Volunteer Attorney Program Assistant, St. Paul, Minnesota

Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, Inc. (SMRLS) is seeking a Volunteer Attorney Program (VAP) Assistant (.5 FTE) located at its St. Paul, Minnesota office. 

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 well as, the areas served by its farm worker unit.  As Minnesota’s oldest legal aid program (founded in 1909), SMRLS has established a tradition of partnership with the private bar, a bipartisan legislature, the Supreme Court and other Minnesota Legal Services Coalition programs in providing access to justice.  SMRLS has an experienced, dynamic staff of approximately 60 attorneys and 45 additional staff.  Hundreds of volunteer attorneys help staff provide legal assistance to over 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; to maintain freedom from hunger, homelessness, sickness and abuse; and to empower persons and ensure equal opportunity, thus, helping persons to help themselves and to 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.

Responsibilities

The VAP Assistant involves working with other attorneys and staff to provide legal assistance to eligible clients residing in SMRLS’ thirty-three county service area in southern Minnesota.  This position will assist in implementing the VAP marketing plan, including developing and maintaining databases, coordinating mailings and researching marketing opportunities.  The VAP Assistant will also provide help for the brief services clinics throughout the SMRLS region including the preparation of packets, submission and posting of announcements, letters, and client stories for media purposes along with providing general clinic assistance.  The position will also assist VAP staff in preparing grant reports.  Some local travel in southern Minnesota will be required.

Qualifications

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. 1-2 years of general office experience required. Demonstrated ability to work with persons from different cultural backgrounds is essential.  Good communication skills, especially writing; 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. Computer competence required.  Ability to lift 20 pounds regularly required.

Salary

DOE pursuant to scale. Good benefits provided.

Starting Date

Open until filled.  AAEOE

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