POSITION:Paralegal (Full-Time Position)
CLOSING DATE:Position Immediately Available and Closed When Filled
OVERVIEW: Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas (LANWT) seeks a dynamic, self-starting paralegal who has vision, initiative, and a demonstrated commitment to public interest law to fill a paralegal position with the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program (DVAP) unit in its Dallas Office.
DESCRIPTION: Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas is a non-profit law firm that provides high-quality free civil legal aid to the low-income communities of North and West Texas. Located in Dallas, the Dallas office delivers civil legal services to the poor in the city and in the surrounding rural counties. DVAP is a joint initiative of the Dallas Bar
association and Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas seeking to increase and enhance pro bono legal assistance to low-income persons in Dallas County, Texas by recruiting, training and supporting volunteer attorneys.
REPORTING RELATIONSHIP: Reports to the DVAP Director and LANWT Managing Attorney for the Dallas office.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES: The paralegal, under the direct supervision of a licensed attorney will be assigned clients, tasks, assignments and projects with expectations that all work is to be completed in accordance with LANWT's policies and procedures and attorneys' responsibilities under the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, Texas Lawyers Creed and the American Bar Associations Standards for Providers of Civil Legal Services to the Poor. Other responsibilities include:
·The paralegal is responsible for assisting clients that fall under Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas’ (LANWT) set of priorities with appropriate attorney supervision.
·A paralegal may provide paraprofessional legal services to eligible clients in civil, family and other cases in accordance with the program's mission and principles of advocacy, other program guidelines, and under the direct supervision of an attorney, according to the Rules of Professional Conduct.
·Participate and conduct outreach, community legal education and trainings to clients, community groups and volunteers to provide clients or others with information and
assistance in program priority areas and to build positive working relationships.
·Participatein theactivitiesof the Dallas Bar Association, other legalorganizations and statewide task forces.
·Conduct intake by answering and returning applicant and client calls; conducting initial client screening, referring clients who are ineligible for LANWT service to other resources or providers, and creating electronic client files.
·Investigating and developing cases and projects assigned, including conducting necessary interviews.
·Refer cases to pro bono volunteersandprovide necessarysupportto pro bono attorneysparticipatingin the DVAP program.
·Make and follow up on referrals of clients to appropriate alternative or additional sources of assistance.
·Draft pleadings, orders, letters, memos, and other written materials relating to assigned cases or projects.
·File legal papers and pleadings at the courthouse or through e-filing and set hearing dates, interact with court staff, opposing parties and clients.
·Maintain accurate, complete, well-organized records and files regarding cases and projects assigned.
·Develop specialized skills and knowledge in assigned areas and remain current on new developments in that area.
·Translate for clients who speak a different language than their advocate (if applicable).
·Seek and accept supervision and guidance from supervising attorneys on cases and projects assigned.
·Participate in in-house training programs and staff meetings and activities.
·Report caseload statistics and other information regarding his/her activities and advocacy to the immediate supervisor, Director of Litigation and/or Deputy Director on a regular basis or as requested.
·Travel to administrative agencies and elsewhere in connection with the above responsibilities.
·Develop a working knowledge of the law commensurate with his/her level of experience in areas of principal concern to LANWT’s clients. Similarly, develop legal skills (such as fact gathering, research, writing and negotiation) and a knowledge of procedure (such as administrative and court rules of practice, discovery and pleading).
·Keep apprised of changes in the law and other issues that may affect LANWT's client population, and advise management and other staff of such issues.
·Develop a knowledge of, work with, and make referrals to social service agencies and other agencies that can help LANWT's clients.
·Provide LANWT's Administrative Office with information on the nature and extent of services he/she provides.
·Performance of any other duties, which may from time-to-time, be assigned by the DVAP Director, Managing Attorney, Deputy Director and Chief Executive Officer.
·Associate’s Degree and paralegal certification is preferred.
·Fluent in Spanish – both verbal and written is preferred.
·Candidate must be detail oriented, organized and self-motivated.
·Ability to establish priorities and meet deadlines.
·Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written.
·Ability to interact professionally and courteously with individuals at all levels.
·Excellent computer skills with use of Microsoft products preferred.
·Ability to work independently and exercise good judgment while maintaining client confidentiality, integrity, and discretion in the performance of all duties.
·Ability to engage in occasional work related travel.
·Readiness to have a flexible work schedule, including commitments to evening hours.
· Excellent attendance record.
SALARY: Current entry-level salary is $30,000 per year. The salary for the successful applicant may be significantly higher, based on applicant’s years of experience. The paralegal is a non-exempt employee subject to state and federal wage and hour laws.
BENEFITS: Excellent benefits package that includes paid vacation and holidays; a retirement plan; health, dental, and life insurance.
Please submit a cover letter expressing interest, a resume, and a list of professional references during the application process.
LEGAL AID OF NORTHWEST TEXAS IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER
VETERANS ENCOURAGED TO APPLY