Staff Attorney

Employment Type

: Full-Time


: Legal


Open Communities Alliance (OCA) is a Connecticut-based civil rights non-profit working to confront the state’s deep levels of residential segregation, which deprive low income families of color of access to opportunity and deepen the sharp income and race divisions in our society. Open Communities Alliance seeks to expand its enforcement staff and activities to combat exclusionary zoning and ensure housing choice for all families in Connecticut.

Position Overview

OCA seeks an individual deeply committed to social justice capable of working as part of a team to apply the principles of the Fair Housing Act to zoning and discrimination in Connecticut. The Staff Attorney will be responsible for monitoring affordable and multifamily housing zoning proposals across the state, including attending hearings, analyzing fair housing implications of denials, engaging in advocacy to relevant officials, and, where appropriate, pursuing enforcement activities including filing administrative complaints and/or developing and initiating litigation. The Staff Attorney will also conduct research and advocacy on the fair housing implications of municipal zoning regulations in regard to multi-family and affordable housing development, assist with the development of OCA’s new fair housing testing program, and participate in fair housing trainings as part of OCA’s outreach efforts. This is a full-time permanent position that includes a competitive benefits package. Salary, title, and responsibilities commensurate with experience. Salary range starts at $76,000.


The Staff Attorney will be responsible for:

  • Solidifying relationships with project partners.
  • Researching, monitoring and addressing potentially exclusionary zoning policies statewide.
  • Investigating potential fair housing civil rights violations.
  • Conducting outreach and education on fair housing and exclusionary zoning issues.
  • When necessary, contributing to the litigation of exclusionary zoning cases and potentially other fair housing cases, typically with pro bono counsel.

  • Requirements

    Who we are looking for:

  • Required experience: Five years of litigation experience, including experience litigating in federal court.
  • The candidate must be licensed to practice law in Connecticut and admitted to the U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut or willing to apply.
  • Preferred experience: 5+ years of litigation experience in the housing, land use or civil rights fields and experience negotiating complex or challenging disputes in litigation or pre-litigation settings.
  • Competencies & attributes – Strategic thinker and creative problem solver; self-aware and curious; committed to diversity, equity and inclusion; ambitious and collaborative work ethic; detail oriented; ability to communicate with and build relationships across differences easily.
  • Excited about and committed to Open Communities’ mission and social change more generally.
  • The ideal candidate will have a demonstrated ability to work with experts, and/or experience with analyzing and deploying data in discrimination cases.
  • Excellent legal research, writing, and oral argument skills.
  • Command of Westlaw and Microsoft Office, specifically Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. 
  • * The salary listed in the header is an estimate based on salary data for similar jobs in the same area. Salary or compensation data found in the job description is accurate.

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