Position: Eviction Defense Program Manager
Agency: Washington State Office of Civil Legal Aid
Salary: $97,000 - $105,000 Annually DOQ
Location: Olympia, WA (preferred); Alternative locations possible
Travel: Substantial travel may be required
Open: April 15, 2021 Close: Until Filled; OCLA reserves the right to close the recruitment at any time.
Condition: Position conditioned on final passage and the Governor’s signing of legislation establishing and funding a right to counsel for indigent tenants. Start Date: July 1, 2021 or shortly thereafter.
The Washington State Office of Civil Legal Aid (OCLA) is an independent judicial branch agency that manages and oversees state appropriations for civil legal aid in Washington State. The Washington State Legislature is about to enact legislation to create the first statewide right to counsel program for indigent tenants in the United States. The Office of Civil Legal Aid will be required to submit an initial implementation plan to appropriate legislative committees within 90 days of the Governor’s signature, and the entire statewide program must be implemented within 12 months of the date of the Governor’s signature.
The statewide Eviction Defense Program (EDP) will build on and substantially expand evictionrelated civil legal aid services to indigent persons provided by the statewide Northwest Justice Project, local and regional Housing Justice Projects, and other providers/private attorney contractors as needed to ensure full implementation. The program will (a) facilitate early identification, eligibility screening, referral, and assignment of indigent tenants to participating EDP attorneys, (b) be supported by a robust training and support program, (c) be guided by strategies designed to reach tenants who are members of communities of color, immigrants, Indigenous, limited English proficient (LEP) and other groups disproportionately at risk of eviction, (d) reduce the number and percentage of tenants who default in unlawful detainer cases, (e) be guided by race and other equity considerations and principles, and (f) ensure meaningful and effective oversight, quality control, data collection, and reporting.
Consistent with the requirements of the legislation, the Eviction Defense Program Manager will have principal responsibility to establish and implement a statewide program to make available high quality, effective legal representation for indigent tenants involved in unlawful detainer cases. Such activities will include, but not be limited to, the following:
1. Working with the Implementation Advisory Committee, finalize an EDP Implementation Plan that:
a. Ensures the availability of properly trained eviction defense attorneys to represent indigent tenants in all 37 judicial districts.
b. Establishes the process and model policies to guide local courts in appointing attorneys in unlawful detainer cases.
c. Establishes the principal areas of focus and assigns principal responsibility for the EDP attorney training program.
d. Establishes uniform data collection and reporting requirements of agencies and private attorney contractors engaged to represent indigent tenants.
e. Outlines tenant education and outreach efforts necessary to ensure tenant understanding and equity of access legal representation, including access for tenants at greatest risk of eviction.
f. Establishes procedures for oversight, quality control, and reporting to legislative and other relevant entities.
2. Originate, negotiate, execute, and monitor contracts with agencies and individual contract attorneys engaged in providing EDP services in all 37 superior court judicial districts.
3. Establish and staff a permanent EDP Advisory Committee consisting of stakeholders from tenant and low-income advocacy organizations, “by and for” community-based representatives, EDP attorneys, judicial officers and organizations, court administrators, and others as appropriate.
4. Monitor contractor performance against baseline client service, caseload, training, quality control, and reporting requirements.
5. Review and approve invoices received from EDP contractors.
6. Work with OCLA contracts management staff and fiscal staff at the Administrative Office of the Courts to develop, track, and oversee the EDP budgets and expenditures.
7. Perform such other duties that, in consultation and under the supervision of the OCLA Director or the Director’s designee, may be required.
Skills and Background
1. Juris Doctor (JD), Master of Public Administration (MPA), or related professional and/or lived experience that demonstrates the capacity to perform the essential functions of the position.
2. Experience with governmental contract management, oversight, data tracking, and reporting.
3. Experience in the design and implementation of significant new programmatic initiatives.
4. Experience with identifying and developing systems to track, analyze, and report out programmatic performance data.
5. Demonstrated understanding of the impact of race, bias, discrimination, and differential treatment of communities disproportionately composed of Black, Indigenous, and people of color, individuals who identify as LGBTQ or other sexual minorities, individuals with disabilities, immigrants, limited English speaking persons, and others who have been historically marginalized in rental housing markets and in the law and justice system.
6. Knowledge and understanding of courts, court systems, and landlord-tenant law (preferably Washington State landlord-tenant law).
7. Excellent written and oral communication skills.
8. Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite applications (esp. Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
9. Ability to quickly learn and master new software applications as required
The EDP Program Manager reports to the Director of the Office of Civil Legal Aid or the Director’s designee.
Applications must be filed electronically with firstname.lastname@example.org and should include the subject heading Statement of Interest -- Eviction Defense Program Manager. Submissions must include:
- A cover letter and resume outlining the applicant’s credentials and professional/lived experience that is responsive to the skills and background outlined in this Notice
- A list of at least three (3) peer professional references
- A self-edited writing sample describing the outcomes of a specific project or program that the applicant has managed or been involved with as a principal
The Office of Civil Legal Aid (OCLA) is committed to equity and inclusion in hiring and employment practices and full compliance with federal and state equal employment opportunity and non-discrimination laws. OCLA strongly encourages members of diverse and historically disfavored demographic communities to apply. OCLA will not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, citizenship, or immigration status; families with children; gender (including gender identify or gender expression); marital status; sexual orientation; age; veteran or military status; the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability (actual or perceived); or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Individuals needing reasonable accommodation for the application or interview process should contact Hope Hough at email@example.com or (360) 705-5564.
OCLA believes in providing substantial professional flexibility consistent with necessary accountability considerations. We also support Washington State greenhouse gas reduction efforts. We therefore take a generous approach to telecommunication and remote work activity.