Civil Rights Attorney

Lansing, MI

Position Overview

Provides direct legal representation to individuals with disabilities experiencing violation of their rights and/or difficulty receiving services from providers. Providing technical legal assistance, legal education services and training to agency staff, consumer groups, and persons with disabilities.

Reports To: Legal Director

Responsibilities

  • Counsels and represents clients in negotiations, legal and administrative proceedings in accordance with DRM casework standards, Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct, and other standards of legal practice.
  • Prosecutes cases on behalf of DRM as a plaintiff.
  • Collaborates directly with other DRM staff, co-counsel, experts, and consultants to develop and implement legal, policy, and other advocacy strategies.
  • Gathers information and conducts research for cases in litigation or being prepared for litigation.
  • Prepares correspondence/memos, motions/responses to motions, court pleadings, legal briefs, proposed legislation and other legal documents.
  • Provides legal guidance and consultation to DRM staff, consumer groups, community organizations, external attorneys representing persons with disabilities, and disability rights agencies regarding relevant legal opinions, remedies available to resolve problem situations, and the like.
  • Maintain client records in accordance with agency standards.
  • Participates in various outreach/training activities including representation on various community boards/work groups, public presentations, training, and development of written materials to educate others about DRM, the rights of individuals with disabilities, disability laws and issues, issues of importance to persons with disabilities, and the like.
  • Maintains current knowledge of legal mandates, case law, and Agency policies related to the rights of individuals with disabilities.
  • Attends staff meetings, training and inservice programs.
  • Coordinates, assigns and reviews the work of assigned legal interns.
  • Develops legal manuals and brochures.
  • Participates in development and maintenance of legal reference resources including a listing of private attorneys who are competent in the legal rights of individuals with disabilities and willing to accept cases on a pro-bono basis.
  • Participates in identifying and applying for various federal and state grants.
  • Access to team members and other departments for consult and ad hoc meetings is a critical component to casework progress.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Job Qualifications

  • Juris Doctor Degree from an accredited law school and admitted to practice law in the state of Michigan.
  • Active membership in the Michigan State Bar.
  • Minimum two years’ experience.
  • Experience litigating cases in Federal Courts or representing clients in disability related matters.
  • Valid State of Michigan identification and ability to travel to court, meetings with clients and similar activities as required.
  • Demonstrated commitment to the civil rights of all people and the ability to work with individuals with a variety of disability characteristics and cultural backgrounds.
  • Ability to maintain confidential information.
  • Interpersonal skills necessary to provide effective legal representation to persons with disabilities including presenting cogent legal arguments at hearings and negotiating resolution of cases. The incumbent is also required to communicate technical legal information in non-technical terms.
  • Demonstrated ability to respond in an empathetic/compassionate manner while maintaining neutrality and composure to sensitive situations, emotionally charged issues, and the like.
  • Written and computer skills necessary for the creation of correspondence/memos, court pleadings, legal briefs, motions, proposed legislation and educational materials.
  • Demonstrated ability to utilize the Agency database and work with various computer software packages.
  • Analytical ability to research, analyze, and apply legal principles, facts and precedents to a variety of client problem situations.
  • Demonstrated ability to organize and prioritize multiple priorities and demands.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Working knowledge of legal practices and procedures and court rules. The incumbent is also required to have a general understanding of disability advocacy issues.
  • Demonstrated litigation experience.
  • Ability to adapt and respond to multiple priorities and demands with varying deadlines.
  • Physical ability to properly operate required office equipment.
  • Successful completion of background check.

Working Environment

  1. Normal office environment with little discomfort or exposure due to unfavorable working conditions.
  2. Work involves travel to various locations throughout the State with some exposure to adverse weather, traffic hazards, and the like. Minimal exposure to injury and/or communicable diseases when using standard precautions.
  3. Evening and weekend hours may be required.

Salary Range

$51,000 to $65,000

Deadline for Application

Friday, January 29, 2021

Prefer to send your information by e-mail or fax?

Interested applicants can send their resume and cover letter to:

Camilia Limas
Disability Rights Michigan
4095 Legacy Parkway
Lansing, MI 48911
517.487.0827 (FAX)
climas@drmich.org

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