Closing Date: 23rd March, 2023


The Detroit Justice Center (DJC) seeks an experienced staff attorney to join our Economic Equity Practice (EEP). EEP provides legal counsel to communities seeking to create a more just Detroit by developing alternatives to current economic systems. The attorney will guide a full range of community development projects, including affordable housing, multi-family housing, and other land use matters.

Launched in 2018, DJC works alongside communities to create economic opportunities, transform the justice system, and promote equitable and just cities. This mission requires innovative ways of community lawyering and movement lawyering—rooted in defensive and offensive fights for racial justice and economic equity—that build up our poorest residents through direct services and novel approaches to land use, housing, and employment. DJC has established a set of values to guide our work, and we seek an attorney who will deeply align with them.

At DJC, we envision a just city where we have shifted our abundance away from jails, prisons, and policing and into true community safety; where affordable, accessible housing is the norm, instead of foreclosures and displacement; and where we have a thriving solidarity economy and communities set the agenda for development in their neighborhoods. We envision a just Detroit—rooted in solidarity, compassion, and care—and we’re fighting hard alongside our partners to make it real. Together, our team of 32 attorneys, community legal advocates, paralegals, researchers, program managers, communications, development, people & culture professionals, and administrators have provided legal services to more than 1,850 people. We have won powerful systemic change, supported the launch of three community land trusts and nine worker-owned cooperatives, and convened networks that are expanding restorative justice options and fighting for community reinvestment in Detroit.

Key Responsibilities:
The EEP Staff Attorney will be responsible for the following:
  • Advise, counsel, and represent clients (mainly community-based organizations) with legal matters about land and housing affordability.
  • Maintain relationships with community-based organizations that are working to make Detroit more equitable, affordable, and just.
  • Stay up to date on relevant state and federal laws and think creatively about how to use existing laws and funding mechanisms to promote equitable development.
  • Conduct legal educational training on key topics for our community partners;
  • Draft and negotiate a wide range of agreements.
  • Perform due diligence, title, and survey review.
  • Manage real estate components for debt and equity project financing transactions, including resolution of complex real estate issues for deal closings.
  • Advise on a broad range of real estate matters and identify solutions.
  • Manage multiple large and complex transactions

  • Alignment with DJC’s vision, mission, and values.
  • Licensed attorney, active and in good standing of the Michigan Bar, or eligible for admission.
  • At least 3-5 years of experience representing clients in transactional/economic development matters.
  • Commitment to fostering an inclusive and supportive work environment.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills; organizational and planning skills, with the capacity to simultaneously handle a variety of complex matters under strict deadlines.

The following real estate or lending transactional experience is strongly preferred, but not required.
  • HUD community development programs, including HOME and CDBG
  • Public Housing, including mixed-finance redevelopment of public housing
  • Operating subsidies, including Section 8
  • Tax-exempt bond financing
  • HUD/FHA loan programs
  • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan programs
  • Other State and Local Resources including:
    • Tax increment financing
    • State affordable housing trust funds
    • State tax credits

The target range for this role is $90,000-$95,000. DJC offers an array of robust benefits in addition to its base salary including 100% employer-paid health benefits, 2% retirement match, 11 paid holidays, 20 PTO days, 2 centering days, 5 sick days, and a flexible schedule. The organization also offers a winter hibernation each year. Supporting the work/life balance of employees is a priority for the organization, especially during the pandemic. In addition to the generous benefits listed above, DJC has been working a 4-day workweek since mid-2020 and offers unlimited time off related to COVID to care for oneself or others. This position will be fully remote until we move into our new headquarters in Spring 2024, at which point we will have a hybrid workplace.

DJC is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment and is proud to be an equal-opportunity employer. We believe hiring great people from all backgrounds makes our organization stronger. Diversity is our greatest strength. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, or veteran status. People of color, women, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, and individuals with past involvement in the justice system or who have loved ones currently or formerly in the justice system are strongly encouraged to apply.

Application Instructions:
To apply for this role, please submit your application materials through our careers website here. Please be sure to include a resume, cover letter, and references in one .pdf or .doc (Word) file. Applications will be reviewed as received, and all are encouraged to apply as soon as possible, but no later than March 23, 2023.