Tag Archive for: Justice Center of Southeast Massachusetts

Paralegal, Immigration Unit – JCSM

The Justice Center of Southeast Massachusetts (JCSM), a subsidiary of South Coastal Counties Legal Services, Inc. (SCCLS), a non-profit legal services program providing free civil legal assistance to eligible low-income and elder residents, seeks to hire paralegals to work with a collaborative, supportive, and dynamic immigration unit located in downtown Brockton, MA. The immigration unit represents clients in a wide-range of matters, including, but not limited to, asylum, U and T visas for victims of crime and trafficking, special immigrant juvenile cases, VAWA, TPS, DACA, family-based petitions, and removal defense. In addition to direct representation, the immigration unit engages in systemic advocacy, community outreach and education, and provides community clinics.

The Organization:

SCCLS and its subsidiary, the Justice Center of Southeast Massachusetts (JCSM), with a combined staff of nearly 80, is the principal provider of free, civil legal aid to low-income residents of Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod, and the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. SCCLS law offices are located in Hyannis, New Bedford and Fall River. The Justice Center is located in Brockton. SCCLS’ core mission is to achieve justice for eligible clients through community-based advocacy. The organization prioritizes legal services in: housing, public benefits, elder law, domestic relations, employment, education, immigration, and consumer matters.

Responsibilities:

  • Case management, serve as point of contact for clients with pending cases, assist with forms preparations, client meetings, and other case work with attorney supervision;
  • Assist with management of new intakes and scheduling of consultations;
  • Assist with community education, outreach, and clinic events;
  • Participate in team meetings and systemic advocacy projects;
  • Engage in continuous learning in immigration law;
  • Participate in other program activities to support the immigration practice and to further organizational goals and mission as directed by the Supervising Attorney and Director of Immigration Advocacy.

Competencies/Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated commitment or experience working with diverse communities, including experience with individuals who may have experienced poverty, trauma or discrimination; or possess lived experienced in these areas;
  • Strong organizational, time management and case management skills, including strong attention to detail;
  • Strong oral and written communication skills; strong interpersonal skills;
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively within a team; flexible and adaptable;
  • Proficiency or ability to learn legal case management systems, Microsoft Office Suite;
  • Commitment to race equity, anti-racism and economic justice in the workplace and in the provision of legal services;
  • Certificate/Bachelor’s degree preferred;
  • Fluency in a language reflecting our client populations preferred (e.g. Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Cape Verdean Creole, Vietnamese, Khmer);
  • Prior immigration law experience preferred.

Compensation and Benefits: JCSM salaries are based on a collective bargaining agreement scale starting at $52,100 with no years of experience, with yearly standard increases, and additional increment for demonstrated language skills. Benefits package: robust health and dental with supplemental coverage, life insurance, disability, flexible spending account, 403(b), loan forgiveness. Generous paidleave including sick, vacation, personal and holidays. JCSM is currently operating with a hybrid work model.

Apply: For full consideration, submit: letter of interest and resume to LThelin@sccls.org with subject: JCSM Paralegal — Immig. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

South Coastal Counties Legal Services and its subsidiary are an Equal Opportunity Employer and do not discriminate on the basis of age, class, color, disability, ethnicity, faith, gender, national origin, race, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression. We welcome applicants from a broad range of backgrounds and experiences. We strive to foster a healthy, inclusive environment where all staff, clients, and community members are valued, empowered and recognized.

Staff Attorney, Education Unit – JCSM

The Justice Center of Southeast Massachusetts (JCSM), a subsidiary of South Coastal Counties Legal Services, Inc. (SCCLS), a non-profit legal services program providing free civil legal assistance to eligible low-income and elder residents, seeks to hire an Education Attorney to work with a robust and dynamic education unit located in downtown Brockton, MA. The Education practice seeks systemic change in the larger districts in our region and represents vulnerable students to ensure they are not excluded from educational opportunities or directed away from those opportunities due to disability, a language barrier, race, national origin, gender identity or poverty. The team will identify and challenge underlying education policies and practices that contribute to the denial of access to a quality education, resulting in low-expectations, ineffective instruction, and inadequate interventions.

