Firm: West Tennessee Legal Services

Start Date: 6/1/2018

Full Time or Part Time: Full-time Temporary Position

Health Benefits? No

Location: Jackson, TN

Position Description: AGENCY DESCRIPTION: For over 30 years, West Tennessee Legal Services (WTLS) has provided access to justice for low-income vulnerable people in a 17-county, mostly rural area of West Tennessee with civil legal problems affecting basic needs for food security, shelter, medical care, income security, special education and freedom from abuse. The JD program students will work with the Elder Justice AmeriCorps Fellow within the framework of WTLS’ Senior Citizens Law Project (SCLP). SCLP (est. 1981) provides legal help to those age 60 and older with a focus on the most vulnerable, especially those at risk or who have been victims of elder abuse, including financial exploitation/identity theft, mental abuse, physical abuse, and/or self-neglect. SCLP collaborates with other WTLS attorneys and paralegals in all areas of service provided by WTLS, as well as with community partners, to identify and address the multiple risks and needs of vulnerable senior citizens to preserve their dignity and protect them from exploitation, neglect, and/or physical/mental abuse.


Elder Justice AmeriCorps will engage 125 law students to serve as AmeriCorps members around the country who are working to expand the delivery of legal services to older adult victims of abuse, neglect, or exploitation and other individuals who need it most.

AmeriCorps JD: Elder Justice AmeriCorps

Elder Justice AmeriCorps law student members in the AmeriCorps JD program will improve the lives of victims of elder abuse by providing legal assistance to older adult victims of abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Law student members serving at organizations that host Equal Justice Works Elder Justice AmeriCorps Fellows will focus specifically on assisting the Fellows with responding to instances of elder abuse. These law students will help sites conduct outreach to other service agencies and to vulnerable elders, and will help their sites provide other necessary legal services to older adult clients who have been victims of abuse. The students will also assist attorneys with legal research, drafting briefs, outreach and intake screenings.

Attitude and General Responsibilities

• Support program staff, your supervisor, and administrative staff in duties as appropriate and necessary.

• Consult with your supervisor if you have any ideas, issues, or concerns, offering analysis and solutions whenever possible.

• Practice sound health habits, including getting sufficient rest, to effectively perform the position requirements.

• Respect confidentiality of clients, staff, and other AmeriCorps members.

Program leadership

• Make connections with individuals and volunteers in the community for program outreach and program enhancement.

• Assist AmeriCorps members and staff in programming and activities

• Train and assist volunteers when appropriate.

Program-specific duties

• Provide legal assistance to older adult victims of abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

• Participate in existing and expand collaboration with community leaders, law enforcement, and other agencies serving the elderly to recognize and prevent elder abuse.

• Conduct outreach to other service agencies and to vulnerable elders.

• Assist attorneys with legal research, drafting briefs, and intake screenings for older adult victims of abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

• Participate in caregiver, nursing home/assisted living, law enforcement and legal provider education to recognize and prevent elder abuse.

• Provide information on how to recognize and prevent elder abuse, rights and resources for senior citizens in community-based settings.

Citizenship training and responsibilities

• Participate in AmeriCorps training and national service events as required

Program training

• Participate in orientation training

• Participate in substantive veterans legal issue training as provided by Equal Justice Works

Skill requirements: Essential functions include the ability to:

• Have the ability to undergo and pass AmeriCorps-mandated criminal background checks and an on-line background check with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI)

• Be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or Lawful Permanent Resident of the United States

• Have less than four terms of AmeriCorps service

• Have a demonstrated commitment to public interest work and strong desire to assist indigent clients

• Have strong writing, communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills

• Have the ability work collaboratively in a variety of contexts

• Have a valid driver’s license

• Have the ability to begin the fellowship no later than June 1, 2018.

• Those with experience regarding elder law issues are strongly encouraged to apply

Program Benefits: The Elder Justice AmeriCorps JD program is an AmeriCorps-funded program that provides law students with the opportunity to earn an AmeriCorps education award of $1,222 that can be used to pay educational expenses or student loans. Students may seek up to $4,422 in additional compensation for their service, for a total of up to $5,644 in compensation. The $4,422 in additional compensation may be funded by a Federal Work Study Award, the student’s law school, local bar foundation, and/or other public interest fellowship award. In addition, students are welcome to hold outside employment to supplement their income.

Students must complete 300 hours of service and complete these hours by September 1, 2018 unless prior approval is given by Equal Justice Works. Requirements to serve include completion of a National Sex Offender Public Registry check, state criminal background check(s), FBI Fingerprint criminal background check, and submission of proof of U.S. citizenship or legal permanent residency.

LOCATIONS: The positions are based in the WTLS Jackson office with travel to the other 16 counties in the WTLS service area.

West Tennessee Legal Services is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, age, disability or veteran status.

Any NSL Alumni at your organization?  Yes

To apply: TO APPLY: Interested candidates should email a letter of interest and resume no later than March 16, 2018 to Sandra Bingham at with the subject line: AmeriCorps JD Program – [Your Last Name]. The letter of interest should clearly refer to the Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps JD Program position. Applications will be reviewed as they are submitted.

Apply for the AmeriCorps JD program through our Student Application Manager. More information is available at

Deadline to apply: 3/16/2018