Description:Brooklyn Legal Services seeks an experienced attorney to serve as the Director of our LGBTQ & HIV Advocacy Unit.
The Director will provide organizational leadership to ensure the Unit is effectively and dynamically addressing the civil legal needs of people living with HIV/AIDS (“PLWHA”) and LGBTQ communities in Brooklyn. The Director will work with the Deputy Director to provide thorough and high-quality supervision to the Unit's attorneys, paralegals, law graduates, and interns. The Director will also develop strategies to combat systemic discrimination the Unit's populations face on a daily basis.
Brooklyn Legal Services, part of Legal Services NYC, provides high-quality, innovative representation to address the pressing legal needs of Brooklyn's diverse low-income population. LSNYC prides itself on its Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) 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 DEIBcommittee and numerous affinity groups work to foster collegial relationships among staff at all levels 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 DEIB goals. The Director's duties will include actively working to advance LSNYC's Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging goals.
The LGBTQ & HIV Advocacy Unit is a general practice unit that provides comprehensive legal services in a single location for PLWHA and the LGBTQ community. The Unit provides representation in a broad range of civil legal matters, including discrimination in housing, healthcare, employment, education, and other public accommodations; appealing wrongful denials in public assistance, social security, health insurance, and other benefits; eviction prevention; obtaining legal name and gender marker changes; criminal re-entry and collateral consequences advocacy, including record-sealing, correcting rap sheets, civil forfeiture and property return advocacy; and advance directives (wills, living wills, powers of attorneys, etc.). The Unit also files affirmative litigation challenging discrimination and other systemic abuses faced by LGBTQ communities and PLWHA. The Unit provides comprehensive legal services to clients and, therefore, the Director must be generally familiar with poverty law issues and be able to provide supervision and support in various practice areas. The Director will work collaboratively with subject-matter experts within the organization to be able to provide supervision and support in the areas in which they may not have expertise. The Director will supervise seven people.
The Director will be responsible for creating and maintaining systems and policies for intake, case supervision, and grant management to ensure renewal of funding and completion of deliverables. In addition, the Director will conduct community needs assessments, engage in strategic planning processes, and expand existing funding sources to ensure the Unit is able to meet the community's needs for present and future generations. This will include identifying potential funders, developing and strengthening relationships with elected officials, and grant writing.
Lastly, the Director will maintain and build collaborations with community-based organizations, elected officials, and community organizers to ensure that the Project's work aligns with community needs and advances the rights of LGBTQ people and PLWHA. For this reason, we are looking for a Director who will engage in community lawyering.
Required Qualifications and Skills:
- License to practice law in New York with a minimum of 5 years of experience providing civil legal services to LGBTQ people and PLWHA;
- Ability to articulate and execute a vision for BLS' work on behalf of PLWHA and LGBTQ people;
- Extensive experience with two or more areas of practice covered by the Unit;
- A demonstrated competency in working respectfully and effectively with a diverse team of lawyers and paralegals;
- Ability to provide consistent, equitable, and strengths-based supervision to a diverse team of attorneys, paralegals, support staff, interns, and law graduates;
- Prior experience providing supervision in a comparable setting;
- Strategic planning experience;
- Strong ties to Brooklyn's LGBTQ communities and communities affected by HIV/AIDS;
- Humility, a keen understanding of power and privilege, and a willingness to accept input and feedback, especially from clients and supervisees;
- Commitment to creating systems that will streamline workflows and increase collaboration across the Unit and other LGBTQ/HIV advocacy units within the Legal Services NYC (LSNYC) organization;
- Significant experience litigating New York City and State Human Rights Laws;
- Experience in grant application, grant administration, and proactive fundraising; and
- Demonstrated commitment to ensuring there is diversity, equity, and inclusion within the workplace.
Preferred Qualifications and Skills:
- Demonstrated commitment to community lawyering; and
- Fluency or proficiency in languages that are prevalent in the communities we serve.
All employees are strongly encouraged to continue to receive and maintain up-to-date COVID vaccinations unless they are unable to for medical or religious reasons.
BLS acknowledges that applicants from groups that have been historically marginalized are less likely to apply for positions unless they feel that they meet 100% of a job description's qualifications. We understand that the ideal candidate might not completely meet the criteria listed above or be equally proficient in each area; we especially encourage applicants who are impacted by LSNYC's work to submit their application anyway.
How to Apply:
Applicants should send a cover letter, resume, and two writing samples to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please write “LGBTQ/HIV Advocacy Director” in the subject line of the email. Cover letters must discuss particularized interest in Brooklyn, NY, and in working with PLWHA and LGBTQ communities. Only candidates selected for interviews will be contacted. No telephone calls, please.
Brooklyn Legal Services offers an excellent benefits package and a highly competitive public interest salary. Benefits include health, dental, and vision plans; contributions to a 403(b) plan; and generous leave time. Salary is commensurate with experience. Brooklyn Legal Services is an equal opportunity employer: people of color; women; people with disabilities; gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people; and people over the age of 40 are welcome and encouraged to apply. We are committed to race, gender, and economic justice in our work and within our workplace. Staff members who are not managers are members of the LSSA/NOLSW UAW Local 2320.
$128,000 - $192,000 (based on years of experience)