Staff Attorney

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY: HOUSTON STAFF ATTORNEY (HOUSTON, TX)

 

Workers Defense Project is seeking a full-time Staff Attorney to join our team in Houston, Texas.

The ideal candidate will be English-Spanish bilingual (required), and will be a self-starter who is enthusiastic about providing quality legal services in a non-traditional setting. They will have experience working directly with clients and will have strong communication and interpersonal skills that allow them to build and maintain important relationships with WDP members, volunteers, staff, and community partners. Finally, they will be committed to WDP’s identity as a member-based organization and eager to support WDP’s organizing efforts and the building of worker power in Texas.

About Workers Defense Project and our Houston Office

Workers Defense Project is a membership-based immigrant and workers’ rights organization that builds power for low-income workers in Texas. Since its founding in 2002, the organization has gained notoriety for its ability to translate direct services and grassroots organizing into concrete policy wins. The New York Times named WDP as “one of the most creative organizations for immigrant workers in the country.” WDP concentrates its efforts on winning better working conditions in the construction industry, which is one of the largest industries, and consequently most powerful special interest groups, in Texas. Nearly half of the Texas construction workforce is undocumented.

WDP opened its Houston office in 2017. It is estimated that one out of every four Texas construction workers — more than 225,000 individuals — live and work in the Houston area. Shortly after WDP opened its doors in Houston, Hurricane Harvey hit the area, bringing significant damage to the area and hardship to its residents. In October 2017, WDP initiated a legal clinic in Houston to serve and support workers who suffer workplace abuses including wage theft, unsafe working conditions, and workplace injuries, particularly in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

Job Responsibilities

The Houston Staff Attorney will be responsible for:

 

  • Assisting workers in employment-related legal matters (with an emphasis on claims for unpaid labor) through legal representation, advice, and pro se support;

 

    • Establishing, participating in, and supervising an evening workers’ rights legal clinic (monthly at the outset, transitioning to weekly);
    • Participating in the recruitment and training of staff, interns, and volunteers to support legal work as needed;
    • Developing and maintaining strong working relationships with local attorneys, government agencies, and other community organizations;

 

  • Engaging in community education and outreach around workers’ rights;
  • Coordinating with other WDP staff to link the provision of legal services with organizing and policy objectives; and
  • Additional tasks as assigned.

 

 

Qualifications

We’re seeking candidates who are eager to work in a community-based setting and who possess the initiative and problem-solving skills necessary to implement a workers rights program in an evolving landscape. You should also have:

 

  • Strong proficiency reading, writing, and speaking both English and Spanish (required);
  • A license to practice law in Texas (in good standing), or will be licensed by November 2018;
  • Experience working directly with low-income and/or immigrant clients in the provision of legal services;

 

    • Proven ability to think strategically, act assertively when necessary, and speak confidently in public;
    • Experience managing different responsibilities, delegating tasks, and supporting the success of a team;

 

  • Experience in or willingness to learn and employ community-based tactics in resolving legal claims;
  • Ability to work irregular hours including some evenings and weekends; and
  • An insured vehicle and valid driver’s license.

 

Experience in employment law, immigration law, and/or community organizing are helpful but not required.

Compensation is negotiable and depends on experience. Our benefits include fully-paid health, dental, and vision insurance; retirement plan eligibility; and flexible work hours.

How to Apply

Interested applicants should apply as soon as possible as applications will be considered on a rolling basis. The posting will be removed from the WDP website once filled. To apply, please:

  • Provide a cover letter, resume, and list of three references (in PDF format)
  • Note in your cover letter (1) when you would be available to begin working with us and (2) your salary requirements
  • Send your application materials to both jobinquiries@workersdefense.org and stephanie@workersdefense.org, and include “Houston Staff Attorney” in the subject line.

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

As an equal opportunity employer, Workers Defense Project embraces diversity and does not discriminate in employment on the basis of age, race, color, creed, gender, religion, marital status, veteran’s status, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation. Women and people of color are strongly encouraged to apply.