Guardian ad litem Staff Investigator | Children's Law Center

Guardian ad litem Staff Investigator

Description: 

Who We Are

At the Children’s Law Center, everything we do is focused on one thing – delivering better client outcomes for kids and families in DC. Our staff are empowered to open minds, shape decisions, and offer solutions. We encourage intellectual curiosity, innovation, diversity, and mutual respect.

Our greatest assets are our people. We strive to attract and cultivate a vibrant, creative, and diverse community.  We recognize that people with diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives fuel our ability to provide the best outcomes for our clients. Our staff drive the Children’s Law Center’s mission with their leadership, result-orientated mindset, and commitment to cultural humility and centering the needs of our clients.   We are looking for an individual who enjoys working in a fast-paced, team-oriented environment, likes to be challenged, and values the opportunity to make a difference.

Children Law Center’s success depends on recruiting and retaining individuals who possess and value these attributes.

*The Children’s Law Center is currently operating remotely. This position will work from home until the organization returns to the office.

Job Summary

Children’s Law Center’s unique Investigator program aims to employ high-talent individuals by providing them with a range of experiences in a legal, non-profit setting. The program consists of on-the-job experience and training. The program is appropriate for someone considering a legal, counseling, or social work career.

The investigator will work with lawyers who represent children and teens involved in the child welfare system over the course of two years.

The position involves assisting lawyers with all aspects of their representation, including locating and gathering records, serving subpoenas, interviewing witnesses, visiting schools, and locating appropriate social services for children. The investigator may prepare written reports and testify in court.

The investigator works from Children’s Law Center’s main office (when staff returns to the office). 

This position reports to the Director of Investigations.

Duties/Responsibilities

Organization

  • Works effectively and efficiently on multiple assignments, such as records requests, completing interviews and client visits, to support attorneys.
  • Maintains case information in an orderly and timely manner – electronic and hard copy files.
  • Able to develop systems to meet and track deadlines and assignments in an organized way. Will have access to Microsoft Office tools such as Calendar, To Do and Tasks.
  • Manages time efficiently to complete case work such as; serving subpoenas, reviewing and summarizing records, researching services for clients, locating and interviewing witnesses, and other responsibilities.

 

Critical Thinking

  • Demonstrates the ability to understand basic legal and ethical concepts and jargon to follow the laws and rules for working with attorneys and clients, gathering evidence for court cases, and understanding basic court processes and proceedings to best serve clients.
  • Identifies relevant facts in cases that can be used for evidence in court and potential issues/problems clients may face.
  • Identifies/locates/finds information to support case work and provides solutions to address issues and problems obtaining that information.
  • Synthesizes and summarizes records, reports and evaluations.
  • Uses creativity and resourcefulness to solve problems like locating witnesses and important case information.
  • Demonstrates good judgment when interacting with clients.

 

Investigation

  • Locates and identifies information by obtaining a variety of records from courts, hospitals, schools and service providers; completes interviews of witnesses, family members, and professionals; and researches services in person, over the phone, and through the internet to find information to support clients and case work.
  • Prepares written records requests for information/records. Written requests require accurate spelling and grammar as they may be included in court records.
  • Interprets and summarizes information contained in records (such as criminal, medical, mental health and school records) and research for court purposes and to assess the needs of clients.
  • Writes and serves subpoenas to witnesses.
  • Files court papers and requests and obtains court records.
  • Observes meetings, hearing, client visits and interviews.
  • Meets with clients in their homes, the community and the office.
  • Takes detailed notes at meetings and hearings.
  • Identifies and locates witnesses, potential parties to a case and experts by using internet tools and social media.
  • Participates and conducts interviews with witnesses to obtain information about the case and our client. Interviews are often held out in the community (homes, offices, schools, hospitals, etc).

 

Communication

  • Interacts effectively in person, by telephone and in written correspondence.
  • Acts in a respectful, professional manner with clients, attorneys, social workers, and others.
  • Has self-awareness when interacting with clients and other CLC staff, can perceive, understand and relate well to others especially those who are different than themselves.
  • Prepares thoughtful, high-quality written documents that are well organized, detailed, and have correct spelling and grammar as they may end up in court documents.
  • Exhibits active listening skills by suspending judgment, reflecting, asking clarifying questions and paying attention to what is being said.

 

Interpersonal Skills

  • Works effectively and efficiently with others and supports team members to address client needs.

Skills/Abilities

  • Strong interpersonal, communication, and relationship-building skills.
  • Resourcefulness and creativity to solve problems.
  • Ability to gather information from a wide variety of persons and settings.
  • Strong independent judgement and decision-making skills.
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills.
  • Cultural humility as shown through demonstrated openness to self-reflection and commitment to understanding and respecting other cultural experiences and points of view.
  • Self-reflective, open to feedback and supervision.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills.
  • Initiative and tenacity to complete assignments.
  • Tact and discretion for handling confidential casework.
  • Commitment to social, economic, and racial justice.
  • Demonstrated capacity to work independently and collaboratively.
  • Bilingual English/Spanish communication skills strongly preferred.

Required Education and Experience

  • Must be able to pass a background check.
  • Experience working with low-income persons and children and/or teens preferred.
  • Valid Driver’s license required.

Salary and Benefits

The salary for this position ranges from $40,000 annually.  Children’s Law Center offers a generous benefits package that includes medical, dental, vision, and short- and long-term disability insurance; employer-provided retirement contributions; flexible spending plans; and vacation, sick, holiday, family and medical leave.

Application Instructions: 

To apply, please submit the following materials in one PDF file: cover letter, resume, writing sample and 3 professional references.  Please do not submit application materials as a .zip attachment if submitting by email.  Applications may be submitted via mail, fax, or email to: 

 

Children’s Law Center

Attn: GAL Staff Investigator Hiring Committee

501 3rd Street NW

8th Floor

Washington, D.C. 20001 

Jobs@ChildrensLawCenter.org

 

No telephone calls please.

The Children’s Law Center is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to equal employment opportunities for all applicants and existing employees.  We evaluate qualified applicants without regard to ancestry, age, color, disability, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, military or veteran status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, and any other basis protected by federal, state, or local law, ordinance, or regulation. We invite you to visit us here to learn more about our company and our career opportunities (www.childrenslawcenter.org/join-us).

The Children’s Law Center is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment. If you believe that you need accommodation to search for, or apply for, one of our positions please send an email to Jobs@ChildrensLawCenter.org. In your email, please include the accommodation you are requesting and the job title you are applying for. It may take up to three business days to receive a response to your request.