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Legal Research Specialist (remote work position), National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel

November 2021

About the National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel

The mission of the National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel (NCCRC) is to encourage, support, and coordinate advocacy across the country to expand recognition of a right to counsel for low-income people in civil cases involving basic human needs, such as housing, physical safety, civil incarceration, health, and child custody. It currently has over 600 participants and partners working in 41 states, and it supports the work and goals of advocates pursuing state court litigation, legislative campaigns at the local, state, and federal level, social science research, and public awareness efforts. It has assisted successful efforts to establish a right to counsel in civil cases such as adoption, termination of parental rights, adult guardianship, evictions, and civil incarceration. Its website, http://www.civilrighttocounsel.org, is the national repository for the status of the right to counsel as well as all the current expansion efforts.

The NCCRC was created in 2003 as a project of the Public Justice Center (PJC). Founded in 1985, the PJC uses legal advocacy tools to pursue social justice, economic and racial equity, and fundamental human rights for Marylanders who are struggling to provide for their basic needs. Learn more at http://www.publicjustice.org.

About the Position

As the NCCRC has grown in size and national influence, the demands for both original legal research as well as maintaining and improving the existing legal research have increased alongside the requests for technical assistance. This is especially the case given that the NCCRC’s support and research cover the wide spectrum of civil cases. For this reason, we are looking to hire a Legal Research Specialist to help maintain and expand the NCCRC’s vast repository of legal research resources regarding the 50-state status of the right to counsel in a variety of civil areas, including questions around scope of the right, timing, the rights of various parties, and appellate issues. The position is currently funded through December 2023, and there is the hope and possibility it will be extended. It is a full-time, exempt, professional position.

The Legal Research Specialist will report to the NCCRC Coordinator, who works from Montgomery, Alabama, but will be able to work remotely. The Legal Research Specialist will spend approximately a week at the outset in Montgomery for training purposes.

Core Duties

Required Skills / Experience

Desired Skills / Experience

​​Compensation

The salary range is $60,000-$70,000 depending on experience.  An excellent cafeteria benefit package is included offering health, dental, disability and life insurance, and retirement options.

Applications

Applications should be submitted by Monday, December 20, 2021, but will be accepted and interviews conducted on a rolling basis until the position is filled. To apply, please submit a cover letter explaining your interest, resume, two legal writing samples, and three references to John Pollock, jpollock@publicjustice.org with “NCCRC Legal Research Specialist Position” in the subject line.

The Public Justice Center is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer that encourages all interested persons to apply regardless of race, color, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, citizenship, creed, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, transgender status, age, religion, genetic information, physical or mental disability, marital status, or any other legally protected status. We value a diverse and multicultural working environment and strongly encourage Black, Latine, Indigenous, and other applicants of color, people with disabilities, and other people historically underrepresented in the practice of law to apply.

The FY21 annual report. July 1, 2020-June 30, 2021. Public Justice Center: Building a just society. Wordcloud with words like justice, rights, and equity.

You inspired and powered our work to address the immense challenges surfaced by the COVID-19 pandemic while, at the same time, advocating for laws, policies, and practices to advance racial equity and justice. Thank you!

Together, we achieved progress and important victories in our advocacy for systemic change. Let us show you examples from the last year in our FY21 Annual Report.

Public Justice Center, Inc. is a §501(c)(3) organization, gifts to which are deductible as charitable contributions for Federal income tax purposes.

California: Public Justice Center, Inc.’s audited financial statement is available upon request to Public Justice Center, Inc. 100 percent of your gift may be deducted under Federal and State income tax laws.

Florida: A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL FREE WITHIN THE STATE (1-800-435-7352) OR AT WWW.FLORIDACONSUMERHELP.COM. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE. THE PUBLIC JUSTICE CENTER’S REGISTRATION NUMBER IS CH66182.

Georgia: Upon request, Public Justice Center, Inc., will provide a full and fair description of this and its other programs, and a financial statement or summary.

