dcsimg

Career Story: Lawyer For Public Housing Authorities

Lawyer For Public Housing Authorities

Job Title: Attorney

Type of Company: Law firm representing the public housing authorities.

Education: BA, Political Science, UMass-Amherst •• MA, Criminal Justice, Northeastern University •• JD, Suffolk University

Previous Experience: I worked as a paralegal and law clerk at a large Boston law firm. I also clerked at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, a government agency.

Job Tasks: I represent 35 public housing authorities.

There are really three parts to my job: 1. prosecuting eviction cases in court, 2. providing training to housing authority managers and staff, and 3. answering day to day questions about how housing authority managers should handle tenant lease violations and staff disciplinary problems. I am in court generally 1-3 times each week. Usually, I am there to finalize agreements between tenants and housing authorities, and have the court sign off. Occasionally, I participate in a full trial because no agreement could be reached, or make a motion arguing that a tenant has violated a previously signed agreement.

I travel to the various housing authorities in my territory 2-4 times each week. During these meetings, I explain to tenants how they've violated their leases, and ask if they can agree to cease all violations. If the tenants agree, we sign an formal agreement.

Once a month or so, I offer training sessions for housing staff. These sessions cover a variety of topics, but mostly focus on state regulations: how, for example, to compute tenant rents or handle tenant grievances. Sometimes, I talk about staff disciplinary actions or about drafting progressive discipline policies so that employees have plenty of warning about problems on the job. Occasionally, I conduct a training session for the board of commissioners of a housing authority. Since these are policy makers (and not administrators), I mostly try show them how policy can altered. I also brief them on the open-meeting laws with which they have to comply.

During the rest of my day, I answer questions from my office, either by phone, fax, email or sometimes, in writing. Managers often want to know whether the facts of their particular case warrant the initiation of legal proceedings such as eviction. Tenants, for example, are required by state law to declare their income in full, and the rent they pay is based on the amount they declare. Some tenants, naturally, try to lower their rents by hiding some of their income. This is fraud, and it is a serious lease violation.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: Mostly, I love my job. I like the fact that my clients (mostly housing authority staff and managers) respect me and appreciate my help. I like the fact that I can often broker practical solutions for tenants who've violated the terms of their leases. I like it when these things work out.

The part that's hard is having to evict people, as I sometimes have to do. For the most part, fortunately, by the time a court agrees to this draconian solution, every other avenue's been tried and the tenant has been given many chances to pay his arrears or correct his bad behavior. I don't feel badly for the adults in such cases, but I do feel very badly for their children.

Job Tips: There are so many lawyers these days that it is often hard to get a job practicing law. But many law school grads use their skills at other jobs. If you do want to go to law school, you need to get very good grades in college. Lots of people wonder about what is the best way to prepare is. The best major, frankly, is whatever you're most interested in; you'll do better and get better grades in the subject that interests you most. Being a good writer is very important, so if English is of interest, that is a great major for a pre-law student.

Popular Schools offering Law School Programs

quickinfoClick the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab. .

Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school

Matching School Ads

Since 1977, Keiser University has provided quality student-centered, career-focused education.

  • Programs:
  • Degrees:

Founded by the Society of Jesus in 1851, Saint Joseph's University (SJU) has been developing the minds and abilities of men and women in a challenging academic environment steeped in the enriching Jesuit tradition of cura personalis (care of the entire person).

  • Programs: MS in Criminal Justice - Federal Law Enforcement Track
  • Degrees: Master

Pursue your education at Ohio Christian University.

  • Programs: Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Degrees: Bachelor

You can get started on a new career with Institute of Technology.

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit our website at www.iot.edu/disclosure

  • Programs:
  • Degrees:
UEI College
Bakersfield, El Monte, Encino, Gardena, San Marcos

At UEI College, we want you to succeed. We’re like a family and we want you to be a part of it.

  • Programs: Criminal Justice (11-Month Diploma Program)
  • Degrees: Diploma
Argosy University
Ontario, Orange, Phoenix, San Diego

Welcome to Argosy University

Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges:  College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education,  College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.

  • Programs: Criminal Justice (BS), Criminal Justice (BS) (Online)
  • Degrees: Bachelor

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

  • Programs: Criminal Justice - D.B.A., Homeland Security Leadership & Policy - D.B.A., MS Organizational Leadership - Criminal Justice, more...
  • Degrees: Doctorate, Master
San Joaquin Valley College
Bakersfield, Fresno, Lancaster, Ontario, Visalia

San Joaquin Valley College - A Private Junior College.

  • Programs: Degree - Criminal Justice: Corrections
  • Degrees: Associate
Matching School Ads

Additional Career Stories for Lawyers

The inside stories from people actually working in the field.
Click a story title to show the story, and click the title again to hide it.

All Types

You are visiting:

Find a school near you

What are Career Stories?

Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.

Most stories include:

  • a typical day or project
  • tips and advice
  • best and worst parts
  • educational background
  • previous experience

Browse hundreds of Career Stories

More Details On This Career

Please also see our detailed information about Lawyers, including:

Back to Top
SPEAK TO AN ADVISOR 1.844.285.6104