Central Minnesota Legal Services

Address: 111 N 5th St #402, Minneapolis, MN 55439
Phone: 612-332-1441
Website: centralmnlegal.org

About Central Minnesota Legal Services

Central Minnesota Legal Services is a poverty law firm serving low-income people in Hennepin County and 20 other counties in central Minnesota.  The Mission of CMLS is to increase access to justice by providing high quality legal services to individuals experience poverty, challenging inequities, and empowering community members to participate in our legal system.

Primary Area of Practice

Our primary areas of practice are family law, housing law, public benefits and consumer law. We provide an overview of CMLS policies, Legal Services Corporation regulations and overview of poverty law areas.  We request that summer clerks apply to be student certified so we can offer courtroom experience if possible.  Staff attorneys co-counsel with the summer associate. Staff attorneys provide regular feedback on work assignments and work product.

Pro Bono/Community Involvement

CMLS is a poverty law firm.  In addition to our direct representation of low-income people, we offer several community clinics.  We also respond to invitations from community partners to provide community legal education talks to community groups and service providers.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Our vision statement is:  We believe in a legal system that delivers justice to all.  Our vision is for a society free from bias and systemic unfairness