This is highly responsible entry level work in a developing capacity, providing legal counsel and representation to a circuit Guardian ad Litem (GAL) Program which advocates for the best interests of abused, neglected and abandoned children involved in dependency proceedings. The Program Attorney provides legal representation in court on behalf of the GAL Program, files pleadings and motions, and attends depositions, mediations and staffings with social service agencies, GAL employees and volunteers concerning children represented by the GAL Program. The Program Attorney reviews case files to identify legal issues, and participates in the development and implementation of case strategies. The Program Attorney works cooperatively with staff and volunteers to implement a plan that will further the child’s best interests. The Program Attorney must exercise discretion in dealing with confidential and extremely sensitive issues before the court.
Incumbents in this class provide legal advice and support to the GAL Circuit Director, the Supervising Attorney and to the GAL Program generally, and may assist in recruiting, training and assisting pro bono and contract attorneys working with the GAL Program at the discretion of the Supervising Attorney. Working relationships must be established with judges, the Department of Children and Families and other social service agencies, community organizations, local law enforcement, attorneys, and the public. Work involves contact with people in stressful situations and with sensitive and confidential information. Work is performed under the supervision of a Supervising Attorney.
Education And Training Requirements
Must possess a valid Florida Driver’s License.
Graduation from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association and admission to the Florida Bar. Must be a member of the Florida Bar in good standing.
Trainee status may be granted for a period of six months to permit successful admission to the Bar. Trainees will be hired at 10% below the minimum salary and shall be raised to the minimum salary upon admission.
Knowledge, Skills, And Abilities
- Possession of legal skills and knowledge sufficient to represent the GAL Program in legal proceedings. Ability to develop an understanding of juvenile law and the GAL Program. Ability to advocate effectively in court on behalf of the GAL Program.
- Ability to conduct legal research and to draft and file pleadings, motions and appellate briefs on behalf of the GAL Program. Ability to communicate effectively in writing and orally 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 using software programs such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.
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.