SCCLS and its subsidiary, the Justice Center of Southeast Massachusetts (JCSM), with a staff of nearly 80 and 4 offices in Brockton, Fall River, New Bedford and Hyannis, is the principal provider of free, civil legal aid to low-income residents of Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod, and the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. SCCLS’ core mission is to achieve justice for eligible clients through community-based advocacy. The organization prioritizes legal services in: housing, public benefits, elder law, domestic relations, employment, education, immigration, and consumer matters. The organization seeks attorneys committed to providing high quality legal representation with an understanding of economic and racial justice and centering community.

Responsibilities Include:

  • Provide high quality zealous legal representation, counsel and/or referrals;
  • Participate in, or conduct, community education and outreach;
  • Participate in team meetings;
  • Identify and participate in systemic advocacy projects;
  • Engage in continuous learning in education law;
  • Participate in other program activities to further organizational goals and mission.

Competencies/Qualifications:

  1. Admitted in MA or eligible for admission; prior education law, poverty law and/or litigation experience preferred;
  2. Demonstrated experience representing vulnerable or marginalized populations required; commitment to working with clients who may have experienced poverty, trauma or discrimination required;
  3. Ability to work independently and as a team member; goal and detail oriented with ability to prioritize; possess vision and sense of urgency in addressing client needs;
  4. Commitment to race equity, anti-racism and economic justice in the workplace and in providing legal services; prior racial justice and/or systemic focused experience highly desirable;
  5. Ability to engage effectively in person and remotely with people from diverse cultures, with diverse opinions and values, including with staff, volunteers, students, community members and funders;
  6. Fluency in a second language which reflects our client communities (Spanish, Portuguese, Cape Verdean Creole, Haitian Creole, Vietnamese, Khmer) desirable.

Compensation and Benefits: Salaries are based on a collective bargaining agreement scale starting at $72,500 with yearly standard increases and multi-lingual annual increment for demonstrated language skills. Benefits package includes health and dental with supplemental coverage, life insurance, disability, flexible spending account, 403(b) and loan forgiveness. Generous paid leave including sick, vacation, personal and holidays.

Apply: Submit letter of interest, resume and legal writing sample by email to: LThelin@sccls.org with Subject Line: Education Attorney. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

South Coastal Counties Legal Services and its subsidiary are an Equal Opportunity Employer and do not discriminate on the basis of age, class, color, disability, ethnicity, faith, gender, national origin, race, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression. We welcome applicants from a broad range of backgrounds and experiences. We strive to foster a healthy, inclusive environment where all staff, clients, and community members are valued, empowered and recognized.

Housing Attorneys – JCSM

The Justice Center of Southeast Massachusetts (JCSM), a subsidiary of South Coastal Counties Legal Services, Inc. (SCCLS), a non-profit legal services program providing free civil legal assistance to eligible low-income and elder residents, seeks to hire Housing Attorneys to work with a robust and dynamic housing unit located in downtown Brockton, MA. The housing unit provides high quality direct representation to individuals in summary process (eviction) proceedings, challenges to public and subsidized housing denials, and termination of housing benefits matters. In addition to direct representation, the housing unit engages in systemic advocacy, community outreach and education, and staffs the Lawyer for the Day Program in the Metro South Housing Court.

The Organization: SCCLS and its subsidiary the JCSM, with a staff of nearly 80 and 4 offices in Brockton, Fall River, New Bedford and Hyannis, is the principal provider of free, civil legal aid to low-income residents of Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod, and the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Southeastern MA is geographically diverse and an excellent place to live. SCCLS’ core mission is to achieve justice for eligible clients through community-based advocacy. The organization prioritizes legal services in: housing, public benefits, elder law, domestic relations, employment, education, immigration, and consumer matters.

