Position Title: Legal Advocate
Core Hours: 40 hours per week, 8:00am – 4:30pm, Monday through Friday
Supervisor: Director of Legal Services
Department: Legal Services
FLSA Status: Non-exempt
FLSA Exemption Test: N/A
Starting Salary/Hourly Rate: $19.00/hour
Last Updated: 04/14/2022
The Legal Advocate is primarily responsible for providing support and legal advocacy services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. This includes, but is not limited to, helping victims navigate the legal process, developing effective relationships with courts and other outside agencies and providing administrative support to the Legal Department as needed.
Essential Duties & Responsibilities (includes but is not limited to the following):
- Provide legal advocacy, information, support, and options counseling to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and dating violence in Berks County.
- Assist victims through the legal process of obtaining a Protection From Abuse Order/Sexual Violence Protection Order at the Berks County courthouse, including accompanying victims to the Berks County Detectives office for photographs of any injuries as needed and provide information regarding the Safe Berks legal department and other Agency services.
- Monitor all processes in the civil and criminal court systems for trauma-informed, victim centered practices as well as for practices that promote offender accountability.
- Accompany clients to PFA court, all criminal court proceedings (including preliminary hearings at all Magisterial District Justice offices throughout the county), ICC proceedings for the violations of Protection Orders and police interviews, as needed.
- Develop and maintain cooperative working relationships with the courts, the District Attorney’s office, law enforcement, and other community partner agencies.
- Assist clients with relocation and Victim’s Compensation Assistance Program applications when appropriate.
- Provide information and referrals to other community partners for services when appropriate.
- Provide administrative support to the legal department as needed.
- Document and maintain appropriate client and program records and outcomes as required for all Safe Berks departments.
- All other duties as determined by department supervisor.
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to satisfactorily perform each of the essential duties. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill and/or physical or other abilities required.
Educational & Experience Requirements:
- Bilingual Spanish and English-speaking skills strongly preferred
- Strong verbal and written communication skills
- Ability to work independently and make sound decisions within scope of position responsibilities
- Understanding of the civil and criminal justice procedures in Berks County
Employment Experience (amount and kind)
- One (1) year of relevant experience in the criminal justice, law, or human services field
- Experience working with survivors and victims of violence preferred
Education (general level required or specific courses)
- Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, human services, or other related field; degree can be substituted for equivalent work experience
- High school diploma or equivalent required
Essential Physical Requirements:
While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk and hear. The employee frequently is required to stand, walk, sit, use hands to finger, handle or feel and reach with hands and arms. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to ten (10) pounds and may infrequently lift and/or move up to twenty-five (25) pounds. Specific vision abilities required of this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision and peripheral vision.
- Completion of a background check request, FBI, State Police, and Child Abuse Clearances obtained prior to employment through agency vendor
- Completion of 66-hour Sexual and Domestic Violence Training provided by agency
- Valid driver’s license and insurance are required to travel to client sites