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Civil Survival Project (CSP) Staff Attorney

Summary:

The Civil Survival Project (CSP) is looking for a reentry legal aid attorney to provide services to formerly incarcerated individuals across Washington State who face legal barriers to successful reentry. In addition to providing direct legal services, the Staff Attorney will create systems to provide more efficient legal services delivery, such as legal guides, legal one pagers, and training for pro bono attorneys, as well as legal clinics and mass events such as Legal Financial Obligation Reconsideration Days to have the greatest impact on the community we serve.
The ideal candidate will be excited about a widely varied reentry legal practice, assisting formerly incarcerated and convicted clients across all areas of reentry legal needs. Broad legal experience in matters affecting clients who have experienced incarceration is highly preferred. CSP also seeks applicants who possess the ability to independently and efficiently learn new legal practice areas and who possess strong legal research and writing skills. The ideal candidate will be motivated to help those most frequently disadvantaged by existing justice and social service systems, including those with disabilities and people of color, and individuals who face greatest barriers to self-advocacy.
 
Organization Description:
The Public Defender Association (PDA) advocates for justice system reform and develops alternatives that shift from a punishment paradigm to a system that supports individual and community health. Grounding reform in a public health and safety framework, PDA develops new strategies and implements models that improve on conventional responses to crime and public order issues. In collaboration with community and government partners, PDA uses policy advocacy, organizing, litigation, and public education to achieve its goals.
Under the umbrella of PDA, CSP organizes people who have been directly impacted by the criminal legal system to build connections, gain knowledge and increase political participation. CSP provides leadership development, legal education and services, and legislative advocacy on systemic issues that prevent former justice-involved individuals the opportunity to fully reintegrate. The Staff Attorney will join an existing staff consisting of attorneys and organizers to serve the project mission in the following ways: 
 
Assist in establishing initial priorities, client service benchmarks, and intended program outcomes. 
Assist management in assembling data reports of program activities, achievements, and challenges. 
Participate in a weekly open call that will help clients address civil legal barriers to reentry. 
Design and provide training and technical assistance for volunteer attorneys to enhance their abilities to provide effective reentry-related civil legal assistance. 
Participate in community and courthouse-based projects, and presentations designed to offer widespread opportunity for legal intervention and relief for individuals with reentry related civil legal problems. 
Track legal decisions as they go through the appellate process. 
Identify amicus prospects and impact litigation opportunities. 
Develop legal strategies that impact public policy through all means, including but not limited to litigation, persuasive letters, and negotiation for policy changes. 
 
Job Description:
The Staff Attorney will offer trauma-informed legal services to clients in the Civil Survival Project. The attorney will offer brief services, representation, and referrals across the wide range of participants’ legal needs (record vacation, debt relief including legal financial obligations, barriers to employment and housing, access to resources, family reunification etc.). CSP clients face a variety of challenges stemming from involvement in the criminal legal system, and incarceration. These issues can complicate their ability to engage with legal services. Legal services will be provided through the principles of harm-reduction—meeting clients where they are, in a way that is responsive to their specific needs. 
 
The attorney will work with clients who are currently incarcerated, as well as clients who have been released but are experiencing barriers to successful reentry due to their incarceration or conviction status.  In addition to providing direct legal services, the Staff Attorney will create and implement systems to provide more efficient legal services delivery. This will include creating legal guides and training for case managers, and leading legal clinics for the communities we serve. 
 
Location:
Seattle, WA
 
Qualifications:
Member, in good-standing, of the Washington State Bar Association, or ability to gain admission in 2020.
The most important skill an applicant can possess is the ability to independently and efficiently learn new legal practice areas and offer representation with a high level of competence. 
Strong legal research and writing skills are required and will be critical to the attorney’s success in this position. Strong policy advocacy writing skills are preferred. 
Two years of reentry-related legal experience is highly preferred.
Although no applicant will have experience in all expected areas of practice, greater experience with the following areas will be preferred: landlord-tenant, record vacation/sealing, sex offender registration relief, legal financial obligations, certificates of restoration of opportunity, driver’s license reinstatements.
Experience and skill working with individuals with mental illness, substance use disorder, and other disabilities is required. The successful applicant will excel in providing legal services to individuals who have difficulty consistently engaging in their own representation. 
Ability to balance the needs of multiple clients with time-sensitive legal needs, while also maintaining strong communication with clients with less pressing needs is required.
Strong ability to work collaboratively is required. The successful applicant will have strong conflict management skills and be able to tactfully engage with external partners.
Policy advocacy and organizing skills are preferred. 
Familiarity and strong relationships with local policymakers, community leaders, and marginalized communities are preferred.
 
