Position: Paralegal/Legal Assistant
Legal Aid Service of Northeastern Minnesota seeks to fill the position for a hybrid family law paralegal/legal assistant at its Duluth Office. The Duluth Office provides civil legal services to eligible individuals in Southern St. Louis, Lake, Cook and Carlton counties.
Legal Aid Service of Northeastern Minnesota (LASNEM) provides legal representation to low-income and senior citizens in 11 counties with offices in Duluth, Grand Rapids, Virginia, Brainerd and Pine City. LASNEM was founded in 1952, and has become an integral part of the justice system and a cornerstone of Northeastern Minnesota’s commitment to the proposition that equal access to justice is a basic human right. In addition to a full range of general poverty law services, LASNEM operates special projects to focus on the unique needs of the clients we serve, such as the Senior Law Project, the Native American Outreach Project in Itasca County, Domestic Violence Courts in both Crow Wing and Itasca Counties, and integral work for partnerships to prevent homelessness. LASNEM is also one of the seven legal services programs that form the Minnesota Legal Services Coalition.
In every case that we handle, our goal is always to help our clients reach sustainable, holistic resolutions to the problems they face. Legal problems do not arise in a vacuum, nor does resolving a legal matter always achieve the client’s goals of safety, stability and opportunity. To that end, we work closely with a large number of community partners all across our service area. Working in tandem with our community partners can often spark a virtuous cycle of success for our mutual clients.
The hybrid family law paralegal/legal assistant position at the Duluth location provides supportive legal work to staff attorneys with their representation of low-income individuals in all areas of family law, orders for protection, and other family based civil matters. The position also provides phone intake services to applicants seeking services, coordinates referrals and access to relevant resources, and gives general legal and clerical support to others in the office.
Position responsibilities include:
- Conducts initial interviews of accepted clients to assist with determination of services;
- Drafts correspondence; drafts and files petitions, motions, affidavits, legal memoranda, discovery documents, settlement proposals, orders, and other pleadings;
- Arranges for and monitors service of documents, obtains settings for court hearings, maintains contact with court administration as necessary, manages files including deadline tracking and tickling;
- Maintains client relationships through frequent contact, assists clients in preparing affidavits, expense lists, discovery responses and other information necessary to the case, updates attorney and client with new information;
- Assists attorneys in trial preparation by preparing case summaries, exhibits for presentation at trial, witness lists and trial notebooks, interviewing witnesses, and preparing and arranging for subpoenaing of witnesses;
- Attends trial with attorneys, takes notes of testimony for use by attorney at trial and in preparing closing arguments and findings of fact, assists with witness management at trial, and provides other assistance to the attorney during court proceedings;
- Establishes and maintains relationships with advocates, court staff, and other community resources; attends trainings, workshops, and various continuing legal education courses;
- Communicates professionally and respectfully with community members, clients and co-workers;
- Completes phone and electronic intake with potential clients to determine eligibility for LASNEM’s services, and provides follow up with case handlers and potential clients;
- Provides back-up support to the other Legal Assistants, Paralegals, Attorneys and Administration;
- Utilizes the case management system to screen applicants, accurately processes client intakes and performs other tasks as needed;
- Answers and routes telephone calls and takes messages accurately;
- Acquires knowledge of LASNEM’s services and community resources in order to make appropriate legal and non-legal referrals;
- Provides information to clients and the general public regarding LASNEM’s services;
- Provides clerical support to legal staff to include typing letters, reports and other materials;
- Assists with data input, filing and other requests;
- Assists with community legal education work under the supervision of a case handler;
- Opens and routes incoming office mail, and delivers and processes outgoing mail;
- Makes bank deposits and run errands as needed.
Previous paralegal experience in areas of family law is preferred but not required. Demonstrable awareness and sensitivity to the needs of the populations we serve is necessary. Excellent interpersonal communication skills are required to provide a professional and respectful experience to clients and the general public. Candidates must have the ability to problem solve quickly and work with a fast pace, as well as must exercise judgment in implementing established policies and procedures and maintaining confidentiality of all information in the office.
Candidates must have knowledge of legal terminology, procedures and processes. The person must have the ability to work cooperatively with other staff, the ability to analyze and solve problems, database skills, and the ability to gather data, compile information and prepare reports.
Candidates must be courteous, punctual, honest, motivated, trustworthy, have a willingness to grow professionally, and be professional in appearance and demeanor.
Candidates must have a valid driver’s license, working vehicle and willingness to travel to court proceedings, outreach opportunities, staff meetings and trainings. Excellent written and communication skills, computer skills, ability to work constructively with others, ability and willingness to work hard, good judgment and willingness to work independently are all necessary qualifications for this position. Applicants must be flexible and willing to accept additional duties as necessary.
Depending on experience. LASNEM offers a comprehensive benefits package with excellent health/dental/life/disability insurance; 403(b) retirement plan; exceptionally generous and flexible paid time off; and LASNEM observes all federal holidays.
Deadline to Apply: January 31, 2019.
Please submit a cover letter, resume and list of three references via email only to:
Dori Streit, Executive Director,
Legal Aid Service of Northeastern Minnesota
424 W. Superior St., Suite 302
Duluth, MN 55802
Legal Aid Service of Northeastern Minnesota is an equal opportunity affirmative action employer. Discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, national origin, sex, religion, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, disability, sexual orientation, age or veterans’ status is not permitted.