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Staff Attorney - Native American Unit - Crime Victim Services

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 Crime Victim Attorney for 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 NAU seeks applications from qualified attorneys to undertake mission-directed work to address the civil legal needs of Native American crime victims who experience collateral legal issues.

NAU-CV is an existing NJP project that collaborates statewide with tribal programs and Native victim services organizations to address the legal needs of Native crime victims. The legal services provided will primarily be telephonic and include advice, consultation, and pro se assistance to victims. Occasionally, the work may expand into full representation. Much, but not all, of the legal work relates to the immediate safety, ongoing protection, and family law needs of domestic violence survivors. Other case work includes advising victims of their rights during criminal proceedings, assistance with anti-harassment and sexual assault protection orders, and help for victims of financial fraud.  The NAU-CV attorney will be responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with tribal domestic violence/sexual assault advocates, social services agencies, law enforcement staff, and others to facilitate access to legal assistance for Native clients and provide technical support to the Native American advocacy community.

Job Duties: The attorney will undertake a range of duties including but not limited to:

  • Provide advice, consultation, limited and extensive pro se assistance, and occasional representation, to Native American crime victims.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with tribal DV advocate programs and personnel. (This requires a willingness and ability to travel across Washington State for outreach.)
  • 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.
  • Work collaboratively with NAU colleagues and field offices to identify and address the most critical needs of the Native American crime victim communities across Washington.
  • Help identify and develop online resources for use by attorneys and/or unrepresented litigants on matters within areas of practice and expertise.
  • Serve as a resource to other advocates on Indian law, tribal court practice, and legal issues arising from a client’s Indian status with respect to state and federal programs.
  • Support and lead the work of NJP partners, including the Native American Task Force, volunteer lawyers, private attorneys, other legal aid providers, and organizations addressing the legal needs of low-income Native Americans.
  • Utilize NJP’s cases management and timekeeping systems and comply with all applicable regulatory requirements and reporting needs.

The successful applicant for this position will have the following qualifications and experience or demonstrated abilities:

  • Strong  written and verbal communication skills.
  • Litigation experience, with particular experience in Indian Law, Tribal Courts, Federal Courts, or State and Federal administrative agencies, on matters that concern the unique status of Indian persons.
  • Experience in substantive areas, including education, family, housing, public assistance, Indian Child Welfare Act, and Indian status-affected legal matters.
  • Experience working with victim communities; well-developed sense of empathy.
  • Cultural competency.
  • Demonstrated experience working with low-income Native American communities. Experience working with tribes is a plus.
  • Experience translating Native American issues for non-Native audiences.
  • Ability to work well with a team.
  • Ability to think outside of the box and develop creative solutions to problems.
  • Excellent time management.
  • WSBA membership in good standing or ability to acquire membership through reciprocity.

NJP has an organizational commitment to fight racism and embrace equity and inclusion in both those we serve and those we employ. All staff are expected to uphold this commitment and approach their role with a desire to learn and grow in this area.

Compensation:  Salary depends on experience. NJP offers an attractive benefits package and a comfortable work environment.

To Apply:  Resume and letter of interest in position should be sent to Karen Holland at karenh@nwjustice.org. Letters of interest and email subject line should clearly reference “NAU-CV Attorney” position. Interested candidates should send a letter of interest, current resume and writing sample to: Karen Holland at karenh@nwjustice.org. Cover letter should include description of any past experience and competence, personal or professional, working with low income or other marginalized communities. Please include proficiency in languages other than English on the resume. Applications should be submitted as soon as possible, preferably no later than September 7, 2018; applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

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. More information about NJP is available at www.nwjustice.org.