Legal Advocate, Family Law/Domestic Violence Project

The Women's Law Center of Maryland

Location

Towson, MD

Category

Other Staff, Paralegal

Posted

June 3, 2022

Type

Full-Time

Description/Duties

The Women’s Law Center of Maryland, Inc. (WLC) is a progressive, feminist, statewide non-profit organization committed to ensuring equal access to the legal system for women in Maryland. The Collateral Legal Assistance for Survivors (CLAS) Project represents survivors of domestic violence in the multiple legal issues related to their experience of intimate partner control and abuse, including but not limited to protective order hearings, custody and divorce proceedings, and other civil proceedings as needed.

The Legal Advocate works with two attorneys who represent survivors in all counties in Maryland.  The Legal Advocate staffs the office in Towson and has extensive in-person and phone contact with survivors. The Advocate assists the attorneys in preparing cases, conducting intakes, and managing referrals to other resources.

JOB DESCRIPTION:

  1. Serve as first contact with clients and potential clients
  2. Review potential cases for initial qualification for CLAS and present cases to attorneys for potential representation.
  3. Provide information to victims/survivors of intimate partner violence about legal remedies and resources.
  4. Provide safety planning and other assistance to survivors, including relevant referrals.
  5. Provide paralegal duties assisting attorneys in representing clients. Duties include:
    • Conducting in-depth client intake interviews;
    • Maintaining contact with clients and serve as primary contact with client for non-legal issues;
    • Obtaining relevant reports and collecting other evidence.
    • Drafting and filing pleadings and/or discovery under attorney supervision;
    • Conduct follow up interviews with clients
  6. Maintain project and client files utilizing our case management system, Legal Server.
  7. Assist with grant and data reporting.
  8. As part of the CLAS team, coordinate trial calendars, schedule interviews and perform administrative duties. Provide general support to attorneys in case management duties and responsibilities.
  9. Develop and maintain strong working relationships with courthouse personnel and service providers of all types within the community.
  10. Advocate on behalf of clients with representatives of the criminal justice system and accompany clients to criminal and civil proceedings when necessary.
  11. As part of WLC team, provide occasional staffing for events for members, participate in project and membership development, attend and participate, as time permits, in committees, task forces, and policy-making bodies concerned with domestic violence.
  12. Work with and supervise interns.
  13. Other related duties as assigned.

Skills/Qualifications

REQUIREMENTS:

  1. General understanding of the Maryland legal system, with familiarity with family law preferred
  2. Experience working with victims/survivors of intimate partner violence and/or sexual assault preferred. Sensitivity to issues facing victims/survivors of intimate partner violence required.
  3. Understanding of the barriers litigants face accessing justice and the role legal services organizations play in providing representation.
  4. Bachelors Degree or equivalent preferred. Education requirements may be substituted with relevant work experience, such as paralegal work.
  5. Must be committed to public service and to providing excellent legal services to all clients.
  6. Must be able to work with people of diverse educational, cultural and economic backgrounds.
  7. Must be knowledgeable or be willing to learn about trauma-informed techniques when working with clients.
  8. Must have excellent judgment and strong interpersonal skills.
  9. Must be well organized, creative, empathetic, and people oriented.
  10. Must have excellent written and oral communication skills.
  11. Must have demonstrated ability to handle multiple professional projects simultaneously and thoroughly.
  12. Must have demonstrated ability to work independently without close supervision.
  13. Must be flexible and a team player.
  14. Spanish or other second-language-fluency is very helpful but not required.
  15. Must have ability to travel to different courthouses across the state.

Compensation

  1. Salary: $49,600 per year (Full time, professional, grant funded)
  2. Competitive Benefits package includes unlimited personal and vacation days; paid family leave, Simple IRA, health benefits, and more
  3. Parking (or travel) subsidy

How To Apply

If interested, please send resume, cover letter, and references to lruth@wlcmd.org or via mail to:

Laure Ruth
Legal Director
The Women’s Law Center of Maryland, Inc.
305 W. Chesapeake Avenue
Towson, MD 21204

Position open until filled