Staff Attorney, Medical Legal Community Partnership
Staff Attorney, Medical Legal Community Partnership
Anticipated Start date: April 2021
Hiring Timeframe: Rolling, final application deadline of April 15, 2021
Application requirements: Cover letter, resume, references, and a five-page legal-writing writing sample
BACKGROUND: Philadelphia Legal Assistance’s Medical-Legal-Community Partnership (MLCP) integrates legal advocates into public health settings to meet the health-harming legal needs of patients. Core to the model is the co-location of an inter-professional team of healthcare providers, social workers and legal staff, who collaborate in a hands-on, consistent manner to meet the complex, inter-related needs of underserved populations. Philadelphia Legal Assistance (PLA) currently operates a Medical-Legal-Community Partnership (MLCP) in order to provide collaborative, free legal assistance to patients on-site at four of the City of Philadelphia’s public health centers; at two Federally Qualified Health Centers: Esperanza Health Center (EHC) and Delaware Valley Community Health (DVCH); and Einstein Medical Center.
The MLCP Attorney will operate on-site at Maria de los Santos Health Center and collaborate with the healthcare team to address the legal aspects of patients’ medical and social service needs that so often undermine access to care. The MLCP Attorney will provide generalist legal services, in the areas of health insurance access and income supports; Public Benefits (Medicaid denials etc); housing safety and security; utility shutoff prevention; family stability and child welfare issues; domestic violence and other health-harming legal issues.
Currently, most PLA staff are working remotely until further notice. Applicants should have access to a computer, phone and internet connection. In some cases, MLCP staff may be eligible for COVID vaccination because they are working as part of a health care provider team. Some MLCP staff have chosen to return to on-site work after being vaccinated.
QUALIFICATIONS: PLA seeks a candidate for the position of MLCP Attorney with the following qualifications:
Law degree and admission to a PA Bar, or a willingness to take the PA bar exam (when available). Candidates of all levels will be considered. Fluency in Spanish highly encouraged. Flexibility to work in multiple physical locations and a variety of work spaces. Demonstrated commitment to providing sensitive, respectful, culturally competent, trauma informed appropriate legal aid to patients of diverse backgrounds. Demonstrated passionate commitment to providing high-quality legal advocacy and representation for low-income, culturally diverse populations. Demonstrated collaborative approach to legal service delivery, including delivery of legal services in conjunction with other types of professional services. Very strong communication skills. Experience working in a medical-legal partnership or a similar, inter-professional model a plus.
RESPONSIBILITIES: PLA seeks a candidate for the position of MLCP Attorney, who will assume the following responsibilities:
Provide legal consultation and direct representation to patients referred by health center staff (physicians, nurses, social workers, public benefits counselors, and other staff);
Research rights and available benefits for clients;
Collaborate with Health Center administrators, providers and staff to:
Work toward achieving full integration of legal staff into healthcare team through consistent contact, communication and collaboration to advance patient health, using a team-based approach;
Identify health patterns that warrant policy change and advocate to change to improve the patients’ and community’s health;
Help plan and coordinate trainings for health center staff on substantive medical-legal issues;
Participate in all health center staff activities, including staff meetings and retreats.
Supervise paralegals and National Health Corp volunteers as needed;
Engage in systems advocacy efforts with other legal aid and public health organizations;
Track cases through a web-based legal case management system and assure entry of data necessary for program evaluation; and
Communicate and collaborate regularly with the MLCP Supervisor about case acceptance, case strategy and operational and other programmatic issues.
SALARY AND BENEFITS: Salary commensurate with experience and comparable to other public interest salaries. PLA provides excellent benefits including fully paid medical for employees and their dependents, a 403B retirement plan, and generous paid leave.
Philadelphia Legal Assistance (PLA) is an equal opportunity employer. PLA values a diverse work environment and strongly encourages women, people of color, people who identify as LGBTQ, people with disabilities, people who have experienced poverty or homelessness, and people who have had prior contact with the juvenile, criminal, or child welfare systems to apply. PLA invites all applicants to include in their cover letter a statement about how your unique background and/or experiences might contribute to the diversity, cultural vitality, and perspective of our staff and legal services practice. Interested applicants should email a cover letter and resume, preferably in one PDF document, to: email@example.com.
Application deadline is April 15, 2021. However, the position will be filled as soon as an appropriate candidate is identified.