Columbia Legal Services (CLS) represents communities facing poverty and oppression, and we use every legal tool available on their behalf. CLS has a special responsibility to serve people whose access to free legal services is restricted, due to institutionalization or immigration status. Through impact litigation, policy reform, and innovative partnerships, our staff works together to further our mission to achieve social and economic justice for all, and to reveal and end actions that harm the communities we serve. We share a deep commitment to serve and advocate alongside our clients as we seek justice together.
Our vision of justice: when people have the necessary tools and opportunity to achieve social and economic justice, a more equitable and inclusive society is possible. The ideal candidate for any position at Columbia Legal Services will be able to articulate their role in the achievement of that vision.
Columbia Legal Services seeks a paralegal with a minimum of 2 years of experience to work in our Seattle office. This staff member will provide litigation and administrative support to our Basic Human Needs and Children and Youth Project Teams, with members located in multiple offices across the state. This position is based in our Seattle office and reports to the Directing Attorney of our Basic Human Needs Project. Duties include:
- Assist with pleadings, briefs, motions and other legal documents.
- Manage service and filing of legal documents in court.
- Docket litigation and other deadlines in outlook calendars.
- Manage projects and cases in a legal database, including opening and closing files.
- Maintain electronic and hard-copy files and documents.
- Conduct intakes of persons seeking legal services, effectively screen for eligibility for services, and develop and maintain referral lists of other organizations and providers.
- Perform basic legal research, online research, cite-checking, document review, and related tasks.
- Communicate effectively, orally and in writing, with clients, community agencies and organizations, and government agencies.
- Organize meetings, trainings, and conference calls.
- Provide general office/administrative support.
- Engage with client communities and participate in community outreach.
- Draft standard legal documents, correspondence, and documents used for policy work.
- Conduct intensive fact development including research and client/witness interviews.
- Support complex litigation in state and federal courts, including managing voluminous discovery files and information, analyzing and summarizing data, and preparing data summaries and databases.
- Organize data and create effective presentation materials for litigation and policy work.
- Provide in-person support for trials/hearings and policy hearings/presentations.
- Timekeeping for attorney-fee-generating cases and proficiency in keeping time that can be compensated.
- Mentor and teach others in areas of expertise.
- Be available to travel occasionally to other offices.
This job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required for the position.
CLS offers a competitive and comprehensive compensation package including generous holiday and paid time off, excellent employee health care benefits, paid parental leave, a 35-hour-workweek, a transportation benefit, and a sabbatical every 7 years. Salary is commensurate with years of experience, and includes an annual cost-of-living adjustment. The salary for this a Level 2 Paralegal begins at $42,843 and increases with each year of experience. This is a bargaining unit position and is eligible for representation by Washington Legal Workers, our in-house labor union.
Columbia Legal Services is committed to a policy of pluralism and equal opportunity in an environment free of barriers and discriminatory practices for its client communities, Board and staff. Pluralism refers to the active promotion of mutual respect, acceptance, teamwork and productivity among people who are diverse in work background, experience, education, race, color, national origin, sex, age, religious preference, marital status, sexual orientation, sensory, mental and physical abilities, veteran status, or any other perceived differences. The resulting diversity is both a source of program strength and a matter of fundamental human fairness. If you need a reasonable accommodation for the application process, contact us at 206-464-1122 or email@example.com.
- Commitment to civil legal services and understanding of serving clients with diverse backgrounds - all staff members are expected to strive to understand the values, cultures, and concerns of the client communities we serve.
- Comfortable with technology and willing to learn new software programs as needed, including LegalServer, Skype/Zoom, and case management tools (Concordance, CaseMap).
- Proficiency in the use of law office technology including Westlaw/LexisNexis and court document programs; Microsoft Office applications for the creation and management of complex documents, spreadsheets, and e-mail.
- Ability to work independently and participate as an effective member of the office team.
- Willingness to engage with the public, client groups and participate in community outreach.
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills (oral and written).
- Ability to establish effective working relationships with a variety of individuals including members of various internal departments, co-counsel, and partner organizations.
- Willingness to work across offices (primarily using internet tools).
- Familiarity with federal and state court rules.
- Proficiency with Access or other database software preferred.
- Bilingual skills in Spanish/English are a plus.
Position is open until filled, with priority given to applications received before October 26, 2018. Please note that due to the volume of applications received, CLS is unable to respond to every application. CLS will contact you if we decide to pursue your application. If e-mailed, please make Seattle Paralegal your subject line. If you are interested in this position, send a cover letter, resume, and a completed Equity Statement (http://columbialegal.org/sites/default/files/Equity_Statement.pdf) to firstname.lastname@example.org or to:
Trisa Kern, Director of Program Administration
Columbia Legal Services
101 Yesler Way, Suite 300
Seattle, Washington 98104