Staff Attorney, Housing Development Legal Services
(we are seeking applicants at a range of experience levels)
Location: Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Remote, or Hybrid
Regional Housing Legal Services (RHLS) is a nonprofit law firm that works with nonprofit housing developers and community organizations to create and preserve decent, safe, affordable, and sustainable housing for lower-income people living in Pennsylvania. Our mission is to work to create housing and economic opportunity in underserved communities in Pennsylvania and to effect systematic change for the benefit of lower-income households statewide. RHLS drives successful housing creation because of its unique expertise in affordable, sustainable housing, community and economic development, utility matters and preservation of home ownership.
There is a crisis-level shortage of affordable housing for low-income residents of Pennsylvania. RHLS seeks attorneys for our Housing Development Legal Services Team who are excited by the opportunity to address the problem and to support access to quality affordable housing in all communities.
We welcome applications both from attorneys with experience in transactional work, and attorneys who would be new to the practice, but who are self-starting, team-oriented and excited by our mission. The positions will focus on exciting development projects across the state and provide an opportunity to engage in significant policy and advocacy efforts. The statewide team focused on housing development transactions currently includes 5 attorneys, who provide legal counsel and representation to nonprofit organizations engaging in affordable housing and community development activities.
We are seeking to add to our existing legal staff to support our work, and to increase our reach to serve the client community. These positions are an exciting opportunity for any attorney who has or can learn strong transactional legal skills (including drafting and negotiation) who wants to help nonprofit partners create safe, affordable housing and strong communities.
About Regional Housing Legal Services
Founded in 1973, RHLS engages in legal advocacy focused primarily on affordable housing and community development in Pennsylvania. Key issue areas include low-income housing development, government policy around housing issues (including affordability, racial equity, and the intersection of housing and health), and continuity of residential utility service for low-income households. RHLS has a full time staff of 21 and a budget of approximately $4.2 million per year.
The Housing Development Legal Services team assists approximately 60 community-based organizations each year and provides counseling and legal representation to organizational clients on a range of affordable residential projects, including the utilization of financing through HUD and the Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC). The team also engages in other projects to support the expansion of affordable housing and equitable community economic development in Pennsylvania.
• Consults and provides advice and legal counsel to clients and
advocates on their behalf.
• Drafts, prepares, reviews, and negotiates contracts, agreements, loan documents, and/or other documents.
• Capacity to handle smaller transactions independently and work as a team on more complex transactions, with expectation that capacity for independent work will grow.
• Support the implementation of RHLS’ diversity, equity, and inclusion principles.
• Occasional travel within Pennsylvania will be required for client work as well as for periodic travel to the main office.
Job Qualifications (these are examples and we expect that the people we hire may have some but not all of these. We welcome less-experienced applicants with an interest in building these qualifications):
• Juris Doctor (JD) required.
• Admission to the bar in any U.S. state required with the ability to become licensed to practice in Pennsylvania within six months of hire.
• Prior experience in real estate development and finance, partnerships, non-profit corporation or tax law not required, but is a plus, as is any experience with the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit.
• A demonstrated ability to counsel clients on key business issues and to create and maintain key organizational relationships.
• Expertise in a range of affordable, sustainable housing issues.
• A demonstrated commitment to economic and racial justice.
• The ability to work with racially and economically diverse groups with varied experiences and perspectives.
Salary is dependent on experience. As examples: the salary for an attorney with three years’ relevant experience is approximately $74,500. The salary continues to increase based on experience and years of practice, so for example the salary is $90,500 and above for attorneys with significant additional years of relevant experience. RHLS has a generous employee benefits package, including fully funded health insurance (no premiums) for employees, their partners, and children up to 25 (if not otherwise covered); 15 days of vacation in the first year of service; 13 holidays; 15 sick days; 4 days of personal leave; flex time option; an employer 403(b) starting at 5% (no match required); and employer-paid short-term and long-term disability insurance. RHLS also provides a one month paid sabbatical for all full time employees after 7 years of employment.
These positions can be filled in-person (when RHLS resumes working in office) in Pittsburgh or Philadelphia, as remote positions (with regular presence for in-person client and transaction work), or hybrid.
Send a letter expressing interest in and qualifications for the position, together with a resume to: AttorneyHiring@RHLS.org. RHLS also welcomes nominations for the positions.
Applications will be accepted until the positions are filled, but we strongly urge interested applicants to apply as soon as possible.
Regional Housing Legal Services is an equal opportunity employer. We seek to build diversity, equity and inclusion both within our organization and in partnership and allyship with the communities we serve.