The Lawyers for Equal Justice project at Hawai‘i Appleseed is looking for a talented individual with a passion for advancing social and economic equity through litigation to join us through the AmeriCorps VISTA program to work on advancing policies that create economic opportunity and security for all Hawai‘i residents. This is a one-year commitment, with the possibility of extending an additional year.
The primary goals of the person filling this position are:
The person filling this position must have an interest in legal research and complex litigation, and will work closely with LEJ’s Director/Litigation Director. The VISTA Community Legal Advocate will engage in the following activities:
About Hawai‘i Appleseed
Hawai‘i Appleseed is committed to a more socially just Hawai‘i, where everyone has genuine opportunities to achieve economic security and fulfill their potential. We change systems that perpetuate inequality and injustice through policy development, legislative advocacy, coalition building, and litigation. Hawai‘i Appleseed’s work addresses a variety of areas critical to creating self-sufficiency for people in Hawai‘i, such as housing, hunger, and tax & wage issues. For example, our research, coalition building, and lobbying efforts helped to create a state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) that will provide $135 million in tax relief to low-income families over a period of five years.
Lawyers for Equal Justice is a project of Hawai‘i Appleseed that engages in legal advocacy and impact litigation to change systems and policies to make justice, equality and opportunity available to everyone. For example, LEJ is currently representing low-income tenants in a case that seeks to preserve a 142-unit low-income housing complex that was intended to remain affordable for 51 years, but is being converted to market rentals after just 18 years. The 300-plus tenants who live at the complex are at risk of losing their homes, and the community is at risk of losing an important and scarce resource for low-income housing. LEJ is advocating to enforce the original 51-year commitment and keep the complex affordable.
The right candidate will have the following strengths and qualifications:
Compensation, Benefits, and Term of Service
AmeriCorps VISTA is a national service program that works to eliminate poverty. The program requires VISTAs to commit to a one-year term of service. The position may be extended for an additional year if funding is available. Many of Hawai‘i’s Appleseed’s staff members are former AmeriCorps/VISTA members.
VISTA members in Honolulu receive a living allowance of $24,119 that enables them to live very frugally, comparable with the members of the low-income communities VISTAs serve. In addition, VISTA members at Appleseed are provided with a $500 per month housing stipend and a monthly bus pass. VISTA members are eligible for a $6,095 end of service education award. Additional information regarding compensation and benefits for VISTA members can be found at http://www.vistacampus.gov/in-service/benefits-service.
Interested candidates should send a letter of interest, resume and a writing sample to firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible since the position will be filled once the right candidate is identified. The start date will be in June or July 2020.