Staff Attorney – Children's Law Center (Full-time)

NOTE: For a list of open positions, please see our Careers page.

Bay Area Legal Services (BALS) is seeking a full-time staff attorney on our L. David Shear Children's Law Center (CLC} Team on a temporary basis for approximately 6 months while full-time permanent CLC staff attorneys are on maternity leave. This position will represent victims of crime in civil legal proceedings: Direct, holistic legal representation of child victims of abuse/neglect in dependency court. The position will be supervised by the Team Leader for the CLC. 

Office Location

L. David Shear Children’s Law Center
1000 N Ashley Drive
Suite 518
Tampa, FL 33602

Applicants seeking employment with us should understand and share our commitment to the BALS’ mission and vision, and be willing to abide by the five core values of Bay Area Legal Services. 

Illustrative Duties:

  • Representation of the child in dependency court proceedings. From a trauma-informed perspective, zealously advocate for child clients in a variety of settings, including meetings with the Department of Children and Families and in educational, mental health, and medical settings as part of a multidisciplinary team that includes a CLC social worker. 
  • Conducting child client interviews in the community, including at placements and schools. Communicate with clients to learn about their legal needs and concerns. Explain legal options and bring possible outcomes or risks to their attention. Providing counsel and advice to child clients. Providing advice and assistance in connection with crime victim compensation. 
  • Referral to additional social services in coordination with CLC social worker. 
  • Develop and implement strategies to resolve cases favorably. Prepare legal documents, such as contracts, dispositions, briefs, oral arguments, and pleadings, accurately and in a timely manner.
  • Research relevant legal materials to aid decision-making, gather and analyze evidence, identify implications for cases from legal precedents or other legal information. Negotiate settlement of cases with opposing attorneys or parties. Prepare necessary correspondence relating to services rendered. Create and maintain relationships with organizations that are commonly adverse parties where possible to facilitate case resolution. 
  • Attend team meetings and collaborate with other attorneys on case questions. 
  • Develop arguments and represent clients participating in hearings before various courts and administrative bodies. Present and summarize cases to judges and juries. 
  • Travel to client meetings or hearings as necessary. 
  • Supervise legal assistants and activities of other legal/team personnel (legal interns, paralegals etc.) Assists other poverty program components as needed and offers advice in public relations, participates in appropriate community activities. Participating in community efforts to improve outcomes for children in care. This includes participation in BALS in-house committees and outside community/Florida Bar events when asked or needed. 
  • Stay informed about current legislation, especially assigned legal specialties. Attend Continuing Legal Education (CLE) courses and/or other trainings to maintain knowledge in areas of expertise or gain new knowledge. 
  • Perform other duties as designated by the Team Leader.

Minimum Qualifications: 

  • Juris Doctorate (JD), Florida Bar licensed and in good standing with the Bar, with minimum of 2 years of litigation experience, Dependency experience, and Educational advocacy experience. Demonstrated ability to work independently and efficiently. 
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills. Experience in establishing and maintaining effective working relationships both internally and with external community contacts. 
  • Excellent prioritization skills and ability to meet deadlines. 
  • Experience with legal database systems to document case assignments 
  • Sympathetic and compassionate understanding of the social, economic, and legal issues faced by low-income individuals with limited access to such services. Ability to relate well and effectively with diverse groups and individuals.

Desirable Qualifications:

  • Previous experience in a non-profit legal services firm

Compensation:

  • Starting salary $57,500.00/yr, increases depending upon experience, and mileage reimbursement for travel

How to Apply:

  • Send Resume and Cover Letter to recruiting@bals.org and state where you learned about this position.

We are an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or veteran status.