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Criminal Defense Practice Staff Attorney-Housing Law (CJU)

Job #: 21-108 Exp.: 3+ Years
The Community Justice Unit of Legal Aid Society’s Criminal Defense Practice (CJU) is seeking an attorney with experience in housing issues and a deep commitment to anti-violence to work as a staff attorney in CJU supporting the legal needs of participants across all five boroughs in the City’s Cure Violence program.

The Community Justice Unit, under the Legal Aid’s Law Reform and Special Litigation Unit, provides legal services, case consultations, and anti-violence services in specific catchment areas in each of the five boroughs through Crisis Management System based on the ideology of Cure Violence, a public health model that responds to gun and gang violence with community services such as mediation, legal and social services, and violence interruption. The model works on the theory that if conflicts can be worked out by people in the community, further violence can be avoided.

The CJU Staff Attorneys develop relationships with and support the legal needs of Crisis Management System(CMS) partner organizations engaged in the Cure Violence model; provide legal services and referrals to people engaged by our partner organizations as part of the violence-interruption model; and better connect CJU’s work with the work of other Legal Aid units in the specified borough. The particular focus of this position will be to enhance CJU’s ability to identify and support the housing-related legal need of Cure Violence participants.

This position may require evening and weekend hours.

Essential Duties/responsibilities
  • Provide direct legal assistance to Crisis Management Partners’ participants, with a particular focus on housing-related needs. Additional responsibilities may include assisting clients prior to arrest and/or seeking to surrender using long-standing Legal Aid protocols; providing school-based advocacy for students, including those who need assistance obtaining a safety transfer; and providing assistance on other civil matters, including immigration, benefits, child-support, custody and domestic violence and family law issues
  • Connect CMS participants with services involving all three Legal Aid Practices – Civil, Criminal, and Juvenile Rights
  • Provide support to Crisis Management Partners (CMS) organizations with events, outreach and community engagement efforts and legal advice and support as needed
  • Coordinate with CDP Trial Offices to advocate on behalf of the client community with the local precincts, district attorneys, and community agencies to address community-wide concerns
  • Work with the CJU Supervising Attorneys, CJU community organizers, and CMS partner organizations to identify opportunities for and participate in Know Your Rights events and workshops in the designated catchment areas
  • Assist with integrating and coordinating the work of CJU with the work of other components of Legal Aid within the relevant borough
  • Identify and respond to client, community, and organizational concerns as required
  • Other duties as assigned

  • Admission to New York Bar
  • Minimum of three years’ experience as a practicing attorney, including significant experience working directly with clients and at least one full year’s experience working on housing-related issues
  • Ability to foster constructive and respectful working relationships with colleagues and clients from diverse backgrounds, including those from racially diverse, underserved, and unserved communities
  • Ability to work remotely and independently and to prioritize competing responsibilities
  • Ability to work non-traditional week and weekend hours
  • Commitment to working collaboratively, transparently, and respectfully as a team
  • Strong commitment to racial and social justice
  • Favorable consideration will be given to attorneys who have specific knowledge and experience with the following:
  • violence interruption models and/or restorative justice models
  • pre-arraignment criminal legal advocacy
  • working with At-Risk /At-Promised Youth and court-supervised youth and/or adults
  • gang culture in the designated borough
  • Proficiency in languages other than English is desirable; but not required

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