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Paralegal – Prisoners’ Legal Services

General Position Description

Prisoners’ Legal Services (PLS) is seeking an outstanding paralegal advocate committed to protecting the civil rights of incarcerated individuals in Massachusetts. We encourage applicants interested in tackling a wide variety of serious prison concerns including access to competent medical and mental health treatment, placements in solitary confinement, and other unlawful or inhumane conditions of confinement. The paralegal plays a critical role as a key member of PLS’ staff with duties including litigation support, advocacy for prisoner clients and their families with prison officials and medical and mental health providers.

Responsibilities
This position is full-time and supervised by a senior paralegal and an attorney.

Responsibilities for this position may include:
– Providing support to attorneys
– Advocating for prisoners
– Taking telephone calls and reading mail from prisoners
– Reviewing and evaluating intakes to determine if they warrant investigation
– Meeting with and interviewing prisoner clients at state prisons and county jails in Massachusetts, including photographing their injuries or health conditions
– Investigating new and ongoing intakes, tracking all investigations and ensuring they are completed in as timely a manner as possible
– Visiting and interviewing prisoner witnesses
– Counseling and advising clients about their legal rights
– Creating and maintaining client files and keeping databases updated
– Assisting in planning regular meetings, preparing and presenting summaries of investigated cases at meetings for litigation consideration
– Conducting legal research, working on litigation/casework, and assisting in case referrals, as assigned
– Assisting in improving systems and standard operating procedures
– Participating in monthly PLS staff meetings and regular supervision meetings
– Working cooperatively with incarcerated clients, PLS team members, and the private bar
– Compile statistics for grant writing and reporting
– All other tasks as assigned by the Executive Director or supervisors.

Other Qualifications
– Must be comfortable having frequent contact with incarcerated clients through visits, telephone and letter and advocating for their needs. (Speakers of a second language such as Spanish and Portuguese speakers are strongly encouraged to apply).
– Organizational and administrative skills are required.
– Travel to Massachusetts prisons and jails is required. Applicants must have a valid driver’s license and regular access to a car.
– Ability to work cooperatively with a team is required.
– Experience working with and advocating for marginalized populations preferred.
– Attention to detail required.
– Applicants will be asked to demonstrate professional writing skills by drafting a letter at the time of the interview.
– Portuguese speaker or ability to speak other language preferred

Benefits and Salary
PLS offers a very competitive salary within the legal services field and commensurate with experience. PLS provides a comprehensive benefits package, including loan forgiveness program, full medical and dental coverage, 401k and life insurance. Flex time or other alternative arrangements considered. PLS is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

How to Apply
Please send a cover letter, resume, and references attached to a single email to lrydzewski@plsma.org with the subject line “Paralegal” as soon as possible. Interviews will take place on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

No phone calls or mail inquiries please.

BIPOC, LGBTQIA+ individuals, formerly incarcerated and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.