Bilingual (English/Spanish) Agricultural Worker Project Staff Attorney - Saint Paul, Minnesota

Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, Inc. (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 partnering 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 and volunteer attorneys which provide legal assistance to over 200,000 eligible persons.

The Agricultural Worker Project (AWP) unit provides free civil legal aid to agricultural workers in Minnesota and North Dakota. The AWP is focused on improving workers’ living and working conditions through legal representation, outreach, and education. The AWP advises and represents agricultural workers regarding a variety of issues that specifically impact them including: the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, the regulatory provisions of the H-2A agricultural worker visa program, wage theft, workplace health and safety violations, employer-provided housing issues, labor trafficking, employment discrimination and/or retaliation, and public benefits. The AWP provides legal rights education to agricultural workers in Minnesota and North Dakota through extensive outreach and presentations to agricultural worker communities.

The AWP is looking for a motivated, creative, and flexible staff attorney who is professionally proficient in English and Spanish to join its team of dedicated attorneys and paralegals to address and resolve the myriad legal issues that negatively impact the working and living conditions of agricultural workers. The AWP currently has staff in SMRLS’ offices in Moorhead, Minnesota and Saint Paul, Minnesota. The candidate selected for this position will be based in SMRLS’ Saint Paul office and will be supervised by the AWP Lead Attorney. In addition to maintaining a case load, the staff attorney is expected to travel throughout Minnesota with other staff members to conduct outreach to agricultural workers, provide legal rights presentations, and 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 annually. One evening of outreach per week is typical for attorney participation.
• Provide legal rights presentations to agricultural workers and to the organizations that support them
• Participate in case acceptance and other regular meetings with the 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, plans to sit for the Minnesota bar exam, or eligibility for admission on motion without examination
• Fluent in oral and written Spanish
• Demonstrated commitment to serving the needs of low-income communities
• 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 the 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 Microsoft systems
• Possession of a current driver’s license; access to a vehicle is preferred but not required

Position Open: Immediately.

Compensation: Annual salary of $56,987+ DOE, pursuant to SMRLS’ salary scale, plus good fringe benefits.

To apply, please visit www.smrls.org or submit a cover letter, resume, and three professional references to:
John Joachim
Southern MN Regional Legal Services
55 East Fifth Street, Suite 800
Saint Paul, MN 55101-1473
john.joachim@smrls.org

 

SMRLS IS COMMITTED TO DIVERSITY IN THE WORKPLACE. WOMEN, MINORITIES, AND
PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES ARE ESPECIALLY ENCOURAGED TO APPLY.

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