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Temporary Staff Attorney - Skagit - Employment Assistance | Skagit County, WA

The Northwest Justice Project (NJP) is a not-for-profit statewide law firm with a mission of Combatting Injustice • Strengthening Communities • Protecting Human Dignity.  NJP secures justice for people in or near poverty 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.  

The Northwest Justice Project (NJP) has received one-time funding from the Office of Civil Legal Aid to expand its capacity to serve the needs of Farmworkers arising out of the COVID-19 emergency. As a result, NJP will add a temporary Staff Attorney for the Bellingham office in collaboration with the program’s Farmworker Unit (FWU).  This is a full-time position with an anticipated employment duration through June 30, 2021.  This position is primarily working in Skagit County, but may involve occasional work and travel to adjacent counties. 

NJP’s Bellingham office seeks applications from qualified attorneys to undertake mission-directed work to address the COVID-19 employment Related Legal Representation of farmworkers.  

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

  • Work as part of the Bellingham NJP office in close collaboration with NJP’s farmworker unit to offer high quality legal assistance and representation to eligible farmworker and immigrant worker clients impacted by COVID-19  in employment cases, including establishing eligibility for paid leave, unemployment insurance, and workers compensation, as well as related wage and hour, retaliation and H-2A advocacy.  
  • Develop collaborative working relationships with local and a statewide network of advocates and community partners working to address the systemic barriers that affect low-wage immigrant workers and farmworkers. Assist eligible farmworker and immigrant worker clients navigate, apply for and appeal denials of employment-related and public benefits and understand the potential impact of the Public Charge Rule, if any.
  • Engage with the farmworker and immigrant worker communities and present at legal education events for client groups and community partners to build trust, educate, and empower community members to exercise their legal rights.
  • Conduct in-person visits to farmworker housing sites, mobile home parks, low-income housing and public gathering places such as parks, food banks,  etc (as possible and consistent with current health recommendations related to COVID-19)  to share information about employee rights and resources related to the impacts of COVID-19.  
  • Engage with the farmworker and immigrant worker community and participate in legal education events for client groups and community partners to build trust, educate and empower community members to exercise their legal rights, including COVID workplace safety.
  • Work in close cooperation with NJP’s farmworker unit to create and distribute community education messages related to COVID-19 over social media, videos, and remote presentations.
  • Use strategic methods and a broad range of advocacy tools to address high priority client needs. 
  • Utilize NJP’s cases management and timekeeping systems and comply with all applicable regulatory requirements and reporting needs.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Culturally competent to work effectively with farmworkers, immigrant workers and their communities.   
  • Spanish spoken language proficiency required. 
  • Two years’ experience in the practice of law is preferred.
  • Washington State Bar Association membership in good standing or the ability to acquire membership through reciprocity.  
  • A demonstrated ability to establish trust and connections with low-income client communities. 
  • Applicants must possess excellent communication, analytical, negotiation, and problem-solving skills. 
  • The ability and willingness to travel and work evenings during the agricultural seasons is necessary; must possess a valid Washington State Driver’s License.  
  • The willingness to work in person (consistent with current COVID 19 safety recommendations) in Skagit and adjacent counties is required; qualified applicants who intend to work remotely will be considered.

NJP has an organizational commitment to fight racism and to incorporate equity and inclusion in both the work we do and work environment we create.   All staff are expected to uphold this commitment and approach their role with a desire to learn and grow in this area.

Compensation:  Starting salary is based upon years of experience, with an annual salary range starting at $63,233 to $118,185.   We offer a comprehensive benefits package which includes 100% paid employee health premiums and significant premium shares for family health premiums, as well as generous time off.

Hours of work: NJP’s typical client office hours are 9:00 – 5:00, Monday through Friday. Farmworker representation may require working outside traditional hours.  Attorney positions are exempt and those in the position are expected to work the hours needed to meet the professional responsibilities.  

To Apply:  Submit a letter of interest, current resume and writing sample to Human Resources at attorneyresume@nwjustice.org. Cover letter and email subject line should clearly reference “Temporary Staff Attorney - Skagit”.   Cover letter should include description of any experience, personal or professional, with low income or other marginalized communities.  The Northwest Justice Project is especially interested in qualified candidates who’s professional, personal and/or service experience allow them to contribute to and support the legal aid community’s commitment to race equity. 

Application Deadline: open until 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, gender identity, gender expression, 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 the Human Resources Department by calling (206) 464-1519.