Job Title: Legal and Advocacy Director

Job Location: Philadelphia, PA

Job Type: Legal – Civil

Organizational Information:

The Homeless Advocacy Project (HAP) exists to meet the legal and advocacy needs of individuals and families experiencing homelessness in Philadelphia. With a legal staff of 14 and a corps of 350 volunteer lawyers, paralegals, and law students, HAP engages in direct outreach to individuals experiencing homelessness in need of legal services.

ABOUT US: Established in 1990, the Homeless Advocacy Project (HAP) is the only legal services organization dedicated to providing direct civil legal services to individuals and families experiencing homelessness in Philadelphia. HAP also advocates for the needs of the City’s homeless population.

VISION: All Philadelphians at risk of or experiencing homelessness have equal access to justice and the means to secure safe and stable housing.

MISSION: To provide free civil legal services and advocacy to reduce the frequency and duration of homelessness in the greater Philadelphia area.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI):

All of us at HAP take ownership of the fact that, in various ways, HAP needs to immediately, sufficiently, and meaningfully embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). This is in terms of our direct representation of those experiencing homelessness, as well as in terms of office staffing, policies, behaviors, and culture.

Full Statement: https://www.haplegal.org/about/dei/

Job Functions, Essential Duties, and Responsibilities:

Supervision

  • Supervise and mentor legal staff with regard to legal casework, advocacy and outreach
  • Provide for overall professional development of the legal team
  • Monitor quality control of client matters: review all substantive cases prior to formal database closing and provide support/guidance to the Director of Intake and Outreach
  • Monitor legal staff workload, including clinic and case distribution
  • Supervise case tracking
  • Evaluate legal staff performance
  • Provide advice and guidance to staff regarding supervision of volunteers and others
  • Support and guide attorneys as they oversee and implement HAP projects

Overall Legal Management

  • Oversee protocols and procedures for case intake, processing, and handling with the Director of Intake and Outreach
  • Prepare Case Management Reports with the support of the Director of Operations and present them at Board of Directors meetings
  • Identify and analyze case trends, service utilization, and volunteer participation and make recommendations as needed in collaboration with the Director of Operations and Pro Bono Coordinator
  • Monitor the development of training programs and resource materials, including CLE classes, for volunteer advocates in collaboration with the Pro Bono Coordinator.
  • Keep abreast of law and policy decisions affecting clients specifically and legal representation in general
  • Facilitate the resolution of escalated client complaints
  • Support SOAR partnership with the SOAR Project Director by working with the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbilities and Community Behavioral Health (DBH SOAR). Support may include, but is not limited to, screening and documenting referrals, responding to inquiries, communicating with referring providers and city partners, and providing overall project oversight
  • Monitor all SOAR projects and provide support/guidance when needed, be the face of HAP’s SOAR projects by serving on SOAR national panels, addressing issues that arise regarding the SOAR protocol or individual projects, reporting outcomes internally and to national SOAR partners, engaging with SOAR projects throughout the country, thinking critically about and exploring and supporting opportunities for SOAR expansion

Support Development, Strategic, and Management Activities

  • Support HAP’s fundraising efforts including identifying funding streams, developing project ideas, writing and editing funding proposals and reports
  • Participate in the development and implementation of the five-year strategic plan
  • Support and collaborate with Executive Director as requested

Client-based services

  • Represent a limited number of homeless clients in civil legal matters
    • Provide advice to call-in and walk-in clients when needed
    • Coordinate special project assignments
    • In collaboration with Director of Operations and Director of Intake and Outreach, develop procedures and protocols relating to client access to services

Manage Advocacy Efforts

Lead staff effort to create HAP’s advocacy agenda

  • Identify the most pressing areas of advocacy that will be prioritized
  • Communicate priorities to the Board Advocacy Committee

Provide leadership and guidance on staff’s advocacy efforts

  • Develop an advocacy plan in terms of how HAP will proceed in those priority areas identified
  • Create an advocacy structure and recruit staff members interested in devoting time and attention to advocacy matters
  • Develop an action plan for advocacy which includes, but is not limited to, staff participation in coalitions
  • Create and/or support coalition building with community partners when coalition building will help advance identified priority areas
  • Revisit action plan to ensure that advocacy is focused and moving forward
  • Recognizing that areas requiring a more reactive and timely response regularly arise, the Legal and Advocacy Director, in consultation with the Executive Director (and relevant staff when possible), will decide whether and how best to respond as an agency

Work with the board advocacy committee

  • Schedule and lead staff/board advocacy committee meetings
  • As needed to ensure greater effectiveness, recruit additional board members to join the board/staff advocacy committee
  • When law firm resources will bolster advocacy, recruit and support pro bono partnerships in consultation with the Executive Director and/or Pro Bono Coordinator
  • Analyze and address policy initiatives and legislation affecting homelessness and consult as needed to determine appropriate responses to issues in furtherance of HAP’s mission and goals
  • Identify opportunities and/or need for additional advocacy efforts
  • Prepare and submit comments and letters in response to proposed changes in regulations or practices that impact HAP’s client community
  • Assist with litigation efforts undertaken by or on behalf of HAP on issues impacting the client community

Qualifications

  • Juris Doctor Degree from an ABA-accredited University and licensed to practice law in PA
  • 10 years of experience in the nonprofit and public interest field
  • Demonstrated interest in public interest law and experience working with low- income populations
  • Ability to handle multiple priorities and work with minimal supervision
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office, and Client Databases
  • Familiarity with the Philadelphia Legal Community
  • Knowledge of and commitment to HAP’s vision, mission, and values
  • Commitment to diversity and inclusion
  • Creativity and Innovation

Reports to: Executive Director

COVID-19 Considerations:

HAP is currently working limited days in the office. To keep our employees safe, we require masks in the common areas of our office and when social distancing is not possible.

How to apply

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. In order to receive full consideration, candidates are urged to submit their materials by February 22, 2024. Please include a letter expressing in detail your interest in the position; your qualifications and what you hope to contribute to the organization’s future; a current resume; and the names and contact information for three professional references.

Materials should be submitted electronically to [email protected] in Microsoft Word or pdf format to Theresa L. Jett, Director of Operations, HAP, 1429 Walnut St., 15th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19102.

Salary is commensurate with experience based on a competitive public interest salary scale. Available benefits include medical, dental, vision, term life, short and long-term disability, 403(b) retirement plan, and generous paid time off and holidays.

No Recruiters Please.

Equal Opportunity Employer

Homeless Advocacy Project (HAP) is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, disability, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, age, citizenship, genetic information, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. HAP also values and seeks diversity and inclusion in all aspects of its work. Persons from diverse backgrounds and orientations are encouraged to apply.