Charleston Legal Access is seeking a full-time Staff Attorney
TO APPLY: Submit cover letter, resume, and legal writing sample to firstname.lastname@example.org with subject line “Attorney application.” Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
The Organization: CLA is South Carolina’s first and only sliding-scale, nonprofit law firm. We provide low-cost legal representation to the working poor and others of modest means who do not qualify for free legal services but who cannot afford a private attorney. We believe—and are demonstrating—that affordable legal assistance at critical moments in people’s lives preserves homes, income streams, and other assets that keep families out of poverty. We also engage in projects to create systemic change, which are informed by our direct services work.
The Position: The Staff Attorney’s major responsibility will be handling his or her own docket of civil cases. Some time will also be devoted to assessing and adjusting the organization’s approach to its work (participating in case selection and analysis, strategy discussions, access to justice projects, etc.) and completing some administrative and intake tasks. We are a young and expanding organization, and there may be future opportunities for career growth.
- be admitted to the South Carolina Bar;
- be located in or willing to relocate to the Charleston, SC;
- dedication to and competency in serving a diverse range of clients with a variety of
financial, racial, educational, and physical characteristics; and
- commitment to our team values.
The ideal candidate will have:
- at least 2 years of litigation experience;
- excellent legal research and writing skills;
- proven track record of effectively working with marginalized persons and
- experience delivering high quality legal services in the nonprofit context.
Team Values: These values, developed by our collective staff, embody what we will expect from you and what you can expect from us.
- Bring your voice.
Each team member has a unique perspective, and that perspective is valuable. You may see things the rest of us miss. So, speak up! We believe the best solutions are developed by diverse teams with a safe space to collaborate frankly and honestly. To do our best work, we need everyone to bring their voice.
- Take Ownership.
Your cases and projects are yours. Own them. Educate yourself. Research it. Ask for advice. You may get a scenario that you haven’t seen before. That’s okay. You are capable and competent. You’ve got this. Dive in and figure it out.
- Do it your way but do it well.
You can work where, when and how you want. Prefer to take your laptop to a coffee shop? Go for it. Do your best work at 2 a.m.? Awesome. Have a parlor class/home responsibilities/something else in the middle of the day? No problem. You work however you work best but you must deliver. You are responsible for ensuring that you and the team deliver top-notch, responsive legal services to our clients.
- Don’t just say no.
We are a young, innovative organization working creatively to close the justice gap. To be successful in our mission, we’re going to have to try new things. So take a risk. Try something new. Entertain suggestions. Before saying no, take a breath and consider what “yes” might look like.
- Take care of each other.
We value the individuals of our team and help each other in this work-life-community balance. If someone needs to step back for a little while, step up. If someone has a scheduling nightmare, cover a hearing/consultation/meeting. Pitch in where you can. Know that when life throws you a curve ball, you have a team behind you.
- Stay on top of your business.
When our attorneys show up at hearing/mediation/trial, they know their case, they’ve done their research, and they have prepared for contingencies. Because we tackle things early, we spot issues in time to resolve them and can ask for help before it’s an emergency. At some point, we all have a case/project/matter that we would really rather avoid, but that’s a recipe for disaster and not the way we roll. Eat the frog. Be prepared.
- Have compassion.
For our clients. Our clients have a variety of backgrounds, education and worldly know-how. Check your frustration and embrace your patience as you engage with clients from backgrounds different from your own. Have compassion for their story and meet them where they are.
For our team and yourself. We are an innovative organization taking risks and not everything we try will pan out. That’s ok. We learn, adjust and keep tackling the justice gap. Sometimes, we get it wrong or misstep. When that happens, have a little compassion for your teammate and for yourself.
- Be responsible with client and donor dollars.
Know the value of a dollar for our clients. $50 can be a large amount of money. Before taking a case, be up front with clients about what it will cost and weigh the benefits of a consultation, limited action, and full representation. After taking a case, engage your client in considering the costs and benefits of discovery, motions, etc. Both our clients and our organization have limited resources. Be responsible with those resources and use them well.
Charleston Legal Access is an equal opportunity employer that recognizes the benefits of a diverse team. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, familial or veteran status, and we strongly encourage applications from persons of diverse backgrounds.
1630 Meeting Street Road, Suite 106
Charleston, SC, 29405