Yakima Staff Attorney
TeamChild is seeking a full-time staff attorney in our Yakima 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. Primary job duties include providing holistic civil legal representation to youth who are at risk of or already involved in the juvenile court and child welfare systems. Advocacy involves breaking down legal barriers to a wide array of community-based services and supports, including but not limited to, education, safe and stable living situations, mental health care and medical services, and other civil rights issues. Activities include legal advice and/or representation in administrative or judicial proceedings, negotiations or other dispute resolution processes, advocacy in juvenile court in partnership with public defenders to promote alternatives to secure detention, and collaboration with and referrals to community providers. The staff attorney is also responsible for other advocacy activities, including community training, outreach, and policy work on behalf of our client base.
There is flexibility in this position for some remote work and work from our Yakima Office. TeamChild staff have mostly continued to work remotely due to the pandemic. When it is safe, we anticipate some planning and work from the office. This position involves travel in order to meet with clients and community.
The Yakima office is currently hiring for one attorney position – either a managing attorney or staff attorney. Both options are posted, please indicate if you are interested in being considered for both positions.
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. At the core 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 entangled in the juvenile court and child welfare systems who deserve quality civil legal advocacy to achieve housing security, access education and employment, and get their basic health and other needs met. In our work, we also aim to move away from systems of exclusion, punishment, arrest, and incarceration towards more effective, 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 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 services. This responsibility provides the foundation for serving our clients and their families so their needs are justly represented and their goals amply fulfilled. For more information about TeamChild and the Yakima Office, see www.teamchild.org.
- Represent a full caseload of clients in a variety of civil legal needs;
- Work effectively with youth clients age 12 to 24 and young adults who were impacted by incarceration at a juvenile rehabilitation (prison) facility;
- Present cases competently in superior court, administrative hearings, juvenile court, and possibly federal court and appellate court;
- Comply with RPCs in providing high quality legal advice and representation;
- 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.
- Maintain time on cases;
- Maintain coherent and clear case files;
- Work with team on case planning;
- Work effectively with legal assistant on cases, intakes, and other projects;
- Close cases in a timely manner;
- Conduct intakes as needed to screen new referrals;
- Review other TeamChild attorney work and provide peer feedback;
- Co-counsel cases with other TeamChild staff;
- Conduct outreach to develop relationships and explore the legal needs of impacted community;
- Provide substantive training on a variety of legal areas to youth, families, professionals, community members, and other lawyers;
- 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);
- Help to develop the Yakima team budget;
- Thoroughly review applicable funding contracts in order to work with team to understand deliverables and ensure compliance;
- Participate in internal work groups at TeamChild regarding hiring, policies, retreats, and other internal functions and collective agency work;
We are seeking candidates who are committed to undoing institutional racism and other forms of oppression and are passionate about supporting 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:
- 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;
- 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 travel).
- 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;
- Demonstrated competence working with young people, especially adolescents, and diverse people and communities;
- Compassion and empathy in working with youth from all backgrounds and situations;
- 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;
- Demonstrated alignment with TeamChild values: Centering Youth, Anti-Racism, Wholeness, Accountability;
- Anti-racist analysis and commitment to undoing institutional racism and other forms of oppression;
- Ability to work collaboratively with diverse groups of people with varying perspectives, experience, and expertise.
- 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, our client communities, and the various advocates and social providers our clients access;
- Exceptional oral and written communication skills;
- Strong organizational, technology (case management systems, Microsoft Suite), and project management skills.
- Oral Spanish language proficiency (listening and speaking) strongly preferred, written skills recommended.
- Legal advocacy skills, including administrative hearing and civil litigation experience, negotiation, clear and persuasive writing, and oral presentation preferred.
- Experience living or working in Yakima or a community of similar size and demographic make-up preferred.
- Personal connection with our client communities preferred, including lived experience with juvenile court, criminal court, foster care, homelessness, and special education.
COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS
Salary is based on the TeamChild attorney salary scale and the candidate's years of relevant experience. The salary range begins is $64,272 to $95,018. For example, an attorney credited with zero years of relevant experience would start in this position with a salary of $64,272. An attorney with seven years of experience will start at $74,536. Attorneys whose legal experience would place them below $75,000 may be credited for additional years of experience based upon the attorney’s lived experience with systems of oppression reflective of our clients’ experiences.
TeamChild offers full benefits including medical, dental, vision, Employee Assistance Programs (EAP), generous paid time off, long- and short-term disability. life insurance, and options to set up Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and 403b retirement accounts. TeamChild offers an annual $1,000 wellbeing benefit, as well.
LIVING AND WORKING IN THE BEAUTIFUL YAKIMA VALLEY
Yakima is located just east of the Cascade Mountains and is known as the Heart of Central Washington, with an average of 300 days of sunshine annually, and comprised of a diverse community. The population of Yakima County is 47.7% Hispanic, 45% White, and 3.64% Native American. Approximately 40.3% of the people of Yakima County speak a language other than English. The name Yakima originates from the Yakama Nation tribe, whose reservation is located south of the city. Yakima is Washington State’s leader in value of the fruits, vegetables, grains, and other agricultural products produced by the region’s farmers and is known as one of the world’s leading producers of apples. Access to the outdoors, diverse cultures, and a lower cost of living are just some of the benefits to enjoy while living and working in this rural community.
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” and “[LastName] - Resume.” Please write "Staff Attorney – Yakima County" and your last name 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.
Before submitting your application, please check TeamChild’s website to make sure that this position is still open.