Legal Action of Wisconsin Seeks Staff Attorney - Victims of Crime Act

Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc. (Legal Action) is seeking a full-time staff attorney to work at its Racine Office.  The position is available immediately. The attorney will provide representation to low-income persons who have been the victim of a crime. The attorney will primarily focus in the area of family law.  The attorney may also provide representation in housing law, removing barriers to employment, public benefits, and consumer law.  The position will primarily serve Kenosha and Walworth Counties. Please see our website for information about our work in all of these areas of law:  http://www.legalaction.org/content/index.cfm?cm_id=3

Equal justice under law can only be achieved through the collaboration of a diverse staff. When we utilize our differences, we effect positive change for the communities we serve. We are committed to equitable inclusion across gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, ability, sex, religion, economic circumstances, ethnicity, national origin, and culture. We are striving to transcend the construct of race and be an anti-racist law firm. We encourage staff to bring their whole selves to work each day and pledge to celebrate every aspect of who they are.                                                       

LEGAL ACTION OF WISCONSIN, INC. 

Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc. (Legal Action) is a non-profit law firm, funded by the federal Legal Services Corporation, the Wisconsin Trust Account Foundation, and other sources.  Legal Action provides free civil legal aid to low-income persons in the southern 39 counties of Wisconsin.  To serve its eligible client population, Legal Action maintains full-time offices in Milwaukee, Madison, Racine, Oshkosh, Green Bay, and La Crosse.  In addition, Legal Action operates statewide farmworker and elder abuse civil legal aid projects.  Legal Action attorneys have expertise in a range of substantive areas, but the majority of direct representation is in the areas of housing, income maintenance, and family law.  Staff attorneys are expected to maintain a direct service caseload on behalf of individual and group clients, as well as to engage in law reform litigation and other impact work.  Attorneys are expected to specialize in specific areas of poverty law. 

RACINE AREA OFFICE

The Racine Office is located at 4900 Spring Street, Ste. 100, Racine, WI, 53406.  The Racine Office currently consists of nine attorneys, three paralegals.  The office provides direct services to low income clients in Racine, Kenosha, and Walworth counties. 

This position will be based out of the Racine Office. Most Racine Office staff are currently remote due to COVID-19, but all staff will transition back to the physical office when it is safe to do so. 

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

-         Legal Action staff attorneys are responsible for providing quality and aggressive representation of clients in individual service cases and to undertake impact work (that which has impact on groups of low-income persons or the systems that have the most effect on the low-income community), and for performing all duties associated with such representation.

-         Attorneys must stay current with the areas of law that pertain to the low-income community as they change and develop, particularly in their area of specialization.

-         Attorneys are expected to share responsibility for the development and maintenance of good working relationships with community groups and with state and local bar associations and others.

-         Attorneys will be called upon to provide training and other assistance to volunteers who participate in Legal Action's Volunteer Lawyer Project.

-         All attorneys perform intake duties and, where necessary, make appropriate referrals to other community agencies.

-         All staff attorneys are responsible for serving on at least one of our Priority Committees:  Housing; Employment; Consumer; Public Benefits; and Family. These priority committees are comprised of Legal Action attorneys practicing in those areas of law.  They meet quarterly to discuss trends in the law and practicing in that area of law and to strategize the firm’s work on particular matters and issues. This Racine area office staff attorney priority committee assignment is to be determined.

-         The staff attorney may be assigned additional duties from time to time.

QUALIFICATIONS

-         Prior experience in civil legal aid or other relevant experience is preferred.

-         Experience and knowledge of the court systems in Legal Action’s overall service area or in other counties served by our Racine office area is preferred and admission to the Wisconsin Bar is required upon hire.

-         A candidate with one to three years of legal experience, is preferred.

-         While academic training, performance, and the nature and extent of prior legal experience are considered, we will also consider the applicant’s knowledge and understanding of the legal problems and needs of low-income persons and commitment to providing civil legal aid.

-         Prior legal work in the client community or in other programs to aid the poor.

-         Ability to communicate with persons in the client community who speak a language other than English as their principal language (e.g., Spanish or Hmong), and cultural affinity with the client community.

-         Legal Action requires a personal commitment to civil legal aid and to providing quality and aggressive representation to low-income people and crime victims. Attorneys must be knowledgeable in state and federal law and procedure. Attorneys must meet high standards of written and courtroom advocacy.

-         Applicants must be able to communicate both orally and in writing in a clear and concise manner and work harmoniously with others.

-         Ability to handle and prioritize many pressing matters in various locations is needed.

-         Ability to travel throughout Legal Action’s service area to meet with clients and to attend court hearings is required.

Legal Action values a diverse staff and work environment.  LAW strongly encourages applications from women, people of color, people who identify as LGBTQIA, people with disabilities, and people with life experiences or education that add to the firm’s diversity and our capacity to provide high-quality legal aid.  LAW encourages applicants to include a statement about the ways that their unique background and personal, professional, and life experiences contribute to the diversity, cultural vitality, and perspective of the firm’s staff and our law firm’s mission along with their other application materials. 

PHYSICAL DEMANDS AND WORK ENVIRONMENT

This position involves sedentary work, including sitting at a desk on a computer for an extended period. Exerting up to 10 pounds of force on a regular basis to lift, carry, push, or otherwise move objects. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to stand, sit, talk, hear and use hands and fingers to operate a computer and/or laptop keyboard and use a telephone. Specific vision abilities required for this job include close vision requirements due to computer work. Drives a motor vehicle while seated for extended periods of time occasionally. Occasional reaching, bending, kneeling and stooping involved to retrieve various items and materials. If working at a LAW office, the attorney will work in an environmentally-controlled office with moderate noise from phones, printers and light office traffic.

SALARY & BENEFITS

The salary for this position and all attorney positions are determined by Legal Action’s attorney salary scale.  Under our attorney salary scale, an attorney with 0 – 1 years of experience would receive an annual salary of $45,727 for a 100% full-time position.  An attorney with 5 years of experience practicing law would earn a salary of $52,347.  An attorney with 10 years of experience would earn a salary of $58,967.  In addition, the position may receive an annual increase if the Board of Directors approves it. 

Legal Action provides a generous fringe benefits package, including employer-paid health and dental insurance for employees and eligible dependents. (Some employees are required to contribute to the health insurance premium for their spouse, if the spouse has group health insurance provided by their employer.) Legal Action also provides life and long-term disability insurance, a profit-sharing retirement plan, salary deferral options for retirement planning, low-cost employee paid vision coverage, four weeks of annual leave per year (accrued), four days of personal leave per year, generous sick leave accrual, and four weeks of paid parental leave for eligible employees.

This position reports to the Managing Attorney of the physical office where the attorney is located.    

GOVERNANCE

The position is subject to a probationary period of up to one year. The position is governed by the Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc. Personnel Policies which are subject to unilateral change by the Legal Action Board of Directors.  As with any Legal Action position, there is no guaranteed period of employment and employment is at will, subject to termination at any time. 

HOW TO APPLY

Applicants must submit the following application materials via Legal Action of Wisconsin’s online applicant portal:

•            Cover letter

•            Resume

•            Writing sample

•            Provide the names and contact information for three professional references (current LAW staff members are not required to include references)

•            Law school transcript (only required for applicants who graduated 2017 or later)

•            Optional, but highly encouraged: A statement about the ways your unique background, and personal, professional, and life experiences contribute to the diversity, cultural vitality, and perspective of our staff and our law firm’s mission and this position.

Please submit and upload all the documents required. If the required documents are not submitted on or before the deadline, your application will be considered incomplete and we will not be able to consider you for this position. 

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS

The position will be open until filled.  To ensure early consideration, please submit application materials no later than close of business at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, November 30, 2020. 

Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employee

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