The Bronx Defenders

Client Advocate

1 month ago
Job ID
2017-1175
Category
Advocacy

Overview

Still She Rises, Tulsa:

Still She Rises, Tulsa: A Project of The Bronx Defenders is a new community-based defender office located in North Tulsa, Oklahoma that seeks to address the epidemic of criminalization and incarceration of women in Tulsa. Women are the fastest-growing incarcerated population in the United States, and Oklahoma incarcerates a higher percentage of its women than any other state. For many women, incarceration does not just mean the loss of liberty, but also means the loss of their children and the total destabilization of their family’s lives. Still She Rises is a project of The Bronx Defenders, a holistic public defender organization that has operated in the Bronx, New York since 1997.

Still She Rises has worked to adapt The Bronx Defenders’ model of holistic defense as the first pro bono law office in the country specifically dedicated to the representation of criminal-justice-involved mothers. Advocates at Still She Rises, Tulsa provide indigent women and their families with access to client-centered criminal defense, family defense, civil legal services, and social work support. Looking beyond the immediate case, interdisciplinary teams of attorneys and advocates work with each family to understand the factors driving them into the criminal justice system and to mitigate the collateral consequences that may uniquely affect them. Still She Rises, Tulsa pioneers a new criminal justice approach with the aim of breaking the devastating cycle of poverty and instability that so often correlates with the incarceration of a mother.

Responsibilities

Job Description

Still She Rises, Tulsa seeks a highly motivated and energetic Client Advocate to join a small, interdisciplinary team of attorneys and advocates as they provide client-centered, holistic services to women and their families. The client advocate will be responsible for interviewing and assessing client needs relating to the myriad of collateral consequences of criminal justice and/or family court involvement. The client advocate will counsel, represent and advocate for clients in a variety of settings, primarily in three general categories:

Public Benefits/Collateral Consequences

  • Represent clients in administrative hearings
  • Assist and advocate for clients in obtaining and preserving public and/or disability benefits, accessing medical services, job programs, and other social services
  • Assist clients in protecting and preserving rights regarding police misconduct
  • Assist clients in advocating for their children’s educational needs
  • Assist clients in accessing and preserving shelter and housing
  • Assist clients in obtaining vital personal documents
  • Collaborate with criminal attorneys, social workers, and other advocates on case-specific issues as well as long-term projects

Child Welfare

  • Advocate for clients’ parental rights in the child welfare system, such as attending Child Safety Meetings
  • Facilitate communication between clients and court staff, service providers, and the Department of Human Services (DHS)
  • Advocate for clients in seeking frequent and flexible visitation with children and preserving client’s rights within the child welfare system

Post-Disposition

  • Assist clients in identifying and correcting criminal record errors
  • Draft motions to suspend fines and costs associated with court-involvement
  • Advocate with bail bondsmen and debt collection agencies
  • Draft motions to expunge court records and to dismiss costs associated with expungement
  • Provide support to clients tasked with meeting requirements of probation or other community sentences and manage tracking system to help clients prevent warrants and re-arrests
  • Assist clients in meeting court-mandated tasks such as completing parenting classes and/or drug assessment/treatment and advocate for clients with each organization
  • Participate in fundraising systems advocacy for alternative solutions to client debt

Additionally, the client advocate will reach out to and work with other community-based organizations and providers to connect clients to their services and maintain relationships with those organizations. S/he will also collaborate internally and externally to identify large-scale problems that affect our clients and to think creatively about strategies and solutions to these issues. 

Qualifications

Candidate Requirements

  • Associate or Bachelor’s Degree
  • Demonstrated interest in and/or experience with the criminal justice system or reentry services, or other demonstrated commitment to public interest and/or racial justice work
  • Positive attitude, courageous spirit, and a fierce dedication to our clients
  • Ability to self-start and to work both independently and as a member of a collaborative team
  • Strong interpersonal skills with individuals from diverse backgrounds
  • Ability to perform well under time constraints.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • A valid driver's license or ability to obtain one prior to start date

Salary commensurate with experience.  Excellent benefits.

 

How to Apply

 

To apply, submit a resume, cover letter, and references electronically via the end of business on September 29, 2017 and put “Client Advocate” in the subject line. Resumes will only be accepted electronically. No faxes or phone calls please. For questions regarding the position, please e-mail Asher Levinthal, Director of Hiring, at asherl@stillsherises.org.

 

Still She Rises, Tulsa is an equal opportunity employer: People of color; women; people with disabilities; gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people; and people with personal or familial experience with the criminal justice system or family court system are welcome and encouraged to apply.

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