Staff Attorney, Full-Time and Exempt Employee, Reports to the Director of Advocacy and Director of the Rights Investigation and Accountability Program
Disability Rights Washington (DRW) seeks to fill an attorney position in a new program designed to assist entrepreneurism in the disability community, especially for those with disabilities who are Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC), or transgender who want to start or expand a business but worry about how that could impact their disability-related benefits.
DRW understands the importance and contribution of candidates with lived experience. People with disabilities, African American, Black, Indigenous, and people of color, and LGBTQ+ people are particularly encouraged to apply. Disabilities include, but are not limited to, mental health conditions, physical and sensory disabilities, learning and intellectual disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, and chronic health conditions.
Candidates must be dedicated to participating in DRW’s daily attempts to apply Disability Justice and race equity principles to our work. Information about Disability Justice can be found here: https://www.sinsinvalid.org/blog/10-principles-of-disability-justice. DRW is committed to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and expects employees to participate in DEI-related work and trainings. Information about DRW and DEI can be found here: https://www.disabilityrightswa.org/diversity-equity-inclusion/.
This position will be based in either our Seattle or Spokane office. Full time remote work is typical for much of the workweek. Periodic statewide travel to do outreach or meet in person will be necessary.
Reasonable Disability Accommodations
DRW is committed to providing reasonable disability accommodations at all steps of the hiring process. If you are unsure about what may be considered a disability or what accommodations may work for you, the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) provides information about potential accommodations that are searchable by disability, work-related function, and accommodation. Applicants for DRW employment seeking reasonable disability accommodations for the application and hiring processes can contact Jodi Rose, DRW’s HR & IT Manager, by calling (800) 562-2702 or (206) 324-1521 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
DRW seeks an attorney with a demonstrated interest in promoting Disability Justice and race equity by shifting economic power to disabled people who are the most impacted by barriers to economic independence and wealth generation. This attorney will conduct outreach to communities to share what services they have to offer, provide information about the actual legal impact of work on public benefits, connect clients with community supports and potential sources of capital, and provide direct legal assistance in structuring their business in a manner that maximizes incentives and protections relating to their public benefits. This position will require a licensed attorney, or an individual who will soon become a licensed attorney, with the ability to:
- assist disabled entrepreneurs to incorporate their businesses in a manner that promotes success of the business and limits impact on the business owner’s disability benefits;
- communicate complex legal concepts in plain language that have significant real-world ramifications if misunderstood;
- develop a system for outreach, education, and business planning to be used in serving people with disabilities across the state;
- develop and maintain relationships with community groups that can assist in the success of the business created or expanded through this program.
The ideal candidate would have lived and/or professional experience relating to DRW’s practice areas, which include, but are not limited to: addressing discrimination, accessing public benefits or long-term care services, community re-entry from institutionalization or incarceration, resolving housing instability, and/or ending abuse and neglect. The attorney for this position must have a commitment and capacity to produce high quality legal analysis and to provide effective advocacy through individualized legal advice to business start-ups. All DRW attorneys must demonstrate dedication to DRW’s values of inclusion, diversity, and equity as well as the values of individual autonomy, community integration, universal accessibility, freedom from restraint, and respectful language. DRW seeks applicants who enjoy working in a team environment and are seeking to join in our mission to “advance the dignity, equality, and self-determination of people with disabilities.”
This job involves unsupervised contact with high school students and vulnerable adults.
The position is intended for someone with 0-5 years of experience with a salary range of $68,136-$78,224.
Essential Job Duties and Responsibilities
- Conducts legal research and gathers relevant information
- Helps clients define problems
- Provides legal advice and counseling
- Designs action plans for advocacy and transactions on behalf of clients
- Designs plans for setting up business on behalf of clients
- Takes assertive action to implement action plans
- Provides appropriate follow-up once matters are resolved
- Represents people with disabilities on issues pertaining to service requests and advocacy projects
Educating Policy Makers
- Engages in policy analysis/advocacy
- Prepares public comment or policy reports/writing
- Conducts outreach in settings where people with disabilities are, such as high schools, colleges, trade schools, jails, hospitals, adult family homes, peer clubhouses, homeless shelters, advocacy coalition spaces, etc.
