Access to Public Benefits Law Clerk, Summer 2019
Summer full-time, unpaid position
Are you passionate about increasing access to food, health, and income for people experiencing housing insecurity and homelessness? If you desire a position where you have the opportunity to work with a dedicated and supportive team to provide direct legal representation and advocate for systemic change that prevents and ends homelessness, the Homeless Persons Representation Project (HPRP) is seeking to hire a full-time summer law clerk to assist its Access to Public Benefits Project.
HPRP provides free legal services and advocacy to persons who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in Maryland. HPRP’s services are grounded in the deep understanding that people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness struggle to access legal services offered in a traditional manner. The hallmark of HPRP’s legal program is its ability to reach clients where they live, eat, and spend time. HPRP’s staff and volunteers pursue this mission by offering legal services through outreach in shelters, drop-in centers, health clinics, community centers and the street.
HPRP’s public benefits practice focuses on representing clients in appeals and advocacy to increase access to critical state and federal public benefits (including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Medicaid, Temporary Disability Assistance Program, and Supplemental Security Income / Social Security Disability Insurance). These benefits enable access to basic human rights to shelter, food, health and transportation. Our direct representation of persons experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of homelessness informs our broader advocacy and impact litigation efforts. HPRP collaborates with other advocates, including on the Welfare Advocates Coalition and Maryland’s Public Benefits Task Force.
HPRP’s Baltimore office is located at 201 North Charles Street Baltimore, MD 21201.
Reports to: Public Benefits Staff Attorney
- Legal research and writing, including motions practice at the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) and any appeals
- Obtaining and analyzing documents to develop a theory of the case and incorporating that theory in hearing/trial preparation (opening statement, direct and cross exam, closing argument)
- Assist attorney with client interviews and maintaining organization of client files
- Communication and collaboration with diverse group of individuals and organizations, including: clients, department of social services, courts, coalitions, and partner agencies
- Assist attorney with legal rights presentations and outreach at shelters and government agency offices
- Research and writing related to advocacy and/or impact litigation
- Experience with legal research and writing
- Interest in working with people experiencing homelessness or with low incomes
- Demonstrates a commitment to diversity by using a personal approach that values all individuals and respects differences in regard to race, ethnicity, age, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstances
- Experience working with people experiencing homelessness or with low incomes
Applicants should submit cover letter, resume, writing sample and list of two (2) law-related or law school references to Michelle Madaio via email at email@example.com (please specific Access to Public Benefits Summer Law Clerk in the subject line). We are looking for thoughtful, personalized cover letters that demonstrate the applicant’s qualifications, work style and interest in being part of a team working to eliminate homelessness in Maryland. We are looking for applicants who have a comprehensive understanding of oppression, and structural racism, including how structural racism perpetuates barriers to housing and income. Individuals who have experienced homelessness are strongly encouraged to apply. Resume reviews begin immediately and applications will be accepted until position is filled.
HPRP is an equal opportunity employer. All interested persons encouraged to apply regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, age, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, HIV status or religious affiliation.