• Housing Contract Attorney

    All positions will remain open until filled, but we will review applicants on a rolling basis. Applicants are encouraged to apply early for consideration. Please submit all application materials as soon as possible.

     

    Location: Lakeland, FL

     

    Please review the specific job posting for more details. Salary is based on experience. Apply Below.

    DESCRIPTION

     

    Florida Rural Legal Services is seeking a Housing Attorney to assist Lakeland residents who will be focused on cases related to mortgage and eviction prevention issues resulting from COVID-19 pandemic related loss of income under our Community Development Block Grant.


    DUTIES
    • Interview prospective clients regarding housing and fair housing issues, analyzing legal problems, rendering legal advice, preparing legal documents, and rendering other legal assistance.
    • Litigate cases in housing court, administrative forums, appellate courts, and other state and federal courts on behalf of people facing eviction.
    • Represent tenants and groups in Housing Court eviction proceedings, administrative proceedings, Supreme Court actions against administrative agencies, impact litigation in Federal and other courts, and other litigation.
    • Regularly appear in court, persuasively advocate for clients, conduct interviews, draft motions, prepare for trial, and negotiate settlements.
    • Maintain understanding of current state of federal, state, and local legislation affecting the rights of tenants, landlords, mortgagors, and mortgagees, including the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Become familiar with practices at local courts re: eviction and foreclosure processes.
    • Participate in FRLS training programs for pro bono attorneys assigned to this program, educating them on current state of federal, state, and local legislation affecting the rights of tenants, landlords, mortgagors, and mortgagees. Participate in client workshops on housing issues, as needed.
    • Establish program goals, work with FRLS staff to maintain updated client information and case notes, including number of cases taken in, brief description of cases, income level of household, number of people in household, agency making referral, name of landlord or lender, actions taken, assigned attorneys, next steps, case resolutions, time from referral to closure, and such other information as necessary to track achievement of goals, all of which shall be entered into the FRLS Case Management System. Oversee production of data and performance-based reports for FRLS monthly or as requested.
    • Attend weekly case acceptance meetings at FRLS, where internal attorneys discuss cases, services to be provided, and capacity to handle case internally or externally.
    • Handle assigned case load, which may include, but not be limited to, client advocacy, counseling to educate clients of their rights and responsibilities, mediating landlord-tenant communication and disputes, assistance with lease negotiations, developing a workable payment plan to maintain housing, working with lenders or mortgage servicing companies on behalf of clients to negotiate a payment suspension, repayment plan or loan modification, assisting with review and documentation of lease or mortgage modifications.
    • Follow lending practices when assessing the homeowners’ ability to remain in their current home through mortgage forbearance, loan modification, refinance, or other appropriate options.
    • Conduct outreach and education events and training potential clients, community groups, and other service providers about Covid19 Eviction Moratoriums, Fair Housing laws and tenant rights.
    • Regularly appear in court, persuasively advocate for clients, conduct interviews, draft motions, prepare for trial, and negotiate settlements
    • Perform other duties, as assigned.


    QUALIFICATIONS
    1. Juris Doctorate from an ABA accredited law school.
    2. Barred in Florida.
    3. Knowledge of State and Federal court procedures preferred.
    4. Some knowledge of the legal system, commitment to the mission of FRLS and compassion for the clients.
    5. Ability to forge positive relationships with prospects and colleagues.
    6. Good organizational, interpersonal, and communication skills.
    7. Ability to work collaboratively, yet independently.
    8. Must be able to effectively and efficiently maximize existing resources.
    9. Working knowledge of Microsoft Suite (Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint). Knowledge of CMS a plus.
    10. Must be able to effectively work in high-pressure situations involving deadlines.
    11. Bilingual English and Spanish or Haitian Creole preferred, but not required.


    SALARY AND BENEFITS:
    $+/ - D.O.E. plus benefits package

     

    Deadline to Apply:
    Until filled

     

    EEOC Statement:
    Florida Rural Legal Services, Inc., does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other characteristic protected by federal, state of local law.

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