We are willing to work with law and public policy students to craft fellowship proposals that could be based at our Flint or Saginaw office. Students who would like to discuss their ideas should send inquiries to email@example.com.
Job Posting – March 2014
Impact Litigation Attorney in Michigan
Available: Immediately - open until filled
How to apply: mail cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org
Attn: Jacqueline Doig, Director of Advocacy
DESCRIPTION OF POSITION
The Center for Civil Justice seeks an energetic, self-directed and creative attorney who wants to undertake significant litigation on behalf of low-income persons. Although priority will be given to attorneys with experience with impact litigation, we will consider an attorney early in his or her career who demonstrates superior legal and organizational skills, experience with affirmative litigation, and the ability to identify and pursue systemic issues.
This position is an exciting opportunity for attorneys who wish to engage in impact litigation to focus their efforts entirely on systemic (class action) litigation and policy work to improve the lives and opportunities of low income people. Attorneys at CCJ enjoy significant autonomy and a supportive work environment. Their practice focuses on litigating fewer large cases with systemic results rather than a traditional caseload of individual cases.
CCJ’s legal and policy advocacy is informed by our close relationships with LSC-funded and independent advocacy organizations at the local and state level. These partnerships help us identify systemic issues and barriers affecting the low-income client community, and to support our advocacy in the courts, the legislature, state agencies, and the press. CCJ offers a unique setting for an energetic and creative attorney to identify critical issues and to undertake systemic and multi-forum advocacy related to those issues.
Salary depends on experience and CCJ has excellent fringe benefits. CCJ is an equal opportunity employer.
CCJ is an award-winning, non-federally funded legal services provider that shares a core 14-county region with Legal Services of Eastern Michigan and that also undertakes state level systemic legal and policy advocacy. Historically we have focused on issues and programs related to healthcare, food security, cash assistance, and workforce development. However, we now anticipate undertaking litigation in additional areas of law, which may include housing, consumer, civil rights, and education law. We also contract with a multi-client lobbyist who helps us with our state legislative work.
CCJ has pursued litigation on behalf of our low income clients that has resulted in hundreds of thousands of people receiving medical coverage, cash assistance and food assistance that otherwise would have been denied. We have successfully challenged illegal policies in the Medicaid, TANF, and SNAP programs, and to obtain improvements in state administrative policies and state legislation.
CCJ currently has 7 employees and is located in downtown Flint, Michigan, in walking distance from University of Michigan – Flint and minutes from Flint’s Arts Corridor. CCJ’s service area includes many affordable and attractive communities that offer access to both urban amenities and many outdoor recreational activities. Flint is within an hour’s drive from Ann Arbor, Detroit, and Lansing.
PRINCIPAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
- Develop substantive expertise on Michigan poverty law issues, and develop expertise as needed to pursue litigation on targeted issues.
- Identify legal and policy issues of significance to the client community that may be appropriate for litigation, policy advocacy, or lobbying by CCJ and/or its allies.
- Develop and oversee, in coordination with staff, lobbyist and allies, CCJ’s advocacy strategies
- Monitor and analyze proposed and final policies, rules, and legislation as may be necessary to address priority issues
- Review written materials and participate in conference calls, webinars, listservs, meetings and trainings to learn about opportunities and problems arising from state and national policy developments and to build relationships with experienced advocates around the country.
- Identify and pursue legal remedies for systemic problems affecting clients in CCJ’s service area, with a special emphasis on issues or remedies that federally funded legal services programs are not able to pursue.
- Litigation, primarily class action litigation, and pursuit of administrative or judicial remedies in cases that may serve as precedent or persuasive authority for future decisions. Also includes administrative or legal representation in selected cases in which new issues are being examined, to ascertain agency positions on important legal issues.
- Work with contract lobbyist to develop credibility and relationships with legislators and staff. Identify and pursue goals for legislative advocacy. Write and present testimony at legislative hearings. Identify allies on legislative issues and share CCJ analysis and opinion regarding legislation. Respond to requests from lobbyist, legislators, and staff for CCJ positions or analysis of proposed legislation.
- Exchange information with, and provide legal and policy analysis to, appropriate federal and administrative agency staff. Advocate for improvements in agency policies and practices.
- Provide trainings and presentations to legal services advocates, clients, community groups, coalitions, allies, potential allies, and policymakers when helpful to educating the community about issues that CCJ is working on.
- Prepare issue alerts and educational materials related to priority issues for clients, legal services advocates, the public, and community based allies.
- Identify and implement strategies to pursue the interests of CCJ’s client community. Evaluate alternative approaches to issues, identify potential allies and appropriate roles for CCJ and allied organizations.
- Provide support and supervision to non-lawyer advocates at CCJ who may be engaged in providing services to low-income persons.
- Other duties as assigned by Executive Director or the Director of Advocacy.
- Member of Michigan Bar or a member in good standing of another state bar and able to waive in after 3 years of practice in another state who has reciprocity with the Michigan Bar.
- Member of U.S. District Court
- Experience with impact litigation or demonstrated ability to identify, analyze and formulate advocacy strategies on significant legal issues.
- Experience in a non-profit civil legal services office or equivalent,
- Excellent legal research, writing and oral communication skills
- Proficiency with computer and on-line technology
- Driver’s license and vehicle
- Experience with policy analysis and advocacy – helpful but not required.
- Self-directed and motivated to do systemic advocacy on behalf of low income persons
- Ability to organize and prioritize work
- Ability to establish and maintain effective working and supervisory relationships with fellow employees
- Ability to establish and maintain positive working relationships with community organizations and other potential allies
- Ability to identify systemic problems or opportunities that can be addressed through advocacy
- Ability to develop and pursue strategies for addressing issues of importance to the client community
- Ability to educate and persuade through formal and informal advocacy, and written and oral communication.