Community Economic Development Attorney
Pisgah Legal Services is a community-based nonprofit corporation governed by a local Board of Directors with an annual budget of $6.5 million from a multitude of funding sources. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, Pisgah Legal Services (PLS) provides free civil legal assistance to low-income people in western North Carolina. PLS has offices in Asheville, Burnsville, Hendersonville, Rutherfordton, Brevard, and Marshall. With a dedicated staff of seventy-six, including thirty-two attorneys plus supporting staff, and an active pro bono panel of 300 private attorneys, the program provides free services to more than 18,000 people per year to meet their basic needs, primarily in the poverty law areas of housing, public benefits, domestic violence prevention, health care, immigration, consumer law, and community economic development.
PLS is seeking a full-time N.C. licensed attorney, or attorney eligible for admission by comity, to work in our Community Economic Development team on issues related to job, asset, and affordable housing development for low-income people. Transactional legal skills including legal entities, contracts, and real estate would be useful in furthering projects and initiatives in small businesses, social enterprises, cooperatives, housing development, finance, and local government. The team uses an intersectional analysis of barriers to economic opportunity for people of color and low-income persons, and prioritizes clients and projects that address systemic bias. When applying, please speak to your experience in working in and with diverse communities on grassroots and community-led initiatives. Additionally, legal aid experience and/or fluency in Spanish would be helpful.
Passion for promoting justice and overcoming barriers facing low-income people, being a creative and zealous staff member and a team-player, and a demonstrated commitment to achieving lasting results for clients and low-income communities are all important. By ensuring that the lowest-income people in Western North Carolina have access to holistic services and support for their ideas and projects, we will increase opportunities for positive outcomes at the individual and community levels.
• Commitment to PLS’ mission, values, and vision.
• Create and support projects that include creation of affordable housing, development of community-controlled businesses and new living wage jobs, legal guidance for groups engaged in community wealth building projects, and expansion of health, educational, employment, and other services.
• Develop public education presentations on topics including community economic development strategies, equitable development, affordable housing advocacy, and nonprofit and small business law.
• Develop and maintain community relationships including neighborhood leaders, other nonprofit agencies, government officials and employees, and others.
• Advocate for local policy changes and help groups leverage federal and other funding streams to further local community economic development.
• Travel within our service area and also to meetings or conferences in other parts of NC.
• Adhere to program priorities and case handling policies, procedures, and standards of practice, as well as the highest professional and ethical standards.
• Keep abreast of developments in the law and disseminate information to staff, volunteer attorneys, and the public.
• Work with volunteers, including volunteer attorneys, on a regular basis.
• Assist in fundraising in coordination with PLS Development Team.
• N.C. licensed attorney, or licensed in another jurisdiction and eligible for admission by comity (a/k/a admission by reciprocity or admission by motion).
• Demonstrated experience with transactional and land use law (or ability to learn) used to support grassroots initiatives and community-led groups.
• Demonstrated commitment to serving low-income people and communities.
• Demonstrated skills at socio-economic and cultural sensitivity and ability to assist upset or ill people in programs outside of CED team.
• Excellent writing and verbal communication skills.
• Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work well with teams and independently.
• Fluency in Spanish would be an asset.
Salary ranges from $49,616 – $94,116 depending on experience. Excellent fringe benefits, including 401(k) retirement plan, as well as life, health, and disability insurance.
E-mail resume and cover letter describing relevant experience to [email protected]. PLS 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.
Pisgah Legal Services is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.