Tribal Advocate

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Job location
Fort Belknap Agency
Harlem, MT 59526
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
Montana Legal Services Association
Street address: 
616 Helena Ave, Ste 100
Job type: 
Legal - Civil
Position Description: 

The Tribal Advocate position will provide civil legal services to tribal member clients located on or near the Fort Belknap Reservation in the area of domestic violence and related civil legal issues. Services provided will range from brief counsel and advice, to more extended representation. Requires travel within Montana. MLSA will provide legal training, and Tribal Advocate will be required to pass the Fort Belknap Tribal Bar Exam to be licensed to practice at the Tribal Court. Under attorney supervision, this position will handle all aspects of legal representation of domestic violence survivors including client contact, pleading preparation, research, file maintenance, and hearing and trial work. The Tribal Advocate will also participate in MLSA’s tribal domestic violence initiatives, and implement grant and contract requirements through casework and training. The Tribal Advocate will conduct training, outreach or education services on the Fort Belknap Reservation.

Specific Duties
• Interview, meet with, advise and represent eligible clients on civil matters.
• Refer clients to MLSA intake specialists.
• Coordinate with Tribal Survivor’s Legal Project Supervising Attorney on all cases.
• Compose correspondence, pleadings and other documents.
• Identify training needs and emerging issues and provide training as needed.
• Develop law related educational programs and materials directed to the tribal client community or tribal agencies regarding legal rights and responsibilities.
• Research the law and prepare memoranda.
• Handle all aspects of a client’s legal matter, including preparing pleadings, negotiation, mediation and trial work.
• Work with other MLSA staff to recruit, train and support pro bono attorneys when appropriate.
• Develop and maintain specialized knowledge of domestic violence and of general poverty law issues.
• Participate in MLSA tribal domestic violence initiatives and impact work.
• Other duties as assigned by the Tribal Survivor’s Legal Project Supervising Attorney.


• Willingness to take and pass relevant Tribal Bar Exam
• Interest in tribal law.
• Prior experience working with domestic violence survivors or legal services experience preferred.
• A willingness to assume a varied case load.
• An understanding of the civil equal justice legal needs of tribal members, including the unique needs of domestic violence survivors.
• Knowledge of substantive legal areas affecting domestic violence survivors and low income people preferred.
• Ability to effectively communicate, to motivate others, and to work collaboratively with diverse groups of people with varying perspectives, experience and expertise.
• Ability and willingness to learn and integrate new technologies and methodologies to efficiently perform responsibilities.
• A willingness to establish and maintain effective relationships with clients, the public, judges, court personnel, project partners and tribal governments.
• Ability and willingness to work cooperatively and collegially within a decentralized statewide law firm.
• Associates degree.
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills
• Excellent attention to detail
• Ability to work independently in a deadline-oriented environment
• A “can do” attitude and a willingness to pitch in where needed
• Strong commitment to insuring equal access to justice
• Proficient at the use of technology, including, but not limited to, word processing, spreadsheets, internet-based programs and computer-based legal research.
• Ability to travel, occasionally overnight

To apply: 

Send a letter of interest, resume, three professional references, and writing sample to [email protected].
Submission Deadline: Screening of applicants will begin on December 27, 2016. The position will remain open until filled.

Salary: $32,000 per year. MLSA offers an attractive benefits package, including health, dental, vision, and life insurance, retirement and educational loan repayment assistance. The Montana Legal Services Association is an Equal Opportunity Employer
Salary range: 
Submission deadline: 
Wednesday, January 4, 2017