Now hiring: Legal Counsel/Regional Developmental Disabilities Ombuds

Legal Counsel/Regional Developmental Disabilities Ombuds

Deadline for application: September 30, 2017
Job type: Full-time
Location: Seattle, WA

The Office of Developmental Disabilities Ombuds seeks an attorney committed to the rights of people with disabilities. In this position, the attorney will work part-time as Legal Counsel and part-time as a Regional Ombuds for the Office of Developmental Disabilities.

An ideal candidate is an experienced attorney with enthusiasm for launching a new advocacy program. In this position the attorney provides legal counsel to the Ombuds program and also delivers Ombuds services directly to people with developmental disabilities. As Legal Counsel to the State Ombuds, the attorney advises on legal issues related to Ombuds services; assists with WAC, protocol, and procedure development; trains Ombuds staff and volunteers; and drafts publications and reports to the legislature. As Regional Ombuds in the King County area and north, the attorney works with a statewide team to resolve complaints and concerns from people with developmental disabilities.

Salary is $50,000+/year depending on experience. The position is full-time. Excellent health and dental coverage. Vacation days, sick days, holidays, a hiatus between Christmas and New Year’s, transit pass and other benefits.

Duties may include:

  • Creating or revising Office of DD Ombuds service protocols;
  • Drafting monitoring protocols and tools to meet the needs and requirements of the Office of DD Ombuds;
  • Reviewing all reports and informational materials for legal accuracy;
  • Assisting in the training and certifying of DD Ombuds volunteers;
  • Providing legal counsel to the State DD Ombuds;
  • Assisting in developing confidentiality procedures;
  • Addressing any external interference with independence and authority of the DD Ombuds;
  • Delivering resident-directed, complaint-based, person-centered services;
  • Providing information on rights and responsibilities of persons receiving developmental disabilities services and/or other state services;
  • Monitoring service delivery to people with developmental disabilities;
  • Reviewing state institutions, state licensed facilities and residences where services to persons with developmental disabilities occur;
  • Advocating to address rights violations and protecting individuals with disabilities from abuse and/or neglect;
  • Representing the Office of DD Ombuds and its clients and constituents at meetings with support and service providers;
  • Participating in the development of any recommendations for changes in procedures to state agencies, governor’s office, and state legislature on the work of the Ombuds and recommendations for person-centered and systemic system delivery changes; and
  • Acting in compliance with DD Ombuds Contract Terms and Conditions.

Desired qualifications:

  • Knowledge of rules, regulations, policies, and certification requirements that relate to the provision of institutional and residential supports and services;
  • Skills in the areas of investigation, interviewing, legal research, case strategy, case review, administrative law, and advanced advocacy techniques;
  • Ability to discuss a range of current issues facing the disability community including issues related to the disability delivery systems and disability law;
  • Ability to effectively present information to a wide variety of audiences using a variety of media;
  • Ability to facilitate meetings and discussions;
  • Ability to maintain ethical and organizational standards;
  • Ability to communicate a position well, respectfully consider other positions, and treat people of different positions and backgrounds with respect and dignity;
  • Knowledge of the disability service delivery systems and disability law;

Position requirements:

  • Must be free from conflicts of interest and not stand to gain financially through an action or potential action brought on behalf of individuals that the Office of Developmental Disabilities serves.
  • Conflicts of interest spelled out in the contract and include, but are not limited to, the following: Employment by or participation in the management of any developmental disabilities service provider within the past year; Employment in a governmental position with direct involvement in the licensing, certification, or regulation of developmental disabilities service providers or care facilities within the past year, and; Any ownership or investment interest in developmental disabilities service providers or care facilities by DD Ombuds employee or by any member of the DD Ombuds employee’s immediate family within the past year.
  • Three years of work experience in a related field (i.e., disability rights, public interest, social services, medical, or law enforcement);
  • Law degree from an accredited law school and membership in the Washington State Bar;
  • Regular in-state travel and some night and weekend work.

To apply"

Email with your resume, cover letter, and one legal writing sample. In your cover letter, include brief thoughts about what you see as the greatest civil rights issue facing people with disabilities today.

The Office of the Developmental Disabilities Ombuds is an equal opportunity employer. The Office of DD Ombuds values a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture and encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, and veteran status.

People with disabilities and people of color are encouraged to apply.

About the Office of Developmental Disabilities Ombuds:

The DD Ombuds is a new program that delivers person centered, complaint-based ombuds services. An Ombuds helps people understand their rights and responsibilities and helps people solve their complaints about their services. The Ombuds addresses rights violations and issues of abuse and/or neglect. The DD Ombuds monitors services, reports concerns and makes recommendations to the state and the legislature.

The Office of the Developmental Disabilities Ombuds, operated under contract with the Washington State Department of Commerce, is a project of Disability Rights Washington.