Paralegal–Legal Clinic for the Homless-El Paso

A full-time paralegal is needed for TRLA’s Legal Clinic for the Homeless (LCH) in El Paso, Texas to represent and advocate for a unique and vulnerable population.  The paralegal will work with the homeless population as follows:
• Paralegal will conduct eligibility and substantive interviews in person and by telephone. Interviews may at times take place outside the regular office setting.
• Paralegal will provide basic information and referrals to applicants, including those ineligible for services.
• Paralegal will provide direct representation of clients in administrative or judicial proceedings as Person-in-Charge of individual cases, including but not exclusively, Social Security proceedings. Paralegal will assist and represent clients at all administrative stages of the Social Security application and appeal process including representing the client in administrative hearings.  Paralegal will assist clients with the drafting and submission of SOA- enhanced applications for Supplemental Security Income benefits to Social Security.
• Paralegal must be active within the local homeless advocacy community to insure that the Legal Clinic for the Homeless has a visible presence and a voice.  This entails but is not limited to attending El Paso Coalition for the Homeless (EPCH) meetings, participating on EPCH committees, and networking with other members of the EPCH.
• Paralegal will conduct and participate in extensive outreach.  This entails going to shelters and community events to inform residents and the public about the mission of the LCH, and doing on-site consultations.  Extensive travel may be required to conduct outreach.
• Paralegal will work under direct supervision of Attorney/Project Coordinator and must work closely with the El Paso Coalition for the Homeless and its 33-member shelters.
• Paralegal will maintain a client caseload, exercising the independent professional judgment required of an advocate on all aspects of each individual case.
• Paralegal will maintain accurate and complete client files and administrative records, including data entry into client database and other requirements, such as timekeeping.
• Paralegal must be willing to perform all other duties as required by the needs of the LCH.
Qualifications:
• Must be Bi-lingual in English and Spanish;
• Degree in relevant field preferred;
• Excellent oral and writing skills;
• Word processing, Internet, and office skills required;
• Have valid driver’s license and available transportation;
• Substantial knowledge and familiarity with programs of the Social Security Administration, Texas Health and Human Services Commission, and other agencies is preferred.
• Possess verbal, reading and writing skills sufficient to comprehend administrative law manuals and to adequately advocate on behalf of clients.
Additional information:
• Individuals living in homelessness served by the project are frequently diagnosed with mental illness, as well as physical impairments, and all interactions with clients require respect, patience and at times the ability to gently engage with unusual and difficult personalities.
• Must be flexible and creative enough to work with clients who have special needs that require unique responses. This includes, for example but not limited to: maintaining regular contact with clients to insure they are following instructions given them by their other healthcare or service providers, locating missing clients, and connecting clients who have immediate or emergency needs to other service providers.