Homeownership & Consumer Rights Unit-Staff Attorney

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Type: Full Time

Min. Experience: Entry Level

Community Legal Services, Inc. of Philadelphia is a non-profit public interest agency providing free civil legal services to low-income Philadelphia residents.  As the largest provider of free civil legal services in the Philadelphia area, CLS is both locally and nationally renowned as a premier legal services provider dedicated to ensuring access to justice for all low-income individuals and communities.  CLS has eight legal units covering a wide range of civil legal services. 

Community Legal Services is seeking a staff attorney to work as a part of the Homeownership and Consumer Rights Unit.  This attorney would represent taxpayers, primarily seniors, dealing with delinquent property taxes and facing the possible loss of their home due to delinquent property taxes. The work will also include some community outreach and education.   The attorney would, among other things, perform the following legal work:

  • Drafting, executing, and recording deeds to allow the occupant to obtain record ownership of her home;
  • Probating estates if necessary to resolve property title issues;
  • Appealing adverse decisions to an administrative body when a homeowner’s application for a tax relief program is denied;
  • Filing quiet title actions where occupants have some type of legal or equitable ownership interest in the property that cannot otherwise be resolved;
  • Assisting  who have lost their homes at tax sales to ‘buy back’ the property through the he legal process of redemption, which permits them to save their homes by paying a statutorily required amount to the sheriff sale purchaser within nine months of the date of the sheriff sale deed;
  • Representing homeowners facing a tax foreclosure in federal bankruptcy court where the bankruptcy code may help them preserve their homes;   
  • Representing homeowners who have lost their homes at tax sales where applicable law may allow the sale to be set aside and the home returned to the homeowner;
  • Representing homeowners facing ejectment actions, landlord-tenant eviction actions, or other litigation filed by third party purchasers at tax sales; and
  • Working with reverse mortgage borrowers who are facing mortgage foreclosures filed after their mortgage lender prematurely pays off taxes.

This position would be located in CLS’s North Philadelphia Law Center.

We seek applicants with the following qualifications:

  • Mortgage foreclosure, homeownership and/or consumer law experience preferred, but not required
  • Ability to manage a significant caseload of individual clients
  • Ability to empathetically and zealously represent older adults
  • Excellent legal analysis skills
  • Excellent work ethic, organization, and communication skills
  • Excellent legal research and writing skills
  • Excellent litigation skills and oral advocacy skills
  • Experience and interest in policy work and others forms of systemic advocacy
  • Possess sound professional and legal judgment
  • Experience and ability to work with low-income and vulnerable diverse individuals
  • Illustrate a high level commitment to racial justice advocacy

To Apply:  CLS will accept applications until July 2, 2018. You can submit your application on CLS’s website online at: https://clsphila.org/about-cls/available-positions/ or submit your application below by clicking "Apply Now"

What to Include in your application: Please include a cover letter, resume, three professional references and one brief writing sample (10 pages or less).  If you fail to submit the requested materials, your application will not be considered.  Community Legal Services 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.  CLS 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.

This is a full-time position covered by the collective bargaining agreement between Community Legal Services, Inc. (CLS) and the Philadelphia Legal Services Union N.O.L.S.W./Local 2320/UAW.  The current minimum starting salary is governed by that agreement and is subject to change according to the provisions of the current collective bargaining agreement.  Raises and benefits are also governed by that agreement.

Community Legal Services, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer.  CLS, Inc. does not discriminate in the selection of employees on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, sexual identity, genetics, age, national origin, disability, or veteran status.  In addition to federal law requirements, CLS complies with all applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment.  This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall and transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.   


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