Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, Inc. (SMRLS) is seeking a Bilingual (English/Spanish) Summer Outreach Advocate to assist its Agricultural Worker Project (AWP). The position will be hybrid – based out of SMRLS’ Central Office in Saint Paul, Minnesota with some remote work – and will include significant travel throughout Minnesota.
SMRLS is a non-profit law firm which receives federal, state, local public, and private funding to provide free legal help to low-income and elderly people who reside in 33 counties of southern Minnesota. As Minnesota’s oldest legal aid program (founded in 1909), SMRLS has established a tradition of partnership with the private bar, a bi-partisan Legislature, the Minnesota Supreme Court and other Minnesota Legal Services Coalition Programs in providing access to justice. SMRLS has an experienced, dynamic staff of more than 60 attorneys, 39 additional staff and 800 volunteer attorneys to provide legal assistance to over 200,000 eligible persons.
SMRLS, through its Agricultural Worker Project, provides free and confidential civil legal aid to eligible agricultural workers in all counties of Minnesota and North Dakota. The AWP team focuses on improving clients’ working and living conditions through legal representation, outreach, and education. The AWP advises and represents clients with cases involving wage theft, workplace health and safety violations, inadequate employer-provided housing, labor trafficking, employment discrimination or retaliation, H-2A contract violations, and other legal matters that specifically impact agricultural workers. The AWP provides legal rights education to agricultural workers in Minnesota and North Dakota through extensive outreach and presentations to agricultural worker communities.
The summer advocate will play a vital role in increasing the program’s outreach and legal education capacity throughout Minnesota during its busiest season. The applicant selected will have the opportunity to learn firsthand about, and contribute to the effective resolution of, the legal problems of agricultural workers under the supervision and guidance of the AWP’s dedicated attorneys and paralegals.
· Perform socially distant, in-person evening outreach to agricultural workers throughout Minnesota to provide information and materials regarding legal rights and the AWP’s services and to conduct intake interviews.
· Compile information/draft reports related to outreach.
· Answer/return phone calls, conduct intake interviews by phone, and provide referrals as necessary.
· Participate in outreach and case review meetings.
· Assist with the AWP’s virtual outreach strategy, including Facebook, radio, print, and video.
· Develop and strengthen the AWP’s partnerships and media/virtual outreach strategy to more effectively reach the state’s farmworker population.
· If law student, additional duties may include conducting legal research and draft memos; and drafting
letters to help resolve legal disputes.
· Other duties as based on interest, education, and skill set.
· Bilingual (English/Spanish) ability, written and oral, required
· Demonstrated interest in addressing the needs of low-income communities, especially agricultural workers, is strongly preferred.
· Comfortable serving, and the ability to relate to, individuals from varying backgrounds
· Experience with media platforms (radio, print, Facebook; WhatsApp) is strongly preferred.
· Attention to detail
· Positive and flexible attitude
· Ability to work both independently and as part of a team
· Ability to work remotely and in-office
· Computer proficiency
· Possession of a current driver’s license
Position open: mid- or late May 2022. End date is flexible but at least through August is preferred.
Compensation: $18/hour. Pro-rated holiday pay is also available. Outreach-related travel expenses will be reimbursed.
Time commitment: Flexible based on applicant’s preference; between 30-40 hours/week. Willingness to work irregular hours – including evening outreach, limited overnight travel, and occasional weekend events – in order to meet the needs of the AWP’s client community.
Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis until the position is filled; however, applicants are strongly encouraged to apply by March 11, 2022. To apply, email a cover letter, resume, and three references to:
Elise Riveness, Project Manager and Outreach Coordinator
Agricultural Worker Project
Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services
55 E. 5th Street, Suite 400
Saint Paul, MN 55101
SMRLS IS COMMITTED TO DIVERSITY IN THE WORK PLACE. WOMEN, MINORITIES, AND
PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES ARE ESPECIALLY ENCOURAGED TO APPLY.