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Lawyer Referral Coordinator

Hennepin County Bar Association/Foundation


Organization Summary:

The Hennepin County Bar Association exists to serve the needs of its membership by advancing professionalism, ethical conduct, diversity, competence, practice development, and collegiality in the legal profession. The association shall strive to ensure the fairness and accessibility of the legal system, promote public understanding and confidence in our system of justice, and work with the courts to improve the administration of justice.

Location: Twin Cities Metro Activity Area: Legal, Civil Rights Advocacy, Crime
Category: Administration and Management Closing Date: open until filled
Job Type: Full Time Salary: DOQ
Hours: M-F 8:30-4:30 

Primary Duties:

The LRIS Coordinator is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the LRIS under the direction of the Legal Services Director. The coordinator carries primary responsibility for providing detailed administration of the program and for supervising, equipping, and mentoring referral counselors. The coordinator also serves as a referral counselor. This is an exempt position. Supervisory Role The coordinator manages the LRIS, assigning responsibility as appropriate to other LRIS staff. A thorough familiarity with procedures and policies, the software, and all aspects of the LRIS is necessary to fulfill responsibilities. Administrative: • Consult with and advise Legal Services Director concerning all issues related to LRIS • Support HCBA policies within the department • Delegate responsibilities to other counselor(s) as appropriate • Maintain computer records accurately, including all panel memberships and their requirements, ethics record investigation, annual renewals. • Respond promptly to communications from panel members and other individuals • Prepare quarterly reports and other correspondence to panel members. • Assist with quarterly newsletter • Maintain financial records and coordinate finances with Finance Director • Participate in the LRIS Oversight Committee meetings • Maintain connection with other LRIS staff through the ABA Standing Committee on LRIS, and attend their conferences with the goal of understanding and implementing best practices, identifying trends that might suggest changes to policies and procedures, and offering insights from our LRIS experience to other services • Maintain compliance with and recognition by ABA with regard to model rules Staffing • Participate with the Legal Services Director in hiring staff • Train new employees, providing oversight and direction, and mentoring. • Consult with and advise other counselor(s) on difficult referrals • Arrange in-service training opportunities; participate in the annual Legal Services Provider’s Roundtable. • Provide employee reviews to referral counselors • Maintain an up-to-date policies and procedures manual • Recruit volunteers Referral Counselor Role: Referral Counselors are responsible for the day-to-day operation of the LRIS. Responsibilities include answering phone calls and determining the appropriate manner to handle each call as well as coordinating special projects of the LRIS. Referral counselors are responsible for the following specific responsibilities: • Handle phone inquiries from the public; help callers determine whether their concerns are a legal matter or whether a referral to another agency is more appropriate. • Refer appropriate cases to panel attorneys on rotation/geographical/availability basis. • Maintain up-to-date information on legal service providers, governmental agencies and social service agencies for use in referring callers. • Maintain accurate referral records, financial records, statistics, and other files. Assist in the upkeep of departmental files. • Handle attorney and client correspondence as necessary. The LRIS is financially dependent upon the good will of the public and the member attorneys. The top priority of the department is handling the phone inquiries appropriately. Counselors are expected to: • use a pleasant and helpful phone manner, • screen callers to determine appropriate resource, • avoid giving ANY legal advice to callers, • monitor client satisfaction, • mitigate complaints of clients where possible, and • respond promptly to inquiries from attorneys. A ‘team’ attitude is essential to the smooth operation of the referral services. Counselors are expected to: • handle an equitable share of phone calls, • work collegially within the LRIS team and the HCBA office, and • respond promptly to requests from the director or other co-workers. Referral Counselors work as part of a team that relates not only to the LRIS, but also the day-to-day operation of some direct legal service projects of the association. The coordinator assigns responsibilities for one or more of the projects, currently (1) the Low Fee Family Law Project, (2) the Misdemeanor Defense Project, and (3) Legal Access Point. (See below) HCBA Direct Legal Service Projects: The following are currently direct legal service projects of the HCBA and are administered by the LRIS legal services staff. Low-Fee Family Law Project This project seeks to match low income family law clients with attorney volunteers who have agreed to provide their services at significantly discounted rates. All staff will • Respond to inquiries and do phone screening of potential clients for this project • Determine if clients meet Low-Fee Family Law Project qualification requirements • Schedule appointments for qualifying clients to meet with Low-Fee Family Law Project attorneys Misdemeanor Defense Project (MDP) This project provides attorneys in each court location each day to provide information and brief advice without charge to the public. Panel members provide a service to the public and the courts, while having the opportunity to be retained for legal representation. Assigned staff will • Create MDP court calendar from signup meetings • Find replacement attorneys when necessary • Enter referral data from attorney report forms into the computer system • Assist in organizing and running signup meetings • Visit courts to monitor attorney attendance and procedures, maintain contact with court administrators, and provide marketing materials Legal Access Point (LAP) Project This project provides volunteer attorneys daily at the Self Help Center at Hennepin County District Court to provide brief advice to the public. Volunteers serve a two-hour shift, responding to inquiries on a first-come first-served basis. Assigned staff will • Recruit and schedule LRIS attorneys for volunteer times with the LAP project • Send reminder notices prior to LAP dates for LRIS attorneys • Visit Self Help Center regularly to monitor program and encourage volunteers • Maintain LAP client intake database • Maintain calendar so other counselors are aware of the practice areas of the attorneys who will be serving at LAP each day, thus allowing referrals to be made to the LAP program in an effective manner.


Requires excellent communication, program management, and supervisory skills, with cultural sensitivity. Prefer bilingual (Spanish speaking) individual with legal services knowledge and experience. (Law degree a plus.)


Additional Info:

The Hennepin County Bar Association seeks energetic and public-service-oriented individual for a full-time permanent position as a referral counselor and management trainee for the association’s legal services programs (to succeed planned retirement of current coordinator).

How To Apply:

Apply with letter of interest, resume, and references by August 23 to: Legal Services, Hennepin County Bar Association, 600 Nicollet Ave, Suite 390, Minneapolis, MN 55402, or HR


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