Staff Counsel: Housing

Location: Chicago, IL

BPI, a highly regarded and impactful public interest law and policy center, seeks a dynamic and experienced attorney to help advance an ambitious agenda to remove barriers and promote housing choice across the Chicago region, including for families using subsidized housing resources or in need of affordable housing.  

Description

BPI is a public interest law and policy center that has been at the front lines of social justice in the Chicago region for over 50 years. Known for its innovative and effective advocacy for racial and economic equity, today BPI is deeply engaged in advancing systemic change in policing, the criminal justice system, housing and community building, and early childhood learning. Most of BPI’s work is carried out in partnership with community-based organizations that directly engage people impacted by racial and economic injustice.

The organization’s lawyers and policy specialists employ a combination of legal and policy research, organizing, advocacy, and litigation, in collaboration with community organizations and advocates, and other partners. A collaborative and stimulating workplace, BPI is committed to offering opportunities to learn, grow, and contribute meaningfully to work that advances a just society.

The Position

BPI seeks a dynamic and experienced attorney with a passion for racial, economic, and social justice to join our Housing team as Staff Counsel. This mid-level attorney will develop laws, policies, and programs; create and implement advocacy strategies; and, as appropriate, engage in litigation, to promote fair housing and housing choice in the Chicago region and on a statewide basis.  The successful candidate will be flexible, creative, and comfortable working independently and within a team on multiple projects of varying complexity.

This is an exciting opportunity to provide vision, leadership, and support on some of the most vital social justice issues of our time.

Responsibilities

  • Conduct legal and policy research and analysis to develop and implement laws, policies, and programs, and, as appropriate, engage in impact litigation, to promote fair housing and access to affordable housing;
  • Explore, develop, and implement advocacy strategies and projects informed by legal and policy research, data analysis, and the expertise of directly impacted people and communities;
  • Participate in, support and/or build coalitions, partnerships, and task forces, working to strategize, engage collaboratively, and advance fair housing and access to affordable housing;
  • Prepare written materials including policy reports, issue briefs, op-eds, fact sheets, legal and policy memoranda, and legal briefs;
  • Work with communications staff and colleagues to help develop and implement communication strategies and messaging to elevate BPI advocacy efforts and serve as spokesperson upon request;
  • Build and maintain deep working knowledge and professional expertise on priority legal and policy issues and the housing policy landscape;
  • Develop and maintain strong, collaborative relationships with a broad range of stakeholders, including impacted individuals, community members and leaders, community-based and ally organizations, policymakers, professional subject matter experts, and funders;
  • Engage in cross-team collaboration and support and supervise fellows and interns on discrete projects:
  • Develop short- and long-range strategies and monitor progress in achieving identified goals;
  • Consistently integrate equity concepts into projects and interactions by addressing structural implications and disproportionate impacts of policies, activities, and decisions based on race, socioeconomic status, and other historically marginalized group identities;
  • Exemplify BPI’s core values and advance BPI’s mission and vision in all aspects of the work; and
  • Travel in Chicagoland, Illinois, and to national conferences and meetings as needed.

QUALIFICATIONS

The ideal candidate will bring the following knowledge, skills, and experiences:

  • Juris Doctor degree and admission to the Illinois Bar or willingness to take the Illinois bar exam within 12 months of hire;
  • Four years of relevant experience in public interest law, impact litigation, or policy advocacy required; five or more years preferred;
  • Three years of fair housing or affordable housing legal or policy experience;
  • Exceptional legal and policy research skills;
  • Exceptional communications skills, including writing and public speaking, with an ability to communicate clearly and effectively with a wide range of audiences; multilingual skills are a plus, but not required;
  • Experience engaging in creative problem solving, including an ability to craft novel and successful advocacy strategies, including policy advocacy, legislative advocacy, and/or litigation;
  • Ability to develop complex projects and establish a systematic course of action to ensure successful project completion with a high degree of independence;
  • Ability to synthesize a lot of information, juggle multiple projects and priorities, think strategically, adjust to changing circumstances, remain attentive to details, and meet deadlines in a creative, deadline-driven, and collegial environment;
  • Strong interpersonal skills and sound judgment;
  • Demonstrated ability to build relationships with a broad range of stakeholders, including impacted individuals, community members, and leaders, community-based and ally organizations, policymakers, professional subject matter experts, and funders; experience working with directly impacted people, community-based organizations, community organizers, and/or coalitions, a plus;
  • An enterprising mindset, a demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and a passion for social justice and BPI’s mission.

 

To Apply

Please complete the application below. Attach a cover letter, resume, and writing samples. If your candidacy advances to the final round, you will be asked to provide a list of four professional references. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

BPI is an equal opportunity employer.  We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture.  We strongly encourage applications from people of color, immigrants, persons with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ community, people with lived experiences of poverty, and people from underrepresented and historically marginalized groups.

Reasonable accommodation will be made so that applicants with disabilities may participate in the application process.  Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application.

The salary for this position is commensurate with experience, with a likely range between $70,000-$90,000.

Benefits include: PTO and paid leave; health and dental plans; and a retirement savings plan.

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