Widener University is currently seeking a Paralegal for its Philadelphia site of the Health, Education, and Legal Assistance Project: A Medical-Legal Partnership at Delaware Law School (HELP: MLP). Located in West Philadelphia and reporting to the Director and Managing Attorney, the Paralegal will provide support to HELP: MLP attorneys and health care partners to provide high quality civil legal services to families participating in evidence-based maternal and child health programs across Philadelphia. The Paralegal will work as part of an interdisciplinary team that also provides training and education to public health partners and engages in systemic advocacy activities.
HELP: MLP provides legal services to support families during pregnancy and early childhood, both critical periods when health-harming legal needs seriously impact maternal and infant health. We embed our staff within public health organizations, including nationally recognized home-visiting programs, such as Nurse-Family Partnership and Healthy Start. Together, we form medical-legal partnerships aimed at reducing the health inequities and racial disparities that negatively impact many of our client families. By working side-by-side with community-based home-visiting programs to screen for social determinants of health, our team can identify emerging legal needs early and take a preventative approach to legal services, to reduce family stress and foster the stability families need to thrive.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES (including, but not limited to):
- Closely support practicing attorneys in delivery of legal services primarily related to housing/utilities and public benefits, as well as some employment law, family law and consumer law issues.
- Interview clients and conduct factual investigations and preliminary assessments to better understand clients’ legal needs and issues.
- Under supervision of the attorney, represent clients in meetings and administrative hearings when appropriate.
- Perform legal/administrative research and writing.
- Draft correspondence and other documents under the supervision of an attorney.
- Provide resource navigation support to clients as needed.
- Contribute to the development and delivery of trainings and presentations.
- Support the development of grant applications, reports, newsletters, articles, and other written publications.
- Manage and organize referral and client information using forms and an electronic legal case management system.
- Assist with the collection, preparation, and presentation of data and analysis.
- Become and remain well-informed regarding basic legal principles applicable to area(s) of practice, attending training conferences as needed or requested by supervising attorney(s).
- Other duties as assigned.
- Participate in local, state, and national coalitions and workgroups, as needed.
MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS (education/training and experience required):
- Excellent oral and written communication skills.
- Excellent organizational and time management skills.
- Ability to apply modern technology to performance of legal work and tasks.
- Ability to manage confidential information and communication
- Must be willing to travel within the Philadelphia area as needed.
- Sensitivity to the social and legal problems faced by families with low-incomes in Philadelphia, including members of historically oppressed and marginalized groups.
- Willingness and ability to perform duties in an interdisciplinary setting with public health partners.
- Flexibility, including willingness to work in any of HELP: MLP’s areas of practice as priorities may change based on clients’ needs or funding.
- College degree
- Lived experience similar to clients served, including lived experience of poverty and/or participation in a maternal and child health home visiting program.
- Paralegal certification or related work experience
- Familiarity and/or experience of the Philadelphia legal network.
- Familiarity and/or experience with multi-disciplinary teamwork.
- Familiarity with the social services and community resources available in Philadelphia and how to access them.
- Verbal and written fluency in English and another language to help support our client population.
PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS AND/OR UNUSUAL HOURS:
- Legal services at HELP: MLP are delivered at two sites - one in Eddystone, Pa. and one in Philadelphia, Pa. This position is located in West Philadelphia, but that is subject to change depending on funding availability. Staff are currently primarily working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Qualified candidates must submit resume and cover letter for consideration. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Only those selected to interview will be contacted.
Widener University is committed to fostering an inclusive community in which faculty, staff, and students from a variety of backgrounds, cultures, and personal experiences are welcomed and can thrive. We are an equal opportunity employer and are committed to providing equal educational and employment opportunities for all persons without regard to age, color, national origin, race, religion, disability, veteran status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, or status as a protected veteran.
Widener University requires all prospective employees to provide proof of being fully vaccinated (including booster) against COVID-19 prior to employment or apply and be approved for a medical/religious exemption. Offers may be rescinded if new employee does not provide proof of being fully vaccinated in a timely manner.
Some positions may be eligible for a hybrid or remote work arrangement that may include a partially or fully remote work location, consistent with Widener’s Flexible Work policy.
Widener University, an independent, metropolitan, doctoral-intensive university, connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention and experiential learning are key components of the Widener Experience. Located in Chester, PA, Widener's main campus is nestled between Philadelphia, PA and Wilmington, DE, with Law Schools located in both Harrisburg and Wilmington. For more information about the university, please visit our website at www.widener.edu.