Public Interest Attorney

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Job location
131 W Wilson St
Ste 700
Madison, WI 53703
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
Disability Rights Wisconsin
Street address: 
131 W Wilson St, Ste 700
Job type: 
Legal - Defender
Position Description: 

January 2017

(75% to 100% FTE)

The Program Attorney for the Disability Benefit Specialist (DBS) Program will be part of a nine-attorney Benefits Team at Disability Rights Wisconsin that has primary responsibility for providing legal technical assistance and training to DBSs located in Aging and Disability Resource Centers on benefits matters relevant to people with disabilities. The position is available at DRW’s Madison, Milwaukee or Rice Lake offices.

Disability Rights Wisconsin (DRW) is the designated, federally-funded protection and advocacy agency for persons with disabilities in Wisconsin. DRW utilizes a wide variety of advocacy approaches to protect people’s rights, including legal and administrative remedies, legislative and policy change, and training. DRW also houses several programs funded by the State of Wisconsin that provide ombudsman and advocacy services to people with disabilities and provide technical assistance and training to other professionals who serve people with disabilities in Wisconsin related to public benefits.


1. Together with the other program attorneys, provide (or coordinate for the provision of) both initial and on-going training to Disability Benefit Specialists on relevant public and private benefits, procedural skills, and ethical considerations;

2. Provide information, case consultation, technical assistance, and legal interpretation to DBSs (primarily in assigned counties), as needed, to appropriately assist DBS consumers;

3. Provide caseload oversight to DBSs in assigned counties;

4. In coordination with local employer personnel policies, assure quality program operations;

5. Maintain strong, positive relationships with local DBSs and ADRCs;

6. Represent individual clients in hearings, in administrative appeals and in court whose cases have been referred by the local DBS and accepted pursuant to the DRW case acceptance policy applicable to this program;

7. Analyze current and proposed programs, policies, and laws affecting people with disabilities;

8. Prepare in a timely fashion all required reports associated with the DBS Program;

9. Develop materials on disability related benefits to be used by the DBSs, attorneys, and people with disabilities;

10. Work cooperatively with the DBS Program Manager at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to assure compliance with state and federal grant requirements;

11. Work cooperatively with other DRW staff members and participate as directed by the Managing Attorney in team activities;

12. Other duties as may be necessary to achieve the objectives of the DBS program; and

13. Some statewide travel required.


1. Law degree and member in good standing of (or eligible for admission to) Wisconsin Bar;

2. Experience in direct contact with people with disabilities or mental illness or other vulnerable client populations;

3. Ability to communicate complex legal concepts in a manner (both written and oral) readily understood by lay people; and

4. Excellent oral and written communication skills;


5. Demonstrated ability and desire to engage in public speaking;

6. Experience in supervising or assisting non-attorney lay advocates in representing clients in administrative settings;

7. Experience in counseling and communicating with people with disabilities or mental illness;

8. Knowledge and skill in areas of law directly relevant to this program (Social Security, SSI, Medicare, Medicaid, FoodShare, health insurance, public benefits) and people with disabilities or mental illness;

9. Skill in organizing and presenting training programs and materials; and

10. Experience/direct contact with people from culturally diverse backgrounds.

LOCATION: Madison, Milwaukee or Rice Lake Offices

SUPERVISOR: Benefits Team Managing Attorney or Milwaukee Supervising Attorney

SALARY: $45,000-$60,500 based on FTE and depending on experience. Excellent fringe benefits. This position is exempt.



To apply: 

APPLICATION: Submit the following in either Microsoft Word or PDF format, detailing your qualifications and experience as they relate to the minimum and preferred qualifications.
• 1-2 page resume
• 1-2 page cover letter
• voluntary affirmative action form (attached below — can be sent separately)
Text included in the body of an email does not qualify as a cover letter. Submit by 5:00 PM on Monday, January 23, 2017. Applications that do not follow the requirements will not be considered.

Be sure to indicate “DBS Program Attorney” in your cover letter or fax or email subject line.
By mail or in person:
c/o DBS Program Attorney position Email: [email protected]
Disability Rights Wisconsin
131 West Wilson St., Suite 700 Fax: (608) 267-0368
Madison, WI 53703

DEADLINE: Monday, January 23, 2017 by 5:00 PM to be considered for interviews. Will remain open until filled.

DIVERSITY: DRW is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer committed to a diverse work force. Members of minority groups and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. Alternate formats of this Position Announcement are available upon request. Materials may be submitted in alternate formats if necessary.

Equal Opportunity Employer
Salary range: 
$45,000 to 60,000
Submission deadline: 
Monday, January 23, 2017