Civil Survival Project (CSP) is looking for a reentry legal aid attorney to assist formerly incarcerated individuals across Washington State who face legal barriers to successful reentry. The Staff Attorney will represent clients in a range of areas, including legal financial obligation (LFO) remission, relief under State v. Blake, criminal record vacation, and registration relief for people convicted of sex offenses. The Staff Attorney will also plan and manage mass assistance events, provide trainings to legal professionals and impacted communities, and create self-help materials.
Civil Survival Project organizes people who have been directly impacted by the criminal legal system to build connections, gain knowledge and increase political participation. CSP provides leadership development, offers legal education and services, and leads legislative advocacy on systemic issues that prevent former justice-involved individuals from fully reintegrating into society. Civil Survival’s work includes:
- Organizing mass assistance days that provide legal financial obligation relief to hundreds of clients in a single day. During CSP’s mass assistance day in Pierce County, the courts waived over $2.3 million in criminal legal debt.
- Leading systemic advocacy to make reentry legal relief accessible and automatic. CSP recently led a coalition of organizations to improve Washington’s mandatory legal financial obligations motion, allowing the motion to provide relief to tens of thousands of additional Washingtonians.
- Hosting monthly GameChanger groups that provide justice-involved individuals a place to learn how to advocate for systemic change, overcome their own reentry barriers, and provide peer support.
- Supporting bills that expand legal rights for justice-involved individuals. CSP was closely involved in securing the passage of the New Hope Act, which made significant improvements to Washington’s criminal record vacation process.
The Staff Attorney will provide legal services across a variety of legal areas, including LFO remission, relief under State v. Blake, criminal record vacation, and registration relief for people convicted of sex offenses. In addition to providing direct legal services, the Staff Attorney will manage a variety of other projects designed to make reentry legal relief more widely accessible. The Staff Attorney will plan and manage mass assistance days, where prosecutors, judges, court 2 staff and public defense work in partnership to offer LFO and Blake relief to hundreds of people in a single day. The Staff Attorney will also present periodic trainings to impacted communities and legal professionals on a variety of reentry legal aid topics. In order to help make reentry relief accessible to people without a lawyer, the Staff Attorney will also help maintain and expand a library of reentry legal aid self-help materials on Civil Survival’s website. The Staff Attorney will work in close partnership with other legal aid organizations in community groups, attending regular organizing meetings to ensure that attorneys across the state are providing the highest quality legal services to their clients. Finally, the Staff Attorney will help with a variety of other projects, including, but not limited to, appellate advocacy, policy advocacy, and intern supervision.
The ideal candidate will be excited to directly assist clients with reentry legal aid needs, while also creating and managing systems, such as mass assistance days, that offer opportunities for widescale relief. Experience in reentry legal aid is preferred, but not required. Strong candidates will have experience managing legal assistance programs and relationships with key external stakeholders, including court personnel, other attorneys, and communities directly affected by the criminal legal system. The ideal candidate will be motivated to help those most frequently disadvantaged by the criminal legal systems including those with disabilities, people of color, and individuals who face the greatest barriers to self-advocacy.
The Staff Attorney will work on a team of eight, which will include four staff attorneys, one paralegal, one legal assistant, one senior attorney and one legal and policy director.
People of color, those directly impacted by the criminal legal system, people who identify as queer, trans, lesbian, gay, or bisexual, and those with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.
- Member, in good standing, of the Washington State Bar Association (WSBA); or ability to quickly obtain APR 8(c) admission, with full WSBA admission by Fall 2022.
- The ability to independently and efficiently learn new legal practice areas and offer representation with a high level of competence.
- Experience in some or all the following practice areas is preferred (but not required): legal financial obligation relief, criminal record vacation, relief under State v. Blake, relief from registration for those convicted of sex offenses, gun rights restoration, and appellate advocacy.
- Strong legal research and writing skills.
- Experience creating self-help materials and presenting self-help trainings to impacted communities is preferred.
- Policy advocacy and organizing skills are preferred (but not required), including the ability to analyze legislation, court rules, and administrative procedures.
- Strong organization skills. The Staff Attorney should be able to manage multiple projects, ensuring that tasks are completed in a timely manner and lower-priority items do not slip through the cracks.
- Ability to take a project from conception through planning to completion. Ability to balance taking the initiative with ensuring that internal and external stakeholders are included in program discussions.
- Familiarity and strong relationships with local policymakers, community leaders, and marginalized communities are preferred (but not required).
- A deep commitment to growth in a trauma-informed, anti-racist organization.
- An understanding and empathy with the stresses experienced by clients who are impacted by poverty, mental illness, disabilities, unstable housing, substance use disorder, domestic strife, and other barriers. Ability to help these clients engage in their own representation through the principles of harm-reduction—meeting clients where they are, in a way that is responsive to their specific needs.
- Demonstrated cultural competence and sensitivity in working with diverse clients, communities, and colleagues.
- Strong ability to work collaboratively is required. The successful applicant will have strong conflict management skills and be able to tactfully engage with external partners.
All CSP staff work remotely. In-person work may be required to attend court hearings, meetings, and organizational retreats. Travel within Washington may be required. Applicants from all parts of Washington State are encouraged to apply.
Salary range is $71,663-$113,981 depending on experience. Within the position salary range, salary increases annually. An additional annual cost of living increase is provided at the discretion of the Board of Directors. Benefits include:
- 401k match of up to 4% of salary, beginning after six months of employment;
- Generous medical and dental benefits for employees and family members;
- 17 paid holidays, including the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day;
- 15 days vacation, accrued annually, increasing to 20 days vacation, accrued annually;
- 12 personal days, accrued annually; and
- Monthly $50 employer cell phone contribution.
Benefits are provided consistent with current organizational policies, and are subject to change. This is a Fair Labor Standards Act exempt, at-will position; continuation in the position depends on both performance and funding.
Equal Opportunity Employer
CSP is committed to a policy of equal opportunity and fosters an environment free of barriers and discriminatory practices. CSP actively promotes mutual respect, acceptance, teamwork and productivity. CSP is committed to maintaining an organization whose staff, Board and clients are diverse in background, experience, race, color, national origin, gender, age, religious affiliation, marital status, sexual identity, sensory, mental or physical abilities, veteran status, and other qualities that strengthen the program while reinforcing its commitment to basic fairness.
People of color, those directly impacted by the criminal legal system, people who identify as queer, trans, lesbian, gay, or bisexual, and those with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. Individuals needing a reasonable accommodation for the application or interview process should contact Corey Guilmette (he/him pronouns) at email@example.com or (206) 641- 5334.
How to Apply
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis with an initial review occurring on June 7, 2022. Please submit the following to Tina Woods (she/her pronouns) at firstname.lastname@example.org:
- Letter of interest.
- One legal writing sample, unedited by others.
- Names and contact information for three references