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Joseph R. Tafelski Fellowship in Housing and Community Economic Development

Position Available: Joseph R. Tafelski Fellowship in Housing and Community Economic Development

Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. (ABLE), a non-profit regional law firm that provides high-quality legal assistance to people living, working, and raising their families in poverty in Western Ohio, seeks a dynamic, creative, hardworking attorney for its Toledo office. This position will be made available through the Joseph R. Tafelski Fellowship in Housing and Community Economic Development, which honors Joseph R. Tafelski’s extraordinary 45-year career in public interest law. The term of service will begin in August 2019, with possible renewal.


ABLE endeavors to create a diverse law firm of individuals from different backgrounds and cultures, including religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age, and physical abilities. We believe that diversity and inclusion results in high quality service for our clients. Individuals who require accommodations to the interview/application process are encouraged to contact the Recruitment Coordinator at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The Fellow will be a member of the Housing and Community Economic Development Practice Group. The Housing and Community Economic Development Practice Group recognizes that equal justice and economic opportunity require: 1) access to safe, affordable housing; 2) the freedom to access areas of opportunity and be connected with housing, education and other critical needs to improve the quality of life; and 3) the ability of individuals to participate in and benefit from development within their own communities. The Fellow will have support and training to develop legal skills and substantive knowledge of cutting-edge legal issues and tools related to housing and community economic development. Candidates for this Fellowship are encouraged to develop and bring forward proposals for work consistent with ABLE’s substantive priority or project areas. Some topics and issues of particular interest to ABLE include efforts to:

• stabilize property values, increase economic resources, and improve the quality of life in low-income communities;
• address public health risks and environmental contaminants connected to and affecting low-income communities;
• address the eviction crisis and ensure housing subsidy terminations and evictions are fair and follow legal requirements; and
• provide technical and legal support for low-income entrepreneurs beginning or struggling to maintain small business enterprises.

Project proposals should reflect a focus on legal advocacy on behalf of disenfranchised individuals, groups or issues not adequately represented in our legal system. Applications should describe how the project proposes to meet unmet needs or underserved populations in a progressive and innovative manner.

Successful candidates will have a demonstrated interest in public interest law, understanding of the socio-cultural issues experienced by people in poverty, strong academic records, excellent organization and communication skills, and the demonstrated ability to handle a demanding workload.

The Fellow must have excellent interpersonal skills and be experienced in working in collaborative environments. Attorneys with recent bar admissions are encouraged to apply. Membership in Ohio Bar or ability to be admitted by motion or temporary certification is required. Excellent legal skills, experience with case management, Microsoft Office, and an understanding of community lawyering is preferred. Ability to relate well with clients and commitment to legal services to disenfranchised populations required. Legal experience in fair housing, civil rights or poverty law is helpful. Ability to communicate fluently in Spanish is helpful.

ABLE offers a competitive salary and fringe benefits, including a generous loan repayment assistance program.

To Apply: Send resume, cover letter, a one-page project proposal, and list of three references electronically as soon as possible, in PDF format, to:
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Subject: Joseph R. Tafelski Fellowship