Senior Attorney

Lansing

Position Overview

Disability Rights Michigan (DRM) has an immediate opening for a full-time Senior Attorney. This position will provide 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. Takes lead in planning and conducting class action litigation.

Must possess a Juris Doctor degree from an accredited school of law and admitted to practice law in the state of Michigan. Minimum six years’ experience litigating cases in Federal Courts or representing clients in disability related matters (Guardianship, Civil Commitment, Medicaid Fair Hearings) preferred.  Demonstrated ability to take a lead role in case planning, litigation management, and class actions. Effective written and oral communication and problem-solving skills are critical.

WORKING ENVIRONMENT:

  • Normal office environment with little discomfort or exposure due to unfavorable working conditions.
  • 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.
  • Evening and weekend hours may be required.

 

Responsibilities

  • Represents clients and classes of clients who are eligible for DRM services. Develop and execute all phases of case strategies and activities consultation with the Legal Director.
  • 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.
  • Participates in developing and conducting class action and other strategically targeted litigation in coordination with related advocacy strategies.
  • Collaborates directly with other DRM staff, co-counsel, experts, and consultants to develop and implement legal, policy, and other advocacy strategies.
  • Work in effective collaboration with counsel from other firms and organizations to make maximum use of combined resources to best serve DRM clients.
  • Ensures competent and effective representation through case management system, including casework file practice, docketing system, case review, and case protocol.
  • Assists in developing, implementing, and evaluating the legal staff priorities, work plans and performance plans.
  • 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.
  • Provides legal representation and advocacy.
  • Prepares memoranda to staff on cases and legislative action about priorities, and related rights protection and advocacy issues.
  • Upon request of Legal Director may design, implement, and evaluate training.
  • Conducts correspondence and prepares reports as required.
  • Responsible for implementing the agency’s case management system, including but not limited to participating in case review and maintaining case files in accordance with agency and service area goals, objectives, and management plan.  May assist in the planning and evaluation of the service area’s case management plan.
  • Contributes to developing written material, EXCHANGE, or other publications, in accordance with agency goals and objectives.
  • Represent the perspective of DRM and people with disabilities on task forces, policy groups, coalitions, and similar bodies.
  • Responsible for working in conjunction with service area staff to implement a mechanism to promote communication with other service areas within the agency to assess needs and share information.
  • Participates in the development and evaluation of the service area goals and objectives.
  • Responsible for keeping the Legal Director informed of systemic and/or significant legal issues.
  • Completes administrative requirements and necessary documentation required by the agency.
  • Coordinates, assigns, and reviews the work of assigned legal interns.
  • Attends staff meetings, trainings, and in-service programs in office, virtually, or off-site as required.
  • Performs related duties as assigned.

Qualifications

  • Juris Doctor degree from an accredited school of law and admitted to practice law in the state of Michigan.
  • Active membership in the Michigan State Bar.
  • A minimum of six years of litigation experience, including class action civil rights or disability law litigation. Experience in human service area.
  • Demonstrated ability to take a lead role in case planning and litigation management.
  • Valid State of Michigan identification and ability to travel to court, meetings with clients and similar activities as required.
  • Demonstrated ability to conduct complex litigation in state and federal courts.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Ability to maintain confidential information.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively, in writing and orally, with or without accommodation.
  • 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.
  • Demonstrated ability to independently and as part of a team.
  • Ability to adapt and respond to multiple priorities and demands with varying deadlines.
  • Skills to effectively deal with and negotiate through confrontational situations and stressful interactions.
  • Successful completion of background check.
  • COVID-19 vaccination must be current or documentation from a medical provider with reason(s) to request waiver must be provided.

OTHER DESIRABLE QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Demonstrated interest and commitment to public interest law (preferably in area of disability rights).
  • Experience in legal services, nonprofit, or public interest environment.
  • Experience as a person with a disability or as a member of a nondominant cultural group, or experience working with or living with persons with disabilities or within a nondominant cultural community.

Salary Range

$70,000 to $75,000

Deadline for Application

Monday, November 15, 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

Apply Here

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