NJP is seeking qualified Managing Attorney candidates for its regional service office located in Yakima. NJP’s Yakima office serves Yakima and Kittitas counties. . Yakima is known as the heart of central Washington and the sun shines 300 days a year. Yakima and the surrounding communities affords rich cultural and recreational opportunities and the job offers significant opportunity for professional growth and development within a larger statewide legal aid program.
Northwest Justice Project’s Managing Attorneys play a critical role in the statewide delivery of civil legal assistance to low-income communities across Washington State. They are responsible for the overall management of regional offices and specialized units comprising Northwest Justice Project’s (NJP) statewide law firm and supports carrying out the program’s vision, mission, Strategic Plan and other initiatives and goals.
The Managing Attorney reports to the Senior Managing Attorney of their assigned region. The Managing Attorney acts as a voice for the office/unit and the region within the larger NJP leadership team.
The Managing Attorney provides direct supervision and management of office/unit legal, support staff and Assistant Managing Attorney.
NJP requires all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Providing proof of COVID-19 vaccine is a condition of employment. Exemptions based on medical and sincerely held religious beliefs may be requested per NJP’s EEO employer policy.
NJP has adopted the Washington Race Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI) and is organizationally committed to fight racism and to incorporate equity and inclusion in our advocacy work and our internal systems and work environment. NJP expects all staff to uphold the REJI commitments and approach their role with a desire to learn and grow in this area. The Managing Attorney plays a critical leadership role in advancing NJP’s REJI commitments and our work to center race equity within their team, support staff’s anti-racist growth and development, and must be committed to identify, and work to address NJP’s shortcomings and challenges in advancing our REJI commitments.
Managing Attorneys manage the law practice offices/units that make up NJP’s comprehensive legal aid delivery system and work with the statewide team of Managing Attorneys as a critical part of the larger NJP leadership team. Specifically, Managing Attorney responsibilities include:
- Operating their assigned office/unit to ensure that staff act in pursuit of NJP’s mission and vision and consistent with NJP policies and procedures.
- Providing direct supervision of advocate and support staff, implementation of program policy and compliance requirements, and development and maintenance of local, client, community and public relations.
- Engaging with client communities and groups to identify and facilitate local/regional response to client legal needs, including direct service to clients and engagement in systemic advocacy.
- Serving as the face of NJP within the service area (including with local stakeholders, governmental contacts, and media), including serving as liaison between the local community and NJP’s Executive Director as needed.
- Ensuring NJP provides the training and resources necessary to support the office and its work.
- Serving as an advocate for local staff, client and community needs in the development and implementation of NJP’s statewide strategic plans, goals and initiatives.
The Managing Attorney makes attorney hiring recommendations, hires non-attorney staff, and provides ongoing coaching and support to their assigned office/unit staff; takes corrective action to address any performance issues; and, in consultation with the Senior Managing Attorney, Human Resources Director, and Senior Management as appropriate under the circumstances, recommends and implements disciplinary decisions, including termination of employment. The Managing Attorney has final authority over the work assignments and performance of non-exempt office staff, and Assistant Managing Attorneys as relevant to the office/unit.
The Managing Attorney is expected to provide direct client representation as appropriate within the framework of their duties, including as needed, serving as lead counsel or co-counsel on cases to train new advocates or to expand the substantive expertise of advocates and/or provide needed support on systemically important or sensitive cases.
Supervision of Advocate and Support Staff
Communicates clear performance expectations for all office/unit staff as well as providing necessary support to enable staff to meet expectations.
- Works collaboratively to provide basic tools required to perform duties, including identification and support of training needs.
- Performance management: Provides regular, ongoing supervision and informal coaching in addition to participating in NJP’s defined performance appraisal process.
- Professional Development:
- Works collaboratively with support staff to identify opportunities for skill development, leadership opportunities, staff recognition and rewarding achievement.
- Takes appropriate steps to improve any deficiencies in performance.
