Managing Attorney (Legal Screening, Case Acceptance & Client Access)
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 $7.5 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, Hendersonville, Highlands-Cashiers, Rutherfordton, Brevard, Burnsville, and Marshall. With a dedicated staff of 85, including thirty-six attorneys plus program staff, and an active group of 300 volunteer attorneys, the program provides free services to more than 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.
PLS is seeking a full-time Managing Attorney to play a critical role in the delivery of civil legal services as manager of the central point of entry for all applications for PLS services. This will include the day-to-day oversight of case applications, legal screening, case acceptance and priority areas, legal conflicts, financial assistance, and client access, including language and disability access. The position will monitor and manage the accompanying technology needs related to the various delivery systems.
Under the direct supervision of the Chief Operating Officer, the Managing Attorney has the following responsibilities:
- Ensures effective client access to PLS’ screening and intake system and works closely with the COO, management and staff across PLS to identify and reduce barriers to access;
- Provides all information and services in a manner that is culturally and linguistically appropriate and ensures accessibility for individuals with disabilities;
- Works closely with all receptionists, legal screeners, and volunteers to ensure smooth operation of screening and intake;
- Develops and monitors IT/Dashboard for screening and intake, problem code trends, geographic trends, and other relevant trends necessary at the screening stage of applications;
- Develops and implements a comprehensive training curriculum and written materials for the legal screening process;
- Oversees the case assignment process for the organization; in some instances, is responsible for direct case assignment and in other areas supports or provides back-up for the process;
- Oversees the new PLS’ Financial Assistance Program that provides direct financial support to clients in need;
- Communicates clear performance expectations and provides necessary support for staff to meet expectations;
- Works collaboratively to provide basic tools required to perform duties, including identification and support of training needs and developing written policies and procedures;
- Provides regular, ongoing supervision and informal coaching;
- Works collaboratively to identify opportunities for skill development, leadership opportunities, staff recognition and rewarding achievement;
- Oversees implementation of PLS eligibility and case priority assessments by the screeners at screening and intake stage;
- Reviews information on applicants who screeners determine to be outside of PLS case acceptance guidelines and follows up as needed to provide referrals;
- Answers questions during the legal screening process regarding priorities, types of legal issues and other eligibility rules;
- Manages calls where the caller has requested to speak to a supervisor or when a screener requests that a call be handled by a supervisor;
- Handles calls where a caller has a non-priority issue but has an emergency (hearing or deadline within one week) on a case-by-case basis;
- Determines whether a conflict of interest exists in cases;
- Assures compliance with policies of PLS, NC State Bar and Rules of Professional Responsibility and other requirements, as applicable;
- Provides coverage for the legal screeners where and when needed to ensure smooth operations; and,
- Other duties as needed.
Salary ranges from $57,616 – $102,000 depending on experience. Excellent fringe benefits, including 401(k) retirement plan, as well as life, health, and disability insurance.
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.
- Passion for and commitment to PLS’ mission, values and vision.
- Licensed to practice law in any state (NC preferred) and in good standing with NC State Bar or other; ability to obtain comity with N.C. is also preferred.
- Sincere commitment to work collaboratively with all constituent groups, including applicants, clients, staff, board members, donors, community groups, member organizations and other and stakeholders.
- Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work well with teams and independently.
- Demonstrated commitment to serving low-income people and communities.
- Experience in legal services poverty law practice.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
- Fluency in Spanish would be an asset.
- Supervision experience required. Volunteer supervision experience would be an asset.
- Meticulous organizational habits with the ability to manage large amounts of information, establish priorities, write procedures, and handle urgent issues daily.
E-mail resumé and cover letter describing relevant experience to email@example.com. PLS invites all applicants to include in their cover letters 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.