Intake Counselor MEMPHIS AREA LEGAL SERVICES (MALS)

Job Title:    Intake Counselor
Reports to:    Manager of Case Management and Compliance
Date Updated:    May 2018

About Memphis Area Legal Services (MALS): MALS is the primary provider of civil legal representation for low income individuals and families in Fayette, Lauderdale, Shelby, and Tipton counties in Tennessee who are facing critical, sometimes life-threatening situations. Legal assistance is provided through advice and counsel, representation in court and administrative proceedings, and community education and outreach to vulnerable residents. Since 1970, MALS has grown to become a multi-faceted community law firm guided by values and principles that embody its commitment to equal access to justice for all.

Position Description: This position reports to the Manager of Case Management and Compliance under Operations. It is responsible for screening potential clients for eligibility for MALS’ services and for assisting in the provision of high quality legal services to qualified individuals and groups under MALS’ guidelines and substantive priority areas.

Key Responsibilities:
The Intake Counselor performs a wide range of duties, including the following:

Clerical
•    Answers and screens incoming telephone calls; greets and handles clients and visitors in a courteous and reassuring manner
•    Conducts telephone and walk-in intake and eligibility interviews; provides appropriate telephone advice to clients in accordance with protocols defined by MALS’ case management procedures
•    Establishes and maintains filing systems for office correspondence, reports, etc.
•    Prepares, copies, faxes, emails and mails documents, correspondence, etc., as requested, in a timely and efficient manner
•    Performs all data entry tasks associated with case management procedures and conducts and reconciles periodic data audits, as requested
•    Prepares and delivers daily outgoing mail to designated areas
•    Acts as back up or relief for front desk receptionist, as needed
•    Files and maintains hard copies of eligibility records and client applications pursuant to case management procedures
•    Maintains client grievance forms and assists applicants and/or clients in the grievance process by appropriately directing complaints received
•    Maintains high standards of accuracy and competency in carrying out duties and responsibilities and exercises remedial action(s) to correct deficiencies that occur in expected skills and responsibilities

Professional Development
•    Maintains working knowledge of case management procedures, general office practices, and communication protocols in order to professionally and appropriately interact with staff, clients, callers and visitors
•    Maintains working knowledge of all policies, procedures, laws, rules and regulations governing the office in delivering advice and carrying out case management duties and responsibilities accordingly
•    Maintains accurate knowledge regarding eligibility criteria, which must be met by clients and/or applicants and is able to explain it in a clear and understandable manner
•    Maintains working knowledge of computer software required to do the job

Relationships/Outreach
•    Develops and maintains a working knowledge of legal and social service agencies that can help both eligible and ineligible applicants for MALS’ services and makes appropriate referrals
•    Maintains a working relationship with assigned units and other delivery components of MALS, including the Pro Bono Unit, the University of Memphis Legal Clinic, and other administrative and support staff
•    Participates in community education and outreach activities, as requested
•    Develops and maintains cooperative and courteous relationships with staff and the general public in order to promote good will and a positive image
•    Communicates and interacts courteously and professionally with clients, lawyers, court personnel, government agency personnel, etc. in the performance of duties

Other
•    Participates in decisions regarding case acceptance of client applications for legal service, in consultation with managing attorneys and/or the Chief Advocacy Officer
•    Participates in organizational and program development projects, such as tracking data, on an as needed basis
•    Performs other duties as assigned by the Manager of Case Management and Compliance and/or the Chief Operations Officer

Qualifications
MALS is seeking an individual who is highly organized, has excellent communication skills, gives keen attention to detail, and enjoys working in a team-based environment.

Applicants should have:
•    A degree from a paralegal training program or high school diploma with related experience
•    A demonstrated interest in assisting low-income people and conducting aggressive advocacy
•    Proficient data entry skills and be able to type at an accurate rate of at least 50 words per minute
•    Strong computer skills with databases and Microsoft Office applications
•    Excellent oral and written communication skills
•    Ability to work in a fast-paced, multi-faceted, and high-volume atmosphere
•    Strong organizational and analytical skills
•    Ability to manage multiple deadlines
•    Excellent customer service skills
•    Bi-lingual proficiency in Spanish a plus
Employment Status
Non-Exempt

To apply
Send a cover letter and resume to nmcgee@malsi.org. No phone calls.