Staff Attorneys - Multiple Positions Available

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Job location
633 West Wisconsin Avenue
Suite 2000
Milwaukee, WI 53203
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc.
Street address: 
633 West Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 2000
Job type: 
Legal - Civil
Position Description: 

Legal Action of Wisconsin (Legal Action) is pleased to announce that we are recruiting for and seeking to fill multiple attorney positions.

AVAILABILITY: All positions are available immediately however, third year law students who expect to graduate in May 2021 are encouraged to apply. Experienced attorneys are also encouraged to apply.
Applicants for the currently-posted SeniorLAW, Volunteer Lawyers Project, and Community Law Project attorney openings will be notified of this posting via email.
We are seeking attorneys in the following offices:
• La Crosse – Located at 205 5th Ave South La Crosse, WI 54601, our La Crosse office serves 10 counties in southwestern Wisconsin. This office has a managing attorney, 2 staff attorneys, and 1 paralegal. These attorneys will primarily focus on family law or housing law but may be called upon to practice in other areas.
• Madison - Located at 744 Williamson Street, Madison, WI, 53703, our Madison office serves 9 counties in south central Wisconsin. The Madison Office staff currently consists of a Managing Attorney, 15 attorneys, 3 paralegals, 1 legal secretary, and 1 Office Manager. These attorneys will primarily focus on family law and public benefits but may be called upon to practice in other areas.
• Oshkosh – Located at 300 Ohio Street, Oshkosh WI 54902-5827, our Oshkosh office serves 10 counties in eastern Wisconsin. This attorney will primarily focus on family law but may be called upon to practice in other areas.
• Racine – Located at 4900 Spring Street, Suite 100, Racine WI 53406, our Racine office serves 3 counties in southeastern Wisconsin. This office has a managing attorney, 8 attorneys, and 2 paralegals. This attorney will primarily focus on family law but may be called upon to practice in other areas.
• Milwaukee – Located at 633 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53203, our Milwaukee office serves Milwaukee and Waukesha counties. With 69 staff members, this is our largest office. This attorney will primarily focus on unemployment compensation cases, but may be called upon to practice in other areas.
We are also seeking attorneys in several of our projects that serve a specialized group of clients or that utilize a specialized approach including:
• Elder Rights Project: The attorney hired for this position will be based in our Milwaukee, Madison, or Oshkosh office and will focus on a variety of case types (e.g., consumer, housing, and family law) in small and large claims courts for clients who are elderly and are victims of abuse or financial exploitation
• SeniorLAW: The attorney hired for this position will be based in our Milwaukee office and will focus on housing and public benefits law for residents of Milwaukee County, age 60 or over.
• Community Law Project: Also known as the Community Redevelopment Legal Assistance Project, this project is funded by a special grant from the Wisconsin Trust Account Foundation and is staffed by five attorneys: two in Milwaukee, one in Racine, one in Madison, and one in Green Bay. Attorneys in the project use a community lawyering service delivery model to stabilize and redevelop targeted neighborhoods. In Milwaukee, these neighborhoods are Sherman Park, Harambee, Near West Side, and Havenwoods/Silver Spring. The attorney hired in this position will be based in our Milwaukee office.
• Volunteer Lawyer Project: This attorney will be based in our Milwaukee office. This attorney will primarily support our volunteer attorneys in their casework and the Volunteer Lawyer Project’s recruitment and operations.
During the pandemic, most Legal Action attorneys are working remotely and all attorneys are allowed flexibility in their work schedules. New hires will work remotely until Legal Action returns to the physical offices and will work with their supervisors if flexible scheduling (outside of regular business hours) is needed. When it is safe to do so, new hires will be required to work from a physical Legal Action office but may request remote/telework and flexible scheduling. New hires may receive some training in the physical office and may receive some in-office time now. We require face masks and social distancing in all Legal Action offices.

LEGAL ACTION: We are a large and vibrant non-profit law firm funded by the federal Legal Services Corporation, the Wisconsin Trust Account Foundation, the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, Victim of Crime Act funding, the Wisconsin Equal Justice Fund, and many other sources. Each year, we provide free legal aid to about 11,000 – 14,000 low-income persons in Wisconsin’s southern 39 counties. In addition, the firm operates a statewide farmworker project and a statewide legal aid to human trafficking victims project. Our work is in the areas of housing, public benefits, removing barriers to employment, consumer, family law, and victim rights. Legal Action attorneys specialize in specific areas of law, though they may be called upon to work in multiple areas. They provide high-quality and aggressive representation, maintain a direct service caseload of individual clients, and contribute to the firm’s work to engage in law reform litigation and other impact work.

• Provide high-quality and aggressive representation of clients in individual service cases.
• Undertake impact work – that which has impact on groups of low-income persons or the systems that have the most effect on the low-income community.
• Perform all duties associated with such representation as defined by our attorney performance standards and participate in regular case review with a supervisor.
• Stay current with the areas of law that pertain to the low-income community as they change and develop, particularly in their area of specialization.
• Share responsibility for and contribute to the development and maintenance of good working relationships with community groups and with state and local bar associations and others.
• Provide training and other assistance to volunteers who participate in Legal Action's Volunteer Lawyer Project and to other Legal Action staff attorneys.
• Perform intake duties and, where necessary, make appropriate referrals to other community agencies.
• Perform administrative and recordkeeping duties.
• Serve on at least one of our Priority Committees: Housing; Barriers to Employment; Consumer; Public Benefits; and Family law. (These priority committees are composed of Legal Action attorneys practicing in those areas of law. They meet quarterly to discuss trends in the law and practice and to strategize the firm’s work.)

