Application Deadline: FRIDAY, JULY 8, 2016
Position Background and Description:
Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (MLRI), a nationally-recognized nonprofit statewide poverty law and
policy center, seeks a skilled attorney with litigation experience and a background in housing law and
homelessness issues.
About MLRI: Founded in 1968, MLRI is a nationally-known and respected statewide poverty law and
policy center. Its mission is to advance economic, racial, and social justice through legal action,
advocacy, coalition building, and community outreach. MLRI is cross-substantive and specializes in large-
scale legal initiatives and systemic reforms that address the root causes of poverty, remove barriers to
opportunity, and create a path to economic stability and mobility for low-income individuals, families
and communities. For almost 50 years, MLRI’s advocacy has been responsible for groundbreaking laws,
policies and court decisions that have advanced the legal, economic and social rights of low-income people
in Massachusetts. MLRI also serves as the poverty law support center for the Massachusetts civil legal
services delivery system, providing expertise and support to local legal aid programs and also to a large number
of local and statewide social service agencies, health care and human service providers, and community based
organizations that serve low income people. MLRI focuses on impact advocacy, e.g., class action litigation,
legislative advocacy, administrative advocacy and other systemic advocacy that results in widespread
changes in laws, policies and/or practices that affect low income people; although MLRI attorneys represent
a limited number of individual clients in order to identify widespread issues and to inform our systemic work,
MLRI is not a direct service legal aid provider.
Key Responsibilities:
MLRI’s Housing & Homelessness Staff Attorney will provide advocacy, leadership, and support to the
Massachusetts legal services community, and other advocates, on housing and family homelessness related legal
and policy issues. For example, he/she will lead efforts to ensure that the rights of families at risk of
homelessness and homeless families in the state’s shelter system are enforced; preserve and expand affordable
housing for low-income individuals and families; expand housing opportunities in communities where jobs and
good schools are available; enforce fair housing laws; protect the housing rights of survivors of violence and
persons with criminal records; ensure that any newly implemented laws, policies and practices do not violate the
rights of low income tenants or homeless families. He/she will lead the Emergency Assistance (EA) Coalition and
be an active member of the statewide Housing Coalition. The Staff Attorney will represent low-income people’s
housing rights through litigation and policy advocacy, and offer technical assistance to legal services field
attorneys and other community/advocacy groups (health care providers, social workers, shelter providers, etc.)
that work with homeless and housing insecure families so that they can uphold housing and civil rights laws. In
addition, the Staff Attorney will be responsible for updating the content of the annual Emergency Assistance (EA)
Advocacy Guide, conducting Emergency Assistance (and other housing-related) advocacy trainings to legal
services staff and other advocates, and preparing analyses of family homelessness-related items in the state
budget. The Housing & Homelessness Staff Attorney will report to MLRI’s Sr. Housing Attorney.
Massachusetts Law Reform Institute Position Description
Staff Attorney: Housing & Homelessness
June 13, 2016
Desired Experience & Qualifications:
• J.D. and licensed to practice law in Massachusetts
• Minimum 5 years post-law school legal experience, including litigation experience
• Experience or knowledge of issues, services and supports for homeless families in Massachusetts
• Expertise in housing law and policy (e.g., public and subsidized housing issues, landlord tenant issues,
eviction defense, foreclosures, etc.)
• General understanding of policy advocacy (state legislative and administrative processes)
• Excellent writing and legal research skills
• Ability to identify complex cross-substantive legal issues
• Excellent oral communication and interpersonal skills
• Strong organizational skills and the ability to lead/coordinate a coalition or team of partners
• Ability to work collaboratively as a team member, yet independently to execute the
responsibilities of the job
• Self-confident, self-motivated, strategic thinker
• Commitment to MLRI’s mission to serve low-income and vulnerable populations
• Technology savvy
• Bi-lingual (especially Spanish-speaking) desirable
Compensation/Benefits: Position is full-time, though part-time (80%) employment is negotiable. Salary is
commensurate with experience level and qualifications. Generous benefits package, including leave,
health and dental, 403(b) plan.
To Apply: Candidates should submit a cover letter, resume and a brief writing sample to Georgia
Katsoulomitis, Executive Director, via email at: HousingAtty@mlri.org (no phone calls please).
Qualified candidates should submit applications as early as possible.
Application Deadline: FRIDAY, JULY 8, 2016
The Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (MLRI) is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and does not
discriminate on the basis of age, class, color, disability, ethnicity, faith, gender, national origin, race, sexual
orientation or gender identity or expression. MLRI strives for racial and ethnic diversity because it is critical
to achieving MLRI’s mission and to operating in a way that is consistent with MLRI’s organizational values
Candidates from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.