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Temporary Staff Attorney – Native American Unit – Crime Victim Attorney

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 Native American crime victims arising out of the COVID-19 emergency.  NJP seeks an attorney to serve in a temporary capacity as a Crime Victim Attorney in our Native American Unit (NAU). NJP is a non-profit civil legal aid program whose mission is Combatting Injustice – Strengthening Communities – Promoting Human Dignity. NJP’s NAU is a specialized unit that advocates for the rights of Native American individuals and communities, on- and off-reservation.  The Crime Victim Attorney will serve the civil legal needs of Native American crime victims who experience collateral legal issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The position will initially be performed remotely, but may transition to NJP’s Seattle office, or another NJP office if desired and available, consistent with public health recommendations.  The expected duration of this position is six months and, depending upon actual date of hire, will last approximately through September 30, 2021.

The Native American Unit Crime Victims program (NAU-CV) is an existing NJP project that collaborates statewide with tribal programs and Native American victim services organizations to address the legal needs of Native crime victims. The temporary NAU-CV attorney will work in collaboration with the existing NAU-CV attorney to provide primarily legal advice, consultation, and pro-se assistance to survivors of crime. 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 casework 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 attorneys are responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with tribal domestic violence/sexual assault advocates, social services agencies, 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 representation to Native American crime survivors on matters in tribal and state courts.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with tribal DV advocate programs and personnel. (This requires a willingness and ability to travel across Washington State for outreach, as permitted by NJP’s COVID work safety plan and public health recommendations.)
  • 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.
  • 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:

  • WSBA membership in good standing, sitting for the February 2021 bar exam, or if licensed in another state, able to gain admission by motion. 
  • 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 is a plus.
  • Experience in substantive legal areas preferred, including family law and one or more of the following: education, housing, public assistance, Indian child welfare, and Indian status-affected legal matters. 
  • Experience working with survivor communities; well-developed sense of empathy.
  • Cultural competency. 
  • Experience working with low-income Native American communities. Experience working with tribes is a plus.

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: Starting salary is based upon years of experience, with an annual salary range of $64,751 to $121,022.   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.  Attorney positions are exempt and those in the position are expected to work the hours needed to meet their professional responsibilities.

To Apply:  Interested candidates should send a letter of interest, current resume, and writing sample to: attorneyresume@nwjustice.org. Letters of interest and subject line should clearly reference “Temporary Staff Attorney – NAU.”   Cover letter should include description of any past experience and competence, personal or professional, working with Native American, low income or other marginalized communities. More information about NJP: www.nwjustice.org. 

Application Deadline: February 19, 2021.

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 Human Resources (206) 464-1519.