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Staff Attorney – Education Law Advocacy Project (“ELAP”)

Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services

Posted 4 weeks ago

Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services Inc. (“SMRLS”) is seeking to fill an ELAP staff attorney position.  The position can be based in any of SMRLS’ office locations and is also in a hybrid environment.  ELAP provides free civil legal services to enable client students to receive the appropriate educational programs, services and accommodations called for under the law to enable school progress and success.

RESPONSIBILITIES: The ELAP Staff Attorney will provide legal assistance to low-income students and their families to ensure the students receive the educational programs, services, accommodations, and due process they are entitled to. Represent client families in enforcing laws addressing barriers to equal education outcomes. These barriers include those posed by special education needs, discrimination, inadequate English Language skills, homelessness, and lack of opportunity for parents to be effectively involved in their children’s education.  ELAP cases involve negotiations with school district personnel, and litigation when appropriate, on behalf of student clients and their families.  The ELAP staff attorney will conduct significant community outreach and community education to client communities across SMRLS’ entire 33-county service area.  The Attorney will maintain a caseload in compliance with SMRLS’ practice standards and comply with SMRLS’ policies, practices, and guiding principles.  Some travel across Southern Minnesota will be required.  


Must either be licensed to practice law in Minnesota or be a candidate for the bar.  2-3 years of legal experience and a strong interest in education law preferred.  Prior experience working with low-income clients is strongly preferred. Applicants should have strong public speaking skills, excellent writing skills, and good judgment. Applicants should learn quickly, work constructively with a wide variety of people, and work well independently and as part of a team.  Bilingual applicants (especially Spanish, Hmong, Karen, or Somali) strongly preferred.  


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 the 33 counties of Southern Minnesota, including the St. Paul metropolitan area. As Minnesota’s oldest legal aid program (founded in l909), 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.  Hundreds of volunteer attorneys help staff provide legal assistance to approximately 10,000 eligible persons each year.

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 enable 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, guiding principles, and racial justice policies to accomplish its mission.


Starting at $74,083+ Pursuant to scale, plus fringe benefits.


Position is open until filled:

Please submit a cover letter, resume, and three references to:

John Joachim

Southern MN Regional Legal Services

55 East 5th Street, Suite 800

St. Paul, MN 55101

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