Texas Legal Services Center’s Medical-Legal Partnerships (MLPs) and Veterans Legal Assistance Program (VLAP) jointly seek applicants to consider for a sponsored fellowship, such as Skadden and Equal Justice Works, to begin in the fall of 2023. The MLP team works onsite with health care clinicians to promote physical, mental, and emotional health through integrated legal care. The VLAP team addresses the legal needs of veterans in most areas of civil law, including those concerning military and veteran benefits.
TLSC is interested in proposals that address the health-harming legal needs of patients at a central Texas Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic. The proposal should be grounded in the national VA MLP model of increasing access to justice while mitigating socio-legal determinants of health—such as lack of access to care, financial and food insecurity, housing instability, and personal uncertainty—by embedding legal professionals with the health care team to detect, address, and prevent health-harming legal needs for veterans.
This attorney in this position is expected to maintain the highest ethical and professional standards as a member of the State Bar; adhere to the American Bar Association Standards for the Provision of Civil Legal Aid; embrace and support Texas Legal Service Center’s (TLSC) overall mission; and comply with all grant requirements, regulations, standards, policies, and confidentiality requirements.
This is a grant-funded position.
- Provide high-quality legal advice, assistance, referrals, and representation, where applicable, to eligible clients in a compassionate, culturally appropriate, and trauma-informed manner.
- Analyze legal and social problems and devise savvy strategic plans to address health-harming legal needs through outside-the-box thinking and interprofessional collaboration.
- Seek and act on opportunities for healthcare transformation by bringing structural competency to bear on clinical committees, workgroups, and taskforces.
- Cultivate working relationships and partnerships, both internally at partner clinics and externally with health care professionals, students, and other social services agencies in the community and statewide, to advance program and organizational goals.
- Present complex, relevant legal topics to lay members of the community and health professionals.
- Lead or assist with promoting health and legal education efforts statewide and in local programs.
- Assist with funding for, reporting on, and evaluation of the MLP.
- Execute intake interviews, confirm eligibility for services, and check for conflicts of interest according to TLSC policy.
- Write sophisticated complaints, petitions, motions, memos, and briefs on behalf of clients.
- Communicate with third parties, the media, and the public to advocate on behalf of clients and the MLP mission.
- Prepare for, attend, assist, argue, and conduct depositions, hearings, trials, and appeals.
- Perform high-level legal research and factual investigation to provide superior representation to eligible clients.
- Travel to locations outside of Austin, Texas.
- Perform other duties as assigned.
- J.D. Degree or LL.M., obtained or expected, including:
- J.D. or LL.M. expected in Spring or Summer 2023; and
- Recent J.D. graduates, those completing judicial clerkship(s), and those with or with an expected LL.M., whose work history preserves eligibility for post-graduate fellowships.
- Licensure by the Supreme Court of Texas, or admission expected as soon as practicable or at the latest in the Fall of 2023.
- Experience working in two or more “IHELP” areas, which are
- Income, including public benefits or consumer law;
- Insurance, including eligibility for and coverage by public and private plans;
- Housing, including eviction, habitability, and utilities;
- Education, including IDEA and Rehabilitation Act §504;
- Employment, including the Family and Medical Leave Act;
- Legal Status, including credit history, expunction/nondisclosure, and name and gender-marker change, or immigration; and
- Personal Stability, including guardianship and alternatives, advance directives, and wills, or family law.
- Experience working in a public interest legal setting and working with low-income audiences.
- Experience presenting complex, relevant legal topics to lay members of the community and health professionals.
Knowledge / Skills (Preferred)
- Sophisticated understanding of the MLP model and its approach to civil legal services.
- Readiness to represent and advocate for patients with health-harming legal needs in two or more of the above “IHELP” categories.
- Current knowledge and expertise of the law and legal system, especially in areas that affect how well and how long veterans live.
- Working knowledge of U.S. healthcare system.
- Excellent legal research and advocacy skills.
- Strong analytical skills and attention-to-detail.
- Exceptional listening, written and oral communications skills.
- Proficiency with Adobe, social media tools, and Microsoft Office products.
- Proficiency with or ability to learn case management and electronic health record systems.
- Understanding of grant requirements and associated reporting needs.
- Ability to learn new technologies to carry out job functions.
- Ability to work with clients in a patient, trauma-informed, and non-judgmental manner.
- Ability to travel to out-of-town locations.
- Advanced productive and receptive proficiency in Spanish or other language other than English
- Sedentary work that involves sitting most of the time.
- Occasional bending, squatting, and kneeling.
- Exerting up to 10 pounds of force occasionally, and a negligible amount of force as needed, at times to lift, carry, push, pull, or otherwise move objects.
*This job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties, or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.