Maryland: A copy of Public Justice Center, Inc.’s current financial statement is available on request by contacting the Public Justice Center, Inc. at 201 N Charles St, Suite 1200, Baltimore, MD 21201 or by telephone at (410) 625-9409. For the cost of copies and postage, documents and information submitted under the Maryland Solicitations Act are available from the Maryland Secretary of State.

Minnesota: 100 percent of your gift may be deducted as a charitable contribution under Federal and State income tax laws.

Mississippi: The official registration and financial information of Public Justice Center, Inc. may be obtained from the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office by calling 1-888-236-6167 (in MS) or 601-359-1350. Registration by the Secretary of State does not imply endorsement.

New Jersey: INFORMATION FILED WITH THE ATTORNEY GENERAL CONCERNING THIS CHARITABLE SOLICITATION AND THE PERCENTAGE OF CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED BY THE CHARITY DURING THE LAST REPORTING PERIOD THAT WERE DEDICATED TO THE CHARITABLE PURPOSE MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY BY CALLING (973) 504-6215 AND IS AVAILABLE ON THE INTERNET AT http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/ocp/charities.htm. REGISTRATION WITH THE ATTORNEY GENERAL DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT.

New York: Upon request, a copy of Public Justice Center, Inc.’s last annual report filed with the Attorney General is available from Public Justice Center, Inc. or from the New York State Attorney General’s Charities Bureau, Attn: FOIL Officer, 28 Liberty Street, New York, New York 10005; (212) 416-8401; https://www.charitiesnys.com/.

North Carolina: Financial information about this organization and a copy of its license are available from the State Solicitation Licensing Branch at (888) 830-4989. The license is not an endorsement by the state.

Pennsylvania: The official registration and financial information of Public Justice Center, Inc. may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll-free within Pennsylvania, 1-800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.

Virginia: A financial statement is available from the State Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services upon request.

Washington: Public Justice Center, Inc. is registered with Washington State’s Charities Program as required by law, and additional information may be obtained by calling 800-332-4483 (in WA) or 360-725-0378, or visiting www.sos.wa.gov/charities.

West Virginia: West Virginia residents may obtain a summary of the registration and financial documents from the Secretary of State, State Capitol, Charleston, West Virginia 25305. Registration does not imply endorsement.

Michael is the 2021-2022 Francis D. Murnaghan, Jr. Appellate Advocacy Fellow.

Before the fellowship, Michael served as a law clerk to Chief Judge Roger Gregory on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and to Judge Kathleen Cardone on the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas. Michael graduated with honors from University of Michigan Law School, where he worked as a student attorney in the Juvenile Justice Clinic and was the Executive Notes Editor of the Michigan Law Review. During law school, Michael published research on legal and public health issues raised by the opioid overdose epidemic and spent his summers in Baltimore working on consumer protection and civil rights litigation.

A lifelong Marylander, Michael attended undergrad at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, where he spent time volunteering at the ACLU of Maryland, the Maryland General Assembly, and on grassroots political campaigns. He is excited to have returned home to join the PJC.

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Fredson Desravines is a Lutheran Volunteer who is joining the PJC from August 2021 to July 2022. During his year of service, he will be working as a paralegal in the Education Stability Project. Fredson has plenty of experience in advocacy and outreach due to the various leadership roles he has held during his time as an undergraduate at Providence College. Fredson is from Asbury Park, NJ, and graduated from Providence College in May 2021.

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Patrick O’Toole is the Jesuit Volunteer at PJC from August 2021 to July 2022 and works as a paralegal on the Human Right To Housing Team. He is originally from the Boston area and graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2021 with a degree in Political Science and Arabic. Prior to PJC, Patrick interned with political campaigns and on Capitol Hill. He plans on going to law school in the the next few years and is excited to engage in direct legal service at PJC. In his free time, Patrick enjoys hiking, rooting for Boston sports, and exploring Baltimore.

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Did you know many companies offer a matching gift program to encourage their employees to contribute to nonprofit organizations? And that some companies will even match giving by spouses and retirees?