SALARY: The salary for these positions are determined by Legal Action’s attorney salary scale. (In our Madison office, the salary is determined by a collective bargaining agreement.) Under our attorney salary scale, an attorney with 0 – 1 years of experience would receive an annual salary of $45,727 for a 100% full-time position. An attorney with 5 years of experience practicing law would earn a salary of $52,347. An attorney with 10 years of experience would earn a salary of $58,967. Salaries are not negotiable and will follow this scale. In addition, the position generally receives an annual step increase, subject to approval of the Board of Directors.

FRINGE BENEFITS: Legal Action provides a generous fringe benefits package, including employer-paid health and dental insurance for employees and eligible dependents. Some employees are required to contribute to the health insurance premium for their spouse, if the spouse has group health insurance provided by their employer. Legal Action also provides life and long-term disability insurance, a profit-sharing retirement plan, salary deferral options for retirement planning, low-cost employee-paid vision coverage, three weeks of vacation per year, four days of personal leave per year, generous sick leave, and four weeks of paid parental leave for eligible employees.

SUPERVISION AND PROBATIONARY PERIOD: These positions are subject to a probationary period of up to one year. The positions in our Milwaukee, Racine, Oshkosh, and La Crosse offices are governed by the Legal Action of Wisconsin Personnel Policies and these policies are subject to unilateral change by the Legal Action Board of Directors. As with any Legal Action position, there is no guaranteed period of employment and employment is at will, subject to termination at any time. Attorneys are supervised by Managing Attorneys or Project and Assistant Project Directors.
Madison Office: The positions are governed by the terms and conditions of the collective bargaining agreement between Legal Action and the United Legal Workers. Legal Action’s personnel policies will govern where no provision is covered by the collective bargaining agreement, and the personnel policies are subject to unilateral change by the Legal Action Board of Directors.


QUALIFICATIONS: We welcome applications from candidates with varied experience and with any number of years of experience as a lawyer. The amount and structure of training for the hired attorneys will be determined by their experience and need. Following are the basic qualifications we are seeking:
• Juris Doctorate Degree.
• Admission to the Wisconsin Bar at time of hire or within 3 months of hire.
• Enthusiasm for civil legal aid and equal justice for and service to our clients and commitment to providing the highest quality legal service.
• Respect for differences in race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstances.
• Ability to understand our clients’ situation and problem-solve to find realistic solutions to civil legal problems.
• Strong communication skills to engage key stakeholders, clients, and pro bono attorneys, including ability to speak and write clearly and persuasively.
• Ability to prioritize and organize resources while maintaining quality and attention to detail.
• Ability to work harmoniously and cooperatively with co-workers, clients, managers, and other stakeholders.
• Willingness to receive direction and supervision and to implement feedback.
• Enthusiasm for arguing motions and representing at trial.
• Self-motivation, diligence, and ability to manage a large and robust caseload and to meet strict deadlines while under pressure.
• Comfort with using Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Teams, etc.) and an electronic database.
• Valid driver's license.
In addition, the following qualifications are valued:
• Familiarity with courtroom procedure (state, municipal, and/or federal.)
• Ability to communicate with persons in the client community who speak a language other than English as their principal language.
• Knowledge and understanding of legal problems and the needs of low-income persons.
• Prior work in the client community or in other programs that work with low-income persons.
• Cultural affinity with the client community.
• Enthusiasm for working with and supporting volunteer attorneys, interns, and law students.

TRAVEL: These positions involve regular, though not constant, travel for case work, outreach, training, and program operation. (During the pandemic, travel is greatly reduced.)

SCHEDULE: Except for our Racine attorney opening, these are full-time, FLSA-exempt positions. Attorneys who wish to work part-time may be considered in our Racine office. All Attorneys are responsible for managing their own schedule with respect to client meetings, office hours, and hearings. The attorney should expect some, but not frequent, court appearances and events after regular business hours.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS AND WORK ENVIRONMENT: This position involves sedentary work, including sitting at a desk on a computer for an extended period. Exerting up to 10 pounds of force on a regular basis to lift, carry, push or otherwise move objects. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to stand, sit, talk, hear and use hands and fingers to operate a computer and/or laptop keyboard and use a telephone. Drives a motor vehicle while seated for extended periods of time as needed. Occasional reaching, bending, kneeling and stooping involved to retrieve various items and materials. This position works in an environmentally-controlled office environment with moderate noise from phones, printers and light office traffic in the Legal Action office.

To apply: 

APPLICATIONS: Applicants must submit the following application materials to [email protected] :
• Cover letter. In the cover letter, please describe and rank your preference for our openings. If you have no preference and wish to be considered for all positions, please state this in your cover letter.
• Resume
• Legal writing sample
• Names and contact information for three professional references (not necessary for internal applicants)
• Law school transcript (only required for applicants who graduated 2018 or later and not necessary for internal applicants)
All materials should be in PDF.
Deedee Peterson, Executive Director, is managing the hiring for these positions, with assistance from multiple supervisors and managing attorneys.
DEADLINE: Apply before 11:59 p.m. on March 4, 2021.

Equal Opportunity Employer
Salary range: 
Please see Salary in Position Description section.
Submission deadline: 
Thursday, March 4, 2021