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Legal Extern (Fall)

Dates:Fall 2021 semester: August 22nd to December 3rd

*Interns & Externs will be provided with a start and end date and are expected to work the full term regardless of whether class hours requirements have been met. The cover letter should note any dates of unavailability. 

Location: Cleveland, Cincinnati & Columbus offices. 

Note: Due to COVID-19, Equality Ohio is working remotely and will continue to do so for the health and safety of community members and staff. If and when Equality Ohio returns to office-based work, ample notice will be provided.  

 

Background:

Equality Ohio is Ohio’s statewide LGBTQ+ advocacy and education organization.

November 2, 2004, was a turning point for Ohio’s LGBTQ+ community. In spite of the efforts of thousands of community members and allies, ⅔ of Ohio’s voters passed a measure limiting our legal rights in the state we call home. We were devastated.

Across the state, political insiders, grassroots activists, and everyday Ohioans who had never before been politically engaged, all reached the same conclusion: something new, something strategic, had to be done to protect our communities and one another. In 2005, sixty-five people, diverse in gender, race, religion, and region of Ohio, answered the call and gathered in the basement of a church in Columbus. After two long days, one vision emerged: an Ohio that everyone can call home. Equality Ohio (a 501c4 organization) and Equality Ohio Education Fund (a 501c3 organization) were born.

In the years since, Equality Ohio has changed hearts, minds and laws in service of creating an Ohio where people are welcome, affirmed and flourishing. 

Our Mission: Equality Ohio identifies and transforms systems and institutions so LGBTQ+ Ohioans can fully access legal and lived equality.

Our Vision: An Ohio where people are welcome, affirmed and flourishing.

The Legal Clinic:

Informed by research, needs assessment and best practices, the Equality Ohio Legal Clinic opened to the public in March 2019 with staff attorneys in Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati. Equality Ohio’s Legal Clinic is the only statewide program specifically providing access to legal services and redress for the LGBTQ+ community. The Equality Ohio Legal Clinic seeks to empower LGBTQ+ individuals to know their rights, exercise their rights, and seek services to defend their rights when violated, despite the patchwork of protections currently in place. We are known statewide as the go-to organization for LGBTQ+ individuals seeking redress for wrongs that they have experienced, including discrimination in the realms of housing, employment, public services, within state agency processes, in prisons, and in difficulty accessing documentation assistance.

Responsibilities:

Assist Staff Attorneys, the Legal Director and/or Executive Director with all aspects of the legal clinic including but not limited to:

  • Legal research and writing; 
  • Document gathering and organization;
  • Providing direct representation for clients regionally in targeted areas of law; 
  • Conducting email, telephonic, and in-person intake for individuals needing legal assistance; 
  • Assisting in the referral and follow-up of referrals to outside social service agencies or attorneys  as appropriate; 
  • Updating and maintaining referral database of LGBTQ and affirming counselors, organizations,  and agencies nearest in proximity to their location; 
  • Conducting continuous outreach to LGBTQ & Allied attorneys, legal-serving organizations, and LGBTQ-serving organizations; 
  • Creating/updating LGBTQ Know-Your-Rights pamphlets, materials, videos and brochures;
  • Organizing monthly Know-Your-Rights workshops across designated region;
  • Developing tools for social media outreach and information dissemination via Youtube,  Instagram, Facebook, Attorney Blog, etc; and 
  • Other tasks as assigned. 

Qualifications & Desired Skill Sets:

  • Second-year through Fourth-year law student
  • Familiarity with the LGBTQ+ community 
  • Demonstrated passion for public interest and social justice work
  • Excellent oral, written and listening communication skills
  • Ability to work with diverse groups in an intersectional manner and across all levels of organizations
  • Commitment to teamwork
  • Effective public speaking and presentation skills
  • Demonstrated reliability, creativity, versatility, and initiative
  • Proficiency with Office (Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, Outlook), Google Drive, and LexisNexis/Westlaw or other legal research software 

Characteristics: Resourceful, Detail-Oriented, Flexible, Creative, Self-Motivated, Passionate, Able to Work Independently  

Application Instructions: Applicants should send a cover letter and resume to [email protected]. Please note that resumes sent without a cover letter will not be considered.  Please indicate in your cover letter the office(s) and semester for which you are applying. Writing samples are encouraged, though not required. 

Positions are filled on a rolling basis. Candidates are encouraged to submit their materials as early as possible.

People of color, LGBTQ+ people, and those with gender-expansive identities are strongly encouraged to apply.