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Contract Attorney - Farmworker Legal Services - Kalamazoo

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JOB ANNOUNCEMENT: ATTORNEY 

POSITION: Farmworker Legal Services (FLS) has an opening for an attorney with a demonstrated commitment to public interest law in our Kalamazoo office. The successful candidate will be responsible for identifying, developing, and litigating impact cases and engaging in community advocacy to protect and expand the rights, access to economic security, and legal justice for Michigan farmworkers. Community advocacy tasks include field investigation and outreach at migrant labor camps, legal research and writing, community task force participation, and preparation of community education presentations and materials. 

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM: FLS is a statewide division of the Michigan Advocacy Program (MAP). Map is a high quality, non-profit law office that provides access to the justice system for those who need it the most through its five local legal aid offices as well as several statewide advocacy programs: Michigan Poverty Law Program, the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, the Michigan Elder Justice Initiative, and the Michigan Legal Help Program. MAP has a staff of around 100 people in offices in Ann Arbor, Battle Creek, Detroit, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Grand Rapids, and Monroe. The FLS legal team is based out of the Kalamazoo office and consists of four attorneys, a community advocate, a legal assistant, and numerous seasonal interns and outreach advocates.  

FLS provides a full range of civil legal services to Michigan’s eligible population of around 95,000 migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their dependents. Farmworkers in Michigan hand harvest a diversity of crops, including asparagus, strawberries, blueberries, cucumbers, cherries and apples. Farm work is the second most dangerous occupation in the United States and the average farmworker earns less than $15,000 per year. The majority of workers include Spanish-speaking family groups from the southern U.S. and Mexico. Case priorities address their critical legal needs in employment, workplace health and safety, housing, public benefits, and immigration law. Our services include basic legal advice, community education and referrals, and direct representation of individuals and groups in the full spectrum of local, state, and federal forums. Visit www.FarmworkerLaw.org for more information. 

QUALIFICATIONS: Applicants must be licensed to practice law in Michigan, qualified to be admitted by waiver, or able to take the next available bar exam. Applicants must possess excellent communication, analytical and problem-solving skills as well as a demonstrated commitment to protecting the rights of workers, immigrants or other persons in poverty. Applicants who have experience, especially related to impact litigation on behalf of low wage workers will receive priority. Applicants who are able to communicate effectively in Spanish will receive priority, as most of our clients speak Spanish as their primary language.  

BENEFITS:  This is a full-time position with a competitive salary range starting at $43,500, depending on years of relevant experience and admission to the Michigan bar. MAP offers an excellent health, disability, and fringe benefits package. The expected term of this position will extend through December 31, 2018, with extension dependent on funding. Kalamazoo is a college town located 35 miles east of Lake Michigan and two hours from Chicago and Detroit. 

MAP is an equal opportunity employer. Minorities, persons with disabilities, and women are encouraged to apply. The position is open until filled; applications received by March 31, 2018 will receive priority. Apply by email with “FLS Attorney” in the subject line to fls@farmworkerlaw.org. Please submit your current resume, an unofficial law school transcript, a list of three professional references, and a cover letter that confirms your qualifications and includes a description of your level of Spanish competency.  

Date Posted: Mar 30, 2018