OrganizationLegal Aid Justice Center
TypeFull Time
Application DeadlineJuly 15, 2024
College Degree Required?Yes
Salary RangeDepend on the terms of the fellowship
EmailHiring@justice4all.org
Phone4344220705

Description

About the Legal Aid Justice Center:

The Legal Aid Justice Center is a nationally recognized, non-profit organization that partners with low-income clients and communities of color in Virginia to fight for racial, social, and economic justice. We understand that the harms our clients endure are inextricably linked to overarching systems of injustice. Together we are dismantling those systems through a combination of community organizing, litigation, policy advocacy, public relations, and individual legal services.

Founded in 1967, LAJC has offices in Charlottesville, Richmond, Petersburg, and Falls Church and provides services under six key program areas: Civil Rights & Racial Justice (focuses on the criminal legal system), Housing & Consumer Justice, Youth Justice, Health Justice & Public Benefits, Immigrant Justice, and Worker Justice. As examples of LAJC’s recent work, our lawsuit and organizing against the state forced reform of Virginia’s unemployment insurance system, including advocacy that resulted in the distribution of over $1 billion in illegally withheld payments to over 160,000 Virginians. During the pandemic, we demanded and secured a statewide eviction moratorium and emergency pandemic protections that helped hundreds of families avoid eviction. We reduced incarceration across the state, including reducing the population of a local immigration detention center down to historically low levels through a coordinated effort of organizing paired with impact and individual litigation.  Our staff are on the front lines of some of the most important anti-poverty fights happening today.

With a staff of over 90, the past few years have been a time of exciting growth and opportunity for the organization. In addition to the growth of programmatic efforts including increased organizing capacity, LAJC has expanded its operations and administrative capacity, created new opportunities for professional growth and leadership among staff, engaged in ongoing race equity work, and explored changes to organizational structure to deepen its efforts to create long-term, sustainable, community-driven change.

LAJC’s latest strategic plan is available at https://www.justice4all.org/lajc-strategic-plan-2022-2026/#area%20d

For more information about LAJC’s work and programs, visit www.justice4all.org.

About the Position:

LAJC is seeking to host one or more recent law graduates as public service fellows in one of our three main offices in Virginia (Richmond, Falls Church, or Charlottesville). Fellowship candidates must be rising third-year law students, third-year law students, or recent law school graduates, with a demonstrated record of public service and a willingness to apply for public interest legal fellowships. This position depends on the candidate obtaining fellowship funding from a private funding entity in partnership with LAJC.

In addition to serving clients with their legal needs, past fellows have had the opportunity to assist with clinical supervision, staff high impact cases with nationwide implications, engage in movement lawyering and community organizing, and participate in legislative and other policy advocacy.

Depending on individual interest and location preference, the fellow may work on various poverty law issues, such as:  access to public benefits; housing access and affordability; consumer protection; workers’ rights; healthcare and rights of people with disabilities; immigrants’ rights; access to education and civil rights enforcement in schools; children’s mental health rights; juvenile legal system involvement and the rights of incarcerated children; and the criminalization of poverty through policies and practices that target people because of poverty and race. However, the position ultimately entails carrying out the work as proposed in the candidate’s fellowship application according to the terms and requirements of the fellowship.

Applicants should view this position as a four-part process:

First, selected applicants will be offered an interview with a small team of LAJC staff. The interview will be roughly 1-hour and will focus primarily on the logistics of the proposal.
Second, after all applicants are interviewed, selected applicants will work with LAJC to develop their fellowship application materials, usually requiring the applicant to describe the work they aim to undertake at LAJC through the fellowship. This phase of the process is an ongoing conversation between the applicant and members of LAJC’s leadership team wherein the applicant describes the structure and mechanics for their proposed work, receives feedback from LAJC based on its needs and the dynamics of the issue(s) the work aims to address.
Third, upon reaching consensus as to the project proposal, the applicant with LAJC support, will prepare and submit the required materials to one or more public interest law fellowship funding entities for review. LAJC and the applicant will maintain their relationship throughout this second application phase so that LAJC can continue to support the applicant’s candidacy for this outside funding.

Finally, if successful, fellows will begin their fellowship at LAJC in September 2025.