- Connects with community partners to develop and maintain networks program participants can join to access resources and support, such as minority business associations, chambers of commerce, government and private sources of capital, etc.
- Conducts interviews of service recipients to define problems, understand relevant information, and design action plans to provide self-advocacy support
- Carefully researches information for the purpose of assisting a service recipient in resolving their issue
- Provides written and oral information and appropriate referrals to service recipient
Effectively utilizes conflict resolution and advocacy skills to resolve both internal and external conflicts
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)
- Contributes substantively to the pursuit of DRW’s goals related to diversity, equity, and inclusion
- Actively engages in agency and team work to practice anti-racist advocacy
Timely Paperwork and Reporting
Submits all required reports, timesheets, and other documentation in an accurate and timely manner
- Works in an office environment and remotely. Also has extensive local and statewide work-related travel to meet with people in their own homes and offices.
- The attorney works a standard workweek, 9:00 am – 4:30 pm (unless an alternative schedule is approved), but must be willing to work evenings, weekends, or extended hours when necessary.
- All DRW staff are required to be up to date on their vaccinations against the COVID-19 virus. “Up to date” means a person has received all CDC-recommended COVID-19 vaccines, including any booster dose(s) when eligible. Staff are required to provide proof of vaccination. DRW considers all medical and religious or sincerely held belief exemption requests. In addition to vaccinations, DRW staff are required to observe public safety standards, including mask wearing, social distancing, and sanitizing of workspaces.
Maintain a reasonably ambitious workload and keep their immediate supervisor informed when there is insufficient work to perform and when there is a risk that work won’t be completed on a timely basis.
All DRW employees are expected to have a commitment to the values expressed in DRW’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Philosophy Statement
It is required that a DRW Attorney have a Juris Doctor degree from an accredited school of law and be a member in good standing of a state bar association and a member in good standing with the Washington State Bar Association within one year of assuming the position.
Experience Specific to the Position
It is desired that a DRW Attorney have:
- Lived and/or professional experiences involving disability rights issues or public interest law
- Experience working in a non-profit, public interest, or public relations setting
- Deep roots in the disability community with knowledge and experience in the independent living and self-advocacy movements
- Zero to five years’ experience as a practicing attorney
Abilities Specific to the Position
A DRW Attorney will have:
- Demonstrated ability and desire to use a business law practice to advance social justice and build power in communities facing racism, anti-trans hate, and ableism
- Demonstrated skills in the areas of investigation, interviewing, legal research, legal strategy, case review, administrative law, and advanced advocacy techniques
- Demonstrated ability to discuss a range of current issues facing the disability community including issues related to public benefit schemes, disempowering social and fiscal policies and social structures, and equity-focused power building
- Demonstrated ability to effectively present information to a wide variety of audiences using a variety of media
- Demonstrated ability to facilitate meetings and discussions
- Demonstrated ability to maintain ethical and organizational standards, communicate a position well, respectfully consider other positions, and treat people of different positions and backgrounds with respect and dignity
- Demonstrated knowledge of the disability service delivery systems and disability law
- Demonstrated ability to perform all of the responsibilities set forth in this position description
- Demonstrated understanding of anti-racist concepts and a working knowledge of disability justice principles
An employee in this position is expected to have these general abilities:
- Be an effective team member
- Effectively communicate verbally
- Effectively relate to people with all kinds of disabilities
- Exercise initiative, ingenuity, and sound judgment
- Organize and manage time
- Set work goals and create work plan of activities
- Take direction and coordinate work with others
- Use Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Outlook, and internet
- Work under pressure in a fast-paced environment
- Work independently
- Perform basic math functions
It is desired that an Attorney have Multi-lingual ability in languages common to Washington State residents
Given the people we serve live in communities all over the state, the attorney must be able to get to various locations around the state, many of which are not served by public transportation and some of which may not have access to taxi or ride-hailing services.
