News

Legal Services Vermont will be closed on Friday, July 3, for the Independence Day Weekend. Please visit our legal help website at VTLawHelp.org and use our statewide helpline to leave a message for us if you need help.

Several Temporary Positions: Legal Helpline Community Advocate / Paralegal Staff Attorney

Legal Services Vermont and Vermont Legal Aid seek to hire several temporary, full-time positions for Staff Attorneys and/or Legal Helpline Community Advocates/Paralegals. We are adding several advocates to our staff to meet the community’s need for legal help resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are equal opportunity employers committed to building a diverse and culturally competent staff to serve our increasingly diverse client community. Applicants are encouraged to share in their cover letter how you can further this goal.

We are seeking staff to fill positions in the following areas:

Housing, Eviction Defense, and Homelessness Prevention (staff attorney position) General Poverty Law including unemployment compensation, public benefits, consumer law, and family law (staff attorney position) Providing information, referral, and legal assistance on our Helpline (community advocate or staff attorney position)

Temporary hires will be placed within either Vermont Legal Aid or Legal Services Vermont. All positions will be on a temporary contract through December 2020, with duration depending on the availability of funding.

We are looking for candidates with the ability to communicate in a diverse range of professional, cultural, and community contexts, strong writing skills, the ability to handle a large caseload, a demonstrated commitment to community engagement and social justice advocacy, and a collaborative work style. 

Staff may be asked to work remotely due to the pandemic, however the positions will be based out of one of our offices, which are located in Burlington, Montpelier, Rutland, St. Johnsbury, and Springfield. Some in-state travel may be required.

Starting (annualized) salary is $51,893 for an attorney, $37,902 for a community advocate/paralegal, with salary credit given for relevant prior work experience. Four weeks paid vacation (prorated for length of contract), retirement, and excellent health benefits. Attorney applicants should be licensed to practice law in Vermont. 

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. Your application should include a cover letter and resume, sent as a single PDF, and indicate your interest in one or more of the work areas above. Send your application by e-mail to Betsy Whyte at bwhyte@vtlegalaid.orgwith the subject line “COVID Response Hiring.”  Please let us know how you heard about this position. 

Legal Services Vermont and Vermont Legal Aid are here to help! These are just five of the many topics we can help you with. Follow these links to our legal help website. Unemployment benefits Health care coverage Renting, eviction, utilities and mortgages Stimulus payments Food help

Legal Services Vermont and Vermont Legal Aid take confidentiality, privacy and information security seriously. On May 10th, our IT department discovered that our shared computer system had been frozen. We quickly investigated the security of our whole computer system and reported the incident to law enforcement.

With the assistance of security experts, we made a preliminary determination that no client information has been exposed. We are taking steps today that will further protect data in the future.

Despite this disruption, staff members continue to serve Vermonters. If you are a current client, feel free to reach out to your attorney or advocate at VLA or LSV. If you have a new legal problem, please call us.

To contact us, Vermonters should leave a message on the statewide legal help number at 1-800-889-2047 or with the Office of the Health Care Advocate at 1-800-917-7787. Remember to share information about any important deadlines in your voice message.

Our websites were not impacted. The statewide legal help website at VTLawHelp.org continues to offer Vermonters help with civil legal problems. It also has the most recent COVID-19 related information on topics such as eviction, unemployment, stimulus checks, health care access and more.

Please be assured that we continue to work hard on behalf of vulnerable and low-income Vermonters.

Legal Services Vermont seeks to engage a qualified vendor to develop a total of 13 short videos to explain the law in five different legal areas and demonstrate the legal process. The videos will demonstrate how Vermonters can handle a legal problem on their own. The videos will be an integral part of five online self-help “Classrooms” being developed by LSV. Learn about the RFP.

Legal Services Vermont and Vermont Legal Aid are not seeing any walk-in clients at this time. Please do not come to one of our offices. A sign will be posted saying our doors are locked and we are working remotely. Please use our helpline phone number or online form to reach us for help.  

(If you are a current client who made a specific appointment with one of our staff members, please confirm your appointment before coming.) 

Thank you for understanding as we follow recommendations from health officials and we work to lessen the impact of the coronavirus in our communities!

Vermonters face broad and substantial unmet civil legal needs. These needs are present across the entire spectrum of civil legal subject areas — including family law, housing, healthcare, public benefits, debt and more. This statewide study reviewed a broad range of objective and subjective data to determine the most persistent areas of unmet civil legal need in the state. Follow this link to read the report.

The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) announced on October 10, 2019, that Legal Services Vermont will receive a $152,266 Technology Initiative Grant to improve its use of technology in assisting low-income individuals with civil legal needs.

