Rural Staff Attorney

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Job location
Valdosta, GA
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
Georgia Heirs Property Law Center
Street address: 
54 Ellis Avenue NE
Job type: 
Legal - Civil
Position Description: 

The Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit law firm, the only of its kind in Georgia, with the mission to increase generational wealth, social justice, and community stability by securing and preserving property rights of low and moderate-income Georgians. In furthering this mission, the Center assists heirs property owners in remediating fractured title, increasing equity in their home or land, and transferring wealth to the next generation through technical assistance including title clearing, wills creation, estate planning, education, and facilitating access to government, private sector, and nonprofit land management/home improvement programs. The Center has offices in Atlanta, Athens, and Fitzgerald and is planning to open a new office in Valdosta. Staff work collaboratively throughout the state, with targeted outreach in Atlanta and Southwest Georgia.

The Rural Staff Attorney position is full-time and reports to the Center’s Legal Programs Director. Responsibilities include working on title clearing and estate planning matters for clients throughout Georgia; representing clients in matters before courts statewide; maintaining client case files and working with referral organizations; educating low- and moderate-income communities about heirs property remediation and prevention, property ownership and preservation, economic development, and government, private sector, and nonprofit land management/home improvement programs; working in partnership with stakeholders, nonprofits, governmental agencies, and municipalities in the communities served; and collaborating with the Center’s attorney and non-attorney staff and pro bono volunteers. The position will serve rural communities statewide but will focus primarily on Southwest Georgia. Travel as well as some evening and weekend work required.

Direct Legal Services (80%):
 Maintain an active caseload of heirs property title clearing and probate matters. Perform legal research and prepare memoranda, court pleadings, discovery, motions and briefs. Appear in state and federal courts for motions, trials, hearings, conferences and appeals.
 Conduct intake calls with potential clients, follow up for requested information, summarize facts of case, and present case to staff for consideration.
 Assist families with family tree research. Lead family meetings to discuss heirs property issues
and facilitate agreements regarding property goals. Negotiate resolutions with opposing parties, attorneys and guardian ad litems.
 Prepare estate plans, including wills, advanced directives for healthcare and financial powers of attorney.
 Organize and maintain files and records of a confidential, complex, or otherwise sensitive nature. Maintain client files and information in case management database. Develop and implement organizational and case systems to achieve effective workloads and case flow.
 Keep the Legal Programs Director fully informed on client cases and all important external factors influencing them.
 Establish sound working relationships with Center attorney and non-attorney staff.
Communications, Outreach and Education (20%):
 Coordinate outreach, education and technical assistance and develop educational materials for property owners, nonprofits and municipalities about heirs property issues.
 Coordinate Heirs Property Prevention and Wills Clinics, including pro bono volunteers, with support of Center attorney and non-attorney staff.
 Collaborate with project partners and staff to develop outreach and education programming and materials. Establish sound working relationships and cooperative arrangements with community organizations.

For more information and application instructions, please visit our website at


Candidates must already have a JD from an accredited law school and be a member in good standing with the State Bar of Georgia. Candidates must have 5+ years of legal experience in the practice of real estate law, estate planning, litigation and/or probate or the equivalent combination of education, training and experience. Personal experience with heirs property is a plus but not required. Candidates should have public speaking and community education experience, be comfortable working in diverse communities and building trust with individuals and grassroots groups, and understand the special values and challenges of rural life and poverty issues. Candidates should also be willing and able to work as part of a team in a professional and collaborative manner and have the ability to set priorities and meet deadlines, along with a “glass half full” approach to challenges, even when the going gets tough. Humor and expertise in laughter are a plus.

Candidates must live in or around Valdosta, Georgia or being willing to relocate. Travel is required, and candidates must also have reliable transportation and a valid Georgia driver’s license.

To apply: 

Please send a cover letter, including experience in real estate law, estate planning, litigation and/or probate, reasons for your interest in resolving heirs property, and any other pertinent information, along with a resume, writing sample, and list of references to Skipper G. StipeMaas, Executive Director, via email [email protected].

The Center is committed to workplace diversity. No phone calls please.

Equal Opportunity Employer
Submission deadline: 
Friday, March 15, 2019