Legal Action of Wisconsin Seeks Staff Attorneys

Staff Attorneys | Legal Action of Wisconsin

Position:    
Staff
Attorneys (Elder Rights Project)
Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc.
1 in Madison Office and 1 in Oshkosh Office

 

Basic Function: 

LEGAL ACTION OF WISCONSIN, INC.

Since 1968, Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc., has provided civil legal aid to those who would otherwise be denied justice. Whether it’s securing FoodShare for a family in need, obtaining a domestic abuse restraining order for a mother, preventing homelessness, or disputing predatory loans, Legal Action delivers high quality, personalized representation to every client, emphasizing the legal work that can create systemic change. Legal Action fights tirelessly in the southern 39 counties of Wisconsin to ensure equal access to justice regardless of income or age. In addition, Legal Action operates a statewide farmworkers project.  With funding from the federal Legal Services Corporation, the Wisconsin Trust Account Foundation, and various other sources, this non-profit law firm represents low-income and elderly individuals at no cost to the client. Attorneys in Legal Action’s six offices focus their work primarily on housing, public benefits, family law, consumer issues, and removing barriers to employment.

 

ELDER RIGHTS PROJECT

Legal Action now seeks a full-time staff attorney for its Elder Rights Project (ERP) in the Madison office and a full-time staff attorney for its ERP in the Oshkosh office. ERP’s mission is to solve the civil legal problems that arise from incidents of financial, physical, and emotional abuse against clients sixty years old and older. Through litigation, advocacy, and public education, ERP strives to secure and stabilize the lives of vulnerable elder victims of abuse. ERP focuses on removing abusers from homes, recovering stolen assets and money, protecting elders’ income and benefits, and combatting unconscionable consumer fraud and scams. ERP works as a team of attorneys in every Legal Action office and is funded by a Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant.

 

Principal Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Provide quality client representation in direct service cases and perform all duties associated with such representation
  • Litigate high-impact cases on a range of civil legal issues in trial and appellate courts in state and federal courts
  • Serve clients from a wide range of backgrounds and with different abilities
  • Develop expertise in areas that affect victims of abuse specifically, such as
    eviction, restraining orders, divorce, identity theft, consumer fraud, and civil theft
  • Coordinate with benefit specialists and social workers to ensure stability and safety in clients’ lives
  • Engage in public speaking to educate community partners and train attorneys, other professionals
  • Travel throughout Wisconsin (mostly in the counties surrounding Dane for the Madison office attorney and mostly in the counties surrounding Winnebago for the Oshkosh office attorney) and sometimes outside Wisconsin, for training, litigation, conferences, speaking engagements, and client development. This includes travel to visit with clients at their homes since some elderly clients may be unable to travel.
  • Work collaboratively with colleagues and agency partners to resolve obstacles and/or conflicts
  • Perform intake duties
  • Train and supervise paralegal staff, as needed
  • Perform other duties which may be assigned from time to time

 

Competencies Required: 

  • J.D. degree or expected May 2019
  • Admission to the Wisconsin Bar, by diploma privilege or by passage of the first available bar exam
  • Prior legal aid or other relevant experience is preferred
  • Familiarity with courtroom procedure, both federal and state
  • Superior skills in case analysis, research, and writing
  • Demonstrated ability to speak clearly and persuasively
  • Enthusiasm for arguing motions and representing at trial
  • Self-motivated, diligent, and able to meet strict deadlines while under pressure
  • Commitment to serving the elderly, the poor, and victims of abuse
  • Cultural competence and respect for differences in race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstance
  • Ability to speak another language and cultural affinity for the client community that speaks that language (preferred)

 

PHYSICAL DEMANDS

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 on experience and qualifications. Starting annual salary for all attorneys with 0 - 1 year of experience is $45,727. Salaries increase modestly from that point for attorneys with more experience. Compensation includes a full fringe benefit package, which currently covers health, dental, life, and long-term disability insurance, a retirement plan, four weeks of vacation leave per year, and four days of personal leave per year.  The position is subject to a probationary period of up to one year.  The Madison Office position is represented for collective bargaining and a new employee may voluntarily join the ULW union.  The Oshkosh Office position is governed by the Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc. Personnel Policies which are subject to unilateral change by the Legal Action Board of Directors.  As with any Legal Action position, there is no guaranteed period of employment and employment is “at will”, subject to termination at any time.

 

Application Procedure:

Send the following documents to elderabuse@legalaction.org.

  • cover letter
  • resume
  • recent legal writing sample
  • list of three professional references
  • law school transcript

 

All documents must be emailed as PDFs. 

In the cover letter, applicants must specify whether they are applying for both the Madison and the Oshkosh office openings or for one of the offices.  If applicants are available for both office openings but they have a preference, they should state their office preference.

Applicants must also specify title of the position for which they are applying in their cover letter . 

Applicants who cannot submit application materials via email, please call Nicole Zimmer, ERP project director, at 414-278-7722 to make other arrangements.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled.  To assure early consideration, please submit materials as soon as possible and no later than 5 p.m. on December 26, 2018. 

 

Diversity Statement:  Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and has an affirmative action plan for the hiring of members of minority groups and women.