POSITION: Paralegal - Community Revitalization Project (Full-Time Position)
CLOSING DATE: Position Immediately Available and Closed When Filled
LOCATION: Fort Worth, Texas
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 in the Community Revitalization Project.
DESCRIPTION: LANWT is a non-profit public interest law firm that provides high-quality free civil legal services to low-income persons in North and West Texas covering 114 counties with both urban and rural areas.
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:
- Assisting clients that fall under LANWT’s set of priorities with appropriate attorney supervision.
- Provide paraprofessional legal services to eligible clients and community groups in civil areas including, affordable fair housing, environmental justice, and community development and advocacy, and other cases in accordance with the program's mission, principles of advocacy and program guidelines.
- Participate in significant outreach and community legal education to clients and community groups, so as to provide clients and others with information and assistance in program priority areas and to build strong positive working relationships between LANWT and the client or client groups.
- Assist attorneys and other advocates in representing clients, engaging in community organizing, and working with community groups to make improvements in the lives of low-income individuals and communities.
- Meet regularly and often with community groups, community organizers and other LANWT staff.
- 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 and paper client files.
- Investigate and develop cases and projects assigned, including conducting necessary interviews.
- Develop a knowledge of, work with, and make referrals to social service agencies and other agencies that can help LANWT's clients.
- Draft pleadings, orders, discovery, letters, memos, and other written materials relating to assigned cases or projects.
- File legal papers and pleadings through e-filing, including setting hearing dates, and interacting with court staff, opposing parties and counsel and clients.
- Maintain accurate, complete, well-organized records and files regarding cases and projects assigned and calendaring events for staff.
- 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).
- Represent clients at hearings and other applicable guidelines governing advocacy by non-attorneys.
- Utilize on an ongoing basis the electronic case management system and ensure data entered is accurate.
- Other responsibilities which the needs of the program may require and as assigned by a supervisor, Deputy Director or Chief Executive Officer.
- Associate’s Degree and paralegal certification is preferred.
- Two (2) years prior experience working as a paralegal preferred.
- Prior experience working with the low-income community and or community organizing preferred.
- Fluent in Spanish – both verbal and written is preferred.
- Candidate must be detail oriented, efficient, 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.
- Excellent attendance record.
- Readiness to have a flexible work schedule, including commitments to evening and weekend hours.
- Ability to engage in occasional travel throughout LANWT’s service area.
Current entry-level salary is $31,000 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