March 15, 2021

2021 CALIFORNIA CHANGELAWYERS LEGAL FELLOW

ROOT & REBOUND SEEKS PAID 2021 CALIFORNIA CHANGELAWYERS SUMMER 3L LEGAL FELLOW

Based in Klamath, CA

Based on a grant made possible by California Changelawyers, Root & Rebound seeks a rising 3L for a paid, summer fellowship to serve the Yurok Tribe in Northern California. The ideal candidate will have an interest in public service, tribal justice, and a willingness to be physically located near or around Klamath, CA for the summer of 2021.

ABOUT ROOT & REBOUND:

Root & Rebound (R&R) is a national reentry and advocacy organization that addresses racial, economic, and social inequities within the criminal justice system and the reentry process by restoring and protecting rights, dignity, and opportunities for people directly impacted by the criminal justice system. Root & Rebound’s mission is to restore power and resources to the families and communities most harmed by mass incarceration through legal advocacy, public education, policy reform, and litigation—a model rooted in the needs and expertise of people who are directly impacted.

Our model is three-pronged:

  • Educate: Root & Rebound democratizes the law so that it serves, and ceases to harm, people directly impacted by mass incarceration. We create legal guides, toolkits, online materials, and self-help tools not only for people directly impacted but for the infrastructure of agencies that can better support them.
  • Advocate: Root & Rebound advocates for the protection and restoration of rights of people with records and past court-involvement, so that they can access basic needs including employment, housing, and family reunification through the only free Reentry Legal Hotline in the nation, statewide clinics, and court representation. 
  • Reform: We work to eliminate barriers to reentry, while amplifying the voices of people in reentry, by grounding our policy advocacy work in engaging a feedback loop of information and thought partnership from our clients to policymakers. 

ABOUT THE YUROK TRIBAL COURT:

The Yurok Tribal Court hosts a network of programs to meet the needs of Yurok people based upon Yurok traditional values, including dispute resolution, Wellness and Wellness Diversion Programs, a Legal Access Center, Domestic Violence intervention, and advocacy, a Reentry Program, and a Reentry Housing Program. Throughout Court programs, the responsibility to the community is emphasized above blame or individual entitlement. The Court seeks to resolve conflict and alleviate harm through cultural engagement and practical solutions, while simultaneously treating the root causes, the deeper wounds inflicted by colonial invasion.

ABOUT THE CALIFORNIA CHANGELAWYERS LEGAL FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM:
California ChangeLawyers (formerly California Bar Foundation) is a statewide foundation that empowers the next generation of lawyers, judges, and activists to create a more diverse legal profession, a fair justice system, and a better California. The foundation believes that a state as diverse as California should have a justice system led by advocates of all ethnicities and races.

Launched in 2015, California ChangeLawyers’ Legal Fellowship Program supports diverse, emerging leaders of the legal profession (i,e, future ChangeLawyers) who are committed to representing low-income and underserved populations in California. Grants are awarded to legal aid organizations to cover the cost of hiring legal fellows from diverse backgrounds. This is a double impact investment. The foundation supports organizations on the front lines of social justice while at the same time creating jobs for diverse lawyers. This creates better, more authentic outcomes for communities—communities who can see and interact with lawyers who look like them.

POSITION DESCRIPTION:

Like all R&R attorneys, the legal fellow will be trained in “reentry law”, a holistic model of legal practice embedded in the needs and goals of systems-impacted individuals. Trained as a “legal generalist”, the fellow will learn to serve people across many areas of law & life, understanding how a person’s record presents a barrier to employment, housing, education, immigration, health care, asset-building, family reunification, and civil rights.

Through direct legal services, intakes at legal clinics, and deepening and widening the community connections and within the region the fellow will support impacted people on the following types of cases: removing unconstitutional parole and probation conditions; family law to help formerly incarcerated people reunify with their families; record-cleaning to reduce the impact of people’s past system involvement; criminal fines and fees advocacy that helps lift people out of the lifelong poverty trap of court-ordered debt; and the removal of employment barriers to significantly reduce the risk of recidivism and to support in building financial sustainability. The fellow will also work closely with the Yurok Tribal court and support them with the development of reentry programming and individual case management, including: assistance with legal obligations, correspondence, and outreach, accessing services, inpatient treatment, and sober living referrals as well as development of reentry housing programs, reentry release packages and transportation assistance, expungement of criminal records, and data sovereignty projects

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES: 

Responsibilities of the Legal Fellow will include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Under the supervision of an attorney, assisting with any of Root & Rebound’s direct services work, such as conducting intakes, maintaining a holistic reentry caseload, and providing ongoing legal services for clients in the region; 
    • Common legal issues include record cleaning, occupational licensing, employment rights, and drivers license reinstatement.
  • Working closely with our Tribal-Reentry Staff Attorney, coordinate and lead at least one reentry legal clinic to serve the local community;
  • Strengthen R&R’s collaboration and partnerships with community-based organizations and government agencies in the region;
  • Assist Yurok Tribal Court staff with program development, case planning, outreach, and direct legal assistance.

REPORTS TO:

The fellow will work closely with and under the direct supervision of the R&R Tribal-Reentry Staff Attorney out of the Oakland office, with the mentorship and guidance of Root & Rebound’s attorneys as well as attorneys out of the Yurok Tribal Court, located in Klamath, CA. 

LOCATION:

R&R’s office headquarters is located downtown Oakland, California, but the ChangeLawyers Fellow would be working in collaboration with the Yurok Tribal Court, located in Klamath, CA. Travel to Klamath, CA will be frequent, and it is preferred that the Summer Fellow be based close to Klamath, CA. 

EDUCATIONAL AND EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS:

The successful candidate should possess the following qualifications:

  • A rising 3L student in a Juris doctorate program;
  • Experience working with low-income, rural, tribal communities, and/or grassroots community organizations; and
  • Possess a valid driver’s license.

PREFERRED SKILLS:

  • Demonstrated interest in working with reentering people and on criminal justice issues in a dynamic legal environment in order to improve the lives of disenfranchised people and communities;
  • Strong research and writing skills;
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills;
  • Strong attention to detail and meticulous follow-up;
  • Strong work ethic, positive attitude, sound judgment, and a good sense of humor;
  • Eagerness to take initiative, solve intricate problems, work on multiple projects simultaneously, and prioritize and organize in a deadline-driven environment;
  • Ability to be flexible and adapt well in a changing startup environment;
  • A high level of dependability and the ability to maintain a consistent schedule;
  • Ability to comfortably and appropriately communicate with a diverse group of stakeholders including formerly incarcerated clients, staff, community partners, board members, and others;
  • Experience with community outreach and partnership building;
  • Previous experience working directly with clients in a legal clinic setting preferred. 

SALARY:

The Fellow will be paid a stipend of approximately $8,500.00, made possible thanks to the California ChangeLawyers Fellowship Program.

TO APPLY:

To apply for this position, please send a resume, cover letter, short sample of legal writing (4 pages max.), and at least 2 references with contact information/how they know you in an email to Faride Perez-Aucar, Tribal-Reentry Staff Attorney at [email protected]. Resumes without a cover letter, writing sample, and references will not be reviewed. No fax or mail applications and no phone calls, please. Applications should be submitted as soon as possible, and not later than April 2, 2021.  Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled, and applicants selected for interviews will be duly notified. 

 

Root & Rebound is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from all qualified individuals including women, people of color, people with conviction histories, persons with disabilities, ethnic and religious minorities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and gender variant individuals.

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