Community Engagement Staff Attorney – Legal Aid of SE PA, Norristown/Montgomery County
Legal Aid of Southeastern PA (“LASP”) seeks an attorney to provide legal services and community outreach in its Community Engagement Unit. LASP provides civil legal services free of charge to eligible clients in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties. The Community Engagement Unit focuses on community outreach and collaboration with a broad and expanding network of community partners. The attorney will plan and organize outreach events and clinics; recruit, train, and oversee the work of volunteer attorneys and law students; and represent clients in a host of legal matters, with a particular emphasis on addressing the collateral consequences of having a criminal record and providing second chances for clients who had previous interaction with the criminal justice system. It is anticipated that a special focus will be given to the Spanish-speaking population in LASP’s service area.
In 2018, Pennsylvania enacted one of the most progressive Clean Slate laws in the nation. This position will inform communities about the law, help individuals understand whether their records will be automatically sealed, and provide assistance in filing petitions when necessary. Cases handled will include expungements, pardons, limited access petitions, professional licensure appeals, criminal records error corrections, civil forfeitures and waiver of court debt. The attorney may also focus on reentry issues for those recently released or about to be released from incarceration. The position is a full-time regional position, based in Norristown, and will have responsibility throughout the 4 county area served by LASP.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include the following:
- Interviewing clients, assisting in determining eligibility for services, and ascertaining and investigating facts;
- Conducting legal research and interpreting statutes, case law, regulations, and other sources of law;
- Providing advice and counsel to clients and making appropriate referrals;
- Preparing legal documents, including but not necessarily limited to: briefs, pleadings, motions, notices, correspondence, memoranda, discovery and documents responsive to discovery requests;
- Developing strategy and arguments for presentation of cases and assisting in preparation of witnesses for hearings and trials;
- Representing clients in trial and appellate courts and before quasi-judicial or administrative agencies;
- Reviewing decisions and consulting with LASP’s management team to determine merit of potential appeals;
- Participating in external professional and community organizations relevant to casework and developing and strengthening relationships with community partners;
- Conducting clinics, community education, training, and workshops;
- Recruiting and managing LASP volunteers, including pro bono attorneys, law students, undergraduates, and others;
- Becoming engaged in LASP team efforts to achieve office and program goals, including participation in program-wide affinity groups and task forces;
- Developing knowledge of community referral resources and assessing community and client needs;
- Working with LASP’s communications manager to create and update LASP legal resources, including flyers, brochures, and information for self-represented litigants, with particular emphasis on resources for the Spanish speaking community in LASP’s service area.
- Enhancing skills and substantive knowledge through training, CLE, and other educational opportunities;
- Abiding by all applicable professional standards of ethics and practice;
- Completing required administrative tasks including entering of notes and timekeeping in LASP case management software and maintaining of physical files;
- Ensuring that requirements of grants and contracts which may provide funding for the position are followed, and assisting with grant reports;
- Performing other duties and responsibilities as may be assigned.
SUPERVISOR: Community Engagement Unit Supervising Attorney.
QUALIFICATIONS: Eligible to practice law in Pennsylvania. 0-3 years’ experience as a lawyer; demonstrated proficiency in word processing, Outlook products, case management software, and online legal research tools; Passionate commitment to public interest law and serving low-income individuals and vulnerable populations; Strong written and oral advocacy and organizational skills; The successful candidate must be willing to accept complex and challenging cases and develop creative strategies to assist clients. Spanish language proficiency is desirable.
LASP is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate in the recruitment, selection, or advancement of employees on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, creed, age, religion, marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation or on any other basis prohibited by law.
TO APPLY: Send resume and writing sample to Kesha James, Deputy Director for Advocacy at Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania by email to Hiring@lasp.org. Position will remain open until filled.