Bilingual Paralegal, Consumer and Bankruptcy – Volunteer Lawyers Project

POSITION: Bilingual Paralegal

DAYS/HOURS: Monday-Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm, 35 hours per week (with 1 evening clinic)

REPORTS TO: Senior Staff Attorney, Colin Harnsgate

UNIT: Bankruptcy and Consumer

LOCATION: 7 Winthrop Square, Floor 2, Boston, MA 02110

Click here to apply!

This position will remain open until filled. 

SUMMARY OF POSITION:

Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP) represents low-income people in the Greater Boston area on a variety of civil legal problems, including housing, consumer issues, and family law matters. Many cases are referred to volunteer private attorneys who handle the cases with VLP providing training and ongoing support. This role supports the organization’s attorneys as well as the pro bono panel in all aspects of the legal and administrative functions of the unit, case management for the unit, and other duties as necessary to carry out the mission of the organization. Must be motivated and committed to public interest work and access to justice.

QUALIFICATIONS/EDUCATION/TRAINING:
REQUIRED:

  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Fluency in English and Spanish

PREFERRED:

  • Prior experience working in legal aid, the court system or a law office that handles civil cases
  • Prior experience with an organization serving low-income populations

KNOWLEDGE/EXPERIENCE:

REQUIRED:

  • Experience with Microsoft Office Suite, database and web content management systems, and
  • collaborative project tools.
  • Ability to effectively engage with the private bar in recruiting and retaining volunteer attorneys.
  • Paralegal experience at Volunteer Lawyers Project

PREFERRED:

  • Knowledge of MA laws surrounding Bankruptcy and Consumer

PHYSICAL ABILITIES/SKILLS:

REQUIRED:

  • Ability to use a computer and phone for several hours a day
  • Ability to travel to courthouses and other clinic locations in the Greater Boston area

MENTAL ABILITIES/SKILLS:

REQUIRED:

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Excellent administrative and organizational skills and ability to effectively manage multiple tasks and meet deadlines.
  • Ability to work independently and have the ability to be detail oriented.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with colleagues and staff at outside organizations.
  • Ability to exercise good judgment, be reliable and flexible.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO:

Bankruptcy Paralegal Duties

  • Develop and maintain the administrative support for screening new cases to ensure client eligibility for VLP services and completion of files for screening by staff attorneys in a timely manner
  • Draft case referral memos to be reviewed by staff attorney
  • Provide the main telephone support for fielding questions from clients seeking to file bankruptcy.
  • Follow up with clients on cases after clinics that need further assistance or representation.
  • Provide administrative and technical support for volunteer attorneys during the duration of their bankruptcy case.
  • Assist with the recruitment of attorneys who will accept bankruptcy cases.
  • Report to supervisor when bankruptcy intakes and referrals need to be adjusted.
  • Organize and compile reports on intake and referral statistics.
  • Schedule clients and attorneys and intern volunteers for monthly bankruptcy clinics.
  • Set up monthly bankruptcy clinics in the office or at DotHouse.
  • Conduct intake of new clients at the Bankruptcy clinics to ensure eligibility; collect required documentation for bankruptcy cases and assist with obtaining credit reports
  • Attend trainings as needed for professional development.
  • Maintain Bankruptcy case reports
  • Delegate case processing tasks to interns as needed.
  • Assist with bankruptcy grant requirements.
  • Prepare cases for closing weekly.

Consumer Unit (shared with the Economic Fairness Project Coordinator).

  • Attend Consumer case review, assist with client follow up and case processing
  • Conduct intakes of new clients at the small claims clinics (shared with the Economic Fairness Paralegal).
  • Conduct post-clinic follow-up with clients and case processing to ensure documents and notes are accurate and current.
  • Follow up with clients on cases after clinics that need further assistance or representation.
  • Draft case referral memos to be reviewed by staff attorney.
  • Assist with the recruitment of attorneys who will accept bankruptcy cases.
  • Attend trainings as needed for professional development.
  • Delegate case processing tasks to interns as needed.
  • Track and report statistics (i.e., defaults) from consumer clinics to the Economic Fairness Project Coordinator for reports and outreaches.
  • Prepare cases for closing weekly.

Participate in other projects as needed to continue the VLP mission.

VLP is an equal opportunity employer and seeks to employ a diverse staff. Our ideal candidate is respectful of an inclusive work environment.

VLP is committed to a diverse work environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. Our ideal candidates are respectful of an inclusive work environment. VLP strives to ensure that those working in our organization reflect the diversity of the communities we serve. VLP encourages applicants from a broad spectrum of backgrounds to apply for positions. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity and expression, pregnancy, national origin, veteran status, and military status or any other characteristic protected by applicable local, state, or federal law.

To be considered, candidates applying for permanent positions must be authorized for permanent employment in the United States.