By simply completing a matching gift form (online or paper), you may be able to double – or even triple – the impact of your gift! 

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Public Justice Center
201 North Charles Street, Suite 1200
Baltimore, MD 21201

If you do not find your employer listed, please check with your company’s Human Resources department to see if your company offers a matching gift program.

The Public Justice Center is a 501(c)3 organization incorporated in the State of Maryland. The tax ID number is 52-1412226.

Sabrina Harris

Sabrina joined the PJC team in July 2021 as its first Office Manager.  She has an extensive professional background in providing support to non-profits who serve constituents and communities throughout the Baltimore Metropolitan area.  She has provided human resources and office administration support for such organizations as Second Chance Inc., The Annie E. Casey Foundation, East Baltimore Development, Inc. and Project PLASE to name a few.  In 2013 she started her own business, High Points, LLC where she provided human resources and payroll services to small businesses in Baltimore City and County. She managed the local and Annapolis offices of State Senator Delores G. Kelley for several years and provided administrative support to the Senator during annual legislative sessions. 

Sabrina has a passion to assist and inspire others to improve and expand their life experiences to invoke success.  She is the proud mother of two great and delightful men and is happy that her sons still wish to travel and go out dancing with their Mom!

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Public Justice Center FY20 annual report. July 1, 2019-June 30, 2020. Image of protest sign with the words "Taking Action Against Injustice"

Read about how you are building a just society in the Public Justice Center’s FY2020 annual report.

When we ended our fiscal year on June 30, 2020, the world felt as though it were in free fall. First, the COVID-19 pandemic upended our lives. Then, the violence against and murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and so many other Black people led to worldwide uprisings denouncing racism and police brutality. Both shown a glaring spotlight on the vast inequities in our country in all areas of life: education, housing, employment, health, safety, criminal “justice,” and more.

The simultaneous public health, economic, and racial justice crises have forced us,as a society, to confront the systemic racism that has permeated every aspect of our society for more than 400 years. These crises have amplified the voices calling for change, demanding that we root out the racism embedded in our culture, laws, institutions, and relationships.

You joined us in responding to the call for justice—thank you! As clients, donors, volunteers, partners, and advocates, you recognized the essential role that lawyers, and the Public Justice Center in particular, have in solving entrenched inequities, and you supported us in taking action against injustice in this moment of national crisis and throughout the year. And you helped tenants, workers, students, parents, and communities win significant victories.

This annual report takes a closer look at how we achieve systemic change and the importance of the milestones we achieve on the path to a just society. Through examples from three of our projects, you will see how our current laws, policies, and systems create inequities; how lawyers can use legal tools—including collaboration, community lawyering, and legislative advocacy—to push for change; and how momentum builds over time and with broad coalitions calling out for justice.

Thank you again for joining us in building a just society!

John Nethercut, Executive Director

Camille Blake Fall, Chair, Board of Directors

 

Rikki Fleisher

The Rikki Fleisher Fund honors the memory of one of our most ardent supporters. She would send “way to go!” notes after reading of a PJC victory, and went out of her way to thank our staff for doing good work when we saw her at events. She encouraged her friends to support the PJC’s advocacy on behalf of people living in poverty. Many did.

When Rikki’s children Paula and Julian approached us about their decision to honor their mother’s legacy and her passion for building a just society, we were absolutely delighted! They created the Rikki Fleisher Fund to honor and further the PJC’s commitment to developing exceptional staff. This investment affords our team opportunities to participate in transformative professional development experiences that are otherwise outside our reach. We know this will directly benefit the many low-wage workers, tenants, students, and other clients we represent.

We are grateful to have been touched by Rikki’s presence, and we are excited to honor her legacy as a champion of civil rights through this tribute. Thank you for continuing Rikki’s memory through your gift.

 Rikki Fleisher with her children Paula and Julian at her law school graduation.    Rikki Fleisher with her children Paula and Julian as adults.