Be a critical member in a growing team of social justice advocates! The Public Justice Center in Baltimore is seeking a paralegal for the Human Right to Housing Project.
The Public Justice Center (“PJC”) and the Human Right to Housing Team
The Public Justice Center pursues systemic change to build a just society. Founded in Maryland in 1985, the PJC uses legal advocacy tools to pursue social justice, economic and racial equity, and fundamental human rights for people who are struggling to provide for their basic needs. The PJC is a civil legal aid office that provides advice and representation to low-income clients, advocates before legislatures and government agencies, and collaborates with community and advocacy organizations. Our website is www.publicjustice.org.
The Human Right to Housing Project seeks the realization of a human right to housing that is fair, affordable, habitable, and accessible, with security of tenure and cultural adequacy. Project attorneys and paralegals provide legal services to low-income tenants in eviction and rent escrow cases, collaborate with community organizing partners to build tenant power, and advocate in state and local legislatures and government agencies for tenants’ rights.
COVID-19 Info: This position is partly remote and partly in the office and at court. Our current policy provides that staff will be required to come to the office, the courts, or other public meetings as necessary, but policies concerning COVID-19 may change as the situation changes. The PJC is providing PPE for employees and guests and maintaining other risk reduction measures in the office.
Primary job responsibilities include:
- Assists attorneys with ongoing litigation support including case investigation, researching public records, filing legal pleadings, drafting documents, assisting in document review and document management, and data entry and reporting.
- Conducts telephone and in-person intake, interviews clients, opens and maintains electronic and paper case files, participates in fact gathering and appropriate referral, brief service, or advocacy.
- Collaborates with community-based organizations on outreach, tenant education, and grassroots organizing.
- Provides general administrative and office support for nonprofit law office. Responsible for receiving, handling or assigning, and monitoring all support requests from staff.
- Assists with special advocacy and research projects on prioritized subjects.
- Other duties as assigned.
The following attributes are highly valued for this position. Applicants should also identify other skills and experiences that may benefit the PJC.
- Bachelor’s Degree or a combination of Associate’s Degree, Paralegal Certificate, and/or demonstrated skills in writing, research, analysis, and communications.
- Spanish/English bilingual (or proficiency) in writing and speaking is desired.
- Passion for social justice and commitment to the mission of the Public Justice Center.
- Understanding the principles of race equity analysis and applying them to the PJC’s organizational life and to our work.
- Experience with low-income, oppressed, or exploited communities or people.
- Ability to sensitively respond to people seeking services in crisis situations.
- Experience in law office/ litigation support and case management.
- Excellent use of MS Word; Excel or similar programs a plus.
- Ability and interest in learning new programs.
- Strong problem-solving abilities, time management, and organizational skills: the ability to manage complex assignments and work collegially with staff.
- Attention to detail.
- Ability to work both independently and collaboratively with others both in and outside of the PJC, including clients, other advocacy organizations, coalition members, governmental officials, and attorneys.
Compensation and terms of employment: This is a full-time, non-exempt position that will require 40 hours in a workweek. Occasional evening and weekend work may be required. This position is based in Baltimore and may require local travel. The salary range for a paralegal begins at $40,000 and increases with experience. For example, a candidate with 5 years of relevant experience would be offered $50,000. A language bonus of $1,000/year is given to Spanish/English bilingual staff. The PJC will be reviewing and updating its salary scale in the coming months and strives to maintain parity with state legal employers such as the Offices of Attorney General and Public Defender . An excellent cafeteria benefit package in the annual amount of $15,000 is also provided. This package offers health, vision, dental, disability and life insurance, and retirement options. Cafeteria benefits packages give employees flexibility to choose how to direct their benefits. For example, this package can cover 100% of employee healthcare premiums, but an employee can choose to direct those funds towards retirement if they already have health insurance. PJC employees receive at least 20 days of paid leave, with increases based on length of tenure, 10 paid holidays, and 15 days of sick leave annually.
Applications: This position has a desired start date in mid-May 2023. We will accept applications until the position is filled, but for priority consideration please apply by April 10, 2023. To apply, please submit – by email only – a cover letter explaining your interest, a resume, a short writing sample, and the names and telephone numbers of three references. Please send applications to: Gabriela Dickson La Rotta, firstname.lastname@example.org, with “Paralegal Applications from [your name]” in the subject line.
Physical/Mental Demands and Office Environment
The physical/mental demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
The Public Justice Center is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer that encourages all interested persons to apply regardless of race, color, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, citizenship, creed, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, transgender status, age, religion, genetic information, physical or mental disability, marital status, or any other legally protected status. We strongly encourage Black, Latine, Indigenous, and other applicants of color, people with disabilities, and other people historically underrepresented in the practice of law to apply.