Paralegal, Winona

Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, Inc. (SMRLS), is seeking to fill a paralegal position in its Southeast Region with offices in Albert Lea, Rochester and Winona. This position will be based in the Winona office. The paralegal will provide support to attorneys in family, government benefits and senior law cases. The paralegal will provide representation for low income people at administrative hearings.

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 50+ attorneys, 39 additional staff and 600 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 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 values, welcomes and promotes diversity in all aspects of its work. SMRLS has adopted Practice Standards and Guiding Principles to accomplish its Mission.

The SMRLS Southeastern Region, with offices in Albert Lea, Winona, and Rochester, has a staff of 8 attorneys and 12 paralegal, clerical and other staff. Winona is the county seat of Winona County, is on the Mississippi River, is home to two four-year colleges, and is located about 80 miles southeast of the Twin Cities.

RESPONSIBILITIES

The paralegal position in the Southeast Region involves providing support to two attorneys and other staff to provide legal assistance to eligible clients residing in the eleven counties of southeastern Minnesota, especially Goodhue, Wabasha, Winona, Fillmore and Houston counties. The position will involve family, government benefits and senior law cases, but may also include other areas of law.

Assignments may change over time based upon client and firm needs. The paralegal must be willing to fully comply with SMRLS’ written practice standards, guiding principles, federal regulations, and other SMRLS Board policies in furtherance of SMRLS’ Mission. Some community education, outreach and intake responsibilities are also expected activities. Some local travel is required. SMRLS’ paralegals are covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement and the successful candidate will be required to join the Union.

QUALIFICATIONS

Prior family, government benefits and senior law experience, non-academic experience working in low income communities, or other activities that demonstrate an interest in working with low income clients, are preferred and will be given great weight. Demonstrated ability to work effectively with battered women and persons 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 to work hard, independently, efficiently, and under pressure are required. An AA degree/paralegal certification is preferred. Spanish or Somali language skills preferred. Computer competence required.

SALARY

The salary is $29,730 + DOE. Good medical benefits provided.

STARTING DATE

Open until filled.

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