Pisgah Legal Services is a community-based non-profit corporation governed by a local Board of Directors. PLS has an annual budget of $8 million from a multitude of funding sources. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, Pisgah Legal Services (PLS) provides free civil legal assistance to low-income people in western North Carolina. PLS has offices in Asheville, Burnsville, Newland, Spruce Pine, Hendersonville, Rutherfordton, Brevard, Highlands/Cashiers and Marshall. With a dedicated staff of ninety-six, including thirty-six attorneys plus supporting staff, and an active pro bono panel of 300 private attorneys, the program provides free services to more than 20,000 people per year to meet their basic needs, primarily in the poverty law areas of housing, public benefits, domestic violence prevention, health care, immigration, and consumer law.
Nature and Location of Position: The Tax Attorney will support the WNC Economic Recovery Program by serving clients with federal and/or state income tax disputes. The Attorney will conduct outreach and education activities for potential clients and community partner organizations throughout the state, and the attorney also will provide expertise regarding individual income tax preparation issues that arise in relation to the PLS tax preparation and marketplace assistance programs. This position covers a service area of 18 counties in WNC as part of a multi-year grant funded expansion of anti-poverty work within the broad areas of free tax preparation/tax credits and outreach/enrollment for Affordable Care Act health insurance. The WNC Economic Recovery Program is designed to have long-term impact through two main priorities: (1) reduce the child poverty rate in each WNC county and (2) increase the insured rate through quality, affordable health care coverage in each WNC county. The program will work in conjunction with the entire PLS legal aid staff to support expanding free legal assistance to help a growing number of very low-income people each year to solve problems related to basic needs, particularly housing, domestic violence, health care, and insufficient income. Work will include some travel throughout Pisgah Legal Service’s 18 county service area in WNC.
• Commitment to PLS’ mission, values and vision.
• Represent and advise clients in federal and/or state income tax disputes and common individual income tax-related issues, including but not limited to those related to federal tax credits and ACA marketplace health insurance.
• Availability to work in rural locations.
• Conduct client interviews with trauma-informed approach; advise and represent clients in Small Claims, District and Superior courts or administrative proceedings as appropriate. (This may include representation, preparation for self-representation, obtaining continuances for assessment, and referring cases to other PLS staff attorneys.)
• Document all work in Legal Server case management software.
• Organize and conduct outreach and educational presentations relating to individual income tax laws, federal tax credits, and ACA marketplace health insurance.
• Develop and maintain relationships with communities and other non-profit agencies, government officials, government employees, community leaders and others.
• Travel within our 18 county WNC service area and also to meetings or conferences in other parts of NC.
• Adhere to program priorities and case handling policies, procedures and standards of practice, as well as the highest professional and ethical standards.
• Keep abreast of developments in tax law as they relate to PLS client priorities and disseminate information to staff, volunteer attorneys and the public.
• Work with volunteers and Development Team as needed.
• N.C. licensed attorney.
• At least basic experience with federal income tax matters.
• Demonstrated commitment to serving low-income people and communities.
• Demonstrated skills at socio-economic and cultural sensitivity and the realization and sensitivity to work with someone who is angry, upset, or ill persons.
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
• Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work well with teams and independently.
• Fluency in Spanish would be an asset.
Salary ranges from $50,310 – $95,434 depending on experience. Excellent fringe benefits, including 401(k) retirement plan, as well as life, health, and disability insurance.
E-mail resumé and cover letter describing relevant experience to firstname.lastname@example.org. PLS invites all applicants to include in their cover letter a statement about how your unique background and/or experiences might contribute to the diversity, cultural vitality, and perspective of our staff and legal services practice.
Pisgah Legal Services is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.