Kids First Law Center, a nonprofit serving children in conflict, seeks a full-time children’s attorney.
About Kids First: Kids First is a fifteen-year-old nonprofit children’s law center with a mission to give children a voice in divorce, custody and other conflicts by providing focused legal representation and services for kids. Kids First is one of the few law centers in the United States with a focus on providing legal advocacy for children in family law cases. Kids First follows the best practices standards in Iowa and its attorneys are enthusiastic about being part of an innovative model of advocacy. A team of ten in Cedar Rapids serve over 1,100 children annually. The overall goals for Kids First are to create stability for children, lessen the effect of conflict on kids, connect kids and families to support systems and needed resources, and make children’s voices heard. At the center of Kids First's work is a focus on conflict-resolution and changing patterns of behavior to create more positive relationships for kids.
Position Summary: The attorney will provide legal representation for children in high-conflict family law cases.
Reports to: Executive Director, Jenny Schulz
Meet regularly with child clients
Develop and implement creative problem-solving and non-litigation strategies to lessen conflict in families
Initiate and participate in alternative dispute resolution practices
Draft pleadings and advocate the child’s position in court proceedings
Consult and collaborate with the child’s teacher, counselor and other professionals
Coach parents to improve communication and conflict-resolution skills
Acquire knowledge of community services and connect family members to needed resources
Qualifications: Kids First attorneys build a rapport with children and meet with them regularly, are comfortable interviewing children about sometimes difficult topics, and understand and advocate the child’s position. Attorneys should have excellent oral and written communication skills. They must be able to work constructively in high-conflict situations and help parents who reach an impasse by reframing conflict and focusing on resolution. Ideal qualifications include a demonstrated interest in child advocacy or family law and public interest work. Applicants must be licensed to practice law in Iowa. Family law and litigation experience are preferred.
Telecommuting is allowed.
Additional Salary Information: Kids First has a committed team environment with an egalitarian pay scale. Salary is $61,440 annually plus generous benefits including 6 weeks PTO, long-term disability insurance, sabbatical leave, and IRA contributions. Medical, dental, and vision insurance plans are also available.
About Kids First Law Center
Kids First Law Center is a nonprofit law center giving children a voice in divorce, custody, and other conflicts by providing focused legal representation and services for kids. Kids First opened in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 2005 and has grown to a staff of 12 (including five attorneys and a therapist). The attorneys provide holistic legal representation for children in high-conflict family law cases in Linn and Johnson Counties of Iowa. Child advocates reduce the conflict kids are exposed to, strengthen family relationships, connect families to needed services, and make children's voices heard. The court appoints Kids First when parental conflict threatens a child's well-being. Attorneys remain involved with each child until the case is concluded, often a year or longer. During that time, the Kids First attorneys meet regularly with child clients, consult with teachers, link families to community resources, collaborate with other professionals such as counselors, facilitate dispute resolution by parents, work to keep children out of the conflict, and advocate the child’s position. Additional services provided by Kids First include workshops for children of divorce, joint parenting sessions, and a restorative justice program in several Cedar Rapids schools.
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