Job Title: Counsel to National Technical Assistance
Date: September 12, 2018
Reports to: Vice President and Director of National Technical Assistance
Based in: Washington, D.C. or telework option available for the right candidate
Center for Community Progress
The mission of Center for Community Progress is to foster strong, equitable communities where vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties are transformed into assets for neighbors and neighborhoods. Founded in 2010, Community Progress is the leading national, nonprofit resource for urban, suburban, and rural communities seeking to address the full cycle of property revitalization. The organization fulfills its mission by nurturing strong leadership and supporting systemic reforms. Community Progress works to ensure that public, private, and community leaders have the knowledge and capacity to create and sustain change. It also works to ensure that all communities have the policies, tools, and resources they need to support the effective, equitable reuse of vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties.
Our state-of-the-art technical assistance has been provided by in-house national experts and external consultant practitioners in more than 250 communities in over 30 states. Through our technical assistance work, we work with government and community leaders to diagnose the underlying factors that keep problem properties “stuck” in decline, help communities understand their existing tools and powers, support the development of new tools and comprehensive strategies, and guide implementation of a community’s strategy to help ensure success. We pride ourselves on working closely with partner communities to customize our services to meet local conditions, needs, and priorities. More information is available at www.communityprogress.net.
The Center for Community Progress is seeking an experienced, innovative, and perceptive Counsel to its National Technical Assistance program. Individuals who are self-starters, able to lead projects, and pride themselves on solving complex problems alongside both legal and non-legal partners in pursuit of building equitable communities are encouraged to apply.
The Counsel to National Technical Assistance will work in partnership with the National Technical Assistance team to deliver specialized legal and policy expertise to communities across the country struggling with vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated property challenges. Recognizing the barriers these properties create to fostering equitable communities, this individual will work alongside some of the nation’s top experts on topics such as delinquent property tax enforcement, code enforcement, land banking, and alternative land use.
This position will require significant on-the-ground engagement and relationship-building with a broad range of local governments, state agencies, nonprofits, and resident leaders across the country. The Counsel to National Technical Assistance must have demonstrated capacity in legal research and writing, as well as the ability to translate complex legal concepts in both written and oral form for non-legal and legal audiences alike. An ideal candidate for the position will also have experience drafting or advising in the development of local, state, or federal legislation.
Duties and Essential Job Functions
- Cultivate and lead technical assistance engagements focused on legal tools and policies to address properties that are causing harm to a community, which will include developing scopes of work and budgets, managing teams of internal and external experts, ensuring timely completion of high-quality deliverables, and presenting results to a broad range of state and local partners;
- Develop and manage special projects designed to challenge and improve the ways in which Community Progress and the field address the negative impacts of vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties, with a strong focus on racial and economic justice;
- Research and prepare memoranda of law on topics such as property tax foreclosure procedures, code enforcement procedures, land banking and public acquisition tools, vacant and abandoned property ordinances, and rental regulations;
- Help community and statewide partners identify the need for potential legislative or policy reform, recommend appropriate reforms, and assist in the drafting of local ordinances, policies, and state statutes related to vacancy, abandonment, and property deterioration;
- Stay current on legislation and policies affecting vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties throughout the country;
- Develop and present trainings on legal and policy tools to support equitable communities for legal and non-legal audiences, including a broad range of stakeholder groups throughout the country; and
- Provide support primarily to the National Technical Assistance team and collaborate with other program areas as needed.
- Demonstrated commitment to equitable communities and respect for the broad range of partners, tools, and resources needed to create systemic change;
- Knowledge of and prior work experience related to the challenges facing urban, suburban, and rural communities as they relate to preventing, acquiring, and transferring vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties to responsible ownership according to local goals;
- Awareness of the history of unjust policies that have contributed to disinvested communities, and a commitment to working collaboratively with leaders in the field to develop new policies and programs that prioritize racial and economic justice;
- Modest yet contagious leadership style that contributes to the collaborative team approach embraced by the National Technical Assistance program;
- Ability to lead technical assistance engagements and special projects, work independently, and be an organized and effective manager of own and others’ work;
- Strategic and collaborative thinker with ability to identify, prioritize, and leverage opportunities for engagements and partnerships with the National Technical Assistance team and Community Progress;
- Excellent legal research and writing skills and experience in legislative drafting and analysis;
- Excellent analytical, written, and public speaking skills, ability to make complex and technical information accessible to a wide variety of legal and non-legal audiences;
- Strong relationship-building skills, commitment to nonpartisanship, and a demonstrated ability to collaborate with individuals, groups, and policymakers with opposing points of view and diverse political perspectives;
- Strong problem-solving skills and ability to think outside the box;
- Ability to multitask and manage stress well in a fast-paced environment with frequently shifting priorities; and
- Sharp attention to detail as well as an appreciation for the big picture.
J.D. and minimum of 7 years of experience in real estate law, state and local government law/policy, or other closely related experience. Applicants must be a member in good standing of a State Bar.
A minimum of 5 years of experience working on law or policy related to systems that impact vacancy and abandonment, including but not limited to, municipal finance, delinquent property tax enforcement, housing and building code enforcement, public land acquisition and disposition, rental regulation, civil rights, and fair housing.
Salary and Benefits
The Center for Community Progress provides a highly competitive salary, commensurate with experience, and excellent employee benefits package.
Interested applicants should submit cover letter, resume and two writing examples that demonstrate strong legal analysis, one of which is designed for a legal audience and the other for a non-legal audience. All materials should be sent in a single PDF by 3:00 pm EDT on Monday, October 22, 2018, to email@example.com.
Equal Opportunity Employment
The Center for Community Progress is an equal opportunity employer.