Oregon Law Center Staff Attorney – Gresham Farmworker Office

$61,500 - $98,250 yearly
  • Oregon Law Center
  • Gresham, OR, USA
  • Oct 18, 2022
Full time Legal

Job Description

Oregon Law Center (OLC) seeks a bilingual (Spanish/English) staff attorney to provide civil legal services to low-income farmworker clients on matters related to their status as farmworkers.  The position is based in Gresham, Oregon and serves farmworkers statewide.  A diverse and thriving city located immediately to the east of Portland, Gresham is just minutes from Mount Hood and the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. 

About Us:  OLC is a legal services program committed to achieving justice for the low-income communities of Oregon by providing a full range of the highest quality civil legal services.  OLC does not receive funding from the federal Legal Services Corporation.  OLC operates eleven regional offices, a state support unit, legislative advocacy unit, and statewide farmworker program.  OLC works closely with Legal Aid Services of Oregon and other partners in Oregon’s coordinated civil legal services delivery system. 

OLC’s Gresham Farmworker office comprises three attorneys (including one managing attorney) and two community educators/outreach workers and is part of a larger Farmworker Program.  The Farmworker Program sets priorities according to client need; current priorities include employment, occupational safety and health, housing, and civil rights.  The majority of our clients speak Spanish or one of the indigenous languages native to Mexico and Central America, such as Mixteco, Triqui, Zapoteco, Mam, and Akateco.  They experience a wide variety of legal problems, including unpaid wages, inadequate housing, exposure to pesticides, sexual harassment and other forms of discrimination, and retaliation for asserting their rights.  

Responsibilities:  The staff attorney will handle litigation with a significant emphasis on impact work in state and federal courts.  An important component of this position is to engage in intensive community outreach and education together with community educators involving educational presentations to farmworkers and community-based groups.  This position requires meeting and interviewing farmworkers outside of normal business hours.  Under non-pandemic circumstances, attorneys in the Farmworker Program work irregular hours, frequently travel during the daytime and occasionally overnight, and conduct home visits and other outreach to clients in the evenings, often in remote areas of the state.  As a result of the pandemic, OLC is currently operating remotely, and depending on current circumstances, the individual hired for this position may start their employment working remotely.    

Requirements:

  • Demonstrated proficiency in spoken and written Spanish.
  • Demonstrated commitment to justice for low-income communities.
  • A high degree of initiative and ability to manage a caseload.
  • Desire and ability to work successfully as part of a team.
  • Demonstrated ability to take direction and guidance from low-income clients and their self-identified priorities and work for solutions within the legal process.
  •  Excellent written and verbal advocacy skills.
  •  Strong interpersonal communication skills, a sense of humor, and a positive attitude.
  • Willingness to work irregular hours to meet the needs of clients.

Preferences:

  • Admission to Oregon Bar, or reciprocal eligibility for admission.
  • Experience representing low-income clients, especially farmworkers.
  • Experience with complex, impact litigation.

Salary/Benefits:  $61,500 to $98,250 depending on experience level.  Additional compensation for bilingual ability.  Competitive benefits package includes individual and family health, vision and dental insurance coverage, employer retirement contribution, generous paid holidays, vacation and sick leave, paid moving expenses and bar study leave, among others.  

Application:  Position open until filled.  To apply, please submit your resume, cover letter, a description of your Spanish proficiency, and list of three references to Julie Samples, Managing Attorney, Gresham Farmworker Office, jsamples@oregonlawcenter.org or 138 NE 3rd Ave, Suite 203, Gresham, Oregon 97030.

As part of your cover letter, please address the following:

OLC is committed to achieving justice for the low-income communities of Oregon.  Our client communities include people of color, farmworkers, LGBTQ+ people, immigrants, seniors, people with lived experiences of homelessness, veterans, people with disabilities, and people from other underrepresented groups.  It is essential to our work to serve clients that we also work to create an inclusive and respectful workplace in which differences are acknowledged and valued.

How do you think your personal background or experiences, professional or otherwise, have prepared you to:  (1) serve our diverse client communities effectively, (2) work effectively with colleagues from backgrounds different than your own, (3) acknowledge the systemic barriers that our clients face, and (4) contribute to our efforts to achieve racial justice?  Feel free to provide examples, and apply various aspects of your life and personal experiences, as you respond to this question.

OLC is an equal opportunity employer committed to creating a healthy work environment for a diverse staff.  We encourage people from diverse backgrounds and communities to apply.