the ongoing ability to pay his rent.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Staff and conduct client intake, perform legal research, draft legal memoranda, advocacy letters, and other legal documents, and maintain detailed records in a case management system;
  • Handle full representation non-payment and holdover and Housing Part proceeding in Housing Court, which involves extensive communication with clients, intense negotiations with opposing counsel, frequent motion practice, discovery and depositions, and significant advocacy with outside agencies on behalf of clients;
  • Handle litigation before administrative agencies as necessary, including NYCHA termination of tenancy proceedings, DHCR matters, and proceedings where clients' Section 8 vouchers are being terminated;                                                                                                  
  • Conduct outreach in communities where veteran tenants' rights are threatened, and train veterans groups on tenants' rights.

 Qualifications:

  • Admission to New York Bar or passage of February 2019 NY Bar Exam
  • At least one year of litigation experience, preferably experience representing tenants in NYC Housing Court;
  • Excellent analytical, research, and writing skills;
  • Strong organizational skills and the ability to manage an active caseload;
  • Strong interpersonal skills and excellent judgment;
  • A demonstrated passion for social justice and commitment to serving low-income communities and vulnerable populations;

Preference will be given to veterans and/or attorneys with prior experience assisting veterans and applicants who have a demonstrated ability to speak, read, and write Spanish fluently.

Please attach your cover letter and resume as a single PDF and name the file 'Your Last Name, Your First Name NYLAG TRU-Vets Staff Attorney Application.'   Salary is $64,063 to $76,120 depending on experience. 

 
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