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Staff Attorney (VOCA) | Bellingham Office

The Northwest Justice Project (NJP) is a not-for-profit law firm whose mission is to secure justice through high quality legal advocacy that promotes the long-term well-being of low-income individuals, families and communities through legal representation, community partnerships, education and other advocacy. As a result of specific funding, NJP has staff attorney positions located throughout the state who serve victims of crime.  The crime need not have been prosecuted or reported to law enforcement for the victim to receive civil legal services through NJP.
NJP currently seeks applicants from qualified attorneys to fill an opening in our Bellingham office.  The Bellingham position is part of the Integrated Rural Legal Assistance Project (IRLAP): This statewide project partners with Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) and local victim services provider agencies to meet the legal needs of primarily immigrant and limited English proficient (LEP) victims and survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, date rape and stalking. The project primarily, but not exclusively, targets services to victims who have significant barriers accessing legal assistance due to limited English proficiency, immigration status, rural isolation and other factors that make them particularly vulnerable. The Bellingham attorney will be expected to collaborate closely with NWIRP and victim services agencies in the geographic service area to identify and meet the civil legal needs of the client population. 
The successful applicant for this position will work as part of a team within NJP and will collaborate as part of a broader team of attorneys serving within the Washington Alliance for Equal Justice.  Applicants should have a desire to work with crime victims and with the agencies that serve them; and, be interested and willing to pursue civil litigation in areas related to housing, family law, consumer protection, public benefits and health care access, and other collateral impacts of victimization. Such impacts may include employment problems, credit issues, education and discrimination. 
Serve as part of a team of attorneys that undertake a range of duties including, but not limited to:
  • Work collaboratively with others to identify the most important problems that impact victims, their families and communities affected by crime. 
  • Engage with clients and victim services providers to identify and seek individualized and systemic solutions to adverse consequences of victimization, with particular focus on victim and family safety, protecting and preserving access to basic needs, and persons and groups that experience special barriers to accessing civil legal services, including immigrants, limited English speaking persons, seniors, veterans, children and other groups.
  • Develop collaborative working relationships with a statewide network of advocates addressing similar and related issues throughout the state; participate in advocacy task forces or work groups to address systemic issues that arise in the context of crime victimization. 
  • Utilize NJP’s case management and timekeeping systems and comply with all applicable regulatory requirements and reporting needs. 
  • Help identify and develop on-line resources for use by attorneys and/or unrepresented litigants on crime victim rights and consequential legal impacts arising from being a victim of crime.  
  • Support the work of NJP partners including the volunteer lawyers, private attorneys, other legal aid providers and interested parties and organizations addressing the legal needs of crime victims.
  • Member of the Washington Bar or willing and able to take next bar exam 
  • Strong oral and written communication skills
  • Attention to detail and willingness to develop and maintain systems to facilitate grant reporting and compliance requirements.  
  • Willingness to work and live in Northwest Washington and willingness to travel within the geographic service area 
  • Experience working with domestic violence, sexual assault, and economic crime victims.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with diverse partners, client communities, law enforcement, health care providers, guardians, case managers and others.
  • Cultural competency; especially with immigrants, crime victims, people with disabilities, limited English proficient persons, and seniors.
  • Experience working directly with low-income persons is desirable.
  • Experience working with low-income and/or immigrant persons is highly preferred.
  • Direct experience working with crime victims is a plus.  
  • Spanish language ability is preferred.
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: Karen Holland at Letters of interest and subject line should clearly reference “Bellingham Attorney” position. Cover letter should include description of any past experience and competence, personal or professional, working with low income or other marginalized communities. Include proficiency in languages other than English on the resume. Position will remain open until filled, with priority given to applications received by June 22, 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.