Employment/Vocational Rehab Civil Rights Attorney
Disability Rights Michigan (DRM) has an immediate, full-time Employment/Vocational Rehab Civil Rights Attorney on the Employment Advocacy Team located in the Lansing office. This is a newly created position for a creative self-starter who is passionate about the mission of DRM and advancing the opportunities for competitive integrated employment for people with disabilities. The position is hybrid with a mix of telework and in office work.
This position provides direct legal representation to individuals with disabilities experiencing a violation of their rights and/or difficulty receiving services funded under the Rehabilitation Act, including Michigan Rehabilitation Services, Bureau of Services for Blind Persons, and/or Disability Networks. Also provides recipients of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits with information, referral, advocacy and legal representation needed to help them obtain, maintain, or regain gainful employment. May also provide technical legal assistance, legal education services and training to agency staff, consumer groups, and persons with disabilities.
Juris Doctor Degree from an accredited law school, admitted to practice law in the state of Michigan, and active membership in the Michigan State Bar required. Minimum two years’ experience with experience litigating cases in Federal Courts or representing clients in disability related matters. Experience and knowledge with Michigan’s vocational rehabilitation system and Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act are preferred. Candidates must demonstrate effective communication, problem-solving and litigation skills.
DRM is the agency designated by the Governor of the State of Michigan to protect and advocate for the legal rights of individuals with disabilities.
DRM values the civil rights of all people and believes a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce is necessary to accomplish our mission. DRM is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, sexual orientation, political belief, creed, national origin, marital status, military status or disability.
- Counsels and represents clients in State, Federal and administrative proceedings in accordance with DRM casework standards, Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct, funder limitations and requirements, and other standards of legal practice.
- Represents DRM when it brings employment related litigation as a named 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 and funder requirements.
- 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, trainings, and in-service programs in office, virtually, or off-site as required.
- 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.
- Participates in cultural activities, collects data, advises clients, providers, community organizations and others about diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Access to team members and other departments for consult and ad hoc meetings is a critical component to casework progress.
- Other duties as assigned.
- 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.
- Training in diversity, equity and inclusion or willingness to engage with staff in additional training in these areas.
- 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 problematic situations.
- Demonstrated ability to adapt, respond to, organize, and prioritize multiple priorities and demands with varying deadlines.
- 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.
- Physical ability to properly operate required office equipment.
- Successful completion of background check and suitability from the Social Security Administration.
- COVID-19 vaccination must be current or documentation from a medical provider with reason(s) to request waiver must be provided.
- 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.
$56,000 to $66,000
Deadline for Application
Friday, June 17, 2022
Prefer to send your information by e-mail or fax?
Interested applicants can send their resume and cover letter to:
Disability Rights Michigan
4095 Legacy Parkway
Lansing, MI 48911