Deputy Director, Foreclosure Prevention, Community Economic Development, & Consumer Advocacy Unit

Brooklyn, NY
Full Time
06-30-2021
Practice Areas: Litigation Job #: 43_2021 Exp.: 3+ Years
Description:
Brooklyn Legal Services (BLS) seeks a Deputy Director for its Foreclosure Prevention, Community Economic Development, and Consumer Advocacy Unit.

Our Organization:
BLS, part of Legal Services NYC (LSNYC), provides high-quality, innovative representation to address the pressing legal needs of Brooklyn’s diverse low-income population. BLS focuses on the problems that have the greatest impact on our clients – preserving affordable and decent housing, maintaining income support, redressing abusive lending and consumer practices, promoting family stability and mitigating the effects of domestic violence, and advocating for the disabled.

The nationally prominent Foreclosure Prevention Project (FPP), the first of its kind in New York City, uses complex federal and state litigation, anti-discrimination enforcement, policy advocacy, and community education to assist low-income neighborhoods at increased risk of foreclosure due to predatory lending or abusive loan servicing practices. The FPP is actively litigating cases challenging discriminatory and abusive lending practices, abusive servicing practices by the nation’s largest banks and loan servicers, and deed theft scams. The FPP is also a statewide leader in policy advocacy around fair lending, responsible lending, and financial justice issues.

The Community Economic Development (CED) Project aims to help shape the future of our city’s neighborhoods and create more inclusive economies—connecting low-income communities and communities of color to the engines of growth and the government that regulates them, expanding opportunity, and protecting the diversity of New York City’s neighborhoods. Through advocacy and legal services, our CED program works to preserve and expand affordable housing, eradicate discrimination in housing and employment, support small businesses, increase employment and economic security, and strengthen community control and self-determination.

The Consumer Advocacy Project, with a focus on student loan advocacy, represents individual borrowers in administrative actions and in court. Administrative work includes helping borrowers get out of default, filing discharge claims that extinguish student loan debt, and enrolling borrowers in more affordable repayment plans. Court work includes both affirmative litigation against student loan servicers and defending borrowers sued by private lenders.

The Opportunity:
The Deputy Director of these projects will assist the unit Director in all aspects of the management, supervision, and mentoring of a team of seven staff attorneys, two intake paralegals, and one executive assistant. The Deputy Director will work with the unit Director to develop and implement a strategic vision for the unit’s work, including developing affirmative litigation and creative advocacy projects, and strengthening our fair housing practice. They will also assist with the oversight of the intake process, grants, and outreach.

LSNYC prides itself on its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts. As a social justice organization, we are committed to fighting for a workplace that is as diverse, equitable, and inclusive as possible for everyone. Our DEI committee and numerous affinity groups work to foster collegial relationships among staff, and allow staff to explore and advocate for racial justice and anti-oppression growth within our organization and through our legal work. All employees are expected to learn about, seek to understand, and work to realize our DEI goals. Every supervisor is expected to actively engage in learning and become increasingly skilled in supervision that supports diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Deputy Director’s duties will include actively working to advance LSNYC’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion goals.

Responsibilities:
  • Help facilitate the creation of vision, goals, and strategic planning for the unit in coordination with BLS’ Project Director and unit Director;
  • Assist with managing the operations of the unit, including grant and administrative responsibilities;
  • Assist with supervising intake paralegals and support staff and with overseeing the functioning of the FPP hotline, intake process, and case data collection;
  • Assist with supervising the projects’ attorneys and paralegals through regular case meetings and by working directly with them on a variety of state and federal court matters at all stages of litigation, administrative proceedings, and non-litigation advocacy, and by assisting with case investigation and assessment;
  • Work with the projects’ attorneys to develop affirmative litigation and other creative advocacy projects;
  • Strengthen our fair housing practice;
  • Contribute to policy and legislative advocacy efforts in collaboration with LSNYC’s Director of Foreclosure Prevention;
  • Assist with overseeing outreach and education initiatives;
  • Maintain and strengthen relationships with community partners, elected officials, and city, state, and federal agencies; and
  • Work to advance LSNYC’s DEI goals.

Requirements:
  • Admission to the New York State Bar;
  • A demonstrated passion for social justice and commitment to working with low-income communities and communities of color to advance racial and economic equity;
  • Minimum of three years relevant litigation experience;
  • Ability to provide supportive and consistent supervision to attorneys, paralegals, support staff, and interns;
  • Excellent organizational, analytical, writing, communication, and advocacy skills; and
  • Strong interpersonal skills, empathic leadership, and team-building skills.

Preferred Experience:
  • Expertise in foreclosure prevention and mortgage lending, community economic development, and consumer protection issues
  • Experience with policy and legislative advocacy;
  • Strong ties to Brooklyn’s communities of color; and
  • Proficiency in a language spoken by the communities we serve.

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