The Voluntary Legal Services Program (VLSP) is Sacramento’s pro bono program, co-sponsored by the Sacramento County Bar Association and Legal Services of Northern California. It is the main source of pro bono civil law-related legal services to indigent persons in Sacramento and surrounding counties. Services are provided through the volunteer efforts of attorneys, paralegals, law students, and interpreters who are coordinated by VLSP’s Sacramento office staff. The program operates several legal clinics for self-represented individuals on various substantive issues and does intake and referral of cases to volunteer attorneys for direct representation.
- Under supervision of the Managing Attorney and Assistant Program Manager, assume responsibility for the operations of all VLSP legal clinics and projects. This requires some evening work hours, usually one day a week.
- 2. Supervise legal work and assist staff and volunteers at VLSP legal clinics and projects, train staff and volunteers, and attend office and program meetings.
- 3. Provide legal advice and forms preparation to individual clients in person and over the phone.
- 4. Track progress of client cases and maintain client files on computer database program, including data entry and retrieval.
- 5. Provide general information about VLSP services to community groups as well as to the public through legal education and information presentations.
- 6. Follow program and office guidelines in the maintenance of client files, office calendars, and other office procedures.
- 7. Assist with the recruitment, scheduling, and supervision of volunteer attorneys, including the development of community contacts and resources for the recruitment of volunteers.
- 8. Make appropriate referrals to community agencies.
- 9. Develop legal education materials and work with client groups, community based organizations, and agencies to reach under-served eligible clients.
- 10. Attend training sessions and continuing legal education seminars.
- 11. Assist with the preparation of reports, grants, and routine memos as needed.
- 12. Perform additional duties as assigned consistent with qualifications.
- Interviewing techniques
- Counseling methods
- Familiarity with Sacramento-area community resources and organizations
- Windows-based computer applications
- Judicial Council Forms programs (Essential Forms and/or Lawyaw)
- Law office procedures
- Correct business English and legal terminology, including spelling, grammar, and punctuation
- Operation of standard office equipment
- Listening and problem solving methods
Client interviewing, investigation, legal research, analytical reasoning, creativity, ability to write with correct English, spelling, grammar and punctuation, good proof-reading, communication/listening, ability to work under stress and short time lines, good organizational skills, ability to prioritize multiple projects, empathy and ability to relate to low-income client and legal communities, and ability to work independently and accept supervision.
Active membership with the State Bar of California, minimum of three (3) years of practice or experience. Experience handling issues in any of the following areas: consumer debt, bankruptcy, employment, estate planning, and/or family law, strongly preferred. Two (2) years prior work experience dealing with the public, especially low-income individuals and/or volunteers preferred. Bilingual preferred but not required.
Salary Range: $6,750 per month. This is an at-will position
VLSP PROVIDES A BILINGUAL BONUS FOR EMPLOYEES WHO ARE PROFICIENT IN SPEAKING A SECOND LANGUAGE, OTHER THAN ENGLISH, COMMONLY SPOKEN BY CLIENTS WHEN A SECOND LANGUAGE IS USED ON THE JOB FOR WHICH THE PERSON IS EMPLOYED.
VLSP IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY/AFFIRMATIVE ACTION EMPLOYER AND ENCOURAGES WOMEN, PEOPLE OF COLOR, PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES, OLDER PEOPLE, AND LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER PEOPLE TO APPLY.