Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc. is seeking two or more full-time staff attorneys to work at the Madison Office. These attorneys will provide representation to low-income people, with a focus in evictions and/or in public benefits, such as Social Security disability and Unemployment Insurance appeals.
LEGAL ACTION OF WISCONSIN
We are a large and vibrant non-profit law firm funded by the federal Legal Services Corporation, the Wisconsin Trust Account Foundation, the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, Victim of Crime Act funding, the Wisconsin Equal Justice Fund, and many other sources. Each year, we provide free legal aid to about 11,000 – 14,000 low-income persons in Wisconsin’s southern 39 counties with offices in Milwaukee, Madison, Racine, Oshkosh, Green Bay, and La Crosse. In addition, the firm operates a statewide farmworker project and a statewide legal aid to human trafficking victims project. Most of our work is in the areas of housing, public benefits, removing barriers to employment, consumer, family law, and victim rights. Legal Action attorneys specialize in specific areas of law, though they may be called upon to work in multiple areas. They provide high-quality and aggressive representation, maintain a direct service caseload of individual clients, and contribute to the firm’s work to engage in law reform litigation and other impact work.
During the pandemic, most Legal Action attorneys are working remotely, and all attorneys are allowed flexibility in their work schedules. New hires will work remotely until Legal Action returns to the physical offices and will work with their supervisors if flexible scheduling (outside of regular business hours) is needed. When it is safe to do so, new hires will be required to work from a physical Legal Action office but may request remote/telework and flexible scheduling. New hires may receive some training in the physical office and may receive some in-office time now. We require face masks and social distancing in the Madison Office.
Legal Action believes that equal justice under law can only be achieved through the collaboration of a diverse staff. We strongly encourage applications from women, people of color, people who identify as LGBTQIA+, people with disabilities, and people with life experiences or educational backgrounds that add to the firm’s diversity and our capacity to provide high-quality legal aid.
The Madison office is located at 744 Williamson Street, Suite 200, Madison, WI, 53703. The Madison Office staff currently consists of a Managing Attorney, 14 attorneys, 4 paralegals, 1 legal secretary, and 1 Office Manager. Our Madison office serves 9 counties in south central Wisconsin.
Legal Action is seeking two or more full-time attorneys to provide legal representation in eviction defense cases and/or in public benefits matters, such as Social Security disability and Unemployment Insurance appeals. Staff attorneys may be reassigned to other legal practice areas and duties as the staffing needs of the firm change. Responsibilities will include:
• Provide high-quality and aggressive representation of clients in individual service cases.
• Undertake impact work (that which has impact on groups of low-income persons or the systems that have the most effect on the low-income community).
• Perform all duties associated with such representation as defined by our attorney performance standards and participate in regular case review with a supervisor.
• Stay current with the areas of law that pertain to the low-income community as they change and develop, particularly in their area of specialization.
• Share responsibility for and contribute to the development and maintenance of good working relationships with community groups and with state and local bar associations and others.
• Provide training and other assistance to volunteers who participate in Legal Action's Volunteer Lawyer Project and to other Legal Action staff attorneys.
• Perform intake duties and, where necessary, make appropriate referrals to other community agencies.
• Perform administrative and recordkeeping duties.
• Serve on at least one of our Priority Committees: Housing; Barriers to Employment; Consumer; Public Benefits; and Family law. (These priority committees are composed of Legal Action attorneys practicing in those areas of law. They meet quarterly to discuss trends in the law and practice and to strategize the firm’s work.)
