VOCA Staff attorney
Staff Attorney – Crime Victims – Yakima
The Northwest Justice Project (NJP) offers a unique opportunity to join a mission driven organization serving the legal needs of low-income people and communities in the Central region of Washington State. Yakima sits at the Eastern foot of the Cascade Mountain range and includes diverse industries, affords rich cultural and recreational opportunities, and offers significant opportunity for professional growth and development within a larger statewide legal aid program.
NJP seeks applications from qualified attorneys to work to address the collateral civil legal needs of persons who have been victims of crime. Such crimes include, but are not limited to, domestic violence, sexual assault, rape, and other violent acts, trafficking, wage theft, fraud, identity theft, and other financial exploitation. The crime need not have been prosecuted or reported to law enforcement for the victim to receive civil legal services through NJP.
The ideal candidate would be interested and willing to pursue civil litigation in areas related to housing, consumer protection, family law, public benefits and health care access, and other collateral impacts of victimization (such as protection orders, housing, employment, health care, and education).
This position is one of several assigned to NJP general field service offices throughout the state. In conjunction with other NJP field staff lawyers, the Yakima VOCA attorney will provide a full-range of civil legal assistance and representation to crime victims with high priority collateral civil legal needs. The lawyer will provide limited assistance, including advice and brief services at clinics, as well as representation in litigation, administrative procedures, and other legal matters as resources allow.
The position will work as part of a larger team within NJP and will collaborate as part of a broader team of attorneys serving within the Washington Alliance for Equal Justice. Applicants should have a desire to work with crime victims and with the agencies that serve them. The lawyer will identify, conduct outreach to, and collaborate closely with victim and other services agencies, law enforcement and others to identify and address the most pressing legal needs of crime victims in the region. VOCA related work undertaken by the Yakima office has included family law litigation, litigating protection orders, housing litigation, and immigration relief.
GENERAL JOB DUTIES:
Work collaboratively with others to identify the most important problems that impact victims, their families, and their communities.
· Engage with clients and victim services providers to identify and seek individualized and systemic solutions to institutional barriers to preventing and addressing the adverse consequences of victimization, protecting and preserving access to basic needs, such as housing, income, and security.
· Train victim services providers to spot legal issues and refer appropriate cases.
· Identify and engage with persons and groups that experience special barriers to accessing civil legal services, including immigrants, limited English speaking persons, seniors, people experiencing homelessness, veterans, children, and people with disabilities.
· Engage with prosecutors, U.S. Attorneys, and assistant attorney general to identify cases for co-counseling or cross-referral.
· Engage with law enforcement, first responders, and mandatory reporters to develop identification and referral criteria for victim of crime cases.
· Develop collaborative working relationships with a statewide network of advocates addressing similar and related issues throughout the state; participate in advocacy task forces or work groups to address systemic issues that arise in the context of crime victimization.
· Utilize NJP’s case management and timekeeping systems and comply with all applicable regulatory requirements and reporting needs.
· Help identify and develop on-line resources for use by attorneys and/or unrepresented litigants on crime victim rights and consequential legal impacts arising from being a victim of crime.
· Support the work of NJP partners including the volunteer lawyers, private attorneys, other legal aid providers and interested parties and organizations addressing the legal needs of crime victims.
NJP has an organizational commitment to fight racism and to incorporate equity and inclusion in both the work we do and work environment we create. All staff are expected to uphold this commitment and approach their role with a desire to learn and grow in this area.
· Member of the Washington Bar, licensed in a state bar to which Washington could grant reciprocity or willing and able to take next bar is required
· 3 years of legal experience in a legal aid or comparable practice preferred
· Strong oral and written communication skills
· Attention to detail and willingness to develop and maintain systems to facilitate grant reporting and compliance requirements
· Able to develop and implement systems for case processing (e.g. referral, case triage and follow-up)
· Ability to engage and work collaboratively with diverse partners, client communities, law enforcement, health care providers, guardians, case managers, and others
· Cultural competency; especially with immigrants, crime victims, people with disabilities, limited English proficient persons, and seniors
· Overall commitment to serving low income populations will be evaluated for each candidate
· Preference given to those with direct or indirect experience working with crime victims, as well as immigrant persons
· Willingness to travel throughout the geographic service area of the Yakima office
· Spanish proficiency preferred
Starting salary is based upon years of experience, with an annual salary range starting at $61,933 to $115,754. We offer a comprehensive benefits package which includes 100% paid employee health premiums and significant premium shares for family health premiums, as well as generous time off.
Hours of work: NJP’s typical client office hours are 9:00 – 5:00, Monday through Friday. Attorney positions are exempt and those in the position are expected to work the hours needed to meet the professional responsibilities.
To Apply: Submit a letter of interest, current resume and writing sample to Victoria Hester at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cover letter and email subject line should clearly reference “Staff Attorney – Yakima VOCA.” Cover letter should include description of any experience, personal or professional, with low income or other marginalized communities. The Northwest Justice Project is especially interested in qualified candidates who’s professional, personal and/or service experience allow them to contribute to and support the legal aid community’s commitment to race equity.
Application deadline: December 16, 2019
NJP is committed to a policy of equal opportunity and fosters an environment free of barriers and discriminatory practices. NJP actively promotes mutual respect, acceptance, teamwork and productivity. NJP is committed to maintaining an organization whose staff, Board and clients are diverse in background, experience, race, color, national origin, gender, age, religious reference, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, sensory, mental or physical abilities, veteran status, and other qualities that strengthen the program while reinforcing its commitment to basic fairness. People of color, people who identify as transgender, lesbian, gay, or bisexual, and those with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. Individuals needing a reasonable accommodation for the application or interview process or for more information about the project should contact Victoria Hester at 206-707-0998.