Juvenile Rehabilitation Institutions & Reentry Staff Attorney
TeamChild is seeking a full-time staff attorney for our Juvenile Rehabilitation (JR) Institutions & Reentry Project. The Project team consists of a Managing Attorney, two Staff Attorneys, and a Legal Assistant. The Project also works collaboratively with TeamChild’s other program offices in King, Pierce, Spokane, and Yakima Counties. TeamChild staff have mostly continued to work remotely due to the pandemic. There is flexibility in this position for some remote work and work from one of our offices in Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, or Yakima. When it is safe, we anticipate some planning and work from the office. This position involves significant travel every month in order to meet with clients at JR’s institutions and community facilities.
Primary job duties focus on providing holistic civil representation to youth and young adults placed in Washington Juvenile Rehabilitation’s three institutions and nine community facilities, as well as youth on parole or recently released from incarceration. The JR Institutions and Reentry Project team fields many different issues, which can be unique and require resolution within the institutional constraints experienced by the youth and young adults seeking help. This job involves a lot of advice and counsel to clients as well as informal negotiation and advocacy. We seek to grow the project to develop more cases for litigation. Legal advice and areas include the impacts of juvenile court involvement, like record sealing, legal financial obligations and sex offender registration, conditions and impacts related to incarceration (healthcare and education), sentencing reviews and appeals, individual rights, and barriers to reentry, like securing stable housing and access to education and employment. The JR Institutions & Reentry Project Staff Attorney will also be responsible for developing community resources with and for youth at JR, building relationships with JR staff, and conducting trainings for JR youth and staff on relevant rights, services, and resources. All staff participate in fulfilling our commitment to organizational transformation through training, workgroups, retreats, staff meetings, and other internal collaborations.
TeamChild is a nationally recognized nonprofit legal aid organization serving youth across Washington State, with office locations in Seattle, Tacoma, Yakima and Spokane. TeamChild’s mission is to uphold the rights of youth involved, or at risk of involvement, in the juvenile legal system to help them secure the education, healthcare, housing and other support they need to achieve positive outcomes in their lives. We have three mutually reinforcing program strategies: legal services, policy advocacy, and training and community education. Core to all of our work is our legal services program, which reaches youth 12-24 years old in four of Washington’s largest counties as well as youth incarcerated in our state’s juvenile prison and community facilities. Our clients are youth and young adults who are entangled in juvenile court and the child welfare system and need civil legal advocacy to prevent homelessness, access education and employment, and get their basic health and other needs met. In our work, we also aim to move systems away from exclusion, punishment, arrest, and incarceration towards more effective and community-based strategies that address root causes and provide culturally meaningful and developmentally appropriate support and opportunities for young people.
At TeamChild we believe that racial and other social identities should be respected and affirmed. In support of this belief, we are building an equitable and inclusive organization and providing our team of staff, volunteers and Board members with the tools to address institutionalized racism and other forms of oppression. All members of our team are responsible for providing and supporting an equitable and inclusive work environment that will enrich our interactions with each other and our clients and services. This responsibility provides the foundation for empowering the children and families that we serve so their needs are justly represented and their desires amply fulfilled. For more information about TeamChild, our Juvenile Rehabilitation Project, and our county offices, see www.teamchild.org.
- Represent a full caseload of clients in a variety of civil legal needs;
- Maintain time on cases;
- Maintain coherent and clear case files;
- Conduct intakes as needed to screen new referrals;
- Work with team on case planning;
- Work effectively with youth clients age 12 to 24 and young adults who were impacted by incarceration at a juvenile rehabilitation (prison) facility;
- Comply with RPCs in providing high quality legal advice and representation;
- Provide substantive training on a variety of legal areas to youth, families, professionals, community members, and other lawyers;
- Conduct outreach to develop relationships and explore the legal needs of impacted community;
- Provide professional consultation with other attorneys or non attorneys who seek advice and support in the areas of youth law;
- Work on individual and collective policy advocacy areas as they are developed - local, county, and statewide (sometimes federal);
- Close cases in a timely manner;
- Review other attorney work and provide peer feedback;
- Participate in internal work groups at TeamChild regarding hiring, policies, retreats, and other internal functions;
- Help to develop the team budget;
- Co-counsel cases with other TeamChild staff;
- Work effectively with legal assistant on cases, intakes, and other projects;
- Present cases competently in superior court, administrative hearings, juvenile court, and possibly federal court and appellate court;
- Participate in retreats, planning meetings, regular staffings, and other collective agency work;
- Thoroughly review applicable funding contracts in order to work with team to understand deliverables and ensure compliance;
- Develop content expertise in substantive areas of law that we regularly practice, including civil rights, criminal law and procedure, post-conviction, family law, access to services and public benefits, and education law.
