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Bilingual Economic Recovery Program Legal Assistant

Description: 

Pisgah Legal Services (PLS) is a community-based non-profit legal aid agency governed by a local Board of Directors. PLS has an annual budget of $11.5 million from a multitude of funding sources. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina (WNC), Pisgah Legal Services provides free civil legal assistance to low-income people in WNC. The organization currently has offices in Asheville, Brevard, Burnsville, Hendersonville, Highlands-Cashiers, Marshall, Newland, and Rutherfordton. With over 100 dedicated staff, including over 30 attorneys plus program staff, and an active group of 300 volunteer attorneys, the program provides free services to nearly 20,000 people per year to meet their basic needs, primarily in the poverty law areas of housing, public benefits, domestic violence prevention, health care, immigration, and consumer law.
Nature and Location of Position: PLS is seeking a bilingual full-time Legal Assistant to support our new WNC Economic Recovery Program (ERP) Program and other PLS programs as needed. The ERP is part of a multi-year grant funded expansion of anti-poverty work within the broad areas of free tax preparation/tax credits and outreach/enrollment for Affordable Care Act health insurance. Counties serviced include: Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, McDowell, Macon, Madison, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania and Yancey. ERP is designed to have long-term impact through two main priorities:
(1) reduce the child poverty rate in each WNC county and (2) increase the insured rate through quality, affordable health care coverage in each WNC county. The program will work in conjunction with the entire PLS legal aid staff to support expanding free legal assistance to help a growing number of low-income people each year to solve problems related to basic needs, particularly housing, domestic violence, health care, and insufficient income.
Passion for promoting justice and overcoming barriers facing low-income people, being a creative and zealous staff member and a team-player, and a demonstrated commitment to achieving lasting results for clients and low-income communities are all important. By ensuring that the lowest-income people in Western North Carolina have access to full health services we will increase opportunities for positive health outcomes at the individual and community levels.

Responsibilities

• Screen clients for eligibility for PLS services, including some in-person screening as needed.

• Screen and set appointments for clients as needed for ERP services.
• Spanish interpreting as needed to support ERP staff and volunteers.
• Prepare, edit, and file legal documents, including but not limited to applications and related forms for public benefits, IRS filings, court documents and client correspondence.
• Conduct client interviews and provide general administrative support to attorneys and Managing Director.
• Perform outreach for legal services, health insurance enrollment, and tax assistance if needed.
• Develop and maintain relationships with communities and other non-profit agencies.
• Travel within the PLS service area and occasionally to meetings or conferences in other parts of NC.
• Adhere to program priorities and case handling policies, procedures and standards of practice, as well as the highest professional and ethical standards.
• Work with volunteers and PLS Development Team.
• Provide all information and services in a manner that is culturally and linguistically appropriate and ensure accessibility for individuals with disabilities.
• Provide remote assistance through phone, Zoom, Microsoft Teams and other platforms until COVID-19 restrictions permit in-office work.
• Successfully pass VITA Intake/Interview and Quality Review, and Volunteer Standards of Conduct exams annually.
• Other duties as assigned.

 

Salary/ Benefits

Salary ranges from $34,515 – $52,252 depending on experience.

Our salary scale is predetermined based on the years of relative professional work experience that qualify for this position to ensure equity in pay. Pisgah Legal Services is a Living Wage Certified Employer in 18 WNC counties: Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Clay, Cherokee, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, McDowell, Macon, Madison, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania and Yancey.

Pisgah Legal Services pays 100% of the Employee Only and 50% of the Dependent Cost for BCBSNC Medical and Dental coverage. Pisgah Legal Services pays 50% of the Dependent Cost for BCBS Vision coverage. Employees are eligible for medical, dental and vision coverage the 1st of the month following the hire date. Pisgah Legal Services pays 100% of Long-Term & Short- Term Disability Coverage, Life Insurance Coverage of 5x base salary + an additional $15,000 Life
& AD&D Coverage. 401k Retirement Plan with Company Matching available after 6 months of employment. Additional Fringe Benefits includes Paid Parental Leave, 12.5 Company Holidays, 22 Paid Leave Days, Employee Assistance Program and a great working environment with work life balance!

Requirements: 

Qualifications

• Passion for and commitment to PLS’ mission, values and vision.
• Associates degree required/ bachelor’s degree or equivalent lived experience preferred.
• Fluency in English and Spanish (verbal & written) required, with ability to interpret and translate from English to Spanish and from Spanish to English.
• Previous experience in interpretation required.
• Demonstrated skills at socio-economic and cultural sensitivity and the ability to work with someone who is angry, upset, or ill.
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills, with attention to detail.
• Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work well with teams and independently.
• Experience working with people in crisis preferred.
• Experience with public benefit eligibility preferred.
• Basic computer skills with proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, Teams, and Outlook.
• Availability to work Monday to Friday, 8:30am-5:00pm, with flexibility for some evening and weekend shifts especially during tax season and open enrollment.
• Passionately support the idea of access to quality healthcare for all people.

• Possess valid driver’s license.

To Apply: 

Submit your online application with resume and cover letter through our Career Center located at https://www.pisgahlegal.org/jobs.

PLS invites all applicants to include in their cover letter a statement about how your unique background and/or experiences might contribute to the diversity, cultural vitality, and perspective of our staff and legal services practice.

Pisgah Legal Services is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

As an Equal Opportunity Employer, we will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified persons with disabilities. Prospective and current employees are encouraged to discuss ADA accommodations with our Human Resources department.

COVID-19 Safety Information:
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Pisgah Legal Services has worked tirelessly to promote evidence-based practices across our entire organization. With this in mind, as of January 4th, all Pisgah employees will be required to provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccine.  Employees who are unvaccinated or have an approved exemption will be required to provide verified weekly COVID-19 test results. We currently have COVID-19 safety precautions in place such as working remotely as our business allows, requiring face masks while meeting with clients or co-workers, providing outdoor meeting areas to meet with clients while wearing masks, limiting onsite visits by meeting virtually or by phone with clients. Pisgah Legal Services also conducts temperature checks at our location upon arrival.

Information

Submission Deadline: 
May 30, 2022
Organization Information: 
Pisgah Legal Services
United States