Compensation:
Salary range is $68,336-$115,506, depending on experience, with periodic step increases (this position normally involves 6% annual step increases, though PDA has paused step increases during the COVID emergency). An additional annual cost of living increase is provided at the discretion of the Board of Directors. Benefits include:
401k match of up to 4% of salary, beginning after six months of employment;
Annual, 2% of salary, profit sharing contribution to 401k, provided in most years; 
Generous medical and dental benefits for employees and family members;
15 days vacation, accrued annually, increasing to 24 days vacation, accrued annually. The LEAD Staff Attorney will start with 15 days vacation already accrued;
12 personal days, accrued annually;
Unlimited ORCA card; and
Monthly $50 employer cell phone contribution.
 
This is a Fair Labor Standards Act exempt, at-will position; continuation in the position depends on both performance and funding.
 
Equal Opportunity Employer:
PDA is committed to a policy of equal opportunity and fosters an environment free of barriers and discriminatory practices. PDA actively promotes mutual respect, acceptance, teamwork and productivity. PDA is committed to maintaining an organization whose staff, Board and clients are diverse in background, experience, race, color, national origin, gender, age, religious affiliation, marital status, sexual identity, sensory, mental or physical abilities, veteran status, and other qualities that strengthen the program while reinforcing its commitment to basic fairness. People of color, those directly impacted by the criminal justice system, people who identify as queer, trans, lesbian, gay, or bisexual, and those with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. Individuals needing a reasonable accommodation for the application or interview process should contact Sarai Cook at sarai.cook@defender.org or (206) 468-1660.
 
How to Apply:
Submit the following to Sarai Cook at sarai.cook@defender.org. The position is open until filled with preference for applicants who return the following by June 15, 2020 at 11:59 pm: 
Letter of interest
Resumé
Two legal writing samples, unedited by others
Optional: one popular education or advocacy writing sample
Names and contact information for three references

Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) Staff Attorney

Summary:

 

The Public Defender Association (PDA) is looking for a Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) Staff Attorney to provide legal services to LEAD clients. In addition to providing direct legal services, the LEAD Staff Attorney will closely coordinate with client case managers and create systems to provide more efficient legal services delivery, such as legal guides and trainings for case managers and legal clinics for LEAD clients.

The ideal candidate will be excited about a widely varied legal practice, assisting LEAD clients across all areas of legal need. Although broad legal experience, especially in family law, is preferred, the most important characteristics applicants can possess are the ability to independently and efficiently learn new legal practice areas and strong legal research and writing skills. PDA seeks an attorney motivated to help those most frequently disadvantaged by existing justice and social service systems, including those with disabilities and people of color. The most successful applicants will excel in providing legal services to individuals who have difficulty consistently engaging in their own representation.

Organization Description:

 

The Public Defender Association advocates for justice system reform and develops alternatives that shift from a punishment paradigm to a system that supports individual and community health. Grounding reform in a public health and safety framework, PDA develops new strategies and implements models that improve on conventional responses to crime and public order issues. In collaboration with community and government partners, PDA uses policy advocacy, organizing, litigation, and public education to achieve its goals.

The LEAD Staff Attorney would principally work with the Policy & Legal Department, one of PDA’s four primary project areas:

  • Civil Survival: Civil Survival organizes people who have been directly impacted by the criminal justice system to build connections, gain knowledge and increase political participation.
  • Collective Justice: Collective Justice aims to reduce harm caused by violence and mass incarceration by building effective, trauma-informed healing responses that reflect healing justice principles. 
  • Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion: PDA houses the project management team for the LEAD program. LEAD is a community-based diversion approach with the goals of improving public safety and public order, and reducing unnecessary justice system involvement of people who participate in the program. 
  • Policy & Legal Department: PDA’s policy and legal department promotes responses to public health and safety challenges that address the needs and goals of communities most disproportionately impacted by the criminal justice system. Current focus areas include police accountability, drug user health, and ending criminal-legal monetary sanctions.  

Job Description:

 

The Staff Attorney will offer trauma-informed legal services to clients in the LEAD program. The attorney will offer representation across the wide range of LEAD participants’ legal needs (family law, criminal defense, housing, etc.). LEAD clients face a variety of challenges, including homelessness, mental illness, and substance use, that can complicate their ability to engage with legal services. Legal services will be provided through the principles of harm-reduction—meeting clients where they are, in a way that is responsive to their specific needs. 

The attorney will work closely with client case managers at Evergreen Treatment Services to ensure that the legal representation plan closely aligns with the client’s broader social service goals. In addition to providing direct legal services, the LEAD staff attorney will create and implement systems to provide more efficient legal services delivery. This will include creating legal guides and trainings for case managers and leading legal clinics for LEAD clients. 

