"Save Your Home Philly" Paralegal
POSITION: “SAVE YOUR HOME PHILLY” PARALEGAL
Philadelphia Legal Assistance (PLA) seeks to immediately hire a full-time paralegal to work with low-income Philadelphia tenants in danger of losing their homes.
PLA provides free civil legal assistance to low-income individuals and families in Philadelphia. For Philadelphia residents who are low-income, elderly, or disabled, our legal assistance is often crucial to protecting their homes, their children, their safety, and their livelihood.
PLA operates the “Save Your Home Philly” Hotline, a central point of contact for Philadelphia residents at risk of losing their homes. The lawyers and paralegals at PLA work in close collaboration with Community Legal Services, Philadelphia VIP, and a network of housing counselors to assist homeowners and renters in navigating the legal system, understanding and safeguarding their rights, and avoiding homelessness. The Hotline is a critical piece of the network of services available in Philadelphia designed to prevent homelessness; to preserve neighborhood and family stability by enabling low-income individuals to remain in their homes.
Under the recently enacted Emergency Housing Protection Act, tenants who have experienced a hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic now have the option to participate in Eviction Diversion, a mediation program which allows tenants to work with housing counselors to negotiate, where possible, payment agreements with their landlords that will prevent an eviction from being filed. The “Save Your Home Philly” Hotline supports the program by reviewing landlord requests for mediation, reaching out to tenants, and connecting tenants with housing counselors.
During the economic crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hotline has a critical role to play in connecting homeowners and tenants with programs that threaten their housing. Especially during this time, Hotline paralegals are playing a direct role in preserving housing for Philadelphia residents.
A successful candidate will have a variety of responsibilities as part of a team of attorneys and paralegals, including:
- Providing information and assistance to tenants in the Eviction Diversion program
- Evaluating a tenant’s situation and making appropriate referrals
- Researching, understanding and utilizing statutes, regulations and city ordinances
- Coordinating and managing case referrals
- Providing litigation support to housing unit attorneys
- Identifying cases for advice and representation by unit attorneys
- Working with Housing Counselors to make appointments and ensure that housing counselors are aware of any special needs or circumstances with the tenant’s case
- Working within a team of Eviction Diversion staff to improve the services we provide for this new and growing program
Working with “Save Your Home Philly” is a hands-on, skill-building experience. Previous knowledge of consumer and landlord tenant legal issues is not a requirement for this position. Qualifications include:
- Excellent communication and interviewing skills
- Strong writing skills
- Commitment to improving the well-being of low-income communities
- Compassion, understanding, patience, and a talent for working cooperatively with a broad spectrum of people
- Maturity, self-motivation, and ability to adapt quickly
- Prior work or volunteer experience at a non-profit serving low-income clients is preferred
- Spanish language fluency a plus
So long as the pandemic continues, the successful candidate may be working from home in this position until further notice. When normal business operations resume, the position will be located at the offices of Philadelphia Legal Assistance. Until the end of the pandemic, all training will be done through video conferencing. Applicants will need to have their own phone with a google voice account, a secure laptop or desktop computer and a robust internet connection.
Philadelphia Legal Assistance (PLA) is an equal opportunity employer. PLA values a diverse work environment and strongly encourages women, people of color, people who identify as LGBTQ, people with disabilities, people who have experienced poverty or homelessness, and people who have had prior contact with the juvenile, criminal, or child welfare systems to apply. PLA invites all applicants to include in their cover letter a statement about how your unique background and/or experiences might contribute to the diversity, cultural vitality, and perspective of our staff and legal services practice.
Send cover letter, resume, references, and five page writing sample, preferably in one PDF document, to email@example.com.
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, and the position will remain open until filled. We encourage applicants to submit applications early.