Paralegal (FEEL Project)
Join the Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County (NLSLA) and become part of an energetic team of advocates that provide a wide-range of legal services aimed to address issues that disproportionately impact low income communities. These services include litigation, providing training and technical assistance, and community education.
Founded in 1965 as part of our nation’s War on Poverty, Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County (NLSLA) is now one of the largest and most prominent public interest law firms in California. NLSLA provides free assistance to more than 115,000 low-income residents of Los Angeles County each year. The NLSLA staff of 190, including 80 attorneys, specialize in areas of the law that disproportionately impact low-income people, including affordable housing and eviction defense, access to public benefits, support for domestic violence victims, access to healthcare, worker and consumer rights, services for justice-involved adults and youth, education rights, clean slate initiatives, and employment and training.
Through a combination of individual representation, high impact litigation, and public policy advocacy, NLSLA’s advocacy combats the immediate and long-parting effects of poverty and expands access to health, opportunity and justice. NLSLA serves all of Los Angeles County with a special emphasis on the poverty communities of the San Fernando, San Gabriel, Pomona and Antelope Valleys, as well as the central county cities of Glendale, Burbank and Pasadena. In addition, NLSLA advocates are co-located in courthouses in Van Nuys, Lancaster, Chatsworth, Pomona, Pasadena, and Downtown LA; Hospitals and health centers in Sylmar, Van Nuys, North Hollywood and El Monte; and with social services providers in the Antelope Valley.
Summary of Position:
NLSLA is seeking a Paralegal for its Clean Slate Initiatives (CSI) team. The CSI team consists of a passionate group of advocates working to disrupt systemic racism and generational trauma through removing legal barriers presented by the presence of a criminal record. As part of a new and exciting project, the Paralegal will play a vital role in launching the Family Empowerment & Economic Legacy (FEEL) Project, which will support households with minor children that have been impacted by the criminal legal system. The Paralegal, under the direction and supervision of an Attorney, will be trained in and expected to maintain knowledge of a range of legal issues affecting system-impacted individuals, including expungement, arrest sealing, early termination of supervision, and fair chance housing and employment denials. Ability to work collaboratively in a team setting, perform client interviews with patience and sensitivity, and manage an active caseload under Attorney supervision is required.
This position involves a hybrid work schedule (2 days per week in office, 3 days per week remote). Additional field work will include occasional travel to and from outreach events in LA County.
Duties and Responsibilities:
The Paralegal is expected to develop and maintain knowledge in substantive legal areas impacting the reentry population, including: criminal record clearing, housing and employment denials related to background check issues, and professional licensing. Prior public interest legal experience is preferred, but not required.
Under the guidance/supervision of the CSI Supervising Attorney and the FEEL Project Attorney, the Paralegal will:
- Play an active role in implementing FEEL Project legal services;
- Collaborate on service delivery alongside other FEEL Project partners and colleagues, including a workforce development agency, the FEEL Project Attorney, and NLSLA’s Social Work team;
- Support the FEEL Project Attorney in providing direct client services in the areas outlined above (support will be both administrative, such as requesting documents, completing intake, and scheduling appointments, and substantive, such as conducting research, drafting legal forms, and delivering legal advice under the Attorney’s supervision and approval);
- Participate in reporting efforts to track data and outcomes obtained through the FEEL project;
- Participate in legal workshops and/or outreach as needed;
- Maintain an active caseload under Attorney supervision. The caseload will include direct partner referrals and referrals from NLSLA’s legal services hotline.
Excellent Benefits which include: choice of medical, dental, vision; life and disability insurance plans; flexible spending account (FSA)125 plan; 403(b), bilingual pay supplement, sick and vacation pay, and 14 employer-paid holidays. Salary starts at $50,000- $58,000, commensurate with experience.
The Paralegal must be certified in accordance with Business and Professions Code Section 6450. This means that the Paralegal must possess any of the following minimum requirements:
(1) A certificate of completion of a paralegal program approved by the American Bar Association.
(2) A certificate of completion of a paralegal program at, or a degree from, a postsecondary institution that requires the successful completion of a minimum of 24 semester, or equivalent, units in law-related courses and that has been accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization or approved by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education.
(3) A baccalaureate degree or an advanced degree in any subject, a minimum of one year of law-related experience under the supervision of an attorney who has been an active member of the State Bar of California for at least the preceding three years or who has practiced in the federal courts of this state for at least the preceding three years, and a written declaration from this attorney stating that the person is qualified to perform paralegal tasks.
(4) A high school diploma or general equivalency diploma, a minimum of three years of law-related experience under the supervision of an attorney who has been an active member of the State Bar of California for at least the preceding three years or who has practiced in the federal courts of this state for at least the preceding three years, and a written declaration from this attorney stating that the person is qualified to perform paralegal tasks. This experience and training shall be completed no later than December 31, 2003.
The ideal candidate will be a skillful, self-motivated advocate who excels in a high-volume, dynamic anti-poverty law practice. They will have a demonstrated passion and commitment to public interest law and prior experience serving low-income individuals and client groups, with a sensitivity to those in crisis. Excellent writing and organizational skills, and the ability to communicate effectively with clients, community partners, and the public are essential.
COVID-19 vaccination is required as a condition of employment. Reasonable accommodations will be considered.
NLSLA is committed to the principle of equal employment opportunity for all employees and to providing employees with a work environment free of discrimination and harassment. All employment decisions at NLSLA are based on organizational needs, job requirements and individual qualifications, without regard to age, race, color, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran, disability status, family or parental status, or any other status protected by federal and CA state laws. NLSLA will not tolerate discrimination or harassment based on any of these characteristics. NLSLA provides equal benefits to employees with spouses and its employees with domestic partners.
Please provide a cover letter, resume, and writing sample on the application.