JOB OPENINGS

  1. Staff Attorney - Click here for the job description in a .pdf format

  2. Lead Investigator - Click here for the job description in a .pdf format

Staff Attorney

The Staff Attorney advocates on behalf of children and adults with disabilities. This position reports to the Legal Director of Disability Rights Connecticut, Inc. (“DRCT”).  This is a full time position.

Agency Description

Disability Rights Connecticut, Inc. (“DRCT”) is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the civil and human rights of persons with disabilities in Connecticut. DRCT’s mission is to advocate, educate, investigate and pursue legal, administrative, and other appropriate remedies to advance and protect the civil rights of citizens with disabilities to participate equally and fully in all facets of community life in Connecticut. DRCT is a statewide organization authorized by federal law and funded by the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and Social Security Act and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

JOB DESCRIPTION

The responsibilities of the person in this position will include:

  • Individual and systemic advocacy or representation to ensure protection of the rights of eligible clients in formal and informal legal and administrative proceedings, including conducting client and other interviews, identifying issues, determining course of action, developing and implementing appropriate legal strategies both within DRCT and with outside counsel, negotiating solutions to problems, and/or encouraging self-advocacy, when appropriate. Emphasis of this position will be on systemic advocacy so as to benefit the most individuals.

  • Supervise advocates with oversight from the Legal Director.

  • Analyze existing cases and other complaints and materials to determine if they present systemic issues which may be appropriate for DRCT to address systemically, and, with the Legal Director, formulate broad strategies for their prevention, reduction, elimination or promotion. This includes significant participation in developing and conducting class action litigation in state and federal court, and the use of media and other strategies in support of such litigation.

  • Analyze existing cases and other situations to determine if they present systemic issues which may be appropriate for DRCT to address, and, with the Legal Director, formulate strategies for their prevention, reduction or elimination.

  • Work with outside counsel to develop and act as co-counsel in class action and systemic impact litigation.

  • Act in accordance with identified mission, priorities and goals of DRCT.

  • Consult with professionals such as attorneys, physicians, psychologists, therapists, educators, and others to identify options and barriers for individuals and groups and prepare cases for litigation.

  • Assist people with disabilities in advocacy and systems change efforts.

  • Create and participate on task forces, coalitions and committees as assigned, as well as conduct training and outreach activities.

  • Supervise advocates, assist with facility monitoring, address allegations or complaints of abuse and neglect from people with disabilities, family members, friends or other concerned parties in state and private facilities such as hospitals, nursing homes and community facilities.

  • Maintain accurate, confidential files that document legal services provided.

  • Assist in preparing reports to funding sources.

  • Maintain accurate time records and client records, including accurate use of the Disability Advocacy Database (DAD), which is necessary for DRCT to meet its programmatic and fiscal responsibilities, and to obtain prevailing party attorney fees when appropriate.

  • Perform related tasks consistent with skills, abilities, and general responsibilities as required to support DRCT.

  • Travel throughout Connecticut and outside Connecticut as necessary to perform assigned job tasks.

Minimum qualifications for this position include:

  • Juris Doctorate degree from an accredited law school or other law school approved by the Connecticut Supreme Court.

  • Active Connecticut law license or at least five years’ practice while admitted to the bar of another state.(Admission to the Connecticut Bar within 12 months of employment is required and is the responsibility of the applicant)

  • A minimum of five 5 years of substantial litigation experience (or significant experience in class action civil rights or disability law litigation) representing plaintiffs. Legal clerkships may be counted as up to one year of litigation experience.

  • Ability to take a lead role in case planning and management.

  • A demonstrated ability to handle routine and complex litigation in state and federal courts

  • Experience in working with and for people with disabilities.

  • Knowledge of the disability services system in Connecticut.

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.

  • Ability to work efficiently, independently and collaboratively. Demonstrated interest and commitment to public interest law.

The Staff Attorney should also demonstrate competence in the following:

  • Behave ethically

  • Support diversity

  • Build relationships

  • Communicate effectively

  • Focus on client needs

  • Demonstrate professionalism

  • Make decisions

  • Organize priorities, work, progress, data and activities

  • Work collaboratively, including with outside counsel employed by other organizations

  • Solve problems

DISCLAIMER

This position description serves as a general summary and overview of the major duties and responsibilities of the job. It is not intended to represent the entirety of the job nor is it intended to be all-inclusive. Management reserves the right to modify, or rescind, this position description at any time, with or without prior notice.

Application Process

Applications must include: (a) a letter expressing your interest in the position, your qualifications, and how you might contribute to the future of DRCT; (b) a current resume including the names and contact information of three references.

Materials should be submitted in Microsoft Word or PDF format. Applications must be emailed to Catherine Cushman, DRCT Legal Director, by 4:00 PM on May 31, 2019. Her email address is Catherine.Cushman@disrightsct.org.

