Equitable Neighborhoods Supervising Attorney

Job Type:
Job Short Description:

The Community Development Project (CDP) at the Urban Justice Center seeks applicants for the position of Supervising Attorney. CDP’s Equitable Neighborhoods practice supports community groups when they respond to government-initiated projects and plans, including neighborhood rezonings; when they want to understand and influence big private development projects coming to their area; as they create or defend important community spaces; and when they work to ensure public assets are used for public good. We also support grassroots efforts to change laws and policies that perpetuate structural inequality and displace local people, businesses, and community institutions. The practice works on transactional matters related to land use, including commercial leases and development of community land trusts, and litigates to enforce land use rules and regulations.

About Equitable Neighborhoods

CDP's Equitable Neighborhoods practice works with grassroots groups, neighborhood organizations and community coalitions to help make sure that people of color, immigrants, and other low-income residents who have built our city are not pushed out in the name of “progress.” We work together with our partners and clients to ensure that residents in historically under-resourced areas have stable housing they can afford, places where they can connect and organize, jobs to make a good living, and other opportunities that allow people to thrive. CDP is one of the only legal services organizations in the City that provides tools and support to make sure that residents have a say in the future of their neighborhoods. Our partners and clients take the lead in our work, and we enhance their capacity so that residents can directly influence decisions that shape their communities.

Learn More:

Equitable Neighborhoods Case Studies:

Equitable Neighborhoods Testimony, Papers, and Reports:

Job Summary & Qualifications:

Qualifications - Required

  • Admission to the New York State Bar, able to be admitted on motion, or pending admission.
  • Demonstrated commitment to grassroots efforts for economic, racial and social justice.
  • Excellent organizational and interpersonal/communication skills.
  • Strong writing and analytical skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with diverse populations.
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively.
  • 5+ years post-law school experience, including civil legal services or comparable work.
  • Familiarity with New York City land use, property, local government, zoning, and/or NYC housing law.

Qualifications - Strongly Preferred

  • Affirmative litigation experience in New York Courts.
  • Experience supervising attorneys in adversarial matters.
  • 2+ years supervision experience in legal or non-profit setting
  • Commercial lease negotiation experience.
  • Experience in adult education or developing popular education materials.
  • Experience with legislative and/or budget advocacy before New York State and City bodies.
  • Experience working with social justice and/or community organizing groups.

Practice Area Staff Responsibilities include: 

  • Develop new strategies and partnerships to advance equitable neighborhood change;
  • Identify leverage to negotiate and draft legally binding contracts, a.k.a. Community Benefits Agreements, with private developers to ensure that community members obtain concrete benefits from development projects that require any discretionary approvals;
  • Advocate to legislative bodies and agencies in partnership with CDP’s clients regarding issues related to equitable neighborhood change and development;
  • Participate in coalitions to support policies that promote equitable development;
  • Develop and pursue litigation to protect community members’ interests in the face of public and private rezoning and development initiatives;
  • Support local coalitions and grassroots groups in neighborhoods facing rezonings by conducting trainings, supporting the formation of coalitions, researching best practices in equitable development, reviewing and crafting responses to the City’s proposed rezoning plans, and supporting local groups in developing and advocating for policies to better meet community needs;
  • Support emerging community land trusts in formation, lease development and property acquisition; and
  • Manage relationships with law school clinics, pro bono attorneys and firms, and other technical assistance providers supporting grassroots organizations in efforts to make sure that NYC neighborhoods change in an equitable way.

Supervisory and Management Responsibilities:

  • Train, supervise and mentor attorneys and interns to ensure professional development and competency in work being performed;
  • Engage in periodic meetings with staff and volunteers to monitor workload, review their projects, and provide guidance as needed;
  • Collaborate with the Director and staff of the practice area to develop and implement strategic planning for the practice area;
  • Comply with all grant reporting requirements and supporting CDP’s development department to ensure ongoing funding for the work; and
  • Participate in management of CDP together with other CDP managers and the Director.
A salary competitive in the NYC legal services community and excellent benefits package is available, including generous vacation, personal, and sick time, along with strong medical and dental coverage.
How to Apply:

Interested applicants should send a resume and cover letter by e-mail to cdpjobs@urbanjustice.org, Attn: Paula Segal.  Please include “Equitable Neighborhoods Staff Attorney” in the subject line.  Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.

The Community Development Project is an equal opportunity employer. CDP encourages applications from people with diverse backgrounds, including women, people of color, immigrants, people with disabilities, LGBTQ people, people from low-income backgrounds, and people with personal experience with the criminal justice system. We strongly encourage applications from people with lived experiences in the communities we serve. To learn more about CDP, visit cdp.urbanjustice.org.

CDP’s Launch
As of July 2019, CDP is excited to separate from the Urban Justice Center and launch as an independent organization. Our name will be new, but our work to strengthen grassroots movements and dismantle racial, social & economic oppression remains just as strong. Anyone who joins CDP prior to the launch will continue their employment uninterrupted, with the same salary & comparable conditions.

UJC Description:

The Urban Justice Center serves New York City's most vulnerable residents through a combination of direct legal service, systemic advocacy, community education and political organizing. Our 12 Projects assist clients on numerous levels, from one-on-one legal advice in soup kitchens, to filing class action lawsuits to bring about systemic change, to pushing social justice legislation forward.