As time permits, the attorney will also engage in other legal and policy advocacy, outside of the LEAD program. Current legal & policy focus areas include police accountability, drug user health, and ending criminal-legal monetary sanctions. Advocacy will utilize a variety of tactics, including direct representation, community organizing, appellate advocacy, and lobbying. 

The LEAD Staff Attorney will primarily work with two other attorneys—Prachi Dave and Corey Guilmette. The attorney will work closely with and help supervise PDA’s legal interns. As time permits, the attorney may provide legal counsel to PDA’s other project areas.

Location:

 

Seattle, WA

Qualifications:

 

  • Member, in good-standing, of the Washington State Bar Association, or ability to gain admission in 2020.
  • The most important skill an applicant can possess is the ability to independently and efficiently learn new legal practice areas and offer representation with a high level of competence. 
  • Strong legal research and writing skills are required and will be critical to the attorney’s success in this position. Strong policy advocacy writing skills are preferred. 
  • Family law experience is highly preferred.
  • Although no applicant will have experience in all expected areas of practice, greater experience with the following areas will be preferred: landlord-tenant, criminal (warrants, criminal defense, sex offender registration relief, record vacation/sealing), legal financial obligations, employment, and immigration. 
  • Experience and skill working with individuals with mental illness, substance use disorder, and other disabilities is required. The successful applicant will excel in providing legal services to individuals who have difficulty consistently engaging in their own representation. 
  • Ability to balance the needs of multiple clients with time-sensitive legal needs, while also maintaining strong communication with clients with less pressing needs is required.
  • Strong ability to work collaboratively, both with colleagues and with client case managers is required. The successful applicant will have strong conflict management skills and be able to tactfully engage with external partners
  • Policy advocacy and organizing skills are preferred. 
  • Familiarity and strong relationships with local policymakers, community leaders, and marginalized communities are preferred.

Compensation:

 

Salary range is $68,336-$115,506, depending on experience. Within the position salary range, salary increases 6% annually. An additional annual cost of living increase is provided at the discretion of the Board of Directors. Benefits include:

  • 401k match of up to 4% of salary, beginning after six months of employment;
  • Annual, 2% of salary, profit sharing contribution to 401k, provided in most years; 
  • Generous medical and dental benefits for employees and family members;
  • 12 days vacation, accrued annually, increasing to 24 days vacation, accrued annually. The LEAD Staff Attorney will start with 15 days vacation already accrued;
  • 12 personal days, accrued annually;
  • Unlimited ORCA card; and
  • Monthly $50 employer cell phone contribution.

 

This is a Fair Labor Standards Act exempt, at-will position; continuation in the position depends on both performance and funding.

 

Equal Opportunity Employer:

 

PDA is committed to a policy of equal opportunity and fosters an environment free of barriers and discriminatory practices. PDA actively promotes mutual respect, acceptance, teamwork and productivity. PDA is committed to maintaining an organization whose staff, Board and clients are diverse in background, experience, race, color, national origin, gender, age, religious affiliation, marital status, sexual identity, sensory, mental or physical abilities, veteran status, and other qualities that strengthen the program while reinforcing its commitment to basic fairness. People of color, those directly impacted by the criminal justice system, people who identify as queer, trans, lesbian, gay, or bisexual, and those with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. Individuals needing a reasonable accommodation for the application or interview process should contact Corey Guilmette at corey.guilmette@defender.org or (206) 641-5334.

How to Apply:

 

Submit the following to Corey Guilmette at corey.guilmette@defender.org by June 5, 2020 at 11:59 pm: 

  • Letter of interest
  • Resumé
  • Two legal writing samples, unedited by others
  • Names and contact information for three references

Co-LEAD Intensive Outreach Responders & Co-LEAD Shift Lead, Intensive Outreach Responders

 

PDA is no longer accepting applications for the temporary Co-LEAD program, but we invite you to apply at our case management provider for LEAD, the REACH program who is hiring for permanent case manager positions for the classic Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) Program here

PDA Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) is hiring several Intensive Outreach Responder staff to respond to our clients’ needs during the COVID-19 outbreak. This position is employed by the LEAD Project Manager, the Public Defender Association. Co-responder Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (Co-LEAD) is an emergency response to individuals with current or potential criminal legal system involvement during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Outreach Case Responder is a member of a response team responsible for providing outreach, engagement and potentially intensive case management services to adults. Intensive Outreach Responders will have caseloads of 1:20 or fewer, if possible, and will provide companion-based services to ensure people are identified and assessed, supported in navigating the current shelter in place landscape with limited employment opportunities, and accompanied to any services or appointments that are indicated. This position is involved in all aspects of referral, outreach and engagement, intensive case management services, as well as coordination with other providers to assure successful transition of clients to on-going care once the COVID emergency resolves or is more fully managed.

