Florida Legal Services Seeks Reemployment Assistance Project Legal Extern – OPEN IMMEDIATELY

Job: Florida Legal Services (FLS) in midtown Miami needs a legal extern to administer its Reemployment Assistance Pro Bono Project starting February 2013.  The individual will oversee outreach to unemployed individuals in the community, screen and interview clients, assess the merits of clients’ cases, provide advice to clients based on feedback from senior attorneys, timely refer meritorious cases to pro bono attorneys for legal representation, and follow-up with assigned attorneys on the status of the cases.  The job is anticipated to require a commitment of at least ten hours weekly and will pay $15 per hour depending upon experience.

Background: When individuals lose their job through no fault of their own, they are eligible for Reemployment Assistance (RA).  But there are many challenges to being found eligible by the state.  People must apply online only (not over the phone or using paper forms); they must be literate in English, Spanish or Creole and know how to use a computer in order to apply; they must complete a three-part 45 minute skills test online by a certain deadline after they apply; they must contact at least 5 prospective employers weekly and report details of their work search efforts online in order to stay eligible; if their old job challenges their eligibility, they have to timely ask for a hearing and win at the hearing.  At every stage of the application process, there are short deadlines for challenging adverse agency decisions.  On top of all these requirements, people will soon have to register online with the state job agency by a certain deadline, provide an email address, and complete many web screens of background information about their skills, knowledge, and abilities. Every single one of these technological hurdles can be a tripping point that deprives unemployed people of the RA benefits they desperately need between jobs. This project targets individuals who face technological barriers to benefits eligibility.

Attributes of candidates: This position demands an organized individual who is consistent in maintaining a scheduled commitment.  The candidate will be expected to handle phone calls from and set interview appointments for prospective clients, meet regularly with supervising attorneys, conduct some community outreach, and maintain electronic contact with pro bono case handlers. An interest in the unemployment benefits program is desirable although FLS will provide substantive training and supervision in this area of the law.  This project will run from the present through December 2013, so the ideal candidate will be available starting now and through 2013.  FLS anticipates that the most successful candidate will be proficient in spoken Spanish.  The position will be open until filled.

Contact: Email a resume and cover letter indicating an interest in this position to Senior Staff Attorney Valory Greenfield.