Location

Albuquerque

Department

Legal

Deadline date

August 5, 2022

THE OPPORTUNITY

The Paralegal will provide essential administrative support to staff attorneys in all areas of the ACLU-NM’s legal work but will be primarily focused on supporting attorneys representing incarcerated clients. This position requires someone who is detail oriented, highly organized, capable of working independently, and prepared to engage thoughtfully with clients who have experienced or are experiencing significant trauma in the criminal legal system. The Paralegal supports attorneys in Albuquerque and Las Cruces.

The Paralegal will be an essential lifeline for attorneys engaging with the prison and parole systems. This position is an opportunity to support critical work on behalf of people who have been systematically dehumanized and downtrodden. Among the Paralegal responsibilities will be scheduling calls with incarcerated clients, reading mail from incarcerated individuals seeking assistance, engaging with potential clients through intake calls, drafting and filing notices and minor pleadings, and drafting public information requests.

This is a non-exempt hourly role based in Albuquerque and reporting to the Staff Attorney.

WHO WE ARE

Our mission is to protect and advance justice, liberty, and equity as guaranteed by the constitutions of New Mexico and the United States. We are committed to ending racism and other inequities. This includes how we work with each other and with our partners and allies in the communities we serve. For more information, please visit our website at www.aclu-nm.org

Equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging are core values of the ACLU and central to our work. We believe in a collective responsibility to create a culture of belonging for all people within our organization – one that respects and embraces difference; treats everyone equitably; and empowers our colleagues to do the best work possible.

WHAT YOU’LL DO:

  • Prepare and execute filings of legal documents, including briefs, motions, court forms, petitions, subpoenas, and discovery documents.
  • Maintain electronic and paper case files, including pleadings, correspondence, discovery, and other materials.
  • Communicate and coordinate with clients, including incarcerated clients, court personnel, co-counsel, partner organizations, etc.
  • Draft correspondence, declarations, notices, and various court/legal documents.
  • Manage logistics for depositions, oral arguments, court hearings, team meetings, and other events.
  • Assist attorneys with legal and other research, including cite-checking and internet searches.
  • Organize and analyze discovery documents.
  • Assist in case development and policy work, including conducting interviews of potential clients and witnesses, requesting and reviewing records.
  • Respond to individuals who contact the ACLU-NM for assistance; field intake calls, utilize and maintain intake database.
  • Center principles of equity, inclusion, and belonging. Demonstrate cultural and social humility with colleagues, with clients, and with community partners.
  • Work collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles and/or conflicts.
  • Engage in special projects and other administrative duties as assigned.

ESSENTIAL QUALIFICATIONS:

  • An understanding of and enthusiasm for civil liberties and civil rights and personally committed to advancing the ACLU’s values, mission, goals and programs.
  • A commitment to diversity; a personal approach that values the individual and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, ability and socio-economic circumstance, and able to work with diverse individuals within the organization and broader community.
  • An ability to engage in empathetic conversations with clients and former clients who are incarcerated and experiencing significant trauma.
  • Awareness of, and willingness to engage in, the difficult and transformative work of challenging systems of oppression, institutional and structural racism, and implicit bias.
  • Two years of work experience as a paralegal or related field.
  • Strong research skills, including internet research.
  • Excellent word processing and proofreading skills.
  • Knowledge of filing procedures and requirements for trial and appellate courts in state and federal systems, and experience researching civil procedure and all courts’ rules.
  • Demonstrated proficiency with filing and case management system.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills.
  • Strong computer skills with advanced knowledge in Microsoft Office Suite. Experience creating tables of contents, tables of authorities, mail merges, and creating/inserting macros.
  • Must take initiative, be highly organized and detail-oriented, and possess strong interpersonal and time-management skills.
  • Able and willing to travel within New Mexico.

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Paralegal certification is a plus.
  • Bilingual in English and Spanish is a plus.

No one person will have all the qualities enumerated above. We strongly encourage you to apply if you are interested and feel you could be successful in this role.

COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS:

The rate of pay is $20.67-25.91/hour depending on experience. We offer excellent benefits, including health and dental insurance, short and long-term disability and life insurance, 401(k) retirement plan, and generous PTO, holiday, family and medical leave policies.

HOW TO APPLY:

All applications are treated confidentially. Please send cover letter no longer than one page and resume by email to HR@aclu-nm.org. Please include “Paralegal” in the subject line and all attachments should be in Microsoft Word or PDF format. Your letter should explain ways in which you satisfy the skills and qualifications specified above. We also invite applicants to include in their letter information about how their background and/or experiences could contribute to the diversity, cultural vitality, and perspective of our staff and advocacy work. Please indicate where you learned of this job posting. No phone calls, please. Note: we will not accept resumes that do not include a cover letter.

Application materials will also be accepted via postal mail, but electronic filing is strongly preferred. Mailed applications should be sent to c/o HR, P.O. Box 566, Albuquerque, NM 87103.

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. We encourage you to apply as soon as possible as we will be evaluating applications on a rolling basis beginning on August 5, 2022.

This job description provides a general but not comprehensive list of the essential responsibilities and qualifications required. It does not represent a contract of employment. The ACLU of New Mexico reserves the right to change the job description and/or posting at any time without advance notice.

COVID:

Currently we are mainly working remotely with some voluntary work in the office. We anticipate that once it is safe to lift the work-from-home policy, the Paralegal, like most ACLU-NM staff, will work partially in-office and partially from home.

For the safety of our staff, their families, and the communities that we work with, ACLU-NM requires that staff be fully vaccinated as defined by the CDC.

ACLU of New Mexico is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and promote an inclusive culture. We believe that having a board, staff, and volunteer base with diverse personal and professional backgrounds enhances our ability to meet our mission and creates an environment where all members of our community can thrive. We strongly encourage applications from people of color, immigrants, women, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ community, those who have been formerly incarcerated, and other members of underrepresented and marginalized groups.

“ACLU of New Mexico” refers collectively to two separate corporate entities, ACLU of New Mexico and ACLU of New Mexico Foundation. The two entities share the same mission, office space, and employees.