Website Western New England School of Law
The Center for Social Justice at Western New England University seeks a highly motivated, full-time Staff Attorney to oversee the Center’s Consumer Debt Initiative (CDI) and to assist the Center in fulfilling its mission of advancing social justice through research, advocacy, education, innovation, and public engagement. The Center for Social Justice is designed to strengthen collaborative efforts between the School of Law and the region to work toward a more just, equitable, and inclusive society in its next century of service. Learn more on our website at: https://bit.ly/WNE_CSJ.
The CDI is an exciting new project at the Center. It serves self-represented litigants defending credit card collection actions filed by debt buyers in the Springfield District Court Small Claims session. Volunteer students, lawyers and non-lawyers provide counsel and advice, negotiate with opposing counsel, draft settlement agreements, and may appear on behalf of consumers for hearings and trials. Clients may also be connected with financial literacy education materials and local resources addressing consumer debt. Court hearings are currently being scheduled virtually on Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Responsibilities: the Staff Attorney should have (or be able to quickly develop) and maintain expertise in the areas of consumer debt and general civil litigation. The Staff Attorney will oversee, coordinate, and execute the CDI each week, in consultation with the Center Director. This may include case work, recruitment and supervision of volunteers, conducting and coordinating trainings, developing materials, and collecting, maintaining, and entering data into a client management system, as well as contributing to annual and funding reporting requirements. This role will also work to develop upstream initiatives and relationships with community partners that will help clients avoid coming into contact with the court system in the first place through financial literacy and skills training and other economic empowerment programming.
Application Process: Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. Applications should include a letter indicating why you are interested in this work and what experience you possess that qualifies you for this contract. A current resume is also required.
Questions may be directed to the Center Director, Ariel Clemmer, at 413-796-2103 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications should be submitted to the WNEU Cornerstone Website: http://employment.wne.edu/.
A J.D. from an accredited law school, and a license to practice law in Massachusetts (the ability to obtain a license promptly will also be considered).
Litigation experience in consumer, housing, civil rights or other public interest law preferred, but not required.
Strong commitment to social justice and public interest law.
Superior advocacy and negotiation skills.
Well-organized with excellent attention to detail.
Training and/or public speaking experience preferred, but not required.
Reliable transportation and the ability to travel in state (as needed, post-COVID).
Ability to work independently and as part of a team in a small nonprofit/academic environment.
Ability to work well with individuals from diverse backgrounds.
Experience working with low income populations preferred.
Bilingual English/Spanish a plus.
Experience with social media, Excel and client management systems (e.g. Salesforce, Clio) a plus.
To apply for this job please visit employment.wne.edu.