- Makes final hiring decisions.
- Oversight of Case Management:
- Case assignment/review;
- Supervision of client services/quality control;
- Compliance requirements.
- Training Needs: Engages with each advocate to identify and support training needs.
- Performance management: Provides regular, individualized, ongoing coaching and conducts NJP’s defined performance appraisal process.
- Professional Development:
- Identifies opportunities for skill and career development, leadership opportunities, staff recognition and rewarding achievement.
- Makes promotion recommendations regarding Lead Attorneys and/or Assistant Managing Attorneys as relevant within their office/unit.
- In consultation with the Deputy Director and/or Director of Advocacy as appropriate, serves as resource for advocates to problem solve including, but not limited to:
- Ethical issues;
- Regulatory Compliance;
- Quality concerns/malpractice/risk management;
- Conflict resolution.
Development, maintenance of local community, public relations and community engagement:
- Develops and implements office/unit community engagement plan that is practicable, achievable and inclusive of the local community, and specifically seeks out marginalized or traditionally underserved populations.
- Develops and maintains relationships within the region’s communities, key partners and stakeholders, e.g. regional planning, VLP’s, social services, governmental and other entities.
- Identifies, promotes and provides logistical support for funding opportunities or initiatives to support local office/unit or other advocacy needs, e.g. grant proposals, special project needs, fellowship opportunities, private donors, etc.
Direct service to clients and engagement in systemic advocacy and with client communities
- Case/Project responsibilities
- Demonstrates leadership on systemic and affirmative litigation and advocacy.
- Participates in advocacy support activities, i.e. task forces, Strategic Advocacy Focus development and work groups.
- Handles reduced caseload commensurate with managing responsibilities.
- Maintain reasonable advocacy project-based workload.
Case Review, Acceptance and Priority Setting
- Manages system for case acceptance, assignment and implementation of NJP’s caseload guidance to ensure high quality legal services and professional development of all staff.
- Makes office/unit caseload capacity and related decision-making, including temporary intake closures, as needed to ensure competent case handling capacity within office/unit.
- Facilitates the office/unit’s regional case service priority setting process to ensure compliance with program policy and grant requirements, identify the most pressing legal needs in the community to guide planning, development and facilitation of office strategic response to client needs.
Program Policy and General Compliance
The Managing Attorney is expected to lead their office/unit in a manner which is consistent with/in furtherance of:
- NJP Strategic Plan and other strategic goals and initiatives;
- NJP Hiring Practices;
- Program process related to performance review of office/unit staff;
- Administrative and Accounting Procedures, including Timekeeping and Grant Compliance;
- NJP’s Race Equity and Justice Initiatives;
- Personnel Policies;
- Collective Bargaining Agreement;
- NJP Program Policies;
- Caseload guidelines;
- Other program policies and procedures as from time to time established and/or revised by NJP.
- Leads office or unit to ensure high quality services, to create a cohesive work environment, to maintain good morale and to address support needs within an office or unit.
- Participates in development of and implements NJP’s Strategic Plan and other initiatives.
- Communicates staff concerns to Senior Managing Attorney, Human Resources staff or other appropriate members of the Senior Management team.
- Communicates impacts of program policy to Senior Management and related staff needs, accomplishments of team efforts and other staff recognition, etc.
- Advises the Senior Management as to office/unit policy initiatives, advocates for office/unit team and for local clients and community needs, recognizes and rewards innovative solutions to client and community needs and report as appropriate.
- Participates in and contributes to meetings with Senior Managing Attorney and Senior Management team.
Equity and Inclusion
NJP has an organizational commitment to fight racism and to incorporate equity and inclusion in both the work we do and work environment we create. All staff are expected to uphold this commitment and approach their role with a desire to learn and grow in this area. The Managing Attorney is expected to act as a leader in these efforts with a willingness to identify, address and combat personal and organizational shortcomings.