Requisition No: 789226
Agency: Justice Administrative Commission
Working Title: GURADIAN AD LITEM OFFICE, 19TH CIRCUIT- SENIOR PROGRAM ATTORNEY - 21013953
Position Number: 21013953
Posting Closing Date: 03/31/2023
STATEWIDE GUARDIAN AD LITEM OFFICE
SENIOR ATTORNEY-GUARDIAN AD LITEM
IMPORTANT! – Please navigate to the following website: www.guardianadlitem.org to apply for this position:
- Click on the “Career Opportunities” icon.
- Scroll down to the link, “Submit Your Guardian ad Litem Employment Application Here.”
- Complete the “mini” job application and attach your current resume.
- Select ST. LUCIE COUNTY for the job location
ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION
The Statewide Guardian ad Litem Office is Florida’s award-winning, state-funded child advocacy organization. With more than 10,000 staff and volunteers, that includes more than 180 attorneys. Its primary focus is the powerful and effective representation of Florida’s abused, neglected, and abandoned children. Most of these children are abruptly removed from their homes, and sadly, many end up in foster care. The Office’s mission is to provide the most vulnerable children in Florida with an adult from their community who will be a consistent, positive presence in the child’s life as a part of a multi-disciplinary team that may include trained volunteers, pro bono attorneys, staff attorneys, and child welfare professionals providing the highest quality community advocacy and legal representation to protect each child’s rights and best interests. A critical function is to provide dependency judges with thorough and accurate information regarding the children under the court’s jurisdiction. The Office’s core values strongly reinforce and enhance its mission. Those values are:
- Commitment to Children
- Communication Built on Trust
- Collective Empowerment
An excellent overview of the Statewide Guardian ad Litem Office can be found at www.guardianadlitem.org.
As an employee with the State of Florida, your benefits are a significant part of your compensation with 19 percent of your total compensation coming from the benefits that the State offers. As a full-time employee, your employee insurance rate will be significantly low due to the contribution of the State of Florida. In fact, single coverage is as low as $8.34 per month with family coverage costing only $30 per month.
While the rates are higher for halftime employees, health insurance options are still available to you as long as you are in a salaried position.
- State of Florida Retirement package – Pension or investment plan (3% employee contribution required)
- (9) Paid state holidays
- (1) Paid personal holiday
- (13) Paid sick leave days
- (176) Annual leave hours
- Life insurance $25,000 is provided by the state at no cost to you for all FTE positions. Employee may purchase additional coverage
- Additional supplemental insurances are available such as dental, vision, disability, etc.
- Florida Bar annual dues are paid for by the Agency, contingent upon agency approval
- Public Loan Forgiveness Program
- No State of Florida income tax for residents of Florida
- No mandatory night/weekend/holiday scheduled shifts
- State tuition waivers
ABOUT THE OPPORTUNITY
The Guardian ad Litem Office Senior Attorney is a highly responsible position providing guardian ad litem legal representation for children under the jurisdiction of Florida’s dependency courts. The incumbent will represent the independent legal interests of each individual child using the best interest standard of representation in the cases assigned by the Statewide Guardian ad Litem Office. Work is performed under the supervision of the Managing Attorney or his or her designee.
ABOUT THE WORK
The Senior Attorney may function as the attorney in a three-member multi-disciplinary guardian ad litem team or as an attorney guardian ad litem, representing each child with a focus on timely achievement of permanency and normalcy for the child. The work involves contact with people in stressful situations, and the incumbent must exercise discretion in dealing with confidential and extremely sensitive issues before the court.
The incumbent reviews case files to identify legal issues, conducts an independent investigation of the facts of the case, researches and develops legal strategies for the cases, files pleadings, and motions, and attends court proceedings including, but not limited to, hearings, depositions, and mediations, and meets with Guardian ad Litem staff, witnesses, collateral contacts pertinent to the case, and the children represented by the Office. The Senior Attorney represents, advocates, and negotiates for the assigned children inside and outside the courtroom. Senior Attorneys assist other Guardian ad Litem Attorneys in developing and implementing case strategies. The incumbent also performs other duties assigned by management.
Incumbents in this class report directly to the Managing Attorney of their assigned Circuit for all activities related to the practice of law; and also works under the operational and administrative supervision of the Circuit Director.
ABOUT THE KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES
Possession of legal skills and knowledge sufficient to represent the children assigned to the Guardian ad Litem Office in legal proceedings as evidenced by admission to The Florida Bar. Extensive knowledge of juvenile law and guardian ad litem legal representation for children. Ability to advocate effectively in court on behalf of the child. Ability to communicate effectively and deal tactfully with individuals involved in litigation and stressful situations. Ability to work with individuals from culturally and economically diverse backgrounds. Ability to utilize a personal computer, including software programs such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.
ABOUT THE EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS
A valid Florida Driver’s License is required.
Graduation from an accredited law school, membership in the Florida Bar and two years of experience in the practice of dependency law. Trial experience strongly preferred. An exception for the required experience may be granted by the Executive Director or their designee.
If you are a retiree of the Florida Retirement System (FRS), please check with the FRS at 1-844-377-1888 on how your current benefits may be affected if you are re-employed with the State of Florida. Your current retirement benefits may be canceled, suspended, or deemed ineligible depending upon the date of your retirement.
The State of Florida is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Affirmative Action Employer, and does not tolerate discrimination or violence in the workplace.
Candidates requiring a reasonable accommodation, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, must notify the agency hiring authority and/or People First Service Center (1-866-663-4735). Notification to the hiring authority must be made in advance to allow sufficient time to provide the accommodation.
The State of Florida supports a Drug-Free workplace. All employees are subject to reasonable suspicion drug testing in accordance with Section 112.0455, F.S., Drug-Free Workplace Act.