Family Law

 Program Director

About the Organization

The Commons Law Center is on a mission to revolutionize access to basic legal services for underserved Oregonians, and we are looking for talented and passionate professionals to join us. TheCommons is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides legal services on a sliding scale basis, free community legal education, and practical training for new legal professionals.

Last year The Commons:

• Launched a tenant law program, hired a team to staff it, and worked with other nonprofits and legal service providers to adapt to shifting needs.

• Helped persuade Portland Housing Bureau to extend its support for the Homeownership Asset Preservation Program beyond the pilot phase, enabling our team to continue creating pro bono estate plans for the City’s historic African American community.

• Doubled down on unbundled, or limited scope, legal services to break the mold of expensive, time-intensive, and traumatic family law trials.

This year, we are engaged in community-wide conversations about the future of the legal profession, from bar exam reform to limited licensure for paralegals, to share our experiences and ideas. Internally, our team is focused on doing our best work – not the most work, not the biggest work – the work that sustains, elevates, and empowers the people we serve and those working in public service. Because we are a learning organization, we strive to empower every one of our team members with the tools, the support, and the autonomy to further our overall mission.

About the Role

The Commons Law Center seeks a Family Law Program Director to supervise and train new practitioners, including lawyers, paralegals, and law students. A goal of our organization is to host lawyers and paralegals for fellowships after graduation that prepare them to provide needed legal services to underserved communities, whether they start a solo practice, work for another firm, or stay on with The Commons in a more senior role. The Commons is one of the only places teaching entrepreneurial approaches to lawyering while providing critical services to communities in need.

Roles and Responsibilities

The Program Director’s roles and responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Teach new legal practitioners to be excellent and competent service providers, respected by clients, opposing parties, courts, partners, and the communities they serve;
  • Be willing to apply strategies and ideas adopted from the business world to innovate legal service delivery in service of access to justice and equity;
  • Become one of Oregon’s experts on limited scope (unbundled) legal services;
  • Develop program infrastructure to scale service delivery, including training materials, document automation, workflow management systems, templates, guides, and forms;
  • Serve as legal supervisor for family law lawyers and paralegals;
  • Manage data collection and provide regular reports on program progress and deliverables;
  • Manage a small caseload you use to train the broader team;
  • Regularly litigate in multiple counties, navigating local rules, customs, and cultures, including whether in-person appearances or masks are required;
  • Collaborate with the program team, including director, other fellows, paralegals, and clerks, and with the broader organization to deliver and improve services;
  • Support program development, including recruiting pro bono partners and other volunteers, and partnership development with community based organizations and other providers; outreach, curriculum building, networking, volunteer recruitment, and ambassadorship;
  • Leverage the organization’s tech stack to optimize workflow and communications;• Use and help build the organization’s internal knowledge base regarding substantive legal and operational issues; and
  • Help make it fun because life is too short for work to be a bummer.

Requirements

Requirements include an Oregon State Bar license in good standing and management and mentorship experience.

Request:   Spanish fluency (understanding, speaking, and writing)

Salary:       $70,000

Benefits:   REMOTE WORK, employer-sponsored health and dental care, paid vacation, flexible schedule, and annual performance increases. Qualifying employer for PublicService Loan Forgiveness and Oregon’s Loan Repayment Assistance Program.

To Apply:   Please send a single PDF to jobs@thecommonslawcenter.org with cover letter, resume, unofficial transcript (if applicable), three references, and short writing sample.