Staff Attorney, Worthington or Mankato

Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, Inc., (SMRLS) is seeking to fill a Staff Attorney position in the Worthington or Mankato office of its Southwest Region to handle primarily Housing Law matters. The attorney hired will also handle government benefits and other types of cases.

The SMRLS Southwest Region has offices in Mankato and Worthington to assist low income persons in the 17 counties of southern Minnesota west of Interstate 35 to the South Dakota border. There are currently 12 attorney positions in the two offices, including two attorneys working on its Intake Hotline, along with 8 paralegal and clerical staff.

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, including the St. Paul metropolitan area.  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 55 attorneys and 45 additional staff.  Hundreds of volunteer attorneys help staff provide legal assistance to approximately 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 has adopted Practice Standards and Guiding Principles to accomplish its Mission and has established case priorities which govern the types of cases which will be accepted for representation.

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.

Worthington is located on Interstate 90 in the southwest corner of the state, approximately 100 miles southwest of Mankato.  The Worthington community of approximately 11,000 persons is located on Lake Okabena and is the site of a community college.


The attorney will provide legal assistance to clients in contested court and administrative proceedings, including evictions, Tenant Remedies Actions, and subsidized housing and government benefits administrative appeals. Represent eligible clients with cases venued throughout SMRLS’ service area. Assignments may change over time based upon client and firm needs. The attorney must accept supervision and must be willing to maintain a caseload in compliance with SMRLS’ written practice standards and 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 activities.  Substantial local travel is required.           


Must be licensed to practice law in Minnesota or be a candidate for Bar admission. 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 victims of domestic abuse and persons from different cultural backgrounds is essential. Good communication skills; ability to work constructively with others in a team work setting; good judgment; strong organizational capability: ability to learn quickly and to work hard, independently, and under pressure; and ability to handle contested hearings are all required. Fluency in a second language, particularly Spanish or Somali, will be beneficial but is not required.  Basic computer competence required.


The salary is $46,956+ DOE, pursuant to scale.  Good medical and dental benefits provided.


As soon as possible after the position is filled.


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