Consumer-Housing Staff Attorney
Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, Inc. (SMRLS) is seeking to fill a staff attorney position for its Saint Paul Central Office. The attorney will handle housing and consumer law cases in the five Metro Counties that SMRLS serves.
SMRLS is a non-profit law firm that 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 approximately 55 attorneys, 45 additional staff and 800 volunteer attorneys to provide legal assistance to over 200,000 eligible persons.
SMRLS is a client-centered organization that is committed to its Mission of providing a full range of high quality legal services in a respectful manner. This enables clients to: enforce their legal rights; maintain freedom from hunger, homelessness, sickness and abuse; and empower persons and ensure equal opportunity, thus, helping persons to help themselves and become economically self-reliant, to the extent their individual abilities and circumstances permit. SMRLS has adopted Practice Standards and Guiding Principles to accomplish its Mission. SMRLS values, welcomes and promotes diversity in all aspects of its work. SMRLS serves clients from a wide range of backgrounds. SMRLS has adopted a Racial Justice Policy to guide the firm’s work towards racial equality. The overall goal of this project is prevent homelessness by providing holistic legal services to families. SMRLS will meet this goal through direct legal services and expanding on the success of our court project in the Second Judicial District, which encompasses all of Ramsey County. Our goal is for SMRLS to identify and solve both immediate and long-term barriers to stable housing through legal advocacy.
This position will be half time Consumer Law and half time Housing Law. The Consumer work will focus on helping low income clients achieve and maintain economic self-sufficiency by working to address the unmet need for legal representation for debtors, addressing systemic issues such as fines and fees that disproportionately burden low-income individuals, and initiating litigation under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Fair Debt Collection Act. The Housing work will be primarily in the area of Homelessness Prevention, working throughout the Metro Area on legal strategies to keep precariously housed families in safe and affordable housing.
Must either be licensed to practice law in Minnesota or be a candidate for Bar admission. Candidates with a minimum of at least 2 years consumer or litigation experience are preferred. Non-academic experience working in low-income communities, or other activities that demonstrate an interest in working with low income clients, will be given great weight. Demonstrated ability to work effectively with people from different cultural backgrounds is essential.
Good communication skills; ability to work constructively with others in a team work setting; good judgment; ability to learn quickly and work hard, independently, efficiently, and under pressure; and ability to effectively handle contested hearings are required.
Fluency in a second language, particularly Hmong or Somali will be beneficial but is not required.
Computer competence required.
The salary is $50,008+ DOE. Good medical benefits provided.
To apply, click go to smrls.org/about-us/job-opportunities or submit cover letter, resume, and three references to:SMRLSAttn: Mary Moore55 E. 5th Street, Suite 400Saint Paul, MN 55101
Deadline to Apply
September 15, 2019. However, applications will be considered until the position is filled.
SMRLS is committed to diversity in the work place. Women, people of color, and people with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply.