Farmworker Legal Services of Michigan - Staff Attorney - Kalamazoo or Ypsilanti
POSITION: Farmworker Legal Services (FLS) is seeking a bilingual (Spanish/English) staff attorney to provide civil legal services to migrant and seasonal agricultural workers throughout Michigan. This position is union supported and will be based out of our Kalamazoo or Ypsilanti office with a flexible remote work schedule option.
DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM: FLS is a statewide division of the Michigan Advocacy Program (MAP). MAP works to advance the safety, independence, and economic stability of those most affected by poverty, racism, and other structurally oppressive systems by increasing access to justice and working for systemic solutions. MAP has provided civil legal aid for those unable to afford an attorney for more than 50 years. FLS fights for justice and dignity alongside the farmworker community through its advocacy and direct legal representation of farmworkers in their civil legal matters. Our bilingual advocates provide a full range of civil legal services to Michigan’s eligible population of 95,000 migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their dependents. FLS case priorities include wage theft, trafficking, discrimination, sexual harassment, workplace health and safety, housing, civil rights, and immigration.
RESPONSIBILITIES: FLS attorneys work with team members on cases and advocacy projects and handle all phases of litigation in state and federal courts and administrative proceedings, including: intake, investigation, negotiations, drafting pleadings and discovery requests, motion practice, taking and defending depositions, alternative dispute resolution, and trial. Attorneys represent farmworkers in their immigration-related matters, such as filing T or U-visa applications for victims of employment-based crimes. Advocacy tasks include outreach to farmworkers at migrant labor camps, community education presentations, community task force participation, policy analysis, and direct representation of individuals and groups in the full spectrum of local, state, and federal forums. To meet the specialized legal needs of farmworker cases, the position may occasionally require work and/or travel in the evening or on the weekend.
QUALIFICATIONS: Applicants must possess excellent communication, analytical and problem-solving skills and be licensed to practice law in Michigan, qualified to be admitted by waiver, or able to take the next available bar exam in Michigan. Applicants must have a demonstrated commitment to justice for immigrants, low-income individuals, or underserved populations through lived or learned experiences. Applicants able to communicate effectively in Spanish will receive priority. Proficiency in Haitian Creole or one of the indigenous languages native to Mexico or Central America and prior experience with legal aid and/or litigation is a plus.
BENEFITS: Salary starts at $50,000 (if licensed) depending on experience. The position includes excellent benefits and paid leave, a retirement plan with possible employer contribution, and LRAP (Loan Repayment Assistance Program) eligibility. Kalamazoo is a college town in southwest Michigan, located 35 miles east of Lake Michigan and two hours from Chicago and Detroit, that offers the
The Michigan Advocacy Program is an equal opportunity employer, committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
- Please submit this application form.
- Please submit a resume, cover letter, and three professional references to firstname.lastname@example.org with “FLS Attorney” in the subject line. In your cover letter, please describe your level of Spanish competency and how your personal background or experiences have prepared you to work effectively alongside colleagues from backgrounds different than your own and the farmworker community.
The position is open until filled; applications received by March 31, 2022 will receive priority.