POSITION: Staff Attorney
Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, Inc. (SMRLS) is seeking to fill a staff attorney position in its Metro Region. The position is based in the St. Paul office. The attorney will handle cases in the public benefits unit.
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 to provide access to justice. SMRLS has an experienced, dynamic staff of 51 attorneys and 43 other staff. Hundreds of volunteer attorneys help staff to provide legal assistance to over 10,000 eligible persons each year.
SMRLS is a client-centered organization which is committed to its mission of providing a full range of high quality legal services, in a respectful manner, which enable clients to enforce their legal rights, maintain freedom from hunger, homelessness, sickness and abuse; and empower persons and ensure equal opportunity, thus, helping persons to help themselves and become economically self-reliant, to the extent their individual abilities and circumstances permit. SMRLS values, welcomes and promotes diversity in all aspects of its work. SMRLS has adopted practice standards, guiding principles, and racial justice policies, to accomplish its mission.
Provide legal assistance as part of the public benefits unit, including cases involving benefits issues (cash assistance, health care, emergency assistance, food support), SSI and RSDI cases, and issues involving Background Study Act disqualifications and licensing issues. Represent eligible clients with cases venued throughout SMRLS’ east metro service area. Assignments may change over time based upon client and firm needs. The attorney must be willing to maintain a caseload in compliance with SMRLS’ written practice standards and to comply with SMRLS’ policies, practices, and guiding principles in furtherance of SMRLS’ mission. Community education, outreach, intake responsibilities, and active bar participation are also required activities.
Must be licensed to practice law in Minnesota. At least 2 years of relevant law practice experience is required; specific experience in SSI and RSDI cases is preferred. Demonstrated ability to work effectively with low-income clients, victims of domestic violence, and persons of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds is essential. Excellent communication skills, ability to work positively and constructively with others in a teamwork setting, good judgment, and the ability to work hard, independently, efficiently, and under pressure is necessary. Applicants must be flexible and willing to take on additional duties as assigned by SMRLS. Must be willing and able to travel to court proceedings, outreach/education activities and other SMRLS-required activities throughout SMRLS’ service area. Computer competence is necessary.
SALARY: $44,737 for 2 years exp., DOE pursuant to salary scale, plus fringe benefits.
DEADLINE TO APPLY: June 7, 2013. Late applications may be considered until position is filled.
Please submit cover letter, resume, and references to:
Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services
55 East 5th Street, Suite 400
St. Paul, MN 55101-1473
SMRLS is committed to diversity in the workplace. Women, minorities, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.