Services will be provided in Seattle and Burien areas, and may be provided elsewhere in King County. The selected staff must provide their own transportation and must be fully insured with PDA as a named insured. PDA will cover mileage to and from home and to intervening destinations at IRS rates.

Many services will be provided on the streets, in motel and housing sites, shelters and other service centers as assigned. Jail visits may be required. Primary staffing will be during regular work hours, but this program will also maintain 24/7 on call capacity to resolve issues in participants’ housing placements; exact shift assignments are TBD. PDA will make every effort to take individual employees’ family and logistical constraints into account when assigning on-call shifts.

This position requires a high degree of coordination and collaboration with LEAD Project Managers as well as outside agencies also providing COVID-19 response services (local social services such as behavioral health providers, including Medication Assisted Treatment, food banks, healthcare facilities, etc.).

 

SAFETY AND PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE)

Employee safety for this position will include training and guidance on how to work with individuals who are in crisis during the COVID 19 outbreak. This position requires interacting with other individuals; PDA will make every effort to provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to all staff performing any field-based work, which includes, but is not limited to: masks, latex/nitrile gloves, eye protection, but it is recognized that, due to widespread shortages, appropriate PPE is not now and may not be available. PDA has made requests to all available supply chains and will furnish protective gear as it becomes available. Whenever not using full PPE, employees will be trained to and will follow CDC guidance/best practices to limit possible exposure, e.g. maintaining 6-foot distance from all other individuals, including co-workers.

PDA holds employee safety as a core feature of this position and will adhere to local public health guidance to ensure safety for employees and the communities they serve. It must be recognized that the entire landscape poses a risk of COVID-19 infection, and that performing the duties of this position with complete adherence to social distancing and sanitation recommendations from public health authorities is the best strategy for safety and health on the job under present conditions. Cell phone/tablet and communication devices that support field-based work will also be included for this position.

 

MAJOR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

• Provide outreach and engagement services, as assigned, working with Supervisor & other team members when meeting new referrals

• Provide a variety of care coordination activities focused on linkages to care to enhance client stabilization.

• Provide and prioritize field response as needed. This may include de-escalation, going to Emergency Departments, and/or making referrals to the existing crisis system, which may be compromised during the time of COVID-19, as necessary.

• Conduct intake evaluations and assess behavioral/physical health/economic survival needs in order to develop support and client centered care plans with the greatest client participation possible.

• Providing and/or coordinating the following: access to food, clothing, shelter, physical/behavioral healthcare, housing stabilization, financial assistance, criminal justice coordination, and public benefit benefits.

• Advocate for clients' access to community resources and services, ensuring that clients' needs are met and rights maintained; consult and collaborate with community providers to ensure continuity of care.

• Develop and maintain strong collaborative relationships with PDA, ETS REACH, LEAD prosecutorial liaisons, law enforcement, and other relevant social services services and resource organizations to ensure full continuity of care for clients.

• Provide services consistent with Co-LEAD/PDA program policies and procedures.

 

Other duties & responsibilities:

• Participate in psychiatric consultation, supervision, program meetings and in-service trainings; participate in clinical reviews and case conferences for clients on caseload.

• Comply with the agency's clinical accountability policies and procedures; maintain timely and complete client records; comply with all applicable laws.

• Comply with applicable program data collection, as needed.

• Other duties as assigned.

 

ADDITIONAL DUTIES OF SHIFT LEAD:

• Mentor, coach and support other outreach workers, suggest strategies, and provide feedback to supervisors on needed program modifications, additional resources, and obstacles

• Assist supervisors and other PDA staff in describing the Co-LEAD effort in a variety of forums

 

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:

• Interest or experience in working with clients who have difficulty engaging with traditional programs and clients with criminal legal system involvement

• Ability to implement harm reduction techniques within a client centered framework, e.g. motivational interviewing, trauma informed care and low-barrier assistance

• Ability to meet state requirements for Agency Affiliated Counselor or higher credential

• Ability to communicate and work effectively with staff from various backgrounds.

• Ability to work effectively with clients displaying a wide range of behaviors.

• Subscribe to the philosophy of cooperation and continuity across programs and of consideration and respect for clients.

