The Eviction Defense Collaborative would like to extend an invitation to third-year law students and/or recent law school graduates to propose original fellowship projects for 2011-2013. We are currently seeking fellows to participate in either the Skadden or Equal Justice Works programs. Proposals should incorporate the EDC’s mission of preserving affordable housing in San Francisco through providing tenants legal assistance in defending themselves against eviction lawsuits.
For example, some issues that we may consider would include:
- Increasing the EDC’s involvement in terms of legal representation for those tenants left most vulnerable in the housing market, such as those with extremely low-income, those with disabilities, families, etc. One such example would be to take Unlawful Detainer cases affecting these vulnerable populations full-scope and bring them to Monday morning trials if they fail to conclude at the Settlement Conferences the prior Wednesday or Thursday.
- Venturing into the terrain of filing affirmative lawsuits on our clients’ behalf, a program that could significantly expand our services.
- Expanding our involvement in cases to provide a holistic approach to eviction defense by examining and hopefully curing the conditions that may have led to a tenant’s eviction. This could be done on a case-by-case basis and be a combination of increased legal services in combination with a peer counseling model. An additional aspect of this would be a stronger partnership with allied organizations and the development of a system of referral to provide our most vulnerable clients with valuable resources.
The EDC has been helping tenants fight evictions since 1996. In collaboration with other legal and tenants’ rights organizations, the EDC provides much needed information and resources to tenants regarding a number of eviction issues. We currently assist over 5,000 San Francisco tenants per year, regardless of income-status, race, disability, gender, language, or immigration status. Because of this we will examine all candidates based on the following aspects:
- A strong commitment to public interest law, demonstrated through previous work in the field.
- A strong commitment to tenant advocacy and issues of housing.
- Demonstrated knowledge and interest in the work generally done by the EDC, and specifically in the sphere in which the proposal addresses.
- Exceptional skills in oral and written communication and strong research capabilities.
- The ability to take initiative and work independently, as well as being able to work with a larger group as part of a team.
- Anticipated or current membership in the California Bar
- Proficiency in a language in addition to English — primarily Spanish, Mandarin, or Cantonese — to be able to better assist our clients will be strongly considered.
- Women, people of color, and others from traditionally marginalized communities are strongly encouraged to apply.
Those who may be interested in pursuing a fellowship with the EDC should reply with the following material: a cover letter detailing your interest in working with the EDC, a resume, a one-page summary of your proposal, a list of three references, and a writing sample. All application material should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org.