Tag Archive for: Justice Center of Southeast Massachusetts

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.