Michigan Legal Help Program - Self-Help Center Coordinator - Ypsilanti
POSITION: The Michigan Legal Help Program (MLHP) is seeking a Self-Help Center Coordinator who will build coalitions and provide support services to help the legal self-help centers in Michigan. Self-Help Centers are vital partners in ensuring 100% Access to Justice in Michigan because they provide places where people can access free online legal self-help resources and, in some places, access to trained navigator staff who can answer visitors’ questions without giving legal advice. These resources are vital to helping address the justice gap for the 75% of civil litigants who cannot afford an attorney. The SHC Coordinator will be based out of the Ypsilanti office with a hybrid in-office/remote work schedule, and travel to Self-Help Centers around the state will be required. The SHC Coordinator will work closely with the Michigan Justice for All Commission. The Commission has prioritized expanding self-help centers throughout Michigan and has obtained and is seeking ongoing funding for this position. This is a unique opportunity to work with a statewide program, as well as individual courts and community organizations, to help people engage in our civil justice system. This is a one-year position with the possibility of extension if additional funding is available.
DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM: MLHP works with judges, courts, lawyers, bar associations, nonprofits, self-help centers, libraries, and many others to promote coordinated and quality assistance for people addressing their own civil legal problems in Michigan. MLHP is an active participant of the Michigan Justice for All Commission and works closely with other stakeholders to achieve the Commission’s goals. Our interactive statewide website is a national innovation model that provides legal information, self-help tools, and referrals to the public and to advocates helping others. Over 63,000 people visit the MLH website per week, and in 2021, people used its Do-It-Yourself Tools to create more than 300 sets of legal forms per day. MLHP supports a Spanish language version of the site at AyudaLegaldeMichigan.org and provides live chat assistance (LiveHelp) for all web visitors between 11am-3pm weekdays. MLHP also develops and supports Self-Help Centers around the state to provide access to public computers and legal information help from trained Navigators. Visit michiganlegalhelp.org for more information. This staff will also work closely with the Justice For All Commission’s Self-Help Center Work Group; visit the JFA website for more information.
MLHP is part of Michigan Statewide Advocacy Services (MSAS), a non-profit law firm providing free legal services to low income and senior persons through several statewide programs. MSAS is administered by the Michigan Advocacy Program (MAP), which provides access to the justice system for those who need it the most through civil legal aid offices and statewide advocacy programs. MAP’s mission is 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. Visit miadvocacy.org for more information.
RESPONSIBILITIES: Primary Self-Help Center Coordinator responsibilities include:
- Supporting the work of the Justice For All Commission’s (JFAC’s) Self-Help Center (SHC) Work Group as it develops guidelines and best practices, a data collection framework, and an evaluation framework for Self-Help Centers across the state. This support will include research, writing, editing, and providing technical and logistical support for the Work Group and its sub-committees.
- Helping the 20+ existing Self-Help Centers in Michigan to implement the data collection practices and SHC guidelines and best practices developed by the JFAC SHC Work Group.
- Working to develop and sustain a stronger alliance of SHCs in Michigan through delivery of trainings, organizing convenings, engaging and supporting navigators through a robust list serve, increasing financial support for, and coalition-building among the navigators supporting the individual SHCs. This work will also involve assisting SHCs in developing and maintaining stronger relationships with their local partners and assisting SHCs with outreach to inform the public of the services available at SHCs.
- Support the work of MLH Staff Attorney who is responsible for supporting the launch of new SHCs, and work with new/forming centers to ensure use of new best practices, guidelines, and data collection frameworks.
- Participate in justice community partnerships (local, state, and national) related to the work of SHCs.
QUALIFICATIONS: An associate degree or commensurate professional experience is required; a bachelor’s degree is preferred. We value analytical and problem-solving skills, as well as a demonstrated commitment to serving low-income individuals and underserved populations through lived or learned experience. Applicants must be skilled in working with Microsoft Office and Google Suite and be comfortable learning new technology interfaces. Applicants must be able to effectively manage multiple tasks, set priorities, and meet all deadlines. Excellent verbal and written communication skills, a commitment to increasing access to justice for people without representation, the ability to take initiative in the development and completion of projects, and to work successfully on teams is required. Applicants who have experience with project management and/or coalition building will be given priority. Applicants must be willing and able to travel within Michigan to work with SHCs in person, and applicants will need access to a reliable internet connection if they intend to work remotely some of the time.
BENEFITS: This is a full-time position with a 2022 salary starting at $50,000 depending on experience. MAP offers a generous benefits package including life, short- and long-term disability, health, vision, dental and flexible spending accounts. If applicant does not require health benefits, they have the option to take a $1,500 payout in addition to the base salary. MAP also has a generous leave policy beginning with 3 weeks paid vacation and 13 paid holidays, as well as an annual 2% contribution and 2% match to retirement plan subject to board approval for eligible staff. MAP is a qualifying employer for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
TO APPLY: Send resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org with “MLH SHC Coordinator” in the subject line. Applications received by 5/16/22 will receive priority.
The Michigan Advocacy Program is an equal opportunity employer, committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace.