AmeriCorps members in our program serve with 6 different organizations to provide civil (non-criminal) legal assistance to low-income Montanans. Sites include Montana Legal Services Association, Supreme Court Self Help Law Centers, Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribal Defenders Office, Legal Services Developer Program, Office of Child and Family Ombudsman and the YWCA of Missoula. AmeriCorps members perform a variety of duties including working with clients, providing legal information and referrals, helping attorneys with case management, developing outreach materials and presentations, recruiting and coordinating volunteers, helping survivors of domestic violence access services, and much more. Legal experience is not necessary and all members will be trained in various skills and topics.
• Develop knowledge of Montana's legal system and legal information to share with client populations and other agencies as appropriate
• Assist clients and process applications and requests for assistance
• Assist in maintaining client related files and documentation
• Support attorneys with case management and attend court hearings as appropriate
• Serve as a LiveHelp navigator to provide remote assistance in finding legal information on MontanaLawHelp.org and other websites
• Recruit, train and coordinate volunteers and interns, including pro bono attorneys, law students, college students, and others
• Expand outreach efforts for various projects such as the Montana FreeFile program, farm worker outreach, and many more
• Build relationships, attend meetings, and provide trainings with partner organization and other service agencies
• Attend trainings to broaden your knowledge of the legal system, techniques for working with clients in crisis, and to learn more about important resource providers
• Perform other AmeriCorps-related duties as assigned
Community Need Addressed
Access to civil legal information for low-income Montanans.
1. Increasing access to justice for low to moderate income Montanans.
2. Expanding access to civil legal resources for low to moderate income Montanans.
3. Empowering low to moderate income Montanans to uphold their legal rights.
4. Connecting low to moderate income Montanans with the legal resources they need.
5. Recruiting volunteers to expand the legal services available to low and moderate income Montanans.
Childcare assistance if eligible, College Credit, Education award upon successful completion of service, Health coverage, Living allowance, Relocation allowance (if applicable), Stipend, Student loan forbearance, Training
Skills you will gain
customer service, legal information, networking, resume, time management, legal writing, legal research, problem solving
Competencies You Will Develop
Demonstrate sensitivity and empathy, Listen to and consider others' viewpoints, Maintain open lines of communication with others, Speak clearly, in precise language and in a logical, organized and coherent manner, Write cleary and effectively
Creativity & Problem Solving
Able to identify and define the problem, Capable of generating possible solutions, Communicate the problem to appropriate personnel, Improvise, Provide relevant expertise, Select and implement well-considered solution
Develop constructive working relationships and maintain them over time, Establish a high degree of trust and credibility with others, Interact professionally and respectfully with supervisors and co-workers, Stay positive and outcome oriented, Use appropriate strategies and solutions for dealing with conflicts and differences to maintain a smooth workflow
Accepts responsibility, Anticipate the consequences of decisions, Identify and prioritize the key issues involved to facilitate the decision making process, Involve people appropriately in decisions that may impact them
Carefully consider which tools or technological solutions are appropriate for a given job, Operate tools and equipment in accordance with established operating procedures, safety standards, and ethical guidelines, Seek opportunities to improve knowledge of tools and technologies that may assist in streamlining work and improving productivity
Able to prioritize various competing tasks, Create environment of contribution, Create plan of action, schedule tasks so that work is completed on time, Demonstrate the effective allocation of time and resources efficiently, Set goals
Be pleasant, courteous, professional and respectful when dealing with internal and external customers or clients, Evaluate customer or client satisfaction, Honor the privilege of being able to work with and for those being served, Provide personalized, prompt, and efficient service to meet the requirements, requests and needs of customers, Recognize the importance of maintaining privacy and confidentiality of those being served, Understand and anticipate the needs of others, Understand the importance of one's role in the functioning of the organization, Understand the significance of maintaining a healthful and safe environment