Staff Attorney- Medical-Legal Partnerships
Austin, TX Medical-Legal Partnerships (MLP)
Job Type
Full-time
Description

Summary


The Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP) team works onsite with health care clinicians to promote physical, mental, and emotional health through integrated legal services with a primary focus on working directly with patient-clients to help solve a wide range of legal issues. Texas Legal Services Center (TLSC) MLPs are based on the national 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. Attorneys are expected to work in-person both at the TLSC office and on-site at the clinic with the health care team to detect, address, and prevent health-harming legal issues for patients and communities.


This position will be involved in all aspects of the MLP program while addressing the health-harming legal needs of patient-clients at a Federally Qualified Health Center with locations in Austin, Texas and the surrounding area.


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 TLSC’s overall mission; and comply with all grant requirements,  regulations, standards, policies, and confidentiality requirements.


This is a grant-funded position.

Requirements

  

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS

  • Provide high-quality legal advice, assistance, referrals, and representation, where applicable, to eligible clients in a compassionate, culturally appropriate, and trauma-informed manner.
  • Execute intake interviews with potential clients, confirm eligibility for services, and check for conflicts of interest according to TLSC policy.
  • Perform high-level legal research and factual investigation 
  • Write 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.
  • Analyze legal and social problems and devise strategic plans to address health-harming legal needs through creative means and interprofessional collaboration.
  • Seek and act on opportunities for healthcare transformation by bringing structural competency to bear on relevant 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.
  • Travel to locations outside of Austin, Texas, occasionally to neighboring towns and counties and potentially further once or twice annually for outreach, continuing legal education, or other opportunities.

Other Functions

  • Assist with funding for, reporting on, and evaluation of the MLP.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Education/Licensure (Required)

  • J.D. Degree.
  • Licensure in Texas state or federal court within six months of hire.

Education/Licensure (Preferred)

  • Current bar license in Texas state and/or federal courts.

Knowledge / Skills (Required)

  • Ability to develop a sophisticated understanding of the MLP model and its approach to civil legal services as well as its place in the U.S. healthcare system.
  • Ability and willingness to learn how to represent and advocate for patients with health-harming legal needs in two or more of the “IHELP” categories, which are:
  • Income, including public benefit appeals or consumer law;
  • Insurance, including eligibility for and coverage by public and private plans;
  • Housing, including eviction, habitability, landlord-tenant disputes, and utilities;
  • Education, including educational discrimination, IDEA and Rehabilitation Act §504;
  • Employment, including employment discrimination, and the Family and Medical Leave Act;
  • Legal Status, including name and gender-marker change, credit history, expunction/nondisclosure, and immigration; and
  • Personal Stability, including guardianship and alternatives, advance directives, and wills, or family law.
  • Current knowledge of the law and legal system, especially in areas that affect low-income and marginalized communities. 
  • 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 TLSC’s case management system and the clinic’s electronic health record and enterprise practice management system.
  • Ability to understand 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.

Knowledge/Skills (Strongly Preferred)

  • Advanced productive and receptive proficiency in Spanish.

Experience (Preferred)

  • Experience working in two or more “IHELP” areas as noted above. 
  • Experience working in a public interest legal setting and working with low-income clients.
  • Experience presenting complex, relevant legal topics to lay members of the community and health professionals.

Physical Requirements

  • 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.