Equal Justice Works Elder Justice Program – Blue Ridge Legal Services’ Harrisonburg VA office

Employer: Blue Ridge Legal Services Harrisonburg, VA

Fellowship: Equal Justice Works Elder Justice Program

Blue Ridge Legal Services seeks diverse and dynamic applicants for a 24-month, full-time attorney position at Blue Ridge Legal Services’ Harrisonburg, Virginia office, as an Equal Justice Works Fellow in the Elder Justice Program.

Blue Ridge Legal Services is the legal aid society serving the Shenandoah and Roanoke Valleys of Virginia. BRLS has been serving the rural Shenandoah Valley for over 40 years, striving to ensure low-income residents have meaningful access to justice.

Blue Ridge Legal Services has been competitively selected by Equal Justice Works as an implementing partner of Equal Justice Works’ Elder Justice Program (EJP). EJP is a national, professional fellowship program for attorneys designed to increase access to legal assistance for older victims of crime. This program is supported by an award from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime, Award Number 2019-V3-GX-K033.

An Equal Justice Works fellowship is an opportunity to transform your passion for equal justice into a career. As a Fellow, you will be part of a prestigious cohort EJP attorneys hosted by legal services organizations across the United States. The Fellow will provide direct legal services to older victims of crime on civil legal issues arising from their victimization in areas such as financial exploitation, guardianship, housing, employment, protection orders, public benefits, and victims’ rights enforcement. In addition to providing direct legal services, Fellows will conduct outreach and training to legal and allied professionals on elder abuse and help increase multidisciplinary, coordinated responses.

As an Equal Justice Works Fellow, you will develop experience and skills to be a leader in social justice while contributing to a broader community of practice serving older victims. Fellows in the Elder Justice Program cohort are required to actively participate in peer-to-peer learning and trainings delivered by Equal Justice Works and training partners throughout the year. In addition, Fellows have individual access to on-demand technical assistance from subject matter experts and are required participation in Equal Justice Works Leadership Development Training in 2020 and 2021(Oct/Nov) in Washington DC.

Fellowship responsibilities include

  • Providing victim-centered direct legal services – legal screening, advice, brief service, direct representation–to older victims of crime with emphasis on rural communities in our service areato address civil legal issues that arise from the victimization
  • Protecting and enforcing victims’ rights on behalf of clients
  • Building key stakeholder relationships in furtherance of the fellowship objectives
  • Strategizing, planning and conducting training and outreach on elder abuse to legal and allied professionals
  • Engaging in peer-to-peer learning as part of the Equal Justice Works Elder Justice Program Fellow cohort
  • Actively contributing to and participating in Elder Justice Program cohort activities (resource exchanges; mandatory webinars and conference calls; and in-person trainings including Equal Justice Works Leadership Development Training in Washington DC in Oct/Nov 2020 and 2021.
  • Demonstrating leadership as an Equal Justice Works fellow
  • Contributing to required programmatic reporting and overall program evaluation


Candidates will possess the following qualifications:

  • Licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia,with a preference for someone with prior experience in elder justice issues
    • Previous legal services experience, including civil legal aid, law school clinics, and internships
    • Proven leadership skills with a strong work ethic
    • Demonstrate commitment to social justice, with a desire to increase access to justice for older victims of crime and achieve results
    • Outstanding verbal and written communication. Experience with delivering training and presentations a plus.
    • Alignment with Equal Justice Works and Blue Ridge Legal Services’ mission, vision, and values
    • Exceptional interpersonal and organizational skills
    • An ability to work collaboratively in a multidisciplinary setting to facilitate a coordinated community response and provide holistic services to clients

Please note Fellows must commit to fulfilling the twenty-four month fellowship and will sign a Fellowship Agreement with Equal Justice Works.

Salary and Other Benefits

The Equal Justice Works Elder Justice Program attorney will receive an annual salary together with and excellent benefit package including health insurance, retirement, and other benefits through Blue Ridge Legal Services. Interested applicants should contact Blue Ridge Legal Services with any follow-up questions.

Application Instructions: To apply, please send your resume to John Whitfield, the executive director of Blue Ridge Legal Services, via e-mail to jwhitfield@brls.org.  

Blue Ridge Legal Services is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, age, disability or veteran status.

Application Deadline: June 15, 2020, but candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.