POSITION: VETERAN BENEFITS STAFF ATTORNEY OR VA ACCREDITED CLAIMS AGENT
LOCATION: 1231 Warner Ave., Tustin CA 92780
SALARY: Range $54,080-$78,000 annually, DOE
APPLICATION DEADLINE: Until the position is filled
ABOUT US: Veterans Legal Institute (VLI) is a 501(c)(3) organization that provides pro bono legal assistance to homeless, at-risk, disabled, mentally ill, and low income current and former service members to eradicate barriers to housing, health care, education and employment and to foster self-sufficiency.
POSITION DESCRIPTION: VLI seeks a talented full-time Staff Attorney or VA Accredited Claims Agent with 3-15 years experience to provide free legal services to low income veterans in the area of Veteran Benefits.
Candidate may attend legal clinics at various locations, work with both emerging and long-term partners, and contribute to building pro bono network so that indigent veterans can access justice and achieve stability.
The Staff Attorney/ Claims Agent will also lead trainings and provide technical assistance to volunteers and review completed applications for eligibility, legal work, and/or placement with a pro bono attorney.
- Active membership in the California State Bar and/or VA accreditation;
- Demonstrated knowledge of applicable law and community legal needs;
- Excellent written and verbal communication and organizational skills;
- Ability to work cooperatively with staff effectively at all levels of the organization;
- Good people skills and the ability to maintain positive relations with a diverse population;
- Ability to interact with a wide range of clients utilizing client-centered lawyering and trauma-informed frameworks;
- Ability to assume responsibility quickly and work independently and as part of a team;
- Ability to use good judgment, multitask, and meet deadlines;
- Experience in developing and leading trainings preferred;
- Experience working with veterans, people with disabilities, and people who are low-income and/or homeless preferred;
- Strong teaching and public speaking skills preferred;
- Previous experience in a legal services program preferred;
- Housing experience a plus;
- Experience in representing mentally ill, low-income people, special populations, or military in civil litigation or administrative proceedings a strong plus;
- Knowledge of VA or government benefits, including SSI/SSDI, a strong plus; and
- Military service, related military background, or military familiarity of modern issues a plus.
One of the following criteria must apply:
- A minimum of two full-time years of experience with substantive exposure representing veterans before the Regional Offices, the Board of Veterans Appeals, or the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims; or:
- Two-years of full-time experience as an attorney for the Board of Veterans Appeals or the VA Office of General Counsel, Litigation Group VII; or
- A one-year clerkship for a Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.
- Social Security Disability experience
- Federal District litigation experience
EXAMPLES OF DUTIES:
- Maintain an active veteran benefit caseload and provide quality legal services to mentally ill, low-income, disabled and homeless former and active service members;
- Interview former and active service members to determine what the legal issue is and if they are eligible for VLI’s services;
- Partake in case review meetings to ensure that legal services provided are consistent with VLI’s priorities, policies and procedures, and that they maximize office resources to provide the highest quality client service;
- Work with Managing Attorney to meet the overall goals of the organization;
- Work with and assist volunteers, including law students and pro bono attorneys, with tasks;
- Liaison with the client veteran community and represent VLI at networking events (occasional nights and weekends required);
- Staff, coordinate and supervise legal clinics and trainings on a variety of legal issues that affect veterans;
- Other duties as assigned.
HOW TO APPLY -Please submit a cover letter, resume, writing sample and three references via email combined in one PDF to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include “Housing Staff Attorney Application” in the subject line.
PROBATIONARY PERIOD – A one year probationary period will be required.
VLI is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to their race, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, transgender status, age, disability, marital status, or medical condition.