We are seeking candidates who are committed to social justice and are passionate legal advocates for young people. We seek candidates who are willing to go beyond the traditional attorney role in order to move towards cultivating holistic advocacy models to identify and execute creative -- and sometimes non-legal--strategies alongside youth. Candidates should work well both independently and as a team member, be respectful and passionate about working with people, enjoy creative problem solving, and value the creation of relationships across disciplines. Additional desired qualifications include:
- Exceptional legal skills, preferably in the relevant areas of law: prisoners’ rights, post-conviction matters, school discipline/special education, public health care, public benefits, re-entry issues, delinquency, child welfare, or other areas of youth-related law;
- Exceptional oral and written communication skills;
- Member in good standing of the Washington State Bar Association or eligible for reciprocity or willing to seek admission to the Washington State Bar Association;
- Demonstrated competence working with young people, especially adolescents, and diverse people and communities;
- High level of integrity; commitment to following the Rules of Professional Conduct and upholding ethical standards, including client confidentiality and zealous advocacy for client-directed goals;
- Must have a valid driver’s license and ability to travel throughout the state to meet client and agency needs (TeamChild provides mileage reimbursement or car rental options for JR team travel);
- Strong organizational, technology (case management systems, Microsoft Suite), and project management skills;
- Demonstrated ability to collaborate effectively with community stakeholders (other advocates and social service providers) and co-workers. Our attorneys must be adept at forging relationships with our clients, client communities, and the various advocates and social providers our clients access;
- Anti-racist analysis and commitment to undoing institutional racism and other forms of oppression;
- Demonstrated alignment with TeamChild Values: Centering Youth, Anti-Racism, Wholeness, Accountability;
- Personal connection with our client communities preferred, including lived experience with juvenile court, criminal court, foster care, homelessness, and special education; and
- Demonstrated ability to work independently and manage a moderate caseload (our Juvenile Rehabilitation and Reentry Project Staff attorneys carry caseloads between 30-40 clients on a diverse array of legal issues).
COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS
Salary is based on the TeamChild attorney salary scale and the candidate’s years of relevant worked and lived experience. The salary range is $61,800 to $92,700. For example, attorneys starting with 0 years of experience would be paid $61,800, and an attorney credited with ten years of experience will start at $77,957. This position comes with full benefits (including medical, dental, vision, $1,000/year wellness benefit, EAP, generous paid time off, long- and short-term disability, and options to set up FSA and 403b retirement accounts).
Please email a concise letter of interest, resume, and a legal writing sample to firstname.lastname@example.org using the following file naming convention: “[LastName] - Letter,” “[LastName] - Resume,” and “[LastName] - Writing Sample.” Please write "JR Institutions & Reentry Project Staff Attorney - [LastName]" in the subject line.
We currently have several open positions at TeamChild. If you are interested in being considered for multiple positions, please write “Multiple Positions” and your last name in the subject line. Please indicate in your cover letter which positions you are interested in. No phone calls or email inquiries please, but please see our website for upcoming opportunities to learn more about employment at TeamChild. The Hiring Committee will begin to review applications on September 27, 2021. Applications received on or after that date will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Before submitting your application, please check TeamChild’s website (teamchild.org/careers) to make sure that this position is still open.
All interested individuals, including people with lived experience, people of color, women, persons with disabilities, and persons who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or intersex are particularly urged to apply. TeamChild is an Equal Opportunity Employer. TeamChild is committed to promoting an environment free of barriers and discriminatory practices for its clients, Board, and staff.