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Legal Counsel

Date Posted

POSITION: The Michigan Elder Justice Initiative (MEJI), is seeking an full-time attorney to serve as Legal Counsel for the Michigan Long Term Care Ombudsman Program (MLTCOP).

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM: . MLTCOP promotes the rights of long term care consumers and seeks to improve the quality of care and life experienced by residents of nursing homes, homes for the aged, and adult foster care homes. The program oversees local ombudsmen across the state who help individual residents resolve complaints and educate residents, their families, and the public on long term care consumers’ rights and options.  The program also advocates for systemic reforms that will benefit over 100,000 Michigan long term care residents.

Until our offices fully re-open, the Legal Counsel will be working remotely. Once our offices fully open, the legal counsel will be based out of the Lansing office with the potential for a hybrid remote/in office work schedule.

MEJI advocates for and represents low-income older adults and people with disabilities on issues related to healthcare, benefits, long term care, elder abuse, and individual rights.  It houses MLTCOP and the MI Health Link and MI Choice and PACE Ombudsman Programs and engages in litigation and systemic advocacy efforts. 

MEJI is part of Michigan Statewide Advocacy Services (MSAS), a non-profit law firm providing free legal services to low income and senior persons through several statewide programs. MSAS is administered by the Michigan Advocacy Program (MAP), which provides access to the justice system for those who need it the most through civil legal aid offices and statewide advocacy programs. MAP’s mission is to advance the safety, independence, and economic stability of those most affected by poverty, racism, and other structurally oppressive systems by increasing access to justice and working for systemic solutions. Visit miadvocacy.org for more information.

RESPONSIBILITIES: The Legal Counsel will:

  • Provide consultation and support to state and local ombudsman staff and legal services attorneys representing residents in licensed long term care settings;
  •  Assist in the MLTCOP’s performance of its official duties including complaint resolution and systems advocacy to protect the health, safety, welfare, and rights of residents;
  • Advocate for residents’ interests in various legislative advocacy efforts
  • Represent residents of long term care facilities in administrative advocacy and some litigation concerning guardianship, involuntary discharge proceedings, benefits, individual rights, and other issues;
  • Assist the MLTCOP and local ombudsman staff if any legal action is brought or threatened against them for actions taken in the course of their professional duties;
  • Promote access to legal services for long term care consumers;
  • Work closely with MEJI’s staff to coordinate advocacy for long term care consumers with MEJI’s elder abuse prevention efforts and MEJI’s other work on behalf of long term care consumers; and,
  • Provide statewide education and support to lawyers, providers, advocates, and others regarding the rights and interests of long term care consumers.

QUALIFICATIONS: Successful applicants will possess excellent research and writing skills, an interest in systemic advocacy, some litigation experience, great people skills, good judgment, and an ability to juggle multiple responsibilities. Experience advocating for long term care consumers or other vulnerable populations is preferred. Applicants must be able to travel in-state. Applicants must be attorneys licensed to practice in Michigan or be eligible to waive in. A minimum of 3 years’ experience is required. Salary is from $51,000 depending on experience and includes excellent benefits.

MEJI/MSAS is an equal opportunity employer, committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Please email your resume with a cover letter to scoolbaugh@meji.org with the subject line, “MLTCOP Legal Counsel Position.” Please indicate whether you are applying to any other positions with LSSCM, MAP, or MEJI. If you have questions about the program or the position, please email Shelby Coolbaugh at scoolbaugh@meji.org

The position is open until filled; applications received by July 1, 2021 will receive priority.

Date Posted: June 15, 2021