- This position involves unsupervised contact with vulnerable adults and high school aged people.
- The federal government conducts its own background check and suitability determination of each employee working with these particular federal funds.
- DRW conducts background checks of conviction and arrest records on final candidates prior to extending offers. The hiring process will be conducted in compliance with Seattle’s Fair Chance Employment Ordinance, SMC 14.17 and Washington’s Fair Chance Act, RCW 49.94. Applicants will be provided an opportunity to explain and correct background information. A criminal background does not automatically eliminate candidates from consideration. If a criminal background exists, the nature of the offense will be considered in the context of the essential functions of the position.
About Disability Rights Washington (DRW)
DRW is a private nonprofit organization that advances the dignity, equality, and self-determination of people with disabilities. We are designated by the governor of Washington as the independent federally mandated protection and advocacy system for Washington State. We work to pursue justice on matters related to human and legal rights. Our Board of Directors, which is majority Black, Indigenous, people of color, and majority disabled, sets the priorities of our work in consultation with two advisory councils and input from the community to ensure leadership by the most impacted and “nothing about us without us.” Information about our priorities can be found here: https://www.disabilityrightswa.org/priorities/.
DRW is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. DRW encourages applications from all qualified individuals, including individuals of all races, colors, religions, genders, sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, ages, national origins, marital statuses, disabilities, and veteran status backgrounds.
For information about us, please visit: http://www.disabilityrightswa.org/.
Please fill out the online application below and include a cover letter and resume. You may also mail your application to: Disability Rights Washington, Attn: Jodi Rose, 315 Fifth Avenue South, Suite 850, Seattle, WA 98104
DRW is committed to promoting universal accessibility and fairness in our interview process. At least three business days before an interview, DRW will tell applicants the names, pronouns, and titles of DRW interviewers and will provide the interview questions, which will be the same for all applicants. During interviews, DRW will provide a visual description of the interviewers and turn on captions for online interviews. We also know that other efforts to make our process more accessible may be needed based on individual needs and we will provide reasonable accommodations for any portion of the application or interview process. You can request them by contacting Jodi Rose, DRW’s HR & IT Manager, using the information provided above. If you are not sure if you would benefit from an accommodation, you can review the Job Accommodations Network (JAN) website, which provides many ideas about possible accommodations that have worked for others, and you are more than welcome to call Jodi to discuss ideas you have or what we have done in the past. JAN is located here: https://askjan.org/soar.cfm.
Submissions will be reviewed on a rolling basis and will be accepted until the position is filled. The first review of applications will take place on June 12, 2023 with the hope of contacting selected applicants that week and starting interviews the following week. Applicants will only be contacted if they are selected for an interview. The interview process will include two rounds of interviews. If selected as a finalist, DRW may ask the applicant for contacts to verify previous employment.
- Position Title: Staff Attorney
- Company Name: Disability Rights Washington (DRW)
- Location: Either our Seattle or Spokane office, with significant work from home
- Posted: April 21, 2023
- Education and Experience required: Juris Doctorate and admission to practice in Washington within one year of starting, see description for fuller description.
- Job Category: Program
- Job Type: Full-time, Exempt
- Salary: This is considered an entry level position for someone who has less than 1 year or no work experience in an equivalent position. The salary for this entry level position is $68,136. For purposes of illustration a successful applicant with one year of equivalent work experience would start at $70,180 while a successful applicant with five years of equivalent work experience would start at $78,224.
- Generous benefits including 401k contribution, medical, dental, vision care, Health and Flex Spending account options, Costco Membership, Life Insurance, Long-Term Disability, vacation, sick, Holiday, parental, and other types of leave, and a 35-hour work week. If out of state, DRW can assist with moving expenses.