Description of the Economic Justice Project:
The Economic Justice Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center seeks to ensure that people living in poverty in the Deep South, especially minority communities, are not punished or exploited because of their economic status. Our work has focused on three main areas: (1) ending debtors’ prisons and reforming court debt abuses; (2) protecting consumers by ending predatory lending and abusive debt collection practices; and (3) protecting access to safety nets for the poor, including Medicaid and SNAP (food stamps). We are in the process of expanding into a fourth: ensuring fair and equal access to housing and related services.
Over the past few years, our Project has worked to end debtors’ prisons in Montgomery, Alabama, Alexander City, Alabama, Bogalusa, Louisiana, and Corinth, Mississippi, and are fighting to end related abusive practices like suspending driver’s licenses for non-payment of fines in Mississippi, North Carolina and Alabama. We restored access to TennCare (Tennessee’s Medicaid Program) for thousands who were facing life-threatening medical conditions and whose applications were ignored during the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, and we are fighting to maintain access to the Medicaid programs in Kentucky and Arkansas, as those states and the federal administration attempt to restrict access to those programs through barriers like work requirements. We have documented the abusive predatory lending industry in Alabama in an on-going push for state and federal regulatory reform. We drove the largest private “probation” company out of Alabama. And we are seeking to end discriminatory wealth-based bail practices in municipal courts and state courts in Alabama, as well as in Mississippi.
Our Project is growing and looking to expand our critical work to ensure fair and equal access to housing and related services. We seek an attorney with experience in litigating housing rights cases in federal court who can help us develop our burgeoning interest into litigation and policy work. Preliminarily, we are interested in the following issue areas, although these may change depending on further research: mortgage redlining, crime-free ordinances and blanket housing bans on individuals with criminal records, and civil enforcement against perpetrators of hate crimes and harassment in the housing context. While the position will be focused on housing rights, s/he will also handle casework and policy work related to our other three issue areas.
We seek attorneys with at least five years of federal court litigation experience, and at least three years of experience in the housing context, to assist with all aspects of litigation, including legal research, factual investigation, drafting of memoranda complaints, discovery materials, briefs, pleadings and other litigation documents. The successful candidate will have experience in the housing rights arena, strong litigation skills, an aptitude for how to leverage litigation successes to achieve lasting policy reform, and an orientation to non-litigation alternatives to achieve the desired results.
Most existing EJP staff are focused in Montgomery, Alabama and New Orleans, Louisiana, and we therefore prefer this position be located in one of these offices as well. But for the right candidate, we are amenable to considering locations in SPLC’s other offices in Atlanta, Georgia, and Jackson, Mississippi. If you would accept the position if offered in only one of these offices, please specify this in your cover letter.
If a particularly strong candidate with significantly more experience than that requested applies, they will be considered, and the job responsibilities and job title may be adjusted accordingly.
Primary Job Functions:
Education & Related Work Experience:
Knowledge, skills, and abilities:
Other Special Considerations:
This job is performed under general office conditions and is not subject to any strenuous physical demands or dangerous conditions.
How to Apply:
Applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, law school transcript (unofficial is acceptable), the name and contact information of three references, and professional writing sample. If possible, please include a reference who you have supervised.
The statements herein are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by the employee in this position. These statements are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of a person in this position.
An Equal-Opportunity Employer with a Commitment to Diversity
Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is proud to be an equal opportunity employer, and as an organization committed to diversity and the perspective of all voices, we consider applicants equally of race, gender, gender identity, color, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, disability, political affiliation, national origin, or prior record of arrest or conviction.