Responsibilities include:

  • Provide high quality zealous legal representation, counsel and/or referrals;
  • Participate in, or conduct, community education and outreach;
  • Participate in team meetings; identify and participate in impact advocacy projects;
  • Engage in continuous learning in housing law;
  • Participate in other program activities to further organizational goals and mission.

Competencies/Qualifications:

  • Admitted in MA, eligible for admission in MA, or sitting for the July 2024 bar exam;
  • Demonstrated commitment or experience working with diverse communities, including experience representing clients who may have experienced poverty, trauma or discrimination;
  • Strong organizational, time management and case management skills;
  • Strong oral and written communication skills; strong interpersonal skills;
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively within a team; ability to be flexible and adapt to client situations and changing program conditions;
  • Proficiency or ability to learn legal case management systems, Microsoft Office Suite;
  • Fluency in a language reflecting our client populations preferred (e.g. Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Cape Verdean Creole, Vietnamese, Khmer);
  • Prior housing law experience preferred.

Compensation and Benefits: Competitive compensation based on comparable public interest salaries and commensurate with experience. Multi-lingual annual increment to base salary may be added for demonstrated language skills. Generous benefits and leave offered.

Apply: For full consideration, submit: letter of interest, resume, writing sample and references by March 1, 2024 to LThelin@sccls.org with subject: Housing BR. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

South Coastal Counties Legal Services and its subsidiary are an Equal Opportunity Employer and do not discriminate on the basis of age, class, color, disability, ethnicity, faith, gender, national origin, race, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression. We welcome applicants from a broad range of backgrounds and experiences. We strive to foster a healthy, inclusive environment where all staff, clients, and community members are valued, empowered and recognized.

Staff Attorneys – JCSM

The Justice Center of Southeast Massachusetts (JCSM), a subsidiary of South Coastal Counties Legal Services, Inc. (SCCLS), a non-profit legal services program providing free civil legal assistance to eligible low-income and elder residents, seeks to hire Staff Attorneys to represent clients with critical legal needs including in housing, domestic relations, public benefits and other priority areas.

We seek attorneys committed to seeking racial and economic justice for low-income communities through the provision of high-quality client centered legal representation. This is an excellent opportunity to join an organization of supportive, creative colleagues who work hard to provide life-changing legal representation for the most vulnerable persons in our communities.

The Organization: SCCLS and its subsidiary, the Justice Center of Southeast Massachusetts (JCSM), with a combined staff of nearly 80, is the principal provider of free, civil legal aid to low-income residents of Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod, and the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. SCCLS law offices are located in Hyannis, New Bedford and Fall River. The Justice Center is located in Brockton. SCCLS’ core mission is to achieve justice for eligible clients through community-based advocacy. The organization prioritizes legal services in: housing, public benefits, elder law, domestic relations, employment, education, immigration, and consumer matters.

Qualifications: Must be admitted in MA or eligible for admission. We prioritize prior poverty law and/or litigation experience and an aptitude for working with clients who may have experienced poverty, trauma or discrimination. You will bring a commitment to race equity and anti-racism in your legal work and in the workplace. You are someone who can work independently but also as part of a team. You are organized, detail oriented and able to prioritize; skilled at factual and legal investigation and analysis, able to persuasively communicate our clients’ legal claims, and able to engage effectively in person and remotely with people from diverse cultures, with diverse opinions and values. You are creative in identifying and pursuing legal projects with broad impact, and in providing outreach and community legal education. Fluency in a language that reflects our client communities (Spanish, Portuguese, Cape Verdean Creole, Haitian Creole, Vietnamese, Khmer) is valued.

Compensation and Benefits: Salaries are based on a collective bargaining agreement scale starting at $65,000 with yearly standard increases, multi-lingual annual increment for demonstrated language skills. Benefits package: health and dental with supplemental coverage, life insurance, disability, flexible spending account, 403(b), loan forgiveness. Generous paid leave including sick, vacation, personal and holidays.

