Company Name: Disability Rights Iowa (www.driowa.org)
Job Title: Disability Rights Attorney
Location: 666 Walnut Street, Suite 1440, Des Moines, IA 50309
Opening Date: April 28th, 2022
Closing Date: For earliest consideration, apply by May 20th, 2022
Available: April, 2022 – May, 2025
Job Type: Limited Term, Full-Time position for Three Years (2022-2025)
Supervisor: Legal Director
Agency Description: Disability Rights Iowa (DRI) is a well-established, innovative, legally based non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the rights of Iowans with disabilities. DRI is the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy agency (P&A) for individuals with disabilities and/or mental illness in Iowa. DRI works to achieve equality and justice for people with disabilities through quality representation, advocacy, investigations of abuse and neglect, peer/self-advocacy services, community partnerships, regulatory advocacy work, education and outreach. DRI strives to pursue litigation and advocacy that addresses current pressing needs of the Disability Community, proactively identities future needs and constructs innovative solutions that continue to expand the human and legal rights of individuals with disabilities. DRI’s legal work includes individual and impact litigation. For more information, go to www.driowa.org.
Disability Rights Iowa is committed to creating a diverse workforce to strengthen our organization and is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. We strive to have a workforce that represents the communities we serve.
Benefits: DRI offers a comprehensive benefit plan for eligible employees. Benefits include health insurance, dental insurance, basic life, short-term and long-term disability insurance, a 403(b) retirement plan, and flexible spending accounts. Flexible spending accounts feature reimbursement for both medical and dependent care.
Time-off: DRI offers a generous holiday time off, paid sick time and vacation accrual package to full-time employees.
Disability Rights Attorney Job Description: Disability Rights Iowa is seeking a passionate and civil-rights orientated attorney to protect and advance the rights of Iowans with disabilities. The Disability Rights Attorney will be responsible for providing legal service to clients with disabilities, including advice, negotiation, representation in administrative hearings, litigation in state and federal court, and administrative and policy advocacy in accordance with program priorities and case handling policies. The Disability Rights Attorney will handle multiple cases and advocacy projects with appropriate supervision depending on experience including leading individual client litigation, administrative practice, appellate advocacy, technical assistance, systemic advocacy, outreach, training and policy advocacy. Relocating to DRI’s Offices in Des Moines, Iowa is required.
- Provides legal service to clients with disabilities including advice, negotiation, representation in administrative hearings, litigation in state and federal court, administrative and policy advocacy;
- Participates in litigation with support from the Legal Director, on statewide impact activity including institutional and group litigation and policy advocacy beneficial to people with disabilities;
- Conduct investigations and monitoring in conjunction with other attorneys and advocate(s), as needed;
- Engages and conducts outreach activities that increase the capacity of individuals with disabilities to be self-advocates;
- Educate policy makers on disability-related issues;
- Write organized and concise public reports, reports to other oversight and enforcement agencies, and internal reports regarding findings, conclusions and recommendations resulting from investigations or monitoring activities;
- Conduct and prepare trainings on the rights of individuals with disabilities and on the protection and advocacy services available from DRI;
- Participate on teams of attorneys and advocates with respect to any advocacy, monitoring or litigation conducted by DRI;
- Represent DRI on councils, commissions, work groups and stakeholder groups, as assigned by supervisor;
- Work in conjunction with other DRI staff on planning and developing agency priorities, goals and objectives;
- Work in conjunction with other DRI staff in preparing annual program and performance reports, as assigned;
- Travel throughout the state of Iowa as needed in order to conduct investigations, monitoring and provide advocacy;
- Use Microsoft Office software suite;
- Other duties as assigned.
- J.D. degree from an accredited law school;
- Admitted to, or eligible for admission to, the Iowa State Bar, the United States District Courts for District of Iowa, and U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit.
- 0-2 years of experience as a legal intern, law clerk or licensed attorney
- Strong and effective writing, verbal and negotiating communication skills, including the ability to do so in a concise manner, even when doing so regarding complex issues;
- Strong organizational skills;
- Passion for advocacy and utilizing litigation to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities.
- Experience in disability law, including but not limited to Medicaid, special education, The Americans with Disabilities Act and/or other federal or state laws impacting people with disabilities.
- Experience as a person with a disability or as a member of a nondominant cultural group, or experience working with or living with persons with disabilities or within a nondominant cultural community.
- Demonstrate understanding of disability rights values in daily work (self-determination, person-centered services, informed consent, equal opportunity, independence and inclusion.)
Equal Opportunity Employer
Disability Rights Iowa is an Equal Opportunities Employer. It is the policy of DRI to prohibit discrimination and harassment of any type and to afford equal employment opportunities to employees and applicants, without regard to race, color, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, pregnancy, medical condition or genetic information, veteran status, national origin, disability, marital or other protected status.
Disability Rights Iowa values diversity. Individuals with disabilities, people of color, LGBTQIA+ individuals and others who contribute to staff diversity are especially encouraged to apply.
DRI is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities who are applicants or employees. Applicants interested in seeking reasonable accommodations for the application process please contact Katie Vande Vorde, Operations Manager, Disability Rights Iowa firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to Apply:
E-mail cover letter and resume to:
Katie Vande Vorde, Operations Manager, Disability Rights Iowa email@example.com.
No phone calls please.