Legal Services Vermont will use the grant to create more online content for self-represented litigants at VTLawHelp.org. The organization will add tutorials for high-demand legal issues, including eviction and temporary restraining orders in domestic violence cases. The expanded library of online tutorials will feature a series of instructional videos informing viewers how to fill out court forms or initiate certain legal actions.

“LSC’s Technology Initiative Grants increase access to justice for low-income people with critical civil legal needs,” said LSC President Jim Sandman. “These technology projects improve the delivery of legal services and information to the millions of Americans who would otherwise have to navigate the legal system alone.”

Senator Patrick Leahy congratulated Legal Services Vermont on the award. “Fundamental fairness and justice require that access to legal services should not be limited only to those who can afford a lawyer,” Sen. Leahy said. “This grant will support the critical work of Legal Services Vermont, whose website alone connects thousands of low-income Vermonters to the information they need when faced with civil legal challenges. As Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I am proud to support the work of Legal Services Corporation as they help those in need navigate our justice system.”

Legal Services Vermont is one of 30 recipients of LSC’s 2019 Technology Initiative Grant funding. Established in 2000, the Technology Initiative Grants program supports legal aid organizations in developing and replicating technologies that improve efficiency and provide greater access to high-quality legal assistance.

Take our survey about the civil legal problems that face low-income and vulnerable Vermonters.

Legal Services Vermont and Vermont Legal Aid want to meet with you. The nonprofit law firms want to know more about the civil legal problems facing low-income and vulnerable Vermonters. They are holding seven meetings around the state to hear from Vermonters, their community partners and supporters. 

“We want to hear from as wide a cross section of Vermonters as possible. Everyone is encouraged to participate in this process,” said Sam Abel-Palmer, Executive Director of Legal Services Vermont.

“Civil” legal problems are any legal issues that are not criminal in nature. However, the organizations do help with the legal problems of crime victims. Also, the organizations help people with expunging and sealing past criminal records.

Staff from Vermont Legal Aid and Legal Services Vermont will be at the public meetings. They will use the information gathered to help decide where to put their legal aid resources. It’s part of a statewide legal needs assessment process the organizations will use to provide civil legal help where it’s needed most. The organizations work together to help thousands of Vermonters around the state each year.

Here’s the schedule of public meetings. No registration is needed and light refreshments will be provided.

 

NEWPORT

Wednesday, October 23, 1:00-2:30 p.m.

Goodrich Library, 202 Main St., Newport

 

ST. ALBANS

Monday, October 28, 1:00-2:30 p.m.

Community College of Vermont (CCV), 142 S. Main St., St. Albans

 

BENNINGTON

Wednesday, October 30, 1:00-2:30 p.m.

Community College of Vermont (CCV), Room 152, 324 Main St., Bennington

 

RUTLAND

Wednesday, October 30, 5:30-7:00 p.m.

Community College of Vermont (CCV), Room 102, 60 West St., Rutland

 

BRATTLEBORO

Monday, November 4, 1:00-2:30 p.m.

Community College of Vermont (CCV), Room 271, 41 Harmony Place, Brattleboro          

 

MONTPELIER

Tuesday, November 5, 2:00-3:30 p.m.

Bethany UCC Church, 115 Main St., Montpelier

 

BURLINGTON

Tuesday, November 5, 7:00-8:30 p.m.

Legal Services Vermont, 274 N. Winooski Ave., Burlington

 

Please note: Visitors to Community College of Vermont should stop at the main desk for a visitor’s badge.

Legal Services Vermont (LSV) recently released annual numbers that show our growing impact around the state. We offer a number of ways for Vermonters to access civil legal help and we offer our services for free.

In the last year:

our legal help hotline phone rang 23,781 times we received about 1,500 online requests for legal help at VTLawHelp.org about 15,000 times we provided quick legal advice or referrals to appropriate organizations we gave direct legal help to Vermonters in nearly 1,300 cases we opened more than 600 cases for seniors with legal needs we opened 500 cases for victims of crime who had legal problems we helped nearly 300 Vermonters facing eviction at our in-court eviction clinics we referred 150 cases to private attorneys for free legal assistance more than 100,000 individual users accessed information on our legal help website at VTLawHelp.org we did this work with a dedicated staff of 11 people and committed volunteer attorneys.

On any given day, LSV’s lawyers and paralegals might help someone get heat back on in their apartment or find emergency housing, help a senior reclaim their lost Social Security benefits, help a battered woman get protective orders from the court, or help a family navigate the eviction or bankruptcy process.

We provide support to low-income Vermonters who have legal cases that meet priorities that are set each year. The priorities help us decide how we will use our resources to help as many Vermonters as possible. LSV also provides screening and referrals to its sister organization, Vermont Legal Aid, as well as many other organizations. LSV is funded by the Legal Services Corporation.

Follow this link to learn how to get civil legal help in Vermont.

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