Michigan Poverty Law Program - Racial Justice Attorney

POSITION: The Michigan Poverty Law Program (MPLP) is seeking applicants for a racial justice attorney. MPLP seeks an experienced, strategic, and dynamic attorney to take a lead role in policy advocacy, impact litigation and coalition-building to advance a statewide race equity and justice agenda that will address structural racism in laws, policies and practices that lead to and keep communities of color in conditions of poverty. MPLP’s Racial Justice Attorney will work collaboratively with MPLP’s support attorneys, other legal aid programs, and community partners to develop and advance a racial justice agenda in the context of civil legal services and poverty law advocacy.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM: The Michigan Poverty Law Program (MPLP) is a statewide legal resource program located in Ypsilanti. MPLP provides state support services to local legal services programs and other poverty law advocates. Our goals are to support the advocacy of civil legal aid programs; to coordinate advocacy for individuals and families with low-income; to assure that a full range of advocacy continues on behalf of the poor; and to lead policy and systemic advocacy and litigation efforts in Michigan on behalf of families with low- income and vulnerable populations. We work directly with local advocates by providing open access to case consultation, co-counseling, or referrals for current clients, and trainings. MPLP is part of the Committee on Regional Training (CORT). CORT is a four-state training consortium that provides substantive law and skills trainings for legal services attorneys in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and West Virginia.

MPLP is part of Michigan Statewide Advocacy Services (MSAS), a non-profit law firm providing free legal services to Michigan’s residents with low-income, Michigan’s immigrant communities, and seniors through several statewide programs. MSAS is administered by the Michigan Advocacy Program (MAP).

Michigan Advocacy Program (MAP) is founded on the belief that equal justice is a right, not a privilege. MAP’s mission is to advance the safety, independence, and economic stability of those most affected by poverty, racism, and other structurally oppressive systems by increasing access to justice and working for systemic solutions. MAP is committed to anti-racism in all aspects of our work and has an active Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee. Visit mplp.org and miadvocacy.org for more information.


  • Identify, develop, and lead legislative and administrative advocacy and litigation strategies to advance a poverty law-focused race equity and justice agenda in Michigan.
  • Identify ways in which to challenge racialized systems and practices.
  • Provide legal and technical support to legislators, policymakers, community organizations, legal services attorneys, and other poverty law advocates on racial justice issues in the context of poverty law.
  • Work collaboratively with MPLP support attorneys to incorporate a racial justice lens and anti-racism strategies in their areas of substantive advocacy.
  • Help build and support coalitions of community and grassroots groups engaged in race equity and anti-racism advocacy.
  • Respond to and work with media on racial justice issues and on the intersection of systemic racism and poverty.
  • Write amicus briefs, reports, policy briefs and advocacy manuals as well as shorter advocacy and educational materials and practical information for advocates, policymakers and other key stakeholders.
  • Represent MPLP’s race equity and justice policy interests in public forums, including legislative and rulemaking hearings and serve on relevant statewide and national task forces.
  • Engage in impact litigation and appellate work.


  • J.D. and licensed (or eligible to become licensed) to practice law in Michigan.
  • Minimum 5 years legal experience.
  • Experience or background in a legal aid, civil rights, or other relevant social justice organization.
  • Demonstrated commitment to racial justice and knowledge of the body of law that provides potential claims to challenge racial injustice and disparities in the poverty law context.
  • Demonstrated litigation experience, appellate experience and/or policy advocacy experience.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with clients’ groups, community-based groups, and coalitions.
  • Excellent research and writing skills.
  • Excellent oral communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively.
  • Ability to assume significant leadership in impact litigation and advocacy campaigns.
  • Strong organizational skills, strategic thinker, and creative.
  • Lived personal experience of racism and racial injustice.
  • Ability to facilitate and participate in challenging and uncomfortable conversations around race and systemic racism.
  • Commitment to MAP’s mission to advance the safety, independence, and economic stability of those most affected by poverty, racism, and other structurally oppressive systems by increasing access to justice and working for systemic solutions.

BENEFITS: This is a full-time position with a salary starting at $72,520 based on years of relevant experience. MAP offers a generous benefits package including life, short- and long-term disability, health, vision, dental and flexible spending accounts. If an applicant does not require health benefits, they have the option to take an annual $1,500 payout in addition to the base salary paid over the course of the year. MAP also has a generous leave policy allowing staff to accrue 3 weeks paid vacation the first year and 14 paid holidays, as well as an annual 2% contribution and 2% match to retirement plan subject to board approval for eligible staff. MAP is a qualifying employer for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

TO APPLY: Please send a resume and cover letter with “MPLP Racial Justice Attorney” in the subject line to jobs@lsscm.org. Applications received by 4/20/23 will receive priority.

MSAS/MPLP is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Date Posted: 
Wednesday, March 22, 2023