full time legal

Job Details

Employed By: The Georgia Heirs Property Law Center, Inc. (d/b/a The Georgia Heirs Property Law Center and referred to below as “the Center”)

Immediate Supervisor: Legal Programs Director

Status: Regular Exempt Full-time Employee

Job Location: Georgia

Experience Sought: 3+ years

Special Characteristics: Passionate about the Center’s mission; compassionate towards the clients being served; tireless in the pursuit of social justice; eager to secure and preserve property rights, remediate heirs property, and provide estate planning services as a means to address generational poverty and build wealth in low- and moderate- income communities; able to work with grassroots leaders and build trust in underserved communities; ready to be part of a team in the creation of a lasting legacy.

Job Application Close Date: March 15, 2021, or until position is filled.

About the Georgia Heirs Property Law Center

The Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit law firm, the only of its kind in Georgia, with... the mission to increase generational wealth, economic value, and community stability by securing and preserving property rights of low and moderate-income Georgians. In furthering this mission, the Center assists heirs property owners in remediating fractured title, increasing equity in their home or land, and transferring wealth to the next generation through technical assistance including title clearing, wills creation, estate planning, education, and facilitating access to government, private sector, and nonprofit land management/home improvement programs. The Center has offices in Atlanta, Athens, Valdosta, and Fitzgerald. Staff work collaboratively throughout the state, with targeted outreach in Atlanta and South Georgia.

Summary of Staff Attorney Position

The Staff Attorney position is full-time and reports to the Center’s Legal Programs Director. Responsibilities include working on title clearing and estate planning matters for clients throughout Georgia; representing clients in matters before courts statewide; maintaining client case files and working with referral organizations; educating low- and moderate-income communities about heirs property remediation and

prevention, property ownership and preservation, economic development, and government, private sector, and nonprofit land management/home improvement programs; working in partnership with stakeholders, nonprofits, governmental agencies, and municipalities in the communities served; and collaborating with the Center’s attorney and non-attorney staff and pro bono volunteers. Travel as well as some evening and weekend work required.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Direct Legal Services (75%):

  • Maintain an active caseload of heirs property title clearing and probate matters. Perform legal research and prepare petitions, memoranda, court pleadings, discovery, motions and briefs.

Appear in state and federal courts for motions, trials, hearings, conferences and appeals.

  • Conduct intake calls with potential clients, follow up for requested information, summarize facts of case, and present case to staff for consideration.

  • Conduct preliminary title research and review title search results.

  • Assist families with determining and locating heirs utilizing tools such as Ancestry.com,

GenealogyBank.com, Westlaw.com PeopleMap, etc. Calculate ownership interest in land based on applicable intestacy statutes.

  • Lead family meetings to discuss heirs property issues and facilitate agreements regarding property goals. Negotiate resolutions with opposing parties, attorneys and guardian ad litems.

  • Prepare and record deeds.

  • Prepare estate plans, including wills, advance directives for health care and financial powers of attorney.

  • Organize and maintain client files and records of a confidential, complex, or otherwise sensitive nature. Maintain client files, client information, case notes, case strategy, case expenses, case deadlines and timekeeping in case management database. Implement organizational systems to achieve effective workloads and case flow.

  • Keep the Legal Programs Director fully informed on client cases and all important external factors influencing them. Establish sound working relationships with Center attorney and non- attorney staff.

Communications, Outreach and Education (25%):

  • Coordinate and present outreach, education, and technical assistance and develop educational materials for property owners, attorneys, nonprofits, and municipalities about heirs property issues.

  • Coordinate Heirs Property Prevention and Wills Clinics, including pro bono volunteers, with support of Center attorneys and non-attorney staff.

  • Collaborate with project partners and staff to develop outreach and education programming and materials. Establish sound working relationships and cooperative arrangements with community organizations.

Qualifications:

Candidates must already have a JD from an accredited law school and be a member in good standing with the State Bar of Georgia. Candidates must have 3+ years of legal experience in the practice of real estate law, estate planning, litigation and/or probate or the equivalent combination of education, training and experience. Personal experience with heirs property is a plus but not required. Candidates should have public speaking and community education experience, be comfortable working in diverse communities and building trust with individuals and grassroots groups, and understand the special values and challenges of rural life and poverty issues. Candidates should also be willing and able to work as part of a team in a professional and collaborative manner and have the ability to set priorities and meet deadlines, along with a “glass half full” approach to challenges, even when the going gets tough. Humor and expertise in laughter are a plus.

Candidates must live in Georgia. Travel is required, and candidates must also have reliable transportation and a valid Georgia driver’s license.

Compensation:

Salary is competitive based on a non-profit scale and commensurate with experience. Benefits include health, dental and vision insurance, vacation and paid sick leave, and mileage reimbursement.

To Apply:

Please send a cover letter, including any experience in real estate law, estate planning, litigation and/or probate, reasons for your interest in resolving injustices arising from heirs property, and any other pertinent information, along with a resume, writing sample, and list of references to Skipper

G. StipeMaas, Executive Director, via email info@gaheirsproperty.org.

The Center is committed to workplace diversity. No phone calls please

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