Under the supervision of the Executive Director, the Managing Attorney provides high quality legal services to low-income individuals. The Managing Attorney will supervise, evaluate, and handle personnel-related matters for staff in the legal department. They also manage and monitor progress on implementing the program’s mission, priorities, principles of advocacy, and various work plans. The Managing Attorney also maintains an active caseload and/or other advocacy.
Duties and Responsibilities:
Client Representation and Advocacy:
- Provide and ensure high quality legal representation to individuals and groups in accordance with East River Legal Services (ERLS) standards of practice and supervision and the Rules of Professional Conduct. This includes interviewing clients, conducting research, performing factual investigation, preparing pleadings, negotiating case resolutions, executing discovery and motion practice, and representing clients in court and administrative hearings;
- Provide counseling, advice, and other brief services and referrals, as appropriate;
- Co-counsel with other attorneys and work with paralegals;
- Represent clients and client groups in litigation, administrative advocacy, and other advocacy forums;
- Engage in appellate work, complex and major litigation, and other special projects;
- Develop and implement litigation and/or advocacy strategies to address systemic legal problems;
- Analyze and comment on pending legislation and regulations consistent with the requirements of all funding sources.
- Manage legal work in the office, including monitoring and regulating workloads;
- Supervise employees with ongoing feedback and performance reviews;
- Manage office systems such as conflict checks, filing, and workflow;
- Foster positive work relationships and promote cooperation within the program;
- Monitor case work of Attorneys to ensure that staff are operating efficiently and producing quality legal work;
- Monitor the balance of time spent by Attorneys on cases involving direct services to individual clients and to cases involving law reform, policy advocacy, or other legal work benefiting the larger population of low-income clients;
- Participate in management and administrative decision-making at ERLS involving personnel issues and program policy and help to implement such decisions;
- Provide supervision and evaluation of support staff assigned to the legal department, in coordination with the Executive Director;
- Supervise and enforce ERLS policies and procedures;
- Convey staff concerns about relevant office issues to management staff;
- Keep program staff apprised of important issues and new developments in the community;
- Keep program staff apprised of new developments within the substantive legal areas in which the Attorney practices (updates via written communication and/or training);
- Engage in local, state, regional and/or national legal services and the advocacy community.
- Participate in other activities related to poverty law including community education, outreach, writing of publishable materials, and permissible legislative and administrative advocacy, in accordance with Legal Aid policy and applicable laws and regulations;
- Participate in Legal Aid and state-wide task forces and work groups;
- Participate in bar activities and establish effective working relationships with the bar;
- Ensure Legal Aid develops and maintains relationships with partner organizations, including the private bar and judiciary, other non-profits, grass roots organizations, government agencies and elected officials.
- Compliance with LSC, VOCA, and other funding agencies’ rules and regulations;
- Participate in training activities as trainee or trainer for professional growth;
- Report to Legal Aid management any bar association grievances, disciplinary proceedings, or malpractice claims involving their practice and cooperate with Legal Aid’s liability insurers;
- Attend program meetings and ensure office meetings are effective.
Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities:
- Juris Doctor (JD);
- License to practice law in South Dakota;
- Experience in a legal services/non-profit environment is preferred, but not required;
- Working knowledge of recent developments in state and federal case, statutory, and regulatory law related to the interests of Legal Aid’s clients;
- Excellent organizational, cross-cultural communication skills;
- Proficient at the use of technology including, but not limited to: word processing, spreadsheets, internet-based programs, and computer-based legal research;
- Excellent written and communication skills;
- Ability to work constructively with others;
- Excellent management and leadership skills.
- Ability to work effectively as part of a team and independently;
- Able to establish effective working relationships with a variety of individuals.
- Organized, able to prioritize work, plan and problem-solve, meet deadlines and work well under pressure
- Skills and experience in interacting with persons of various social, racial, cultural, economic, and educational backgrounds;
- The ability to speak more than one language is a plus, but not required.
Compensation depends on experience. Benefits include vacation and sick leave, paid holidays, medical, dental, vision, life, and mileage reimbursement/per diem for covered travel. Additionally, ERLS pays professional dues including the cost for an out of state attorney to waive into the South Dakota State Bar Association. The position will report directly to the Executive Director.