Full-Time Agricultural Worker Project Staff Attorney, Saint Paul, Minnesota

Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, Inc. (SMRLS) seeks a Staff Attorney for its Agricultural Worker Project (AWP).  

SMRLS provides free, high-quality legal help in critical civil matters to low-income people in southern Minnesota, as well as to agricultural workers throughout Minnesota and North Dakota.  For more than 100 years, SMRLS has helped individuals and families secure and protect their basic needs, maintaining freedom from hunger, homelessness, sickness, and abuse. 

AWP provides free civil legal services to agricultural workers in Minnesota and North Dakota focused on improving clients’ working and living conditions through legal representation, outreach, and education.  It handles cases involving wage theft, workplace health and safety violations, inadequate employer-provided housing, labor trafficking, employment discrimination and retaliation, H-2A contract violations, and other legal matters that specifically impact agricultural workers.  Additionally, AWP educates agricultural workers in Minnesota and North Dakota regarding their legal rights through extensive outreach and presentations to agricultural worker communities.

AWP is looking for a motivated, creative, and flexible staff attorney to join its team of dedicated attorneys and paralegals in addressing and resolving the myriad legal issues that negatively impact the working and living conditions of agricultural workers.  AWP has staff in offices located in Moorhead, Minnesota and Saint Paul, Minnesota.   This staff attorney position will be based in the Saint Paul office and will be supervised by AWP’s lead attorney, also located in Saint Paul.  In addition to maintaining a case load, the staff attorney is expected to travel throughout Minnesota with other staff members in order to conduct outreach to agricultural workers, provide legal rights presentations, and to meet with clients.

Responsibilities

  • Resolve legal matters on behalf of agricultural worker clients through advice, negotiation, administrative advocacy, and state and federal litigation
  • Conduct outreach with other AWP staff to agricultural workers throughout Minnesota from approximately May through October each year;  one to two evenings of outreach each week is typical
  • Provide legal rights presentations to agricultural workers and to the organizations that support them
  • Participate in case acceptance and other regular meetings with AWP staff
  • Attend trainings and maintain current knowledge of laws impacting agricultural workers
  • Supervise law students/temporary staff on occasion
  • Other duties as assigned by supervisor

Qualifications

  • Admission to the Minnesota Bar, awaiting February 2018 exam results, eligibility for admission on motion without examination, or willingness to take the next Minnesota bar exam
  • One to five years of relevant experience is preferred but not required; experience gained through law school clinics or legal internships will also be considered
  • As many of AWP’s clients are Spanish-speaking, Spanish language skills are preferred but not required
  • Demonstrated commitment to serving the needs of low-income communities, preferably agricultural workers specifically
  • Ability to  work with individuals from diverse economic, cultural, educational, and social backgrounds
  • Willingness to work irregular hours, including some evening outreach and limited overnight travel, in order to meet the needs of AWP’s client community
  • Strong oral and written communication skills
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Willingness to work as part of a team
  • Ability to take initiative and independently handle a case load
  • Proficiency in Word, Excel, and Google systems
  • Possession of a current driver’s license; access to a vehicle is preferred but not required

Position Open

Immediately.  Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis until the position is filled; however, applicants are strongly encouraged to apply by April 30, 2018.

Compensation

Annual salary of $46,956+ DOE, pursuant to SMRLS’ salary scale, plus good fringe benefits. To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, and three professional references.

 

SMRLS is committed to diversity in the workplace.  Women, minorities, and persons with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply.

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