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Advocacy Coordinator | Public Benefits & Administrative Law

Northwest Justice Project (NJP) seeks an Advocacy Coordinator (AC) to support high quality legal advocacy in public benefits, health care, administrative law, and related areas to improve economic security for people in or near poverty. The AC works as part of an experienced legal team to support affirmative advocacy and creative, systemic solutions to promote the long-term well-being of Washington’s low-income individuals, families and communities.  
 
The AC’s responsibilities include strategic leadership, mentoring, planning, development, facilitation, management and implementation of cases and projects; facilitation and support of statewide advocacy teams; coordination and partnership with other organizations and advocates within the statewide Alliance for Equal Justice and broader public interest community; and training and professional development of staff. This is a full-time position. Service responsibilities are statewide, travel required. The position requires consistent and frequent interaction, including in-person meetings, with state agencies located in Olympia. 
 
The AC serves as part of NJP’s statewide leadership team.  All those in leadership positions at NJP are expected to embrace NJP’s commitment to race equity and commit to their own growth and development with respect to equity and inclusion.
 
Specific Duties: 
 
  • Identify, assess and communicate emerging issues, unmet client legal needs, including needs unique to populations experiencing barriers to accessing justice. Develop and promote effective advocacy strategies in cooperation with program staff and equal justice partners. Facilitate the work of advocacy task forces and work groups.
  • Encourage and support advocacy to identify and address racial inequity in all arenas (litigation, policy work, committee/group participation, community outreach and education, client and advocate resource materials).
  • Serve as a resource for advocates to develop and support affirmative litigation and systemic advocacy (including appeals) through consultation, case planning, pleading review, moot court participation and facilitation, amicus development. 
  • Coordinate with Washington’s Alliance for Equal Justice partners to develop and promote effective strategies to maximize client services and establish and promote collaborative working relationships with other advocacy organizations. 
  • Assist individual advocates, task forces and work groups to define and develop strategies to secure client objectives, to resolve potential inconsistencies in client representation strategies and to ensure compliance with funding requirements, professional responsibility and ethical obligations, and/or competing interests of client communities. 
  • Facilitate cross-program advocacy teams and help to strengthen and support non-litigation projects including community legal education, client/community/program relations, collaboration with bar and court-related access to justice activities, and similar activities that promote and expand access to justice for low income persons throughout the state. 
  • Coordinate review and response to public rulemaking proposals that will impact low-income Washingtonians’ economic security or access to health care.
  • Help develop, manage, and/or update client publications and advocacy resource materials, including practice manuals and case handling standards.  
  • Help assess professional development needs and develop training partnerships with other civil legal services providers to expand expertise and increase the capacity of equal justice partners in a manner that encourages and promotes access to justice for low-income persons throughout the state. 
  • Provide feedback on individual advocate performance to Senior Attorneys during formal and informal appraisal processes.  
  • Work with senior attorneys and advocates to ensure that client representation and advocacy activities are effective, efficient, and make economical use of program resources consistent with NJP’s mission, funding requirements, and Washington Access to Justice Board's Hallmarks for an Effective Civil Legal Aid Delivery System  
  • Help carry out program initiatives to meet NJP objectives as a dynamic statewide law firm empowering clients and combating injustice in all forms. 
  • Help facilitate compliance with NJP’s grant reporting needs and projects that further NJP’s Strategic Plan goals related to systemic and client-center advocacy.
 
Qualifications: 
 
  • Experience working with and possess an understanding of the civil legal needs of low-income people, including the unique needs of populations which experience barriers to justice systems, and an understanding of effective approaches for addressing those needs. 
  • Expertise in state and federal income support and economic security programs, health care access, and other administrative law based programs. Experience in substantive law impacting the civil legal needs of low-income persons, such as housing, family, or consumer law, and access to justice issues broadly especially helpful. 
  • Demonstrated experience in affirmative and/or complex litigation and other advocacy in state court, federal court, and/or administrative forums. 
  • Ability to communicate, motivate and work collaboratively with diverse groups of people. 
  • Must be culturally competent and have an interest in working with low income or other marginalized communities.  
  • Experience working across different cultural backgrounds is strongly preferred. 
  • Demonstrated cultural competence with NJP client communities. 
  • Initiative, creativity and problem-solving abilities; not risk averse and able to embrace change and uncertainty. 
  • Ability and willingness to learn and integrate new technologies and methodologies to increase efficiency. 
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills. 
  • Strong work ethic and commitment to working as a team. 
  • Minimum eight years of substantive litigation experience 
  • Member of Washington State Bar or ability to obtain membership through reciprocity 
Resume and letter of interest in position should be sent to Karen Holland at karenh@nwjustice.org. Application materials should specifically identify examples of relevant cases applicant has handled, including whether as lead or co-counsel, policy and other non-litigation advocacy, transactional work, training, CLE presentations, etc., recognitions and references. The Northwest Justice Project is especially interested in qualified candidates whose professional, personal and/or service experience allow them to contribute to and support the legal aid community’s commitment to race equity. Applications due April 3, 2018. 
 
NJP is committed to a policy of equal opportunity and fosters an environment free of barriers and discriminatory practices. NJP actively promotes mutual respect, acceptance, teamwork and productivity. NJP is committed to maintaining an organization whose staff, Board and clients are diverse in background, experience, race, color, national origin, gender, age, religious reference, marital status, sexual orientation, sensory, mental or physical abilities, veteran status, and other qualities that strengthen the program while reinforcing its commitment to basic fairness. People of color, people who identify as transgender, lesbian, gay, or bisexual, and those with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. Individuals needing a reasonable accommodation for the application or interview process or for more information about the project should contact Karen Holland at (206) 707-0802.