Client Advocate, Nonprofit Legal Services
Full Job Description
Neighborhood Defender Service of Texas (NDS) is initiating a new legal services office, providing free, community-based, client-centered, holistic eviction defense representation to low-income residents of Harris County. NDS clients are represented by multidisciplinary teams including attorneys, advocates and team administrators. NDS adheres to a client-centered approach to representation that emphasizes a heightened responsiveness to clients’ needs.
The Eviction Defense Team plays an integral role in NDS’s fulfillment of its holistic mission and in realizing the right to counsel in housing proceedings. The team is part of the monumental movement toward a civil Gideon, providing assigned counsel representation to low- and no-income tenants facing a wide range of eviction proceedings in order to safeguard the right to secure, stable housing and combat the destabilization and disintegration of Harris County’s diverse communities. The Client Advocate is responsible for supporting the Housing Defense Team’s work and its clients.
- Work as part of an interdisciplinary team to provide excellent, client-centered representation and support individual tenants facing eviction and housing insecurity from intake through case resolution;
- Conduct client intake and screen for representation;
- Provide advice and counsel, informal advocacy and other brief services to clients in housing- related matters;
- Advocate for clients to access and obtain benefits, subsidies and other services to resolve Housing Court proceedings;
- Demonstrate energy, enthusiasm and ingenuity in working on challenging cases as assigned by supervisors;
- Represent NDS at Coalition meetings and community-based initiatives on housing issues on an as-needed basis.
- Bachelor’s degree;
- At least one year of experience working with low-income tenants or with Harris County benefits agencies preferred, though exceptional inexperienced candidates will also be considered;
- A demonstrated commitment to social justice issues and experience working with individuals of diverse backgrounds;
- Excellent written and oral communication skills;
- Excellent organizational skills, including the ability to manage a diverse caseload;
- Must be able to travel throughout Harris County to the various courts, administrative agencies and to client appointments;
- Must be able to work cooperatively with attorneys and other NDS advocates, and problem-solve independently;
- Fluency in Spanish is required.
Applicants who provide a cover letter in addition to their resume will be given highest priority.
The Neighborhood Defender Service is committed to creating a diverse environment that reflects the communities we serve. NDS is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status. NDS encourages people with incarcerated loved ones, formerly incarcerated people, people of color, women, queer, transgender, gender non-conforming, and gender fluid people to apply. Don’t meet every single requirement? Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply to jobs unless they meet every single qualification. At NDS we are dedicated to building a diverse, inclusive, and authentic workplace, so if you’re excited about this role but your experience doesn’t align perfectly with every qualification in the job description, we encourage you to apply anyways. You may be just the right candidate for this or other roles.
Job Type: Full-time
Pay: $49,200.00 - $55,200.00 per year
- 401(k) matching
- Dental insurance
- Employee assistance program
- Health insurance
- Life insurance
- Paid time off
- Vision insurance
- Day shift
- Monday to Friday
People with a criminal record are encouraged to apply
- Spanish (Required)
Work Location: Hybrid remote in Houston, TX 77055
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