Spokane County Staff Attorney
TeamChild is seeking a full-time staff attorney in our Spokane County office. This is an opportunity to be part of a collaborative team that is dedicated to client-centered legal advocacy and working to continually reflect and improve our client services and office and program practices. TeamChild’s three central strategies for practicing our mission and affecting change are direct representation, policy advocacy, and training and consultation. Staff attorneys participate in each of these strategies, with client representation as the primary focus. All TeamChild 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 products 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 and the Spokane County office, see www.teamchild.org.
Spokane, the ancestral lands of the Sp'q'n'i', is the seat of beautiful Spokane County, with four seasons and plenty of river, lakes, trails, and snowy mountains to keep outdoor adventurers happy year-round. Spokane is among the fastest growing counties in the nation, and the beginning of that growth has come at the avoidable and reversible cost of marginalizing poor and unhoused folks. Further, the population of Spokane has historically been, and continues to be, predominately white. While only 15% of the city’s population is Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), the city’s school district is now made up of 33% BIPOC students. The population and diversity growth in Spokane brings to the forefront the racist systems of oppression that are the foundation of this city. This requires people to challenge and dismantle these systems for a healthy, thriving Spokane. We at TeamChild believe that we are some of those people.
- Work effectively with youth clients age 12 to 24 and continue learning and applying knowledge about adolescent brain development and trauma informed approaches to working with young people;
- Maintain an appropriate client caseload based on statewide and local office guidance, considering level of experience, complexity of current caseload, and other agreed upon responsibilities;
- Develop content expertise in substantive areas of law that we regular practice, including special education, school discipline, McKinney Vento, CHINS, emancipation, dependency, post conviction relief, juvenile court delinquency support, Medicaid, DDA eligibility, SSI eligibility, guardianship, civil rights, and more;
- Present cases competently, as required by client needs and TeamChild’s commitments, in superior court, administrative hearings, juvenile court, and possibly federal court and appellate court;
- Comply with RPCs in providing high quality legal representation;
- Maintain organized and clear client case files, consistently maintain timekeeping and case notes in TeamChild’s web/cloud-based case management system, and close cases in a timely manner, based on statewide and local office guidance;
- Collaborate with local office/program teams and program staff statewide on intake/screening processes, case planning, case support, litigation planning, co-counseling, reviewing other attorneys’ work and closed cases, and other projects;
- Thoroughly review applicable funding contracts in order to understand deliverables and ensure compliance;
Training and Consulting
- Provide substantive training and consultation on a variety of legal areas to youth, families, professionals, community members, and other lawyers;
- Participate in community engagement work, including but not only outreach activities, to develop relationships and connect with the communities where you work;
- Build and maintain relationships with local and statewide partners and promote effective collaboration with other legal aid, public defense and advocacy organizations;
- Contributing to work on individual and collective policy advocacy areas as they are developed and agreed to by TeamChild at the local, county, and statewide (sometimes federal) levels;
- Participate in collaborative decision making processes about our work, priorities, and administration and operations;
- Participate in retreats, planning meetings, regular staffings, and other collective agency work; and
- Continue learning about, developing, and applying anti-racist principles in work internal to TeamChild as well as in our community and client work.
We are seeking candidates who are committed to social justice and are passionate legal advocates for young people. Candidates should work well both independently and as a team member, be respectful and passionate about working with people from diverse backgrounds, enjoy creative problem solving, and value the creation of relationships across disciplines. Additional qualifications include:
- Exceptional legal skills, preferably in the relevant areas of law including school discipline/special education, public health care, public benefits, re-entry issues, delinquency, child welfare, or other areas of youth related law;
- Strong interpersonal and well developed oral and written communication skills to distill and convey complex information to a wide variety of audiences;
- Member in good standing of the Washington State Bar Association or eligible for reciprocity or limited admission to practice pending admission to the Washington State Bar Association;
- Experience working with young people, especially adolescents;
- Demonstrated competence in working with diverse clients and communities;
- High level of professionalism and ethical standards; commitment to following the Rules of Professional Conduct, including client confidentiality and zealous advocacy for client-directed goals;
- Must have access to a vehicle and have a valid driver’s license and liability insurance to travel throughout the county to meet client and agency needs ;
- Strong organizational, technology, and project management skills;
- Demonstrated alignment with TeamChild values: Centering Youth, Anti-Racism, Wholeness, Accountability;
- Interest in working on policy advocacy at local, county, and statewide (sometimes federal) levels;
- Anti-racist analysis and commitment to undoing institutional racism and other forms of oppression;
- Demonstrated ability to collaborate effectively with other advocates and social service providers; and
- Bilingualism in Spanish, Marshallese, and/or another language frequently spoken by the communities we serve is a plus.
COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS
Salary is based on the TeamChild attorney salary scale and the candidate's years of relevant experience. The salary range is $61,800 to $92,700. For example, an attorney credited with zero years of legal experience will start at $61,800. An attorney with seven years of experience will start at $73,461. The place in which an attorney starts on the salary scale may be increased based upon the attorney’s lived experience with systems of oppression reflective of our clients’ experiences. This position comes with full benefits including:
- Medical insurance through Regence with multiple plans available;
- Dental, Vision, EAP;
- Generous vacation, sick leave, and paid time off including 10 paid holidays and the week between Christmas and New Year’s day;
- Options to set up FSA and 403b retirement accounts;
- Annual Wellness Fund stipend, which provides up to $1,000 in reimbursement for personal expenses related to employee health and wellbeing;
- Paid WA State Bar Association Dues;
- Qualifying employer for the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness program;
- Reimbursement for moving and relocation expenses.
Please email a concise letter of interest, resume, and a legal writing sample to email@example.com using the following naming convention: “[LastName] – Letter,” “[LastName] – Resume,” and “[LastName] – Writing Sample.” Please write "Staff Attorney – Spokane County" and your last name in the subject line. No phone calls or email inquiries please. We will review applications on an starting October 15th. The position is open until filled. Before submitting your application, please check teamchild.org/careers to make sure that this position is still posted.
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.