Bi-lingual (English/Somali) Intake Interviewer

Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, Inc. (SMRLS) is seeking to fill a full-time Intake Interviewer position in its Hotline Unit located in St. Paul.

SMRLS is a non-profit law firm which receives federal, state, local public, and private funding to provide free legal help to low-income and elderly people who reside in 33 counties of southern Minnesota. As Minnesota’s oldest legal aid program (founded in 1909), SMRLS has established a tradition of partnership with the private bar, a bi-partisan Legislature, the Minnesota Supreme Court and other Minnesota Legal Services Coalition Programs in providing access to justice. SMRLS has an experienced, dynamic staff of more than 50 attorneys, 39 additional staff and 800 volunteer attorneys to provide legal assistance to over 200,000 eligible persons.

SMRLS is a client-centered organization which is committed to its Mission of providing a full range of high quality legal services, in a respectful manner, which enable clients to:  enforce their legal rights; maintain freedom from hunger, homelessness, sickness and abuse; and empower persons to ensure equal opportunity, thus helping persons to help themselves and become economically self-reliant, to the extent their individual abilities and circumstances permit. SMRLS values, welcomes and promotes diversity in all aspects of its work. SMRLS has adopted Practice Standards and Guiding Principles to accomplish its Mission.

Responsibilities

1.       Screening Potential Clients for Legal Services:

To perform screening for financial eligibility, case priorities, conflicts and detailed case information for the office or work unit to which the case will be assigned. The screening will be primarily by phone but does include personal interviews.

 2.       Bilingual (English/Somali) Speaking Interpreter:

Perform the following interpreting/translation assignments:

  • Conduct screening interviews for Somali-speaking persons;
  • Serve as interpreter for both spoken and written communication between clients and staff attorneys or paralegals; and
  • Provide written translation of community outreach materials from English to Somali.

3.       Other Miscellaneous Duties:

  • Perform miscellaneous duties at the request of staff attorneys from various units including record copying or other tasks as assigned.
  • Use Language Line when appropriate to interview non-English or Somali speaking people seeking services;
  • Make initial denial in clearly defined cases, and ability to communicate that information orally in a respectful manner.
  • Community outreach; and
  • Receptionist, mail processing, and general office duties as assigned.

 Qualifications

  • Bilingual (English/Somali) required.
  • Ability to relate respectfully client and other staff;
  • Crisis handling ability;
  • Reliable attendance and dependability;
  • Ability to handle confidential information with discretion;
  • Ability to be attentive to detail
  • Ability to learn and use computer data base program;
  • Ability to say “no” to ineligible callers in a professional manner;
  • Knowledge of or ability to learn sources of basic social services in our community;
  • Ability to relate to culturally diverse and low-income persons, and with people who suffer from physical or emotional problems; and
  • Outstanding listening and communication skills.

Salary

$28,300 (full-time and up D.O.E. pursuant to scale). Benefits provided.

Starting Date

As soon as possible. AAEOE

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