Department:                           Legal Services for Veterans and US Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women Legal Assistance for Victims

Employment Status:             Full-time; exempt

Location:                                Jackson, Huntingdon, or Dyersburg, Tennessee office

Job Summary: This position is funded 50% under the Legal Services for Veterans (LSV) grant with the Veterans Administration and the position’s remaining 50% under the US Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women Legal Assistance for Victims (DOJ) grant.

The LSV project’s focus is providing holistic civil legal services to eligible Veterans who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness. The goal is to assist Veterans who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness and who have unaddressed needs for legal services which are creating barriers to housing stability.

The DOJ project’s focus is providing holistic civil legal services to eligible clients who are either: (1) victims of sexual assault; (2) LGBTQ victims of intimate partner violence; or (3) Spanish-speaking victims of intimate partner violence. Grant positions are funded through the duration of the grant and subsequent renewal could result in modification of job duties and responsibilities. 

As part of a holistic approach, representation may include varying areas of law, including, but not limited to, administrative advocacy, and litigation in state and federal courts. Case types will include housing, protective orders, access to healthcare, consumer protection, employment law, family law, and access to benefits.

Duties/Responsibilities: The essential functions of this position include, but are not limited to, the following tasks:

  • Provide legal advice and representation in civil legal matters affecting housing stability (80%) and legal advice and representation to victims of domestic violence (20%) to Veterans who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness.
  • Provide outreach and education activities for Veterans.
  • Build referral partnerships with community and government agencies serving Veterans who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness.
  • Meet the requirements of the LSV project.
  • Provide legal advice and representation, including litigation in the courts, in civil legal matters, relating to or arising out of the abuse for: (1) victims of sexual assault; (2) LGBTQ victims of intimate partner violence; and (3) Spanish-speaking victims of intimate partner violence.
  • Be receptive to mentoring and supervision in accordance with the American Bar Association Commission on Domestic & Sexual Violence best practice recommendations.
  • Provide outreach and education for targeted client populations.
  • Comply with funder requirements, the Legal Services Corporation requirements, and the American Bar Association’s Standards for the Provision of Civil Legal Aid.

Requirements: The requirements listed below are representative of the qualifications, knowledge, skills, and/or abilities required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions of the job.  

  • J.D. Degree; 
  • Current licensure in good standing in Tennessee or eligible for reciprocity and willing to secure reciprocity; 
  • VA Accredited Representative or willing to obtain accreditation within first 4 months of employment;
  • Background check, including references, that is complete and free of concerns; 
  • General practice experience, including litigation experience, or willingness to participate in appropriate trainings; 
  • Ability to conduct research and analysis; 
  • Ability to analyze complex problems and develop creative solutions; 
  • Ability to draft legally sufficient pleadings and other legal documents, including creating concise and persuasive arguments; 
  • Effective communication skills sufficient to represent clients in legal hearings, meetings, negotiations, or administrative proceedings;
  • Effective communications skills to give public presentations, conduct trainings, and do client outreach; and
  • Ability to competently use Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Adobe Professional and company software to maintain client records, prepare documents, and maintain contemporaneous time records. 

Success Factors:  

  • Demonstrate a commitment to the principle of equal justice and to advocacy for low-income people.     
  • Treat clients, staff, and the public with dignity and respect. 
  • Appreciate the experiences and needs of people of diverse economic, social, and cultural backgrounds. 
  • Demonstrate a personal sense of integrity. 
  • Take ownership of projects and produce solid work products. 
  • Work as a member of a team and independently, with the ability to work cooperatively in helping others and share knowledge, information, contacts, and experience. 
  • Address issues in a timely manner. 
  • Use a high level of professionalism, diplomacy, and sound judgment. 
  • Handle, and prioritize, competing demands. 

Working Conditions:

  • Work during office hours between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. A break consisting of 30 minutes, minimum, must be taken when scheduled to work  6 hours in a workday. Work hours must be accurate and contemporaneously recorded. A flextime of work hours may be used, if approved. Your supervisor will consider the needs of the office and the preference of more senior employees before approving flextime. Work after hours or on weekends may be occasionally required.
  • Work is performed primarily in an office setting with some work being performed in outreach settings. 
  • Prolonged periods of sitting at a desk and working on a computer. 
  • Often communicating with people using the phone, email, via video call, or in-person.
  • Occasionally lifting of up to 15 pounds.
  • Travel within the service area of WTLS may be necessary.

Compensation & Benefits:

  • Compensation: DOE.  Starting salary for a newly admitted attorney is $58,155.  This position is a full-time position and compensation is made according to the Wage Administration Plan that became effective on August 1, 2007 (as revised on April 22, 2019). 
  • Benefits:  Full-time benefits include the ability to participate in WTLS’ health insurance plan, dental plan, vision plan, LTD, Life Insurance, 401k retirement plan, paid Annual Leave (based on years of employment), paid Sick Leave (12 days per year), paid Holidays (11), and a paid week off between Christmas and New Year. 

HOW TO APPLY:  Send applications via email in Word or PDF format to Hiring@wtls.org . Applicants must include a cover letter specifying preferred office location, resume, writing sample, and three references with phone numbers.  Applications will be accepted and interviews scheduled on a rolling basis until the position is filled.  Applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. No inquiries accepted. Only applicants scheduled for interviews will be notified.

WTLS provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information.