Careers with MLSA
Position Title: Agricultural Worker Outreach Summer Intern
Location: Based in Missoula, Helena, or Billings with extensive travel required
Term: 7 to 10 week Internship, between May 31 and August 31
Montana Legal Services Association (MLSA) is a non-profit, public interest law firm that provides free civil legal services to low-income people, including indigent agricultural workers and their dependents throughout Montana.
Working as a team, two Agricultural Worker Outreach Interns will conduct outreach with community partners, and with agricultural workers throughout Montana. The interns may also develop outreach materials and provide legal assistance to agricultural workers under the supervision of experienced poverty law attorneys. Our clients may include foreign agricultural workers with federal H-2A visas and any other workers whose income derives from agricultural labor in Montana. Agricultural workers may experience a wide variety of legal problems, including wage disputes, unsafe working conditions, inadequate housing, and denial of access to public benefits and services. We will provide training to interns.
This position will require travel and frequent overnight, possibly multi-night, stays at outreach locations within Montana.
- Communicating with local organizations and businesses regarding MLSA services for agricultural workers.
- Planning outreach events in local communities, in conjunction with other service providers
- Participating in outreach events at county fairs, and other similar events
- Developing, coordinating and making educational presentations in English and Spanish for agricultural workers, community members and service providers.
- Communicating in oral and written Spanish with agricultural workers and service providers.
- Conducting client interviews and assisting in client application processes.
- Investigating legal claims.
- Legal research and writing, including drafting outreach materials for future use.
- Supporting attorneys with delivery of client services, pending litigation and projects.
- Interest in the provision of legal services to low income people and a commitment to protecting the legal rights of agricultural workers.
- Confidence in speaking with various persons in various communities in Montana (such as local food bank staff, state employment office staff, clergy, community service providers, and potential clients) about the services that MLSA offers.
- Ability to work effectively without daily contact from a supervisor.
- Students or people with outreach experience preferred. Includes law students, as well as undergraduate or graduate students.
- Excellent oral and written communication skills.
- Ability to work effectively and cooperatively with the other outreach intern.
- The motivation and ability to be self-directed in advancing advocacy on behalf of agricultural workers in Montana.
- High level of proficiency in oral and written Spanish.
- Ability to work and travel on weekends.
- Must have valid driver’s license, access to a reliable vehicle, and willingness to travel extensively throughout Montana.
To Apply: Send a resume, three references, and a cover letter indicating level of Spanish competency to email@example.com. Video interviews, a portion of which will be conducted in Spanish, are available to applicants who are not within driving distance of an MLSA office.
Salary: $15.00-18.00 per hour DOE, plus reimbursement of approved work-related travel expenses. We will also welcome applicants who have outside funding and we are willing to consider internships for course credit in lieu of pay.
Submission Deadline: Screening of applicants will begin on March 27, 2017. The positions will remain open until filled. The start date and length of the internship is negotiable, and will be coordinated between the two successful candidates for the intern positions. The term must occur between May 31 and August 31, 2017.
Montana Legal Services Association is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Position Title: Tribal Advocate
Location: Harlem, MT
The Tribal Advocate position will provide civil legal services to tribal member clients located on or near the Fort Belknap Reservations in the area of domestic violence and related civil legal issues. Services provided will range from brief counsel and advice, to more extended representation. Requires travel within Montana. MLSA will provide legal training, and Tribal Advocate will be required to pass the Fort Belknap Tribal Bar Exam to be licensed to practice at the Tribal Court. Under attorney supervision, this position will handle all aspects of legal representation of domestic violence survivors including client contact, pleading preparation, research, file maintenance, and hearing and trial work. The Tribal Advocate will also participate in MLSA’s tribal domestic violence initiatives, and implement grant and contract requirements through casework and training. The Tribal Advocate will conduct training, outreach or education services on the Fort Belknap Reservation.
- Interview, meet with, advise and represent eligible clients on civil matters.
- Refer clients to MLSA intake specialists.
- Coordinate with Tribal Survivor’s Legal Project Supervising Attorney on all cases.
- Compose correspondence, pleadings and other documents.
- Identify training needs and emerging issues and provide training as needed.
- Develop law related educational programs and materials directed to the tribal client community or tribal agencies regarding legal rights and responsibilities.
- Research the law and prepare memoranda.
- Handle all aspects of a client’s legal matter, including preparing pleadings, negotiation, mediation and trial work.
- Work with other MLSA staff to recruit, train and support pro bono attorneys when appropriate.
- Develop and maintain specialized knowledge of domestic violence and of general poverty law issues.
- Participate in MLSA tribal domestic violence initiatives and impact work.
- Other duties as assigned by the Tribal Survivor’s Legal Project Supervising Attorney.
- Willingness to take and pass relevant Tribal Bar Exam
- Interest in tribal law.
- Prior experience working with domestic violence survivors or legal services experience preferred.
- A willingness to assume a varied case load.
- An understanding of the civil equal justice legal needs of tribal members, including the unique needs of domestic violence survivors.
- Knowledge of substantive legal areas affecting domestic violence survivors and low income people preferred.
- Ability to effectively communicate, to motivate others, and to work collaboratively with diverse groups of people with varying perspectives, experience and expertise.
- Ability and willingness to learn and integrate new technologies and methodologies to efficiently perform responsibilities.
- A willingness to establish and maintain effective relationships with clients, the public, judges, court personnel, project partners and tribal governments.
- Ability and willingness to work cooperatively and collegially within a decentralized statewide law firm.
- Associates degree.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Excellent attention to detail
- Ability to work independently in a deadline-oriented environment
- A “can do” attitude and a willingness to pitch in where needed
- Strong commitment to insuring equal access to justice
- Proficient at the use of technology, including, but not limited to, word processing, spreadsheets, internet-based programs and computer-based legal research.
- Ability to travel, occasionally overnight
The Montana Legal Services Association is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Salary: $32,000 per year. MLSA offers an attractive benefits package, including health, dental, vision, and life insurance, retirement and educational loan repayment assistance.
To Apply: Send a letter of interest, resume, three professional references, and writing sample to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submission Deadline: Screening of applicants will begin on December 27, 2016. The position will remain open until filled.