March 21, 2022

Root & Rebound Seeks Legal Programs Assistant/Paralegal

Root & Rebound Seeks Legal Programs Assistant/Paralegal 

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. R&R’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.

More information about R&R can be found at www.rootandrebound.org

Our model is three-pronged:

  • Educate:  R&R 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 resources not only for people directly impacted but for the infrastructure of agencies that can better support them.
  • Advocate:  R&R advocates for the protection and restoration of rights of people with records and past system-involvement, so that they can access basic needs including but not limited to employment, housing, and family reunification through the only free Reentry Legal Hotline in the nation, legal clinics across South Carolina and California, and direct client representation. 
  • Reform:  R&R works to eliminate barriers to reentry, while amplifying the voices of people in reentry, by grounding our policy advocacy work by engaging a feedback loop of information and thought partnership from our clients to policymakers.

Commitment:  Full time

Location:  Based in Greenville, South Carolina, with some travel required.

Legal Programs Assistant/Paralegal 

The Legal Programs Assistant/Paralegal at R&R serves as the backbone to our legal services work by supporting the attorneys on our South Carolina direct services and impact litigation teams. This role primarily  focuses on client work in South Carolina, including organizing client matters, completing legal intakes, interviewing clients, entering legal intakes into the case management system, drafting pleadings, letters, and other filings and communications, administrative duties, requesting and summarizing records, scheduling appointments, managing the front office, ensuring internal compliance with data entry protocols and audits, and supporting robust communication with clients and courts.  Additionally, this role will support the national litigation team.

The ideal candidate is organized in all aspects of their work, calm under pressure, passionate about client work, creative in demanding environments, innovative with problem-solving, and adaptable to new systems, policies, and ideas. This candidate has 5-10 years of experience working as a Legal Assistant or Paralegal, ideally in a similar, fast-paced, nonprofit legal services environment.  The candidate must be supportive of R&R’s mission.

This person is savvy and comfortable with technology, client management systems, legal search engines, and Microsoft Office.  Must be detail-oriented with great oral and written communication skills, good at problem-solving through collaboration and direct feedback and eager to take initiative.  

The Legal Programs Assistant/Paralegal will be responsible for components of the administration and coordination of R&R’s direct legal services and impact litigation teams. 

Legal Administrative Support of Direct Legal Services (Estimated 75% of Time):

  • Assist with client communication, including but not limited to:  updating clients with case statuses, requesting documents and records from clients and other agencies, maintaining updated contact information. Must maintain communication with attorneys on client matters. 
  • Further, under the supervision of an attorney, support direct services record-cleaning matters by familiarizing themselves with the criminal legal system of South Carolina, including but not limited to, reviewing criminal background checks, retrieving supporting documents, and filling out expungement and pardon applications
  • Input client data into our online case.management system. Assist attorneys across the state to organize and maintain caseload data and keep attorneys updated on calendaring orders and deadlines for active cases in South Carolina and California.
  • Prescreen clients for direct service program eligibility, complete intakes and client interviews, and elevate urgent client matters.
  • Process incoming mail by organizing, issue-spotting, and drafting replies in a timely manner.
  • Support in-depth client work with drafting court filings, filing court documents in the appropriate court, assisting with service, scheduling with court.  Includes summarizing voluminous discovery, records, and court transcripts.
  • Manage South Carolina’s “front office,” including answering phones, checking voicemail, and monitoring the email hotline.

Data Management and Audits (25% of Time)

  • Open, organize, maintain physical and electronic files for clients. Ensure all relevant documents are included in client files. Track progress in open client matters and complete necessary follow-up with clients, opposing counsel, and other agencies.
  • Retrieve data from R&R’s case management system for grant reports on a regular basis.
  • Work collaboratively with the R&R Data & Evaluation Coordinator to emphasize organized, accurate, complete, useful, and detailed data and tracking.
  • Manage and audit all paper and electronic data in our web-based client management system to make sure all required and relevant information is included.
  • Support  the South Carolina legal team in following case closure protocols, including surveying clients, inputting case outcomes, and ensuring all data and documents are included in the necessary locations.

Qualifications:

  • 5-10 years as a legal assistant or paralegal and A.A., B.A., B.S., or paralegal certificate preferred.
  • Preference for applicants who have worked in a fast-paced nonprofit or community legal aid environment. 
  • General familiarity with South Carolina, California, and/or federal legal systems.
  • Spanish proficiency is a plus!
  • Ideal candidate possesses:
    • Proficiency in Microsoft Office software and general technology knowledge..
    • Outstanding communication skills, both oral and written.
    • Superb problem-solving skills.
    • Proactive approach in thoughts and actions when designing creative solutions to advance R&R’s mission and work.
    • Excellent time-management and organizational skills with detail-oriented final work product.
    • Effective multitasking abilities.
    • Ability to incorporate clear direction and supervision. 
    • Willingness to travel as needed.
  • Ideal candidate is:
    • Responsible and reliable.
    • Hard-working.
    • Positive, professional, and humble. 
    • Respectful, patient, and empathetic with clients and client matters.
    • Creative, enthusiastic, and amenable to learning and trying new things.
    • Team-oriented and anticipatory in providing assistance to colleagues.
    • Committed to social, racial, and criminal justice matters.

Compensation & Benefits:

This position will begin as a full-time position with a competitive salary commensurate with experience and employment benefits that include medical, vision, and dental care, as well as three weeks of paid time off per year plus holiday closures, which typically includes two weeks around the December/January holidays as well as federal holidays.

Application Instructions:

To apply for this position, please send a resume, cover letter, short writing sample, and at least three references with contact information via email to Ana Walker (SC Director of Legal Services) at [email protected] by April 15, 2022. Resumes without a cover letter, writing sample, and references will not be reviewed. Please note there is no one “correct” type of writing sample – be creative and submit a writing sample that you believe would demonstrate your ability, passion, and qualifications for this position. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled. In your email please note where you learned about this job posting. No phone calls, please.

Root & Rebound is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from all qualified individuals including formerly incarcerated and/or system-involved individuals, people of color, persons with disabilities, ethnic and religious minorities, women, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and gender variant individuals. People with past involvement in the criminal legal system are seen as an asset to our organization and are strongly encouraged to apply.