DRCT is a fair employment practices/equal opportunity/disability accessible employer committed to maintaining a diverse workplace. We value diversity of culture, disability and other life experiences and are an equal opportunity employer by choice. Qualified candidates from diverse personal, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds are encouraged to apply. DRCT also complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act and is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified applicants and employees with disabilities.

Job Type: Full-time

Updated 4/2/2019


Lead Investigator

The Lead Investigator provides leadership, direction, and overall day-to-day management of the Investigations Unit including the Social Security Representative Payee program.The Lead Investigator works under the direct supervision of DRCT’s Legal Director. This is a full-time position.

Agency Description

Disability Rights Connecticut, Inc. (“DRCT”) is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the civil and human rights of persons with disabilities in Connecticut. DRCT’s mission is to advocate, educate, investigate and pursue legal, administrative, and other appropriate remedies to advance and protect the civil rights of citizens with disabilities to participate equally and fully in all facets of community life in Connecticut. DRCT is a statewide organization authorized by federal law and funded by the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and Social Security Act and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

JOB DESCRIPTION

The Lead Investigator provides leadership, direction, and overall day-to-day management of the Investigations Unit including the Social Security Representative Payee program.

The Unit investigates allegations of abuse and neglect of individuals with disabilities. The Lead Investigator directly supervises and mentors investigators and leads systemic advocacy efforts to advance the rights of persons with disabilities to be free from abuse, neglect, and criminal victimization. The Lead Investigator conducts a significant number of abuse and neglect investigations and coordinates DRCT’s response. The Lead Investigator works under the direct supervision of DRCT’s Legal Director.

The responsibilities of the person in this position will include:

  • Conduct confidential abuse/neglect investigations and monitor facilities or programs serving individuals with disabilities. These responsibilities will account for approximately 80% of the Lead Investigator’s time.

  • Provide direction and supervision to investigators, including caseload management, training, mentoring and monitoring staff.

  • Lead team with an emphasis on assisting the team in developing and implementing strategies to accomplish work team goals.

  • Lead and/or participate in drafting and issuing public reports.

  • Lead and/or participate in systemic advocacy involving issues of abuse and neglect.

  • Prepare training materials, publications, reports, or presentations about agency’s work, which may include reports to funding entities and the Board of Directors.

  • Participate in the identification and development of substantive and skills-based training for staff, with a primary focus on abuse and neglect.

  • Other duties as assigned.

Minimum qualifications for this position include:

  • Bachelor’s degree.

  • At least five years experience conducting investigations.

  • At least two years of personal or professional experience working with people with disabilities.

  • Experience reviewing records including medical, financial, legal and business documents.

  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.

  • Strong organizational skills.

  • Knowledge of healthcare system and other social services systems.

  • Knowledge of laws, rights and services as they pertain to individuals with disabilities.

  • Experience in public speaking and developing effective presentations.

  • Excellent interpersonal, relationship-building and collaboration skills to be able to work well with individuals inside and outside DRCT.

  • Ability to analyze complex problems, develop creative solutions and communicate them effectively.

  • Ability to maintain thorough and complete records.

  • Ability to work independently with appropriate supervision.

  • Excellent computer, keyboarding and database skills.

Other desirable but not required qualifications for this position include:

  • Experience working with Connecticut state agencies such as the Department of Mental Health (DMHAS) and the Department of Developmental Services (DDS).

  • Bilingual in Spanish and/or ASL.

  • Attorney admitted to the Connecticut Bar or a Law School Graduate.

  • Experience with or sensitivity to individuals from various racial, ethnic or language distinct communities.

DISCLAIMER

This position description serves as a general summary and overview of the major duties and responsibilities of the job. It is not intended to represent the entirety of the job nor is it intended to be all-inclusive. Management reserves the right to modify, or rescind, this position description at any time, with or without prior notice.

Application Process

Applications must include:

(a) Cover letter indicating your professional and personal motivation for the job, how you meet the minimum qualifications and why you would be a good candidate.

(b) Current resume.

(c) Names and contact information of three references.

Materials should be submitted in Microsoft Word or PDF format by 4:00 PM on June 7, 2019 to Disability Rights Connecticut by emailing Mary Jane Keane, Office Manager, at maryjane.keane@disrightsct.org.

DRCT is a fair employment practices/equal opportunity/disability accessible employer committed to maintaining a diverse workplace. We value diversity of culture, disability and other life experiences and are an equal opportunity employer by choice. Qualified candidates from diverse personal, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds are encouraged to apply. DRCT also complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act and is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified applicants and employees with disabilities.

This is a full-time position.

Updated 5/13/2019