Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc. Seeks Staff Attorney
Position: Staff Attorney
Madison Area Office
Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc.
Basic Function: Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc. (Legal Action) seeks a full-time staff attorney to work at its Madison Office. The position is available immediately. This attorney position is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women Rural Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking Program.
The staff attorney will provide representation primarily in family law matters for low income victims of domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault and stalking in rural southwestern Wisconsin. The attorney may provide representation in matters other than family law, including housing, public benefits, consumer law and in other civil matters.
LEGAL ACTION OF WISCONSIN, INC.
Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc. is a non-profit organization funded by the Legal Services
Corporation, the Wisconsin Trust Account Foundation, and other sources. Legal Action provides civil legal services to low-income persons in the southern 39 counties of Wisconsin. To serve its eligible client population, Legal Action maintains offices in Milwaukee, Madison, Racine, Oshkosh, Green Bay, and La Crosse. In addition, Legal Action operates a statewide farmworkers’ project. Legal Action attorneys have expertise in a range of substantive areas, but the majority of direct representation is in the areas of housing, income maintenance, family law, consumer, and barriers to employment. Staff attorneys are expected to maintain a direct service caseload on behalf of individual and group clients, as well as to engage in law reform litigation and other impact work. Attorneys are expected to specialize in specific areas of poverty law.
MADISON AREA OFFICE
The Madison Area Office staff consists of 13 attorneys, 1 office manager, 1 paralegal and 1 secretary/paralegal. The office provides services to low-income residents of Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Green, Iowa, Jefferson, Lafayette, Rock, and Sauk counties.
Principal Duties and Responsibilities:
Legal Action staff attorneys are responsible for providing quality and aggressive representation of clients in service cases and in impact work. Attorneys must keep up with the law as it changes and develops, particularly in their area of specialization. Attorneys are expected to share responsibility for the development and maintenance of good working relationships with community groups, as well as with state and local bar associations.
Attorneys will be called upon to provide training and other assistance to members of Legal Action's Volunteer Lawyer Project. All staff attorneys will be expected to perform intake duties and, where necessary, make appropriate referrals to other community agencies. Each staff attorney is responsible for serving on at least one of Legal Action’s Priority Committees.
Types of Possible Duties
The attorney will be expected to assess the legal needs of the client and determine how best to promote safety and stability for clients and their families following a violent situation within the family. Representation may be provided in domestic abuse injunction proceedings, paternity actions, custody/placement actions, divorce, and child support actions and in housing, public benefits, consumer, and employment issues that are the result of or involve domestic violence. The primary goal of representation is to provide safety to the family and help the victim escape continuing abuse.
The staff attorney may be assigned other duties from time to time.
Prior legal services or other relevant experience is preferred. Experience and knowledge of the court systems in Legal Action’s service area is preferred. Admission to the Wisconsin Bar is required, either by diploma privilege or passage of the first available bar exam. LAW has an affirmative action plan for the hiring of members of minority groups and women. Academic training and performance, writing ability, and the nature and extent of prior legal experience in elder law, public benefits law, domestic violence, and in legal services are important. We also consider the applicant’s knowledge and understanding of legal problems and the needs of the poor, commitment to providing legal services to the poor, prior legal work in the client community, an ability to communicate with persons in the client community who speak a language other than English as their principal language, and cultural affinity with the client community.
Legal Action requires a commitment to legal services work and to providing quality and aggressive representation in service cases and in impact work. Attorneys must be knowledgeable in state and federal law and procedure. Attorneys must meet high standards of written and courtroom advocacy. Attorneys must be able to communicate both orally and in writing in a clear and concise manner and work harmoniously with others. Ability to handle and prioritize many pressing matters in various locations is needed.
Ability to travel throughout the service area, especially the rural counties of southwestern Wisconsin to meet with clients and to attend court hearings, is required. Occasional overnight travel is required.
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools, or controls; reach with hands and arms; climb stairs; balance; stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl; talk or hear; and taste or smell. The employee must occasionally lift or move up to 20 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by the job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and the ability to adjust focus.
Salary and Benefits:
Starting salary depends upon experience and qualifications, with a minimum starting salary of $45,727 for attorneys with 0 – 1 year experience. Position includes a full fringe benefit package, which currently includes health, dental, life and long-term disability insurance, a retirement plan, and four weeks of vacation leave per year. The Madison Office position is represented for collective bargaining and a new employee may voluntarily join the ULW union. The position is subject to a probationary period of up to one year. As with any Legal Action position, there is no guaranteed period of employment and employment is “at will,” subject to termination at any time.
Email applications are preferred and strongly encouraged. Use PDF for all documents.
Interested applicants should send 1/ a cover letter that indicates the name of this position, 2/ resume 3/ the names of and contact information for three references, 4/ recent writing sample(s), 5/ law school transcript to: firstname.lastname@example.org
If necessary, hard copies may be sent to:
Stacia Conneely, Managing Attorney
744 Williamson Street, Suite 200
Madison, WI 53703
This position will be open until filled but we will review applicants on a rolling basis. To assure early consideration, please submit application materials as soon as possible and no later than close of business on Tuesday, January 22, 2019.
Diversity Statement: Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer