Legal Assistant

Title:                    Legal Assistant (Part Time)
 
Program:             CalWORKs Legal
 
Reports to:          Program Manager, Attorney
 
Valley Oasis is a community based organization dedicated to eliminating social and domestic violence and homelessness through community awareness, intervention, prevention, safe shelter and supportive services.
CalWORKs is a domestic violence intervention program funded though the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Our program is part of the County’s Welfare to Work program, and we seek to help people that have suffered from domestic violence to regain their autonomy and self-esteem so they can re-enter the world as a productive and healthy member of society. Due to the nature of our funding, we serve participants that are receiving cash aid and food stamps, and these participants are referred to us, for the most part, directly from the County.

We offer a comprehensive 21-week domestic violence education/support group. Our curriculum covers topics such as “What is Domestic Violence”, “Why do Abusers Abuse”, and “How Domestic Violence Impacts Your Children and Teens”, just to name a few. In addition to this class/support group we also offer comprehensive case management services, and seek to provide our participants with the assistance and referrals they need to overcome their trauma. We also have a licensed marriage and family therapist on staff to see participants that have exceptional needs on an individual basis. Outreach also has a legal component, offering free legal services to qualified participants by a licensed attorney. Outreach also provides childcare for all appointments and classes a participant has at our office while enrolled in our program. 

