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Staff Attorney - Legal Clinic

Company: Hampden County Bar Association
Location: Springfield
Posted on: October 8, 2018

Job Description:

The HCBA is a volunteer organization of lawyers representing the legal profession. It provides professional support and education to over 1,000 members and advocacy on behalf of lawyers, the judiciary, and the public. The Hampden County Legal Clinic (HCLC) is a nationally-recognized, award-winning pro bono program of the HCBA which strives to continually improve access to justice for the underserved in Hampden County through volunteer efforts of legal professionals. It is funded by several generous grants from the Massachusetts Mutual Life Financial Group. The HCLC provides free essential legal and law-related services to area residents in need through a variety of pro bono initiatives and community-based programs. We are seeking a full-time staff attorney who is committed to helping others and working with the private bar to expand access to justice. The staff attorney will work under the direct supervision of the Pro Bono Director, who oversees and administers all aspects of the HCLC. The staff attorney will be responsible for coordinating and managing all clinical programs offered by the HCLC on a weekly basis in the areas of housing, family law, and civil district matters, as well as new initiatives. This includes running the programs day-of, taking the lead on volunteer recruitment strategies and trainings (e.g. solicitations, recognition, training manuals), and administration of the programs, including collecting, inputting, and reporting data. The staff attorney will also mentor volunteers and will have an opportunity to participate in clinic programs as a practitioner, as needed. The staff attorney will assist the Pro Bono Director in fulfilling the HCLC's Strategic Action Plan objectives and general clinic operations, which include strategies related to cultivating a strong pro bono culture in Hampden County, community outreach and education, fundraising, media relations, and helping to develop strong local partnerships. In addition, the HCLC will be launching a new clinical program, the Consumer Debt Initiative, later this year. The staff attorney will spend a significant portion of his/her time on the Consumer Debt Initiative, including helping to design and execute a consumer debt Lawyer for the Day program operating in the Springfield District Court; training, mentoring and recruiting volunteer attorneys; collecting and reporting data; working with program partners; and connecting defendants and their families to financial literacy materials, information about their rights, and available resources both on-site during the program and "upstream" in their communities. The HCBA is an equal opportunity employer and seeks to employ a diverse staff. Fluency in a second language is preferred, especially Spanish, as many of our clients are limited English proficient. Job Responsibilities: The staff attorney will develop/maintain expertise in the areas of consumer debt and other clinical programs the HCLC operates (housing, family and civil district matters), as well as general civil litigation. The staff attorney will:

  • Coordinate and manage the HCLC clinical programs each week.
  • Interact with and recruit volunteers from the private bar.
  • Coordinate and conduct periodic trainings for volunteers.
  • Supervise and answer substantive questions from pro bono volunteers.
  • Develop training materials and information packets for volunteer attorneys and clinic clients.
  • Collect, maintain, and input data from all HCLC programs.
  • Participate in the development of the Consumer Debt Initiative, a new HCLC clinic set to launch later this year.
  • Assist with grant applications and reports.
  • Provide support to the Pro Bono Director as needed in fulfilling the HCLC's Strategic Action Plan objectives and general clinic operations.
  • Attend recruitment, training, and HCLC/HCBA events (sometimes after hours and requiring travel).
  • Perform other duties as directed. Qualifications: Education, Experience, and Training
    The ideal candidate will have a J.D. from an accredited law school, admission to and good standing in the Massachusetts bar, and experience in full-time law practice, including litigation. Candidates who have the ability to obtain admission in Massachusetts will also be considered. Applicants will also be evaluated for their experience in the following:
    • A demonstrated commitment to ensuring access to justice for all.
    • Ability to work with individuals and groups representing diverse backgrounds.
    • Familiarity with pro bono programs as a volunteer and/or administrator.
    • Knowledge of legal matters involving essential civil legal needs, including those arising in Probate and Family Court, Housing Court, and District Court. Knowledge of consumer law and consumer debt cases a plus.
    • Fundraising and grant writing.
    • Supervising legal work of others.
    • Planning and conducting trainings or presentations.
    • Recruiting and supporting volunteers.
    • Ability to work in a fast-paced court environment.
    • Ability to interact with law schools and law students.
    • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite, databases, spreadsheets, online surveys, scheduling tools, web content editors, and other office applications. An understanding of case management systems, including Salesforce, a plus.
    • Generating social media and press content in a professional setting. Required Physical Abilities/Skills
      • Ability to use a computer several hours per day.
      • Ability to travel to locations throughout Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin Counties.
      • Ability to sit or stand for long periods of time. Required Cognitive Abilities/Skills
        • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
        • Excellent organizational skills and ability to effectively manage multiple tasks, prioritize, and meet deadlines.
        • Ability to communicate effectively with colleagues and with others external to the organization.
        • Ability to effectively engage with private bar to recruit, train and mentor volunteer attorneys.
        • Ability to supervise attorneys, law students, office staff, and intern staff.
        • Ability to work independently.
        • Ability to engage in critical thinking and problem solving.
        • Ability to quickly learn and effectively use new systems and applications, including case management and data collection/reporting tools.
        • Excellent judgment, professionalism, reliability, and interpersonal skills.
        • Careful attention to detail. Application Process: To apply, please submit a letter indicating why you are interested in this position and what makes you the ideal candidate, along with a current resume to Pro Bono Director Ariel Clemmer by October 22, 2018. Please submit all materials in one electronic document.

          Keywords: Hampden County Bar Association, Springfield , Staff Attorney - Legal Clinic, Legal , Springfield, Massachusetts

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