• Current Washington State Driver’s License, current auto insurance, and access to a reliable vehicle

 

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS:

• Lived experience with criminal legal systems, including jails, law enforcement and courts

• CDPT/CDP

• Three years of experience in work related to social work or outreach programs

• Academic training in the social service field and in the area of substance use disorder and mental health treatment

• Experience providing services from a harm reduction perspective to individuals experiencing behavioral health challenges

 

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER

Projected pay scale; range dependent on experience and qualifications Intensive Outreach Responder: Starting salary $51,275 - $79,545 Shift LEAD, Intensive Outreach Responder: starting salary is $68,367 + range is DOQ. Generous health benefits for all employees at .5 FTE or higher Cell phone for work use. 

 

Racial Disparity Project: Internship & Externship Opportunities

 

Organization Description

The Public Defender Association (PDA) is a non-profit corporation which advocates for justice system reform and develops alternatives that shift from a punishment paradigm to a system that supports individual and community health. We also provide technical assistance to community partners who are committed to these goals. We advance justice system reform and alternative practices and policy through several core programs and policy initiatives, including: 

Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD):   Under LEAD, police officers exercise discretionary authority at the point of contact to divert individuals to a community-based intervention program for low-level criminal offenses (such as drug possession, sales, and prostitution offenses).
 
Voices of Community Activists and Leaders - Washington (VOCAL-WA): VOCAL-WA, affiliated with VOCAL-NY, builds power among low- and no- income people directly affected by the war on drugs, homelessness, mass incarceration, and the HIV/AIDS epidemic to create healthy and just communities for all. 
 
Transforming Policy:  The Public Defender Association’s Racial Disparity Project (RDP) has worked to improve police accountability and reconsider the role of the police since its inception in 1998, and worked to reform Washington's deadly force laws, including with technical support for the implementation of I940/De-Escalate WA, passed by Washington voters in 2018.
 
System Reform:  In the spirit of our four decade history as a public defense office committed to system reform, the current incarnation of the Public Defender Association continues to do policy advocacy, litigation, public education and organizing on issues that systemically affect people who are or are likely to be engaged by the justice system. This work includes efforts such as drug user health and supervised consumption campaigns, work on pre-trial release, and work to advance justice reinvestment, moving funding from institution-based investments to community-based care, in Seattle/King County and around Washington state. 
 
Civil Survival Project: Civil Survival Project organizes people who have been directly impacted by the criminal justice system to build connections, gain knowledge and increase political participation.  Civil Survival provides leadership development, legal education and services, and legislative advocacy on systemic issues that prevent former justice-involved individuals the opportunity to fully reintegrate.
 
Community Justice Project: The Community Justice Project aims to reduce harm caused by violence and mass incarceration by building effective, trauma-informed healing responses that reflect restorative justice principles.  We strive to empower the most impacted and marginalized communities by investing in the leadership of both crime survivors and incarcerated individuals to drive this work.  Unlike the traditional victim advocacy model, we are investing in the leadership of survivors and people directly impacted.
 
Intern Duties

An intern with the Racial Disparity Project will work under the supervision of the Senior Attorney to research and write legal memoranda, engage in individual representation of clients, work on current policy advocacy projects, and assist in the preparation of filings for ongoing litigation.  The intern will also gain an understanding of the multifaceted work done by the LEAD team, the Civil Survival Project, and the Community Justice Project.

Desired Skills and Qualifications

The intern will develop an in-depth understanding of the criminal justice reform work in which PDA engages and the public health perspective PDA utilizes.  Excellent writing and communications skills are required.  Applicants should have strong interests in policy advocacy, litigation, public education and organizing on issues that systemically affect people who are or area likely to be engaged by the justice system.  A commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion; a personal approach that values the individual and respects differences is also expected.  Candidates must have completed at least one year of law school.

Equal Opportunity Statement

The Public Defender Association is an equal opportunity employer.  We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture and are committed to race equity in all aspects of our work.  PDA encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, socio-economic circumstance, or record of arrest or conviction.  Women, people of color, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and people with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply.

How to Apply

To apply, please email a cover letter and résumé to Prachi Dave (prachi.dave@defender.org). In the subject line, please put “[Your Last Name] Racial Disparity Project Internship”. No phone calls please.
 
This position will be filled on a rolling basis.

 

PDA General Intern, Extern & Volunteer Opportunities

PDA has various volunteer or intern opportunities available on an ongoing basis.

  • For current or recent law students interested in a fellowship, legal externship or internship, please contact Prachi Dave, PDA Senior Attorney, at prachi.dave@defender.org.
  • If you are interested in general, LEAD, VOCAL-WA or other open-ended opportunities, please complete the survey found here. Once complete, we will retain your information on file and contact you when an internship and/or volunteer opportunity is available.