Summer Associate Program: Neighborhood Law Project

Project Description:

The Neighborhood Law Project supports Community Legal Aid's mission by promoting economic development in historically disadvantaged neighborhoods. Project staff provide legal advocacy, expertise, and support to strengthen grassroots efforts in expanding social justice and racial equity, empowering disinvested communities, and building coalitions for positive social change.


Acrtivities for the role:

The NLP summer associate will gain hands-on experience with community organizing and grass roots advocacy. The summer associate will support the project and can expect to engage in one of the two following project focus areas:

Focus 1: Tenant Unions: Low-income tenants have the right to organize and form Tenant Unions. CLAS is committed to helping organize and represent those unions. This work will focus on current organizing efforts to expand in multi-unit properties by canvassing in those areas, setting up organizing meetings, assisting with the drafting of by-laws and structure and providing legal assistance to those groups related to addressing poor housing conditions, tenant rights and being responsive to their concerns. 

Focus 2: Community Economic Development: The NLP team is working to assist small business start-ups and community organizations that promote economic growth and food justice. This work will focus on assisting these groups and start-ups to increase opportunities for the low-income and marginalized communities.

The NLP summer associate can expect to engage in the following activities, within their specific focus area:

  • Under supervision, assist with both of these projects through community organizing and grass roots advocacy

  • Conduct document/project preparation as needed

  • Assist with the development of community education materials

  • Attend community meetings

  • Work with community organizations and conduct legal and policy research

  • Such other tasks as may be assigned

  • Other duties as assigned


Preferred qualifications:

The strongest candidates will have the following qualifications:

  • Having taken coursework in administrative law, advanced legal research, bankruptcy, basic business associations, civil litigation, contracts, property, and problem solving workshops

  • Demonstrated interest in and sensitivity to the legal needs of the poor as well as motivation to improve the condition of the poor

  • Awareness of racial disparities, institutional racism, and systemic racism

  • Strong research/writing skills

  • Proficient in Microsoft Word, Google Docs, and legal and internet research tools

  • Ability to speak a foreign language is highly desirable


Personal attributes:

  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • First-rate oral and written communications skills
  • Ability to relate to and work with both professionals and residents of a community with one of the highest poverty rates in the country
  • Strong analytical and organizational skills
  • High dependability


Number of open positions:

There are two open positions (Akron, Canton, or Youngstown offices)