Housing Justice Leadership Institute

The HJLI is a 10-day leadership, supervision, and management-skills training program for housing rights supervising attorneys in New York City.

Housing Justice Leadership Institute

The Housing Justice Leadership Institute (HJLI) is a 10-day leadership, supervision, and management-skills training program for housing rights supervising attorneys in New York City.

HJLI’s program is designed to help supervising attorneys lead, manage, and support delivery of the highest-quality legal assistance to tenants facing eviction. Participants will receive CLE credit for attendance and a certificate from New York Law School upon satisfactory completion of the program.

HJLI’s program is rooted in a commitment to housing as a basic human right and builds supervisors’ capacities to help those they supervise recognize and address the racialized nature of housing exclusion, instability, and segregation. It is based on an understanding that New York City’s right to counsel law is not an end in itself—but rather a vehicle to shift the balance of power in support of tenants’ rights: to protect against evictions, mitigate gentrification, preserve communities, and invest in the development of affordable housing. The program reinforces the critical role of lawyers in supporting a community-led housing justice movement, and building power and voice in community-based groups. Ultimately, HJLI builds the skills needed to manage program operations and supervise and support attorneys and paralegals in providing high-quality legal assistance that is effective in achieving these goals and consistent with these values.

Professors Kim Hawkins and Andrew Scherer serve as the Institute’s Co-Directors.

How to Apply

The spring 2020 session has ended. When a new application period opens, we will share information and deadlines.

HJLI selects 20 to 25 candidates for each program. Candidates must be housing supervisors in nonprofit legal services organizations in New York City who have less than five years of supervisory experience.

Preference will be given to candidates who are working in legal services organizations that are participating in New York City’s right to counsel program for low-income tenants facing eviction. When applying, candidates must have the support of their legal services organizations and a commitment from their organizations to release them from a sufficient amount of work obligations to participate actively in the training program.

Candidates must commit to remain in their current positions for at least two years after completion of the training program. They must also commit to attend all sessions of the training program. Those who attend all of the sessions will receive a certificate of completion.

The selection decisions will emphasize diversity in the trainee cohort, including representation from different boroughs and different legal services organizations, as well as diversity in race, ethnicity, gender, LGBTQ+ identity, age, ability, and other factors.


The program is held at NYLS and runs for a total of 10 intermittent days, mostly Fridays and some Thursdays. Participants may need to spend some additional time on program work between sessions.

Impact Center for Public Interest Law •  T 212.431.2314  •  impactcenter@nyls.edu