Director, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic

Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service

Location

Baltimore, MD

Category

Attorney, Other Staff

Posted

August 26, 2022

Type

Full-Time, Part-Time

Description/Duties

Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service (MVLS), founded in 1981, is the oldest and largest volunteer legal services organization in Maryland. The mission of MVLS is to remove barriers to justice through free civil legal help, community engagement, and advocacy for equitable laws. Our vision is for a fair legal system that is free of injustice and equitably serves underrepresented Marylanders. We achieve this goal primarily through our core pro bono program and more targeted programs that serve specialized legal needs. For more program information, visit our website: www.mvlslaw.org 

MVLS’ core values are teamwork, passion for MVLS’s mission, commitment to clients, volunteers, and community partners, initiative and commitment to eliminate systemic barriers to justice based on race and economic disparities. MVLS is committed to fostering an inclusive culture in the workplace. Our work to end barriers to justice starts with increasing the racial diversity of our staff to better reflect the communities we serve. 

The MVLS Low Income Tax Clinic (LITC) provides representation to low-income clients who have tax disputes with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Maryland Comptroller through a panel of pro bono attorneys, CPAs and Enrolled Agents.  Typical LITC controversy cases include: nonfilers; collections; audits; audit reconsiderations; U.S. Tax Court litigation; innocent spouse claims; injured spouse claims; claims for refund, penalty abatement requests; identity theft; return preparer fraud; and other controversies.  The Director oversees all aspects of the LITC.  

Job Responsibilities  

  • Prepare annual grant applications and related interim and year-end reports to the IRS, and ensure compliance with all IRS grant requirements.  
  • Act as primary contact with LITC program office and the local Taxpayer Advocate Service office.  
  • Meet intake and representation placement goals as set by grant. 
  • Screen applicants to determine eligibility for MVLS tax services. Work with clients to obtain necessary documentation regarding tax issues.  
  • When appropriate, provide brief advice to applicants during the screening process. 
  • Provide guidance to intake paralegals and answer tax related questions. 
  • Develop and implement statewide volunteer recruitment efforts. 
  • Mentor volunteers to ensure accurate and timely service to low-income taxpayers.   
  • Conduct at least two LITC volunteer trainings annually, preferably in different geographical areas of the state. 
  • Publish monthly e-newsletter highlighting legal developments and educational opportunities of interest to MVLS volunteer attorneys. 
  • Identify articles, etc. for social media, creation of Facebook Live videos  
  • Advocate on behalf of low-income taxpayers, including ESL taxpayers, who have federal and Maryland civil income tax controversies when pro bono counsel cannot be secured. 
  • Develop and maintain referral relationships with Maryland nonprofits and other LITCs to ensure that clients who need tax dispute assistance are referred to MVLS.  
  • Develop outreach and collaboration efforts with nonprofit organizations across Maryland to market LITC services. 
  • Ensure all client case data is properly entered in MVLS’ case management system and that reporting on client cases is complete and accurate.  
  • Supervise LITC paralegal 
  • Identify evolving tax legal issues that impact low-income Marylanders and opportunities for MVLS to expand program services in these areas.

Skills/Qualifications

Experience & Education:  

  • Attorney, CPA or Enrolled Agent 
  • 2-3 years tax experience preferred, but otherwise qualified candidates with no tax experience will be considered 
  • While the position is full-time, candidates seeking part-time will also be reviewed 
  • Project or program management experience a plus 
  • Strong written and oral communication skills  
  • Able to work with diverse client population and to collaborate with legal partners and other community organizations and agencies 
  • Skills in case management, grant administration, and data reporting 
  • Ability to identify and resolve problems quickly 
  • Ability to work independently and work with a team 
  • Must possess strong time management and organizational skills 
  • Demonstrated commitment through work experience, lived experience or volunteer experience to communities, such as:  Children, Domestic workers, Economically disadvantaged people, Immigrants and refugees, Incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people, LGBTQ people, People of color, People with disabilities, People with HIV/AIDS, Sex workers, Victims of crime and abuse, and Women and girls. 

Compensation

Salary range is $60,000 -$68,000 commensurate on experience with excellent benefits including: 3 health insurance plans to choose from (MVLS fully covers the monthly premium for 2 of them), dental and vision insurance, a flexible spending plan to reimburse employees with pre-tax dollars for out of pocket medical expenses, group life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment insurance, short and long term disability coverage, a 403(b) retirement plan with a 2% match and the possibility of an additional contribution from MVLS, a monthly commuter stipend equal to the value of an MTA pass, 20 vacation days, 2 personal days,10 sick days and 14 paid holidays per year.  

Job Location   

This position is currently partially remote and partially in office due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  When MVLS determines that conditions permit employees to return to the office full time, this will be a mostly in-office position.   

A COVID vaccination is required. 

MVLS is an equal opportunity employer. MVLS does not discriminate against any applicant for employment or any employee on the basis of race, nationality, ethnicity, age, religion, disability status, sex assigned at birth, gender identity, gender presentation, sexual orientation, or immigration status. 

How To Apply

Submit a cover letter, resume, and three professional references from employers or school via email with “LITC Director” in the subject line to mvls@mvlslaw.org by 4 weeks from when application is posted. Applicants are encouraged to address the core values stated at the top of this job posting in their cover letters.   

Please, no telephone calls.  

This application was posted on August 25, 2022.  MVLS generally begins scheduling interviews after the four week application window has ended. Initial interviews with the hiring committee are scheduled for 45 minutes.  For advancing candidates, a second 60 minute interview is held with the hiring committee and the Executive Director.  Interview questions are provided in advance.  Reference checks are made for final candidates.  The interview process generally takes about four weeks.