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Native American Unit - Senior Attorney

The Northwest Justice Project (NJP) is Washington’s state and federally funded civil legal aid program.  As a not-for-profit statewide law firm whose mission is: Combatting Injustice – Strengthening Communities – Promoting Human Dignity, NJP seeks a Senior Attorney to lead the program’s Native American Unit (NAU).  The NAU is a specialized unit that advocates for the rights of Native American individuals and communities, on and off reservation. The Senior Attorney is responsible for providing leadership and vision for the NAU, supervision of legal work and carrying out necessary management functions, as well as carrying his/her own case/project load.  
 
The Senior Attorney acts as a representative of the NAU and its work to outside entities, including funders, the media and other interested parties. The Senior Attorney is also responsible for active interaction with field office and CLEAR attorneys to ensure maximum integration and collaboration on client/Unit goals, performance management and oversight of NAU attorney professional development plans, and for modest grant reporting and related responsibilities.  The Senior Attorney will also be responsible for assisting the NJP’s Senior Leadership Team with program management and compliance obligations as well as implementation of NJP’s mission and related strategic planning objectives.  
 
The Senior Attorney 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.
 
This is a full-time position with a preferred location of NJP’s Seattle office.
 
Successful applicants will have substantive Indian Law experience, including litigation in Tribal Courts, Federal Courts, or State and Federal administrative agencies on matters that concern the special status of Indian persons. Experience in substantive areas, including education, consumer, employment, public assistance, housing, health care, Indian Child Welfare Act, and Indian status affected legal matters is preferred. Successful applicants will have demonstrated experience leading a team, or supporting the development of, strategic advocacy efforts.  Applicants should be culturally competent and have demonstrated experience working with low-income Native American communities. Experience with Washington based tribes is a plus. WSBA membership in good standing or ability to acquire membership through reciprocity is required.  
 
JOB DUTIES: The attorney will undertake a range of duties including, but not limited to:
 
  • Work collaboratively with Unit colleagues and field offices that are located near reservation communities to identify and address the most critical needs of members of those communities through legal assistance and representation to eligible clients and client groups. 
  • Overall leadership and management of NAU, including oversight of NAU advocacy efforts, professional development and supervision of staff. 
  • Engage with the client communities and conduct legal education events for client groups, social and human services providers, and civil and tribal justice system stakeholders, and serve as a resource to other advocates on Indian Law, Tribal Court practice, ICWA and WICWA and legal issues arising from a client’s Indian status with respect to state and federal programs. 
  • Develop collaborative working relationships with a statewide network of advocates working to advance the well-being of Native American people, including participation in advocacy task forces (e.g. Native American Task Force) and work groups to address systemic barriers facing Native people in Washington.  
  • Utilize NJP’s case management and timekeeping systems to comply with all applicable regulatory requirements and reporting needs, and staff supervision as appropriate. 
  • Identify, and assist NJP development staff to secure, additional public or other grant funding to enhance NAU capacity to provide legal services. 
  • Help identify and develop on-line resources for use by attorneys and/or unrepresented litigants on matters within areas of practice and expertise. 
  • Support the work of NJP partners including the volunteer lawyers, private attorneys, other legal aid providers and organizations addressing the legal needs of low-income Native Americans.
Salary depends on experience. NJP offers an attractive benefits package and a comfortable work environment. Interested candidates should send a letter of interest, current resume and writing sample to: Karenh@nwjustice.org.  Letters of interest and subject line should clearly reference “NAU Senior Attorney” position. Cover letter should include description of any past experience and competence, personal or professional, working with low income or other marginalized communities. Proficiency in languages other than English should be noted. More information about NJP: www.nwjustice.org. Applications accepted until March 26, 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 or karenh@nwjustice.org