Under general supervision, the Paralegal will assist Center attorneys with case management and support, field investigations, discovery, trial preparation, and support file organization and management, training and other special projects. They will also assist with research related to litigation/legal case development and/or the issues related to the general mission of the Center.
The Economic Justice Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center seeks to ensure that people living in poverty in the Deep South, especially communities of color, are not punished or exploited because of their economic status. Our work is focused in three main areas: (1) ending debtors’ prisons and reforming court debt abuses; (2) protecting consumers by ending predatory lending and abusive debt collection practices; and (3) protecting access to safety nets for the poor, including Medicaid and SNAP (food stamps). Over the past few years, our Project has worked to end debtors’ prisons in Montgomery, Alabama, Alexander City, Alabama, and Bogalusa, Louisiana; restore access to TennCare (Tennessee’s Medicaid Program) for thousands who were facing life-threatening medical conditions and whose applications were ignored during the rollout of the Affordable Care Act; challenge the imposition of work requirements as a precondition to Medicaid eligibility document the abusive predatory lending industry in Alabama in an on-going push for state and federal regulatory reform; drive the largest private “probation” company out of Alabama; and end discriminatory wealth-based bail practices in municipal courts in Alabama.
Our Project is growing and looking to expand our critical work. We are looking to augment our dynamic and talented team with passionate individuals who care about our issues and believe in and identify with our clients, as we look to continue our work.
- Assist attorneys with case management and support including substantial document management;
- Conduct research related to litigation/legal case development (i.e., verify evidence and investigate facts of case including but not limited to searching news media, scholarly journals, Westlaw Accurint, Pacer and internet sources);
- Prepare and organize information, notes, and research memos;
- Assist with field investigations, discovery and trial preparation;
- Prepare exhibits for depositions, hearings, and trial;
- Maintain case files and manage case documents in paper files as well as in Time Matters and litigation management and review databases;
- Maintain pleadings and correspondence files and handle client correspondence as needed;
- Check legal forms and documents for accuracy;
- Draft and /or assist with preparation of legal documents for filing and service;
- Communicate with witnesses, clients and others in person and over the phone as required;
- Handle settlement administration as needed;
- Summarize deposition transcripts, discovery documents and client records;
- Coordinate with court reporters and others to arrange for depositions;
- Coordinate arrangement for service of subpoenas and summonses;
- Assist with electronic filings of case pleadings;
- Assist with special projects as needed;
- Assist with other practice-group related tasks as directed by the Deputy Legal Director.
Qualifications (Education and Related Work Experience):
- A minimum of 5 years of paralegal or legal research experience required, more experience valued;
- College degree;
- Paralegal Certificate preferred;
- Strong research skills required;
- Excellent analytical and writing skills required;
- Excellent problem solving, communication and interpersonal skills required;
- Excellent computer skills required; must be highly proficient in word processing, spreadsheet and database programs;
- Knowledge of litigation software (i.e., TimeMatters, Summation, Escan-it) and legal & research databases (i.e., WestNext, Westlaw, Pacer preferred).
Knowledge, skills and abilities:
- Commitment to a non-hierarchal, client-centered approach to advocacy and ability to work on delicate issues in a compassionate and sensitive manner;
- Must have continual attention-to-detail in composing, typing, and proofing materials, establishing priorities and meeting deadlines;
- Ability to work collaboratively in a fast-paced work environment;
- Strong organizational skills, follow-through, and flexibility around changing priorities and deadlines;
- Ability to work effectively as part of a team to develop new cases and legal initiatives;
- Ability to work on several cases at once and take direction from several attorneys;
- Understanding and sensitivity to issues client populations face.
Other Special Considerations:
This job is performed under general office conditions and is not subject to any strenuous physical demands or dangerous conditions. Some travel required, including for trainings, to assist attorneys in preparation for and at trial, and field work, as needed.
lThe statements herein are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by the employee in this position. These statements are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required of a person in this position.
An Equal-Opportunity Employer with a Commitment to Diversity
Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is proud to be an equal opportunity employer, and as an organization committed to diversity and the perspective of all voices, we consider applicants equally of race, gender, gender identity, color, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, disability, political affiliation, national origin, or prior record of arrest or conviction.
Minimum Education Required