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Family Law Staff Attorney – Albert Lea/Rochester

Posted 2 years ago

Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, Inc., (SMRLS) is seeking to fill a staff attorney position for its Albert Lea office, but the position can also be housed in Rochester. The attorney will handle primarily family law cases.  The Albert Lea office is located in SMRLS’ Southeast Region which also has offices in Rochester and Winona.

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 approximately 55 attorneys, 45 additional staff and 800 volunteer attorneys to provide legal assistance to over 200,000 eligible persons.

SMRLS is a client-centered organization which is committed to its Mission of providing a full range of high quality legal services, in a respectful manner which enables clients to: enforce their legal rights; maintain freedom from hunger, homelessness, sickness and abuse; and empower persons and ensure equal opportunity, thus, helping persons to help themselves and become economically self-reliant, to the extent their individual abilities and circumstances permit.  SMRLS has adopted Practice Standards and Guiding Principles to accomplish its Mission.  SMRLS values, welcomes and promotes diversity in all aspects of its work.  SMRLS serves clients from a wide range of backgrounds.  SMRLS has adopted a Racial Justice Policy to guide the firm’s work towards racial equality. 


The staff attorney position in the Southeast Region involves working with other attorneys and staff to provide legal assistance to eligible clients residing in the eleven counties of southeastern Minnesota.  The position will involve primarily family law cases, including dissolutions, contested custody and domestic abuse cases, but may also include other areas of law.  The position will require regular office hours with one of our grant partners.  Assignments may change over time based upon client and firm needs.   The attorney must be willing to fully comply with SMRLS’ written practice standards, guiding principles, federal regulations, and other SMRLS Board policies in furtherance of SMRLS’ Mission.  Community education, outreach, intake responsibilities, and active bar participation are also expected activities.  Substantial local travel is required.


Must either be licensed to practice law in Minnesota or be a candidate for Bar admission.  Candidates with a minimum of at least 2 years family law or litigation experience are preferred.  Non-academic experience working in low-income communities, or other activities that demonstrate an interest in working with low income clients, will be given great weight.

Demonstrated ability to work effectively with survivors of domestic violence and persons from different cultural backgrounds is essential.

Good communication skills; ability to work constructively with others in a team work setting; good judgment; ability to learn quickly and work hard, independently, efficiently, and under pressure; and ability to effectively handle contested hearings are required. 

Fluency in a second language, particularly Spanish or Somali will be beneficial but is not required.

Computer competence required.


The salary is $50,008+ DOE.  Good medical benefits provided.

To Apply

To apply, click the “Apply” button below or submit cover letter, resume, and references to:


Attn:  Jocylyn Poehler

66 E 3rd St. Ste. 204

Winona, MN 55987

Or send an email to

Deadline to Apply

Open until filled.

SMRLS is committed to diversity in the work place.  Women, minorities, and persons with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply.

Apply Online