Full-Time Bilingual (English/Spanish) Paralegal/Outreach Worker
Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, Inc. (SMRLS) is seeking a full-time bilingual (English/Spanish) paralegal/outreach worker for its Agricultural Worker Project. The position will be primarily located in SMRLS’ central office in Saint Paul, Minnesota but involves extensive travel throughout Minnesota during parts of the year.
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 more than 50 attorneys, 39 additional staff and 800 volunteer attorneys to provide legal assistance to over 200,000 eligible persons.
SMRLS, through its Agricultural Worker Project, provides free and confidential civil legal aid to eligible agricultural workers in all counties of Minnesota and North Dakota. The AWP team focuses on improving clients’ working and living conditions through legal representation, outreach, and education. The AWP advises and represents clients with cases involving wage theft, workplace health and safety violations, inadequate employer-provided housing, labor trafficking, employment discrimination or retaliation, H-2A contract violations, and other legal matters that specifically impact agricultural workers. The AWP provides legal rights education to agricultural workers in Minnesota and North Dakota through extensive outreach and presentations to agricultural worker communities.
• Answer/return phone calls and messages (via WhatsApp, Facebook, and text messages) and provide referrals as necessary Perform extensive outreach to agricultural workers throughout Minnesota in late spring, summer, and early fall, including nights and some weekends
• Create and update legal rights materials
• Present to agricultural worker groups and community partners, occasionally during nights and weekends
• Partner with the outreach team to create outreach maps and presentations and track and maintain related data
• Provide substantive litigation support through written and verbal client communication, document gathering, drafting pleadings and correspondence, calculating wages/damages owed, and other case work duties as assigned based on client and litigation needs
• Assist in establishing and maintaining partnerships with non-profit organizations, government agencies and other external stakeholders to advance farmworker advocacy efforts
• Participate in outreach team meetings and weekly case review meetings
• Other duties as assigned
• Bilingual (English/Spanish) ability, written and oral, required
• Ability to conduct fact-intensive intake interviews in a detailed matter
• Demonstrated interest in serving the needs of low-income communities, preferably agricultural workers specifically
• Ability to conduct fact-intensive screening interviews in an accurate manner
• Ability to remain calm and act professionally under pressure
• Ability to handle confidential information with discretion
• Ability to say “no” to ineligible callers in a professional manner
• Ability to relate to culturally diverse and low-income people, and with people who suffer from physical or emotional problems, preferably agricultural workers
• Ability to learn and use computer database program
• Outstanding listening and interpersonal communication skills
• Strong oral and written communication skills
• Excellent organizational skills
• Exhibits initiative and the ability to work on a team and independently
• Willing and able to travel throughout Minnesota and periodically in North Dakota
• Possess and maintain a valid driver’s license
Position Open: Immediately
Compensation: $33,878+ DOE. Good benefits include paid vacation and sick/safe time.
To apply, please visit www.smrls.org or submit a cover letter, resume, and three professional references to:
Director of Human Resources
Southern MN Regional Legal Services
55 East Fifth Street, Suite 800
Saint Paul, MN 55101-1473
SMRLS IS COMMITTED TO DIVERSITY IN THE WORK PLACE. WOMEN, MINORITIES, AND
PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES ARE ESPECIALLY ENCOURAGED TO APPLY.