Areas of Particular Interest to LAJC

Civil Rights & Racial Program (in Richmond and Charlottesville:
Pretrial justice.
Fines and fees.
Conditions of confinement.
Statewide implementation in July 2025 of Virginia’s first record sealing legislation.

Housing & Consumer Justice Program:
Manufactured home preservation (centered in NoVA, but providing resources to rest of state).
Affordable housing preservation in partnership with one or more community partners (any location).
Fair housing impact advocacy in NoVA or Richmond.

Worker Justice Program:
H-2B migrant worker and anti-labor trafficking advocacy.

Racial Equity: Promote racial equity across all dimensions, including within LAJC, by doing the following:
Helping to recruit, retain, and support both staff and leadership that reflect the racial composition of our community.
Cultivating respect for the work of and expanding resources for non-attorney staff that are disproportionately people of color.
Creating spaces for staff to discuss issues of racial, gender, and all other issues of marginalization.
Pushing for institutional and cultural changes by management, the board, and staff to further promote racial equity.

Location:

Housing & Consumer Justice Program: All offices
Immigrant Justice Program: All offices
Worker Justice Program: All offices
Health & Public Benefits Justice Program: Richmond or Charlottesville (location only)
Youth Justice Program: Richmond or Charlottesville (location only)
Civil Rights & Racial Justice Program: Richmond or Charlottesville (location only)

Start Date: LAJC expects this class of fellowship sponsorship candidates to begin Fall 2025.

Benefits: Salary and benefits depend on the terms of the fellowship

Application Instructions: The application has three components:

1. A Resume

2. A list of two references that we can contact.

3. A statement of interest. The statement of interest should describe the work the applicant aims to undertake at LAJC through the fellowship and why the applicant is the right person to do the work. This description should be no more than one page in length, single spaced, and using 12-point font and 1-inch margins. To the degree possible, the applicant should please specify the LAJC legal program (Civil Rights & Racial Justice, Housing & Consumer Justice, Health & Public Benefits Justice, Immigrant Justice, Worker Justice and Youth Justice) that best aligns with the proposal.

Applicants should submit their materials using the online application at https://secure6.saashr.com/ta/6191828.careers?ShowJob=554087324. If applicants need assistance with the online portal, they can contact hr@justice4all.org.

LAJC is accepting applications through Monday, July 15, 2024.

Applicants should please forward any questions related to the fellowship or application process to Maisie Osteen at maisie@justice4all.org.

Vaccination Requirement: The Legal Aid Justice Center requires all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have an approved medical or religious exemption as a qualification of employment. Proof of vaccination or accommodation request must be provided within one day of employment.

The Legal Aid Justice Center is an equal opportunity employer, committed to inclusive hiring and dedicated to diversity in our work and staff. We strongly encourage candidates of all identities, experiences, and communities to apply. The Legal Aid Justice Center is committed to strengthening the voices of our low-income clients, working in collaboration with community partners, and rooting out the inequities that keep people in poverty. We strive to take on the issues that have broad impact on our client communities and to be responsive to client input. Recognizing the particular impact of racism on our clients and staff, we devote special attention to dismantling racial injustice. All applicants must be dedicated to working in and sustaining an environment that enables staff and clients to feel empowered, valued, respected, and safe. In reviewing applications, we look for evidence that applicants have experience and/or thoughtfulness in working with traditionally marginalized populations.

Skills Required

Strong commitment to social, economic, and racial justice.
Rising third-year law student, third-year law student, or recent law graduate.
Strong commitment to public interest work.
Mission-aligned experience (work, volunteer, or lived) partnering with and advocating in low-wealth communities and communities of color.
Outstanding oral advocacy, research, writing, organizational, and leadership skills.
Ability to work effectively both independently and collaboratively.
Commitment to taking and passing the Virginia Bar Exam and fulfilling all requirements for licensure as an attorney in Virginia.
Dedication to working in and sustaining an environment that enables staff members and clients to feel empowered, valued, respected and safe.
Ability and willingness to partner with Legal Aid Justice Center to apply for public interest legal fellowship opportunities.
For applicants interested in working in Falls Church or within the Immigrant Advocacy Program or Worker Justice Program, Spanish proficiency is highly preferred.