• Juris Doctorate Degree;
• Admission to the Wisconsin Bar;
• Enthusiasm for civil legal aid and equal justice and for service to our clients and commitment to providing the highest quality legal service;
• Ability to understand our clients’ situation and problem-solve to find realistic solutions to civil legal problems;
• Prior work within civil legal services, with volunteers, producing training events, or other relevant experience is desired, though not required;
• Strong communication skills;
• Enthusiasm for arguing motions and representing clients at trial or in administrative hearings;
• Ability to prioritize and organize resources while maintaining quality and attention to detail;
• Self-motivation, diligence, and ability to manage a large and robust caseload and to meet strict deadlines while under pressure;
• Ability to travel throughout Legal Action’s service area to meet with clients and to attend court and administrative hearings in person when once again safe to do so;
• Cultural competence and respect for differences in race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstances.
• Willingness to receive direction and supervision and to implement feedback;
• Ability to work harmoniously and cooperatively with others;
• Comfort with using Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Teams, etc.) and an electronic database.
PHYSICAL DEMANDS AND WORK ENVIRONMENT
This position involves sedentary work, sitting at a desk on a computer for an extended period. Exerting up to 10 pounds of force on a regular basis to lift, carry, push or otherwise move objects. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to stand, sit, talk, hear and use hands and fingers to operate a computer and/or laptop keyboard and use a telephone. Specific vision abilities required for this job include close vision requirements due to computer work. Drives a motor vehicle while seated for extended periods of time daily. Occasional reaching, bending, kneeling and stooping involved to retrieve various items and materials. This position works in an environmentally-controlled office environment with moderate noise from phones, printers, and light office traffic in the Madison Office.
The salary for these positions is determined by Legal Action’s collective bargaining agreement with the United Legal Workers, a unit of the National Organization of Legal Services Workers (NOLSW), UAW Local 2320, AFL-CIO. Under our attorney salary scale, an attorney with 0 – 1 years of experience would receive an annual salary of $45,727 for a 100% full-time position. An attorney with 5 years of experience practicing law would earn a salary of $52,347. An attorney with 10 years of experience would earn a salary of $58,967. Salaries are not negotiable and will follow this scale. In addition, the position generally receives an annual step increase, subject to approval of the Board of Directors. Legal Action offers opportunities for advancement, and attorneys with supervisory responsibilities receive a management stipend.
Legal Action provides a generous fringe benefits package, including employer-paid health and dental insurance for employees and eligible dependents. Some employees are required to contribute to the health insurance premium for their spouse, if the spouse has group health insurance provided by their employer. Legal Action also provides life and long-term disability insurance, a profit-sharing retirement plan, salary deferral options for retirement planning, low-cost employee-paid vision coverage, three weeks of vacation per year, four days of personal leave, a generous sick leave benefit, and four weeks of paid parental leave for eligible employees.
This position is subject to a probationary period of up to one year.
These positions report to the Madison Office Managing Attorney. The positions are governed by the terms and conditions of the collective bargaining agreement between Legal Action and the United Legal Workers. Legal Action’s personnel policies will govern where no provision is covered by the collective bargaining agreement, and the personnel policies are subject to unilateral change by the Legal Action Board of Directors.
HOW TO APPLY
Applicants must submit the following application materials via Legal Action of Wisconsin’s online applicant portal:
• Cover letter
• Legal writing sample
• Names and contact information for three professional references (current LAW staff members are not required to include references)
• Law school transcript (only required for applicants who graduated 2018 or later)
Please submit and upload all the documents required. If required documents are not submitted, your application will be considered incomplete, and we will not be able to consider you for this position.
Stacia Conneely, the Madison Office Managing Attorney, is the hiring manager for this position and will lead a panel of Legal Action staff to interview applicants virtually.
DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS:
These positions will be open until filled. For early consideration, we encourage applicants to apply by Monday, January 17, 2021.
Effective November 1, 2021, Legal Action will require all employees to have completed their COVID-19 vaccinations and provide proof of vaccination or have submitted a completed religious or medical exemption and accommodation request.
Any individual offered a position with Legal Action, will be required to provide proof of a complete COVID-19 vaccination at time of hire or have submitted a completed religious or medical exemption and accommodation request. Requests for religious or medical exemption and accommodation must be approved prior to January 1, 2021.
Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer