Equal Justice Works Disaster Resilience Fellow Contract Attorney
Florida Rural Legal Services, Inc. provides free legal assistance to low-income clients in 14 counties and to migrant farm workers throughout the State of Florida. The purpose of this position is to provide civil legal assistance to indigent persons affected by the disasters specified and approved by the program policies and priorities on such matters as individual rights, housing, public benefits, elder law, family law, consumer rights, education, and employment law.
FRLS Disaster Recovery Legal Services Unit provides no-cost legal community outreach and comprehensive legal services to help low-income individuals and household needs during their disaster recovery. Legal services to be provided include, but are not limited to foreclosures, bankruptcies, flood insurance proof of loss preparation and FEMA Flood Directorate Appeals, FEMA recoupment defense, applications for disaster tax relief, civil and disability rights cases, legal counsel for community-based organizations on rebuilding plans, litigation to redress systemic disaster response problems. landlord/tenant Issues concerning repair issues, non-repair, mold concealment, etc., disputes regarding home elevation certificates and flood plain zoning, disputes regarding significant damage determination against homeowners.
FRLS will take a holistic approach and offer all legal aid services that are available to individual and household needs.
The Disaster Resilience Fellow will assist in the provision of legal services to disaster recovery clients and the attorneys who are involved in the disaster recovery cases.
The Disaster Resilience Fellow is under the supervision of the Managing Attorney and the Disaster Project Manager.
1. Provide legal advice, referrals, and full representation to underserved Hurricane Ian survivors
2. Identify areas for policy change and reform
3. Engage in outreach and education activities, such as Know-Your-Rights presentations.
4. Work with community partners to increase disaster preparedness and resilience.
5. Provides documentation, statistical information and other records as required by the grant, Regional
Managing Attorney, Deputy Director, or Executive Director.
6. Participates in case acceptance meetings.
7. Adheres to office hours, exhibits a strong work ethic and respect, provides constructive feedback to
other advocates (paralegals) on cases discussed.
8. Serve as a role model to support staff by promoting the values of hard work, high quality advocacy and
treating others with courtesy and respect.
9. Attempts to ensure accessibility of the local office(s) when necessary, by serving clients, including
rural clients, non-English speaking clients, and client with disabilities.
10. Promote good relations with the public, including client groups, service providers, press, and private
bar, attending/speaking at local meetings as appropriate and approved by the Regional Managing
Attorney, Deputy Director and/or Executive Director.
11. Maintain an accurate follow-up system to review cases when needed.
12. Perform other duties as assigned.
This position operates in a professional work environment.
1. This is a largely sedentary role, however, some lifting of office supplies of up to 20 pounds may be required.
2. Must be able to travel throughout Florida, as needed.
- Annual priority setting report
- Monthly progress reports
Florida Rural Legal Services, Inc., does not discriminate in employment based on 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.
Knowledge/Skills/Abilities - Required
1. Juris Doctorate from an ABA accredited law school.
2. Barred in Florida.
3. Knowledge of State and Federal court practices required.
4. Some knowledge of the legal system, commitment to the mission of FRLS and
compassion for the clients.
5. Ability to forge positive relationships with prospects and colleagues.
6. Good organizational, interpersonal and communication skills.
7. Outstanding verbal and written skills
8. Ability to work collaboratively, yet independently.
9. Must be able to effectively and efficiently be able to maximize existing resources.
10. Working knowledge of Microsoft Suite (Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint).
Knowledge of CMS a plus.
11. Must be able to effectively work in high-pressure situations, which involve deadlines.
12. Ability to work collaboratively in a multidisciplinary setting to facilitate a coordinated community
response an provide holistic services to clients.
Knowledge/Skills/Abilities – Preferred
- Prior disaster related legal experience
- Experience with delivering training and presentations
- Diverse economic, social, and cultural experiences and a second language
Responsibilities and Requirements:
- Must be competent & proficient in the use of Word and Microsoft Office
- Draft/review substantive pleadings and motions for the Disaster Recovery Unit.
- Timely initiation and response to motions & discovery associated with the Disaster Recovery Units’ selected cases.
- Communicates in a highly effective manner with FRLS’ Administration, Managing Attorneys, unit members and clients.
- Ability to work successfully in a fast-paced, and evolving environment.
- Must have at least five years of practicing law with FLRS priorities.
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