Bilingual Legal Assistant - Seattle

Program Description

Columbia Legal Services (CLS) represents communities facing poverty and oppression, and we use every legal tool available on their behalf. CLS has a special responsibility to serve people whose access to free legal services is restricted, due to institutionalization or immigration status. Through impact litigation, policy reform, and innovative partnerships, our staff works together to further our mission to achieve social and economic justice for all, and to reveal and end actions that harm the communities we serve. We share a deep commitment to serve and advocate alongside our clients as we seek justice together.

Our vision of justice: when people have the necessary tools and opportunity to achieve social and economic justice, a more equitable and inclusive society is possible. The ideal candidate for any position at Columbia Legal Services will be able to articulate their role in the achievement of that vision.

Position Description

Columbia Legal Services seeks a personable, committed, hardworking, and organized full-time legal assistant to support all aspects of advocacy and office administration, and contribute to our efforts to meet our clients’ civil legal needs and fulfill our mission. The Legal Assistant works under the direction of the Directing Attorney and supports a team of six attorneys. The Legal Assistant will assume responsibility for complex litigation support and other advocacy- related activities, and will also support the administrative and advocacy-related needs of the Seattle office. CLS offices have a collegial atmosphere that emphasizes teamwork, flexibility, and mutual accountability. All staff members are expected to strive to understand the values, cultures, and concerns of the client communities we serve.


The Legal Assistant is expected to proficiently:

  • Assist with preparing pleadings, correspondence and other needed documents, and perform other legal assistant tasks as needed.
  • Create a welcoming, professional environment, including management of front desk and general local office management and administrative support for our Seattle office including door, phone, daily incoming mail, and coordination of office assignments and seating for staff and interns.
  • Maintain electronic and hard-copy files, organize documents and enter data.
  • Distribute information by mail, fax and e-mail, manage calendars for staff attorneys, and prepare attorneys for meetings, presentations, testimony, and court appearances.
  • Communicate effectively orally and in writing with clients, community agencies and organizations, and government agencies.
  • Organize meetings, trainings and conference calls.
  • Conduct general research on the internet and in libraries, etc.
  • Support complex litigation in state and federal courts, including managing voluminous discovery files and providing trial support.
  • Organize large amounts of documents and data, prepare charts, one-pagers, and presentations in support of advocacy.
  • Be available to travel occasionally to other offices.


  • Bilingual (English/Spanish)
  • Commitment to civil legal services and sensitivity to people from diverse backgrounds - all staff members are expected to strive to understand the values, cultures, and concerns of the client communities we serve.
  • Comfortable with technology and willing to learn new software programs; knowledge of Microsoft Office applications such as Word, Outlook, and Excel. Experience with eDiscovery tools such as Concordance and CaseMap a plus.
  • Ability to work independently while participating as an effective member of the office team.
  • Willingness to expand skills and responsibilities and participate in community outreach.
  • Ability to establish effective working relationships with a variety of individuals including members of various internal departments, co-counsel, and partner organizations.
  • Willingness to work across offices (primarily using online tools).
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills (oral and written).
  • Ability to establish effective working relationships with a variety

This job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee.


CLS offers a competitive and comprehensive compensation package including generous holiday and paid time off, excellent employee health care benefits, paid parental leave, a 35-hour-workweek, a transportation benefit, and a sabbatical every 7 years. Salary is commensurate with years of experience, and includes an annual cost-of-living adjustment. The entry-level salary for this position is $37,656 and increases with each year of experience. This is a bargaining unit position and is eligible for representation by Washington Legal Workers, our in-house labor union.


Position is open until filled, with priority given to applications received before January 25th, 2019. Please note that due to the volume of applications received, CLS is unable to respond to every application. CLS will contact you if we decide to pursue your application. If e-mailed, please make Bilingual Legal Assistant your subject line. If you are interested in this position, send a cover letter, resume, and a completed Equity Statement to:

Trisa Kern, Director of Program Administration
Columbia Legal Services
101 Yesler Way Suite 300
Seattle, Washington, 98104

Program Policy

Columbia Legal Services is committed to a policy of pluralism and equal opportunity in an environment free of barriers and discriminatory practices for its client communities, Board and staff. Pluralism refers to the active promotion of mutual respect, acceptance, teamwork and productivity among people who are diverse in work background, experience, education, race, color, national origin, sex, age, religious preference, marital status, sexual orientation, sensory, mental and physical abilities, veteran status, or any other perceived differences. The resulting diversity is both a source of program strength and a matter of fundamental human fairness. If you need a reasonable accommodation for the application process, contact us at 206-464-1122 or