Contract Paralegal (VOCA)
Position Overview: The Paralegal will work with clients who are survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and other serious crimes. The Paralegal will work with attorneys and advocates to assist clients on a range of issues affecting victims of crime. This position requires demonstrated ability and experience working effectively with clients in crisis. The Paralegal acts as a member of the legal team, or a “non-lawyer assistant” and thus must keep all client information confidential. This is a 1-year contract position; which may be extended.
Essential Functions: 1. Interviews, confirms, eligibility, crime, case facts& legal problem of victim, updates client data base with necessary information for reporting. Develops goals to address effects of crime and works with client to establish service plan and timeline to achieve goals. Reassesses and revises service plan as needed; and follows-up with client to assess for additional services. Maintain network of mental health, health, social service, disability, substance abuse and domestic violence referrals. Assists victim in accessing referrals. 2. Provides clients with appropriate legal advice, applying the relevant law to the facts presented, and counseling the client in their pursuit of resolution of legal problems arising from their victimization. Assists with victim’s compensation applications. Communicates with client, provides referrals for intervention and other non-legal services associated with the legal problems arising from victimization. 3. Provides clients with appropriate legal assistance exercising judgment in interpreting the particular facts presented by the client and in applying the relevant law to the facts presented in contested matters. Represents clients before administrative agencies, including investigation, witness preparation, pre- and post- hearing written arguments, conducting hearings and related activities, negotiating settlements with or without litigation, and obtaining administrative decisions. Performs similar duties in support of attorney in court cases. 4. Coordinates with agencies serving and referring victims to FRLS. Communicates with agencies & victims, provides referrals for intervention and other non-legal services associated with the legal problems arising from victimization. 5. Enters data in the Legal Server client case management system to capture information needed for statistical reporting and grant compliance. 6. Participates in case acceptance & other office meetings to determine strategies for client services. 7. Provides documentation, statistical information and other records as required by the grant. 8. Participates in training to keep up CLEs relevant to the various areas of the law necessary to zealously represent victims. 9. Perform other duties as assigned.
Required Knowledge/Skills/Abilities: 1. Paralegal degree or certification. 2. Knowledge of the legal system, commitment to the mission of FRLS and compassion for the clients. 3. Cultural similarity with this population and knowledge of Spanish and/or Haitian Creole is preferred. 4. Ability to forge positive relationships with prospects and colleagues. 5. Good organizational, interpersonal and communication skills. 6. Ability to work collaboratively, yet independently. 7. Creativity and ability to maximize the use of existing resources. 8. Working knowledge of Microsoft Suite (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) and Case Management System. 9. Must be able effectively communicate with peers, supervisors, clients and the public. 10. Must be able to effectively work in high pressure situations which involve deadlines. 11. Ability to carry caseloads when necessary. 12. Must be able to work weekends and travel when needed.
Working Conditions: This position operates in a professional office environment.
Physical Requirements: 1. This is a largely sedentary role, however, some lifting of office supplies up to 20 pounds may be required. 2. Must be able to travel throughout Florida, as needed. Direct Reports: None Reports to: Managing Attorney
To Apply: Send resume to firstname.lastname@example.org EEOC Statement: Florida Rural Legal Services, Inc., does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other characteristic protected by federal, state of local law.