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  • Elder Abuse Attorneys – Legal Action of Wisconsin
    Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc. (Legal Action) is seeking full-time staff attorneys to work in our Elder Rights Project. These attorneys will provide advocacy services to elderly victims of abuse, including financial exploitation, from either our Madison or our Milwaukee office. These positions are available immediately. This position is funded by a Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant.

    In the cover letter, applicants should clearly state their availability to work in our Milwaukee office or in our Madison office.

    The Madison office attorney position is represented for collective bargaining and new employees may voluntarily join the United Legal Workers union.

    Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc. is a non-profit organization funded by the federal Legal Services Corporation, the Wisconsin Trust Account Foundation, and other sources. Legal Action provides civil legal services to low-income persons in in the southern 39 counties of Wisconsin. To serve its eligible client population, Legal Action maintains full-time offices in Milwaukee, Madison, Racine, Oshkosh, Green Bay, and La Crosse. In addition, Legal Action operates a statewide farmworkers’ project. Legal Action attorneys have expertise in a range of substantive areas, but the majority of direct representation is in the areas of housing, income maintenance, and family law. Staff attorneys are expected to maintain a direct service caseload on behalf of individual and group clients, as well as to engage in law reform litigation and other impact work. Attorneys are expected to specialize in specific areas of poverty law.

    The Elder Rights Project serves elderly victims by solving the civil legal issues that arise as a result of elder abuse.

    These attorneys will concentrate on issues of physical and financial abuse of seniors. He/she will be expected to become familiar with a wide range of legal issues that affect older persons and to develop expertise in the areas of domestic violence, family law, consumer fraud, Social Security, SSI, Medicare, Medicaid, financial exploitation, guardianship and protective placement, and other elder law issues. Staff attorneys are expected to maintain a direct service caseload on behalf of about 75 individual clients at any given time. Project staff attorneys are expected to work extensively with benefit specialist staff and with other stakeholders. Additionally, attorneys will frequently give community education presentations and provide training on elder abuse issues.

    All Legal Action staff attorneys are responsible for providing quality and aggressive representation of clients in service cases and in impact work, and for performing all duties associated with such representation. Attorneys must keep up with the law as it changes and develops, particularly in their area of specialization. Attorneys are expected to share responsibility for the development and maintenance of good working relationships with community groups, as well as with state and local bar associations. Attorneys will be called upon to provide training and other assistance to members of Legal Action's Volunteer Lawyer Project. All staff attorneys will be expected to perform intake duties and, where necessary, make appropriate referrals to other community agencies. Each staff attorney is responsible for serving on at least one Priority Committee. All project attorneys will attend regular meetings of the Elder Rights Project staff.

    Staff attorneys may train and supervise paralegal staff. Other duties may be assigned from time to time.

    Prior legal services or other relevant experience is preferred. Admission to the Wisconsin Bar is required, either by diploma privilege or by passage of the first available bar exam. Academic training and performance, writing ability, and the nature and extent of prior legal experience in elder law, public benefits law, domestic violence, and in legal services are important. We also consider the applicant’s knowledge and understanding of legal problems and the needs of the elderly and the poor, commitment to providing legal services to the elderly and the poor, prior legal work in the client community or in other programs to aid the elderly and the poor, an ability to communicate with persons in the client community who speak a language other than English as their principal language (e.g., Spanish), and cultural affinity with the client community.

    Legal Action requires a personal commitment to legal services work and equal justice for our low-income clients, and a high commitment to providing quality and aggressive representation in service cases and in impact work. Attorneys must be knowledgeable in state and federal law and procedure. Attorneys must meet high standards of written and courtroom advocacy. Applicants must be able to communicate both orally and in writing in a clear and concise manner and work harmoniously with others.

    Successful applicants may be required to undergo a criminal background check if that is required by the funding source.

    Travel will be required from time to time. This will include traveling to receive training on substantive law and on elder abuse, to provide training to others who are involved in working with elder abuse victims, project-related meetings and tasks, and to provide clients with legal services. Some elderly clients may be unable to travel and the attorneys may need to travel to clients’ homes in those cases.

    LAW has an affirmative action plan for the hiring of members of minority groups and women.

    Starting salary depends upon experience and qualifications, with a minimum starting salary of $45,727 per year for attorneys with 0-1 year of experience. The positions include full fringe benefit package, which currently includes health, dental, life, and long-term disability insurance, a retirement plan, and four weeks of vacation leave per year. The position is subject to a probationary period of up to one year. The position is governed by the Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc. Personnel Policies which are subject to unilateral change by the Legal Action Board of Directors. As with any Legal Action position, there is no guaranteed period of employment and employment is “at will”, subject to termination at any time. As we note above, the Madison office project attorney position is governed by the United Legal Workers collective bargaining agreement.

    Interested applicants should send 1/ a cover letter, 2/ resumé, 3/ the names of and contact information for three references, 4/ recent writing sample(s), and 5/ law school transcript to Use PDF for all documents. Applicants who cannot submit application materials via email, please call Nicole Zimmer, ERP project director, at (414) 278-7777 to make other arrangements.

    In the cover letter, applicants must specify the Legal Action office location and the title of the position for which they are applying. Applicants should also provide information concerning any prior experience in elder law, domestic abuse, or within civil legal services to low-income people.

    This deadline for submitting applications for these positions is noon on September 18, 2017. However, we will review applicants on a rolling basis. To assure early consideration, please submit application materials as soon as possible.

    Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer
    Location = Madison and Milwaukee