Apply: Submit: letter of interest, resume and writing sample to: LThelin@sccls.org with subject: JCSM Staff Atty. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

South Coastal Counties Legal Services and its subsidiary are an Equal Opportunity Employer and do not discriminate on the basis of age, class, color, disability, ethnicity, faith, gender, national origin, race, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression. We welcome applicants from a broad range of backgrounds and experiences. We strive to foster a healthy, inclusive environment where all staff, clients, and community members are valued, empowered and recognized.

For labor trafficked immigrants, T-visas are a life-saving but flawed relief (GBH News)

Two legal aid attorneys—Caddie Nath-Folsom of the Justice Center of Southeast Massachusetts, a subsidiary of South Coastal Counties Legal Services, and Audrey Richardson of Greater Boston Legal Services—were quoted in an Oct. 24 GBH News article about barriers labor trafficked immigrants face to obtaining T-visas. These visas are a pathway to legal residency for survivors of severe trafficking who cooperate with an investigation into the trafficking.

Below are excerpts from the article.

Caddie Nath-Folsom, a staff attorney with the Justice Center of Southeast Massachusetts, says application forms have gotten much longer and the government doesn’t have the capacity to cope with the volume of paperwork.

“The biggest challenge survivors are having right now is the unbelievable delay and processing of these applications,” she said.

Beyond these barriers, many immigrants simply don’t know about the T-visa, or find out years after they were subjected to labor trafficking.

“It’s both that people don’t necessarily know about it, but it’s also that identifying cases as being appropriate for [T-visas] and having folks who would be able to take advantage of it come forward are difficult things,” said Audrey Richardson, managing attorney of the Greater Boston Legal Services’ Employment Law Unit, which works with survivors to secure visas.

Read more at GBH News.

Trafficking Inc.: Forced labor in Massachusetts (GBH News)

Two legal aid attorneys—Caddie Nath-Folsom of the Justice Center of Southeast Massachusetts, a subsidiary of South Coastal Counties Legal Services, and Audrey Richardson of Greater Boston Legal Services—were quoted in an Oct. 11 GBH News article about labor trafficking. Below is an excerpt.

“Most people have interacted with someone who is being trafficked and don’t realize it,” said Nath-Folsom, who works with the Justice Center of Southeast Massachusetts. “Think of it more as someone who is being forced to work in terrible conditions, usually dangerous conditions, for unfair or no pay. And they can’t leave.”

And abusers are almost never held accountable. Massachusetts lawmakers passed a human trafficking law in 2011 to help victims and to prosecute perpetrators. But there hasn’t been a single forced labor conviction since the law passed, an investigation by the GBH News Center for Investigative Reporting has found.

In the meantime, attorney Audrey Richardson is still trying to seek help for her client Melba.

Read more at GBH News.

When migrants were sent to Martha’s Vineyard, a spirited team of Massachusetts lawyers jumped to help (The Boston Globe)

Emily Leung, supervising immigration attorney at the Justice Center of Southeast Massachusetts (a subsidiary of South Coastal Counties Legal Services), was featured in an Oct. 7 Boston Globe article alongside immigration lawyers Susan Church, Ivan Espinoza-Madrigal, Rachel Self and Julio Henriquez for their work managing the legal response on the ground to assist asylum-seekers flown to Martha’s Vineyard on Sept. 14.

Below is an excerpt from the article:

“The scramble in those early days — and the continued advocacy since then — exhibited, once again, the force of a spirited team of Massachusetts immigration lawyers, far from the southern border but able to flex their clout and power in the name of their advocacy. Their work put Massachusetts on the national map when it came to fighting Trump immigration policies and, now, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ controversial relocation program.

Among those who joined Self on the Vineyard early on were some of the state’s most high-profile immigration attorneys: Susan Church, of the Cambridge-based law firm Demissie and Church; Ivan Espinoza-Madrigal, executive director of Boston’s Lawyers for Civil Rights; and Emily Leung, of The Justice Center of Southeast Massachusetts.”

Read more in The Boston Globe. Leung and other advocates also spoke at a Boston Bar Association issue briefing about the crisis on Oct. 13.