Farmworker Legal Services - Contract Attorney

Date Posted: 
Monday, April 27, 2020 - 12:00pm

POSITION: Farmworker Legal Services (FLS) is seeking applicants for a full-time Contract Attorney position. The expected term of this position will begin as soon as possible and extend through June 1, 2021, with a possible extension dependent on funding. The position is specific to work surrounding the impact of COVID-19 on domestic and foreign farmworkers in Michigan. The ideal candidate will have a strong understanding of issues faced by farmworkers relating to employment, housing, and safety. Responsibilities include advising clients regarding unemployment eligibility, appealing denials of unemployment claims, and engaging in community advocacy. Additional responsibilities include monitoring, identifying, and developing cases related to violations of the H-2A program. This position will include outreach to client communities as is allowed by the COVID related orders in Michigan.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM: FLS is a statewide division of the Michigan Advocacy Program (MAP). MAP is a high quality, non-profit law office that provides access to the justice system for those who need it the most through its five local legal aid offices as well as several statewide advocacy programs, including: Farmworker Legal Services, Michigan Poverty Law Program, Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, Michigan Elder Justice Initiative, and Michigan Legal Help Program. MAP has a staff of around 100 people in offices in Ann Arbor, Battle Creek, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Lansing, and Monroe. The FLS bilingual advocacy team is based primarily out of the Kalamazoo office and consists of four attorneys, a legal assistant and two paralegals, in addition to numerous seasonal interns and outreach advocates.

FLS provides a full range of civil legal services to Michigan’s eligible population of around 95,000 migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their dependents. Farmworkers in Michigan hand harvest a diversity of crops, including asparagus, strawberries, blueberries, cucumbers, cherries and apples. Farm work is the second most dangerous occupation in the United States and the average farmworker earns less than $15,000 per year. The majority of Michigan’s farm workers include Spanish-speaking family groups from the southern U.S. and Mexico. Case priorities address their critical legal needs in employment, workplace health and safety, housing, public benefits, and immigration law. Our services include basic legal advice, community education and referrals, and direct representation of individuals and groups in the full spectrum of local, state, and federal forums. Visit www.FarmworkerLaw.org for more information.

QUALIFICATIONS: Applicants must be licensed to practice law in Michigan, qualified to be admitted by waiver, or able to take the next available bar exam. Applicants must possess excellent communication, analytical and problem-solving skills as well as a demonstrated commitment to serving workers, immigrants, low-income individuals, and underserved populations. Applicants who are able to communicate effectively in Spanish will receive priority, as most of our clients speak Spanish as their primary language.

BENEFITS: This is a full-time position with a competitive salary range starting at $47,000, depending on years of relevant experience and admission to the Michigan bar. MAP offers an excellent health, disability, and fringe benefits package. Kalamazoo is a college town located 35 miles east of Lake Michigan and two hours from Chicago and Detroit.

TO APPLY: The position is open until filled; applications received by May 11, 2020 will receive priority. Complete the form at this link and submit your current resume, a list of three professional references, and a cover letter that confirms your qualifications and includes a description of your level of Spanish competency in as an attachment(s) to email jobs@farmworkerlaw.org with “FLS Attorney” in the subject line. Questions can be directed to fls@farmworkerlaw.org.

MAP is an equal opportunity employer, committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace.