Staff Attorney or Policy Specialist/Advocate - PA Utility Law Project

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Job Category: 
Attorney/Paralegal

Pennsylvania Utility Law Project

The Pennsylvania Utility Law Project (PULP) is seeking a highly motivated individual to serve as a staff attorney and/or a policy specialist/advocate who desires to make a significant contribution to the well-being of low-income households.

Located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, PULP is administered by Regional Housing Legal Services (RHLS) and is the designated state-wide utility advocacy project of the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network. On behalf of its low-income clients, PULP regularly participates in legislative and administrative proceedings affecting low-income utility consumers, and provides co-counsel, support, training, and technical assistance in utility and energy matters to locally based legal aid programs, community groups, and non-profit agencies. PULP also regularly collaborates with RHLS and others on projects which seek to expand access to affordable shelter and its component parts such as affordable utility services and weatherization.

The successful candidate should have a demonstrated commitment to providing quality legal services low-income individuals and the ability to develop and work on projects which seek to advance utility affordability and housing sustainability for lower income persons and communities.  Prior legal aid/low-income advocacy experience is preferred. Prior experience with utility and housing law and/or advocacy before administrative agencies is also preferred, but not essential.

Duties and Description:

Depending on whether the person hired is an attorney or policy specialist/advocate, the position will require some or all of the following:

  • Draft pleadings, briefs, motions, legal memoranda and/or comments which advocate for and/or defend the positions of PULP’s clients in a range of utility proceedings.
  • Assist in the development of testimony by experts and consultants and/or serve as an expert in proceedings before governmental agencies.
  • Conduct discovery, undertake cross-examination of other parties’ expert witnesses, and assist in preparing testimony for witnesses for PULP’s clients in proceedings and litigation.
  • Advocate for the positions of PULP’s clients before appellate courts, as required.
  • Conduct negotiations to resolve issues relating to proceedings and meetings before the PUC and other state agencies.
  • Represent and advocate for PULP’s clients’ positions in meetings and collaborative proceedings.
  • Evaluate and analyze the impact of utility and governmental policy on low-income households’ ability to be able to afford essential utility services and assist PULP’s clients in devising solutions to remedy these issues.
  • Monitor and evaluate legislation, proposed legislation, PUC policy and rulemaking, and utility policy and the impact it would have on the ability of low-income households to connect to and maintain essential utility service.
  • Take part with PULP’s other staff members in resolving utility-related consumer complaints through PULP’s 800 number hotline, or email requests for assistance from consumers and consumer based organizations, constituent relations staff of elected offices, and legal service providers.

Location:

This position would be located at PULP’s office in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Required Qualifications:

  • Licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania, able to become licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania within 6 months of beginning employment,  or Masters’ Degree in Public Policy, Social Work, or equivalent field.
  • At least 2 years’ experience in legal services, utility law advocacy, or public policy affecting low-income households.
  • A demonstrated commitment to providing advice, representation, and assistance to low- income individuals.
  • The ability to develop and work on projects which seek to advance utility affordability and housing sustainability for low-income households and communities.
  • Strong interpersonal and organizational skills, excellent oral and written communication skills, and the ability to deal with a high volume of direct client interaction.
  • Computer literacy, including web-based applications, email, and word processing.
  • Willingness and motivation to assist on both substantive cases and administrative matters.
  • A valid Pennsylvania driver’s license and willingness to do occasional travel to conduct outreach and training.

Preferred Qualifications would include one or more of the following:

  • Prior legal aid/low-income advocacy experience.
  • Fluency in writing and speaking a language other than English, preferably Spanish.
  • Experience in legislative or administrative advocacy or experience with social services agency or nonprofit organization that advocates on behalf of low-income households.

Salary depends on experience, range for attorneys with 1-5 years’ experience is $58,000-$67,000. Range for policy specialist/advocate with 1-5 years’ experience is $45,000 - $52,000. An excellent benefits package is provided.

To apply, please send a letter of interest and resume to:

Patrick M. Cicero, Executive Director
Pennsylvania Utility Law Project
118 Locust Street
Harrisburg, PA 17101
pciceropulp@palegalaid.net

Applications by e-mail are preferred. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. PULP/RHLS is an Equal Opportunity Employer and values a diverse work experience. People of color, persons who are bi-cultural or bi-lingual, women, persons with disabilities, and persons who identify as LGBTQ are encouraged to apply.