Essential Job Functions:
  • Work with domestic violence victims seeking legal assistance who are participants of the CalWORKs Case Management program
  • Assist and provide diverse range of legal support to CalWORKs participants which include the preparation of Temporary Restraining Orders (TROs); Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO), Guardianships, Child Support, Visitation, and Custody Orders, Dissolution of Marriage, Legal Separation and other Family Law Matters
  • Assist with legal research and drafting of legal pleadings and documents, including but not limit to U and T Visa Applications, VAWA Self-Petitions, and Battered Spouse waivers
  • Prepares affidavits, briefs, pleadings, motions, discovery, subpoenas, legal correspondence and other case-related documents as required
  • Conducts legal research, investigates facts and laws of cases and searches public records and other resources to prepare cases and determine causes of action
  • Files documents with the Clerk of the local Courts
  • Organizes and maintains documents in either a paper or electronic filing system
  • Ensure timely and accurate case file maintenance, including electronic records
  • Maintains accurate and comprehensive document/client files including up to date case note documentation
  • Maintains positive working relationships with clients through frequent, proactive communication
  • Calendar court events/client visits and meet all case deadlines
  • Comply with agency protocols and grant requirements regarding data tracking and reporting of client demographics, legal issues presented, and services provided
  • Participate in staff training, continuing education activities, agency and program meetings as requested
  • Represent Valley Oasis Legal Services Department at inter-departmental, city, county, state, regulatory, civic, or community organization meetings and outreach events
  • Adhere to agency policies and procedures including confidentiality and code of ethics
  • Work with Attorney to support Valley Oasis Legal Services Department programs and projects
  • Additional tasks, projects and or responsibilities as assigned by Supervisor that are not outlined but which are an important part of the agency’s goals and/or program outcomes.
Knowledge, Skills & Abilities: 
  • Knowledge and understanding of the concepts of Harm Reduction, Trauma Informed Care and the dynamics of domestic violence
  • Knowledge of issues facing domestic violence victims (e.g. chronic health, substance abuse, mental health, sexual abuse and resources for undocumented individuals)
  • Extensive knowledge of the dynamics of domestic violence, DV advocacy counseling skills, methods, and abilities
  • Knowledge of resources including legal, medical, housing, educational and social service agencies and other resources in the community
  • Understanding of and sensitivity to the unique circumstances of underserved populations and to survivors of domestic violence
  • Knowledge and understanding of policy, systems, and local programs that impact homeless persons and related public funding sources, regulations, requirements, and procedures
  • Knowledge of best practice models for assisting domestic violence victims with varying degrees of needs/conditions and have a strong understanding of contractual requirements/compliance and applicable performance measures
  • Knowledge of community social service agencies and resources
  • Able to work with a diverse population and provide culturally competent advocacy
  • Work effectively under conditions of limited supervision, high stress and rapidly changing situations and circumstances
  • Able to handle common problems without supervisor intervention while knowing when supervisor participation is warranted
  • Project a professional demeanor and a high level of professionalism when dealing with sensitive matters
  • Must be able to exercise initiative, independent good judgment, flexibility, discretion, and solid decision making
  • Demonstrate the ability to utilize strong judgement and interpersonal skills to manage sensitive client interactions including with those who may be in distress with acute illness, substance use issues, co-morbidity of behavioral and physical health issues in addition to homelessness
  • Actively promote positive, nurturing interactions between participants
  • Ability to deescalate aggressive/agitated individuals
  • Able to take appropriate steps to deal with emergency situations with the goal of maintaining the safety of all residents
  • Ability to respond quickly and effectively to individuals who may be ill, using substances, lack of personal care in crisis situations and/or potentially hostile situations
  • Promote cooperation and commitment within a team to achieve goals and objective; collaborate with team members, sharing ideas and differences openly; be receptive to new ideas and adapt to change as necessary
  • Strict confidentiality must be observed as it relates to participant information, agency business, program decisions and all other personal information
  • Considers impact of personal and professional choices. Consistently make decisions in keeping with organizational values and Supervisor’s direction
  • Must be able to successfully manage multiple priorities, meet deadlines, adjust to changing; circumstances, and demonstrate confidence working with diverse stakeholders
  • Excellent organizational skills and the ability to follow through from beginning to end on tasks
  • Outstanding communication skills, both written and oral; must communicate professionally and positively with participants, co-workers, management, community partners, employers, landlords, and other service providers
  • Proficient with office communication equipment and machines (telephone, copier, calculator, fax machine, personal computer, laptop, computer printer and scanner)
  • Proficient in use of laptop/desktop computer, Microsoft Windows and Office software programs (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) and Google drive
  • Strong time management skills and the ability to multi-task and prioritize in a fast-paced environment, while exercising sound judgment
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule; including days & nights
  • Use of a personal vehicle may be required to travel in and around Antelope Valley and/or Los Angeles County
  • Maintain professional boundaries and work collaboratively with participants, volunteers and staff
  • Accountability – be on time for scheduled shifts
  • Be able to read and write English
  • Fluency in written and spoken Spanish; ability to interpret and translate from Spanish to English and English to Spanish preferred
Qualifications & Experience:
  • High School Graduate or equivalent
  • Paralegal certification from an accredited school, program, or equivalent work experience preferred
  • Experience preparing and filing family law pleadings, including Domestic Violence Protection Orders, Parentage Petitions, Dissolution Petitions, and requests for orders preferred
  • One year experience working with survivors of domestic and intimate partner violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, and other crimes against persons
  • One year experience in social services setting; preferably working as an employee or volunteer in providing victims services
Agency Requirements:
  • Must have a valid California Driver’s License
  • Reliable transportation
  • Auto Insurance
  • Clean driving record
  • Employee will be required to complete a TB test, fingerprinting, drug screen (employment pending on drug screen and background check), 40-hour Domestic Violence training and CPR/First Aid certification.
Work Conditions & Physical Demands
The following are work conditions that one may encounter in the course of performing their job duties:
  • May be in contact with individuals in crisis
  • May experience unpleasant sensory demands associated with an individual’s use of alcohol and drugs, and lack of personal care
  • May experience crisis situations and potentially hostile situations, must be ready to respond quickly and effectively.
An employee is required to:
Walk and climb stairs; Handle, grasp and feel objects and equipment; Reach with hands and arms; extend both arms above the head and/or reach below the waist; Communicate ideas and information verbally and written word; Be able to move oneself quickly and easily from place to place; Repeat various motions with hands, wrists, fingers; Climb on stools, steps and/or ladders; Be subject to outside environmental conditions, including but not limited to: Rain, heat, wind.
Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential job functions. If accommodation(s) are required, employee must inform Human Resources by the first week of employment. If an accommodation is not required at the time of employment, but is later required, you must inform Human Resources at the time it is needed.

Benefits
Health Employee Assistance Plan Paid Sick
Dental AFLAC Paid Vacation
Vision Cafeteria 125 Plan Personal Days
Acupuncture/Chiropractic Retirement Plan  
Life Insurance 14 Observed Holidays  
 
Schedule
Monday – Friday 20 hours a week (may be required to work other than normal duty hours, to include evenings, weekends, holidays and/or on call status)

An Equal Opportunity Employer: Selection will be based solely on merit and will be without discrimination because of age, race, sex, religion, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, mental or physical disability.

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Valley Oasis is a community based organization dedicated to eliminating social and domestic violence and homelessness through community awareness, intervention, prevention, safe shelter, and supportive services.

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