Project Staff Attorney
Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, Inc. (SMRLS) is seeking to fill a two-year project staff attorney position in its Metro Region. The position is based in the St. Paul office. The attorney will focus on reducing the harmful effects of eviction records. The staff attorney will work with the court, community groups and government agencies to develop a pilot project in the Second Judicial District.
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 to provide access to justice. SMRLS has an experienced, dynamic staff of approximately 60 attorneys and 45 other staff. Hundreds of volunteer attorneys help staff to provide legal assistance to about 10,000 eligible persons each year.
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, guiding principles, and racial justice policies, to accomplish its mission.
Provide legal assistance as part of the housing unit, including cases involving admission to or eviction from subsidized housing such as public housing, Section 8 vouchers, project-based subsidies. Work to implement the recommendations of the Second Judicial District Housing Court Workgroup. Assist tenants in enforcing their rights when there are serious repair problems. Represent clients in negotiations, administrative hearings, court hearings and appeals. The attorney must be willing to maintain a caseload in compliance with SMRLS’ written practice standards and to comply with SMRLS’ policies, practices, and guiding principles in furtherance of SMRLS’ mission. Community education, outreach, intake responsibilities, and active bar participation are also required.
Applicants must be licensed to practice law in Minnesota and have courtroom and/or administrative hearing experience. Candidates who have a stated desire to handle contested cases will also be considered. Three to five years of experience is preferred. Demonstrated ability to work effectively with low-income clients, victims of domestic violence, and persons of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds is essential. Excellent communication skills, ability to work positively and constructively with others in a teamwork setting, good judgment, and the ability to work hard, independently, efficiently, and under pressure is necessary. Applicants must be flexible and willing to take on additional duties as assigned by SMRLS. Applicants must be willing and able to travel to court proceedings, outreach/education activities and other SMRLS-required activities throughout SMRLS’ service area. Computer competence is necessary.
$49,830 starting salary, or DOE, pursuant to salary scale, plus excellent fringe benefits.
DEADLINE TO APPLY
December 15, 2017. Late applications may be considered until position is filled.
SMRLS is committed to diversity in the workplace. People of color, women, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply.