COMPENSATION: 20 to 35 hours per week at a starting rate of $29/hour plus vacation and sick leave. Those working full time (35 hours per week) are eligible for a $300 health stipend.
RECRUITMENT: Complete application packets must be received by Monday, September 13, 2021. Required materials are described below.
Thurston County Volunteer Legal Services (TCVLS) promotes access to justice through the coordinated efforts of trained volunteers, staff attorneys and community partners. While having staff attorneys who provide eviction defense services, our core mission is to enable low-income clients to resolve their civil legal problems through legal advice, information, and direct representation in a manner sensitive to individuals and their legal needs. Pro bono services are provided through advice and brief service clinics, unbundled legal services, and full direct representation.
The Equal Justice Attorney (EJ Attorney) is an exempt employee working under the direction of the TCVLS Executive Director. Day-to-day supervision is provided by our Managing Attorney. The EJ Attorney position is funded with grants that are expected to be ongoing.
The EJ Attorney role is to supplement the operations of TCVLS and its programs. In no way is it intended to diminish the vital role volunteer attorneys play in the delivery of pro bono legal aid in our community.
The primary functions of the EJ Attorney are:
1. Advise and represent low-income clients who are survivors of domestic violence and who need assistance with protection orders, parenting plans or divorce.
2. Advise and provide limited representation to low-income tenants who have received notice that they are being evicted but no summons has been issued.
3. Coordinate the TCVLS pro bono direct representation initiative, which includes client eligibility determination, case assessment for the depth and breadth of legal assistance needed, recruitment of and referral to pro bono attorneys, and on-going support for participating pro bono attorneys. The EJ Attorney may occasionally provide brief representation, including representation in court, pending the assignment of a pro bono attorney.
4. Actively participate on behalf of TCVLS with the Thurston, Mason, and Grays Harbor Bar Associations and other attorney affinity groups, task forces, and coalitions as opportunities arise. The EJ Attorney will identify need for and lead or coordinate CLEs and other trainings to ensure volunteers are well prepared to represent TCVLS clients.
5. Supervise paralegal students and other legal professionals to follow-up with clients from legal advice clinics. Supervise paralegal student and volunteer legal assistants to ensure that effective and competent assistance is provided for client follow-up appointments and drafting of legal documents and pleadings. As opportunities arise, the EJ Attorney may supervise paralegal and student volunteers and/or Rule 9 or other intern.
This position may be full time or part-time depending on grant funding. At a minimum, 20 hours per week is required. Full-time is considered 35 hours per week. Vacation and sick leave are provided. Full time employees (35 hours per week) are eligible for a monthly health stipend. Some evening and weekend work may be required. The EJ Attorney must have a valid Washington State Driver’s License and automobile insurance. The EJ Attorney is required to provide own transportation for any offsite meetings.
Education and Experience:
• Member in good standing with the Washington State Bar Association;
• Minimum of three years’ experience practicing law preferred; and,
• Experience in civil legal procedures with emphasis in family law.
Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
• Demonstrated passion and commitment to the principles of Access to Justice;
• Demonstrated issue identification and problem solving skills;
• Ability to work a nontraditional schedule, including occasional evening and weekend hours;
• Ability to communicate effectively in English (interpreters are available to communicate with clients who do not speak English);
• Demonstrated cultural competence and ability to work with persons of diverse ages, abilities, races, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds, gender identities, and sexual preferences;
• Strong and effective communication skills (both written and oral) and demonstrated capacity to relate to clients, attorneys, legal professionals, colleagues within the organization, the courts, etc;
• Understanding of and demonstrated compliance with the Washington State Rules of Professional Conduct;
• Ability to work independently and collaboratively with staff, volunteers, board members, and community partners;
• Willingness and ability to supervise paralegals and Rule 9 law student interns;
• Strong organizational and time management skills;
• Ability to track and analyze data and produce written and verbal reports and presentations;
• Basic knowledge of and ability to use the technological resources available in the courts and justice system in Washington State (JIS, Odyssey, etc);
• Ability to transfer handwritten information into client database;
• Competency in Microsoft Office Suite including Excel, Word, Power Point and Outlook;
• Working knowledge of standard office procedures and technologies (telephone, computer, printer, copier, scanner); and,
• A valid Washington driver’s license and automobile insurance. EJ Attorney must provide own transportation in service delivery area.
Desired Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
• Experience with pro bono legal representation;
• Experience delegating work to paralegals, student interns, and other legal professionals;
• Experience training and supervising paralegal volunteers, student interns, and other legal professional volunteers;
• Familiarity with the LegalServer case management system; and,
• Demonstrated capacity to design and operate a program that provides civil legal aid to low income individuals and families.
HOW TO APPLY: A complete application packet must be received no later than Monday, September 13, 2021. Candidates must include a cover letter, a resume that reflects the required education and experience, and a list of three references (please include phone numbers).