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Pro Bono Case Manager

Philadelphia VIP is a nonprofit that recruits and supports volunteer attorneys to represent low-income Philadelphians who face critical legal issues, but cannot afford a lawyer.

Since 1981, VIP has been the hub of pro bono in Philadelphia, annually supporting over 1,000 volunteers assisting hundreds of low-income clients in four priority areas: preventing homelessness, preserving income, supporting family stability, and promoting community economic development. Our staff of eighteen consists of attorneys, case managers, and other professionals and is highly collaborative, creative, and passionate about our capacity-building model of service. VIP values a diverse work environment and encourages people of color, people who identify as LGBTQ, and people with disabilities to apply.

POSITION SUMMARY

Reporting to a Supervising Attorney, Pro Bono Case Managers play a critical role in VIP’s volunteer-based service model. Focusing on a variety of legal issues, Pro Bono Case Managers have primary responsibility for preparing cases for placement with volunteer attorneys, matching clients with a volunteer, and providing logistical support to attorneys and clients throughout the life of the case.

This particular position will specialize in assisting clients facing tangled title issues. These clients have a legal claim to their home (such as through inheritance) but do not have their name on the deed, preventing them from accessing benefits and services available to homeowners. VIP is the leading expert on tangled title issues in Philadelphia and, with a four-year grant commitment from the City of Philadelphia, is expanding and enhancing its 20-year-old tangled title program.

The position is full-time and nonexempt, with a salary range of $41,000 to $46,000, and an outstanding team atmosphere. VIP’s generous benefits include medical and dental insurance (with employee medical premium fully paid by VIP); a 403(b) plan with employer contributions; short-and long-term disability and life insurance; flexible spending accounts for health and dependent care; industry-leading paid time off, including substantial vacation and sick time, 12+ paid holidays, and paid parental leave; an individual budget for professional development; and alternative work arrangements, including generous telework hours and scheduling flexibility.

KEY QUALIFICATIONS

A strong pro bono case manager candidate will demonstrate: a sound commitment to VIP’s service model—expanding access to justice through supporting pro bono; a passion for engaging and interfacing with lawyers from a variety of practice settings; strong communication skills; and interest in working in a collaborative, team-oriented environment. Further qualifications include:

  • Bachelor’s Degree required (this position does not require a J.D.)
  • Capacity for learning and understanding substantive legal issues related to homeownership
  • Excellent time management skills, organizational skills, and attention to detail
  • Demonstrated capacity to build relationships with individuals from diverse backgrounds
  • Experience assisting clients living in poverty or volunteers preferred, but not required
  • Team player, collaborative, and able to receive and act on feedback
  • Aptitude with technology, including a comprehensive case management system
  • Spanish-speakers highly preferred

KEY FUNCTIONS

Guide and support clients and volunteer attorneys throughout the life of the case:
  • Under attorney supervision, interview new clients to gather necessary information and documents, assess the legal merit of cases, and summarize the legal issues requiring assistance.
  • With attorney support, develop a working knowledge of the probate process, real estate transactions, and real estate litigation.
  • Facilitate the volunteer-client relationship, and monitor cases for status reports, deadlines, and emergencies.
  • With attorney supervision, provide logistical support to volunteer attorneys and ongoing case management to clients.
  • Participate in developing and refining substantive support strategies aimed at ensuring a positive experience for the volunteers and better outcomes for the clients.
Recruit and retain volunteer attorneys in private practice to fulfill VIP’s mission:
  • Using VIP’s volunteer database, conduct routine, thoughtful outreach to persuade volunteers to take cases.
  • Proactively seek opportunities to engage new, current, and lapsed volunteers with VIP’s mission and casework, including by collaborating on the development of better volunteer outreach and engagement techniques.
  • Actively strengthen partnerships with existing volunteer attorneys, and participate in volunteer recognition efforts and events.
  • Assist in planning, execution, and follow-up for volunteer clinics, trainings, and other events.
  • Track metrics to evaluate and improve recruitment and retention efforts and legal program outcomes.
Lead and support other efforts to further VIP’s mission and strategic goals:
  • Manage a Legal Team strategic project, as needed, and improve the project’s structure, methods, and design.
  • Help implement VIP’s strategic plan, including by assuming primary responsibility for designated task(s).
  • Develop and strengthen sources of “in-kind” case support services for volunteers, including interpreters and translators for language access
  • Attend regular meetings, and perform all other duties, as assigned.

HOW TO APPLY:

E-mail cover letter, resume, and references, to Karna Laubenstein, Director of Operations, klaubenstein@phillyvip.org.  References will not be contacted without prior permission from candidate. No calls, please.

What to include in your cover letter: All cover letters should include a salary requirement, potential start date, and any non-English language skills. Applicants are invited to include a statement about how the applicant’s unique background and/or experiences might contribute to the diversity, cultural vitality, and perspective of VIP’s staff and legal practice.

Deadline: Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, with priority given to those received by Thursday, March 10, 2022.

COVID-19 note: VIP is returning to in-person operations, with appropriate safety precautions, as of March 14, 2022. Staff are required to get COVID-19 vaccinations, including CDC-recommended boosters.

PHILADELPHIA VIP IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER