Advocate – Community Response Team
Under supervision of an attorney supervisor and/or other managers, the Community Response Team Advocate assists clients with education, information, referrals, and problem resolution. Staffs telephone hotlines. Gathers accurate and complete information from consumers in a telephone or face-to-face interview. Organizes and stores consumers’ information, case strategies and file notes in a case management database.
About the Organization
Legal Aid Society of San Diego (LASSD), the largest poverty law firm serving San Diego County since 1953, strengthens our communities by redressing our clients’ legal problems, empowering our clients to access and effectively participate within the legal, governmental, and social systems and encouraging self-empowerment in the fight against poverty and injustice. LASSD continues to be a proud, committed, and compassionate group of people dedicated to providing equal access to justice for San Diegans through aggressive, quality legal services. #justicebeginshere
• Answer a high volume of incoming calls to LASSD.
• Assist individual clients who contact LASSD: assessing the client’s needs and problems, referring, or advising the client according to established protocols and guidelines.
• Staff the hotline as scheduled and respond to walk-in clients and scheduled appointments as appropriate, following established protocols.
• Accurately enter required information for each case into the computerized case management database, always maintaining client confidentiality (integrity).
• Identify those cases appropriate for further assistance.
• Assess the true nature and scope of the clients’ problems and potential problems.
• Participate in scheduled staff meetings, training sessions and other functions as appropriate.
• Arrange and conduct community outreach activities including but not limited to presentations to community and professional groups and agencies throughout San Diego County.
• Other duties as assigned by management.
• Compliance with all program and grant requirements.
• B.A. degree, or A.A. degree and paralegal certificate from a recognized paralegal training program, or demonstrated equivalent experience which shows strong writing, verbal, reading analytical, and research skills.
• Ability to respond to clients in a calm, empathetic and professional manner while courteously directing the conversation to pertinent issues.
• Ability to handle calls from people with communication barriers including those who are stressed or confused, those who suffer from physical or mental disabilities and those for whom English is a second language.
• Ability to analyze client issues, identify and gather necessary information to facilitate a resolution.
• Ability to give clear, effective, and meaningful advice.
• Must have reliable transportation.
• Strong oral and written communication skills.
• Strong organizational skills to handle individual caseload.
• Bilingual English and Spanish.
• Demonstrated computer skills, including ability to work with LASSD databases, and other software programs.
• Attention to detail, ability to think logically and follow written and oral instructions carefully.
• Ability to remain calm and helpful in high stress situations.
• Ability to respect confidentiality and obtain confidential information from applicants for services in a trustworthy and professional manner both in person and by phone.
Desired Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
• Demonstrated commitment to serving low-income people.
• Desire and ability to work successfully with people from diverse backgrounds.
Salary and Benefits:
The Community Response Team Advocate position is an hourly position with a pay rate range of $21.98 – $30.77. The starting hourly rate is $25.28. In addition, there is a bilingual pay increase of 2% for passing an oral test and 2% for passing a written test for threshold languages other than English. LASSD offers a generous benefits package, a 35-hour workweek, paid vacation leave and sick leave and 100% employer-paid medical premium, 50% employer-paid premium for dependents under LASSD health plan, as well as dental, vision and life benefits. Staff also have the option to participate in a 403(b)-retirement plan and dependent and health flex savings accounts (FSA).
LASSD has its own law school loan repayment program that will add to an attorney’s compensation 50% of the attorney’s monthly payment on their qualifying law school loans, up to $500 per month. LASSD is an eligible nonprofit employer for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program.
LASSD is an equal opportunity employer, we hire without regard to race, color, religion, religious creed (including religious dress and grooming practices), national origin, ancestry, citizenship, physical or mental disability, medical condition (including cancer and genetic characteristics), genetic information, marital status, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions), gender, gender identity, gender expression, age (40 years and over), sexual orientation, veteran and/or military status, domestic violence victim status, political affiliation, and any other status protected by state or federal law.
Hybrid Work Environment:
Legal Aid Society of San Diego (“LASSD”) has adopted a hybrid work environment in which most staff are required to work in the office part of the week and permitted to work remotely for the remainder of the week, provided their job duties allow. All employees are issued LASSD computers and provided with appropriate supplies to perform their work. LASSD has implemented and continues to explore additional technologies to make our hybrid working environment as efficient and connected as possible. All employees must be available to travel to LASSD offices and service locations throughout San Diego County as needed and in compliance with public health advisories. Applicants must reside in or near San Diego County or plan to relocate in or near the County prior to their start date and must be able to commute to the physical Legal Aid Society of San Diego office locations or service delivery locations within San Diego County. LASSD’s normal business hours are 9am-5pm, but we are open to providing flexible work schedules to the extent feasible for the position. LASSD reserves the right to change these policies at any time.
Diversity and Inclusion:
It is vitally important to LASSD that we represent the community that we serve. LASSD is a signatory to the San Diego County Bar Association’s Diversity Pledge. We pledge to promote diversity and inclusion through hiring and retention, promotion and leadership, engagement of outside counsel, and participation in legal community diversity initiatives. We strongly encourage applicants of diverse backgrounds to apply.
Legal Aid Society of San Diego, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer.