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SENIOR COUNSEL EQUITABLE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AND HOUSING

  • Full Time
  • Anywhere

Website Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights

Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights seeks an experienced attorney to develop and lead
impact litigation and systemic policy advocacy with an emphasis on fair housing and equitable
community development in partnership with grassroots organizations and coalitions.
Founded in 1969, Chicago Lawyers’ Committee is Chicago’s preeminent non-profit civil rights legal
organization. Our mission and strategic direction explicitly focus on racial equity and we
collaborate with grassroots organizations and other advocacy groups to implement communitybased
solutions that advance civil rights. We provide legal representation through in-house staff
and long-standing partnerships with over 40 member law firms. Located in downtown Chicago,
Chicago Lawyers’ Committee has a 20-member staff and a $2.1 million annual budget with a
healthy mix of funding sources.
Our work in the field of fair housing and equitable community development includes systemic
litigation to combat discriminatory policies and practices that perpetuate racial and economic
segregation and inequality of opportunity. We investigate complaints of discrimination and
provide representation to individuals and groups to challenge discrimination based on race,
national origin and other protected classes. We advocate for economic development in historically
disinvested communities of color and support the stabilization and improvement of housing and
fighting against displacement. Examples of our recent work include advocacy to improve a City
ordinance designed to redress historic racial and economic housing segregation, systemic
litigation challenging historic racial inequities in property tax assessments, and federal litigation
challenging housing admissions policies with overly-broad criminal background bans.
The Senior Counsel position is an exciting leadership opportunity for an experienced attorney with
substantial litigation and policy advocacy experience who can bring vision, talent, and enthusiasm
to the role at a time when aggressive civil rights advocacy is needed more than ever. Candidates
should have significant experience addressing fair housing or community economic development
issues, including a deep understanding of how civil rights laws can be used to address historic and
entrenched systems or racial and economic segregation. Candidates should also have a strong
commitment to community-based advocacy and significant experience putting community and
movement lawyering principles into practice. The Senior Counsel must demonstrate a passion for
civil rights, racial equity, and community empowerment, and possess the skills needed to be a
successful advocate, as well as an effective manager of people and projects. The Senior Counsel
will report to and work closely with the Chief Counsel.
Duties include:
• Lead the Equitable Community Development and Housing team, including managing and
supervising team members; directing annual workplan development, implementation
and accountability to goals; and overseeing all legal work and advocacy activities of the
team.
• Develop and lead high impact litigation and policy advocacy in the fair housing and
equitable community development field based on systems and structural analysis with
an explicit racial equity lens.
• Build and strengthen partnerships with organizations and coalitions from communities
impacted by systemic racism.
• Collaborate with colleagues to identify intersections and develop integrated advocacy
approaches that advance racial equity and economic opportunity for the clients and
communities we serve.
• Work with the executive director and development/communications team to raise the
overall profile of Chicago Lawyers’ Committee with funders, law firms, community
partners, and media.
• Build strong relationships with Chicago Lawyers’ Committee member law firms and pro
bono counsel through support, training and co-counseling opportunities on housing
matters.
Qualifications:
• Law degree and admission to the Illinois Bar or eligible for admission by motion.
• 8 + years of experience as a litigator and policy advocate, preferably in the field of civil
rights, with knowledge of, and experience in, fair housing advocacy and equitable
community development.
• Experience as a supervisor or in a senior attorney role highly preferred.
• Demonstrated commitment to addressing systemic racism.
• Experience working with community partners to further systemic advocacy.
• Excellent writing and public speaking skills.
• High degree of flexibility, ability to multi-task, significant initiative, and attention to
details and accuracy.
• Excellent people skills, the ability to build a motivated and productive team, and the
ability to communicate effectively with diverse groups and individuals.
• Cross cultural competencies and self-awareness around issues of power and privilege.
• Skills in Spanish, or another language other than English, valued.
Salary and Benefits: Salary range is $85,000 – $125,000 per year depending on experience.
Generous benefits include PTO and paid leave; health, dental, and vision plans; employerprovided
life and disability insurance; and a retirement savings plan.
Please note that we offer a flexible hybrid work arrangement, with the option to work up to 3
days remotely. Successful applicants for this position must provide proof of COVID-19
vaccination upon hiring.
To Apply: Please e-mail a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and 3 references to: Elesha
Jackson, Director of Administration, ejackson@clccrul.org. Please, no telephone inquiries.
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. To receive full and timely
consideration, candidates are strongly encouraged to submit their applications by May 13,
2022.
Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We
prioritize equity and inclusion in our organizational culture and hiring, and we value
candidates with lived experience in the communities we serve. We welcome all applicants
regardless of race, color, ancestry, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation,
religion, age, disability, service in the military, or other identity factor.

To apply for this job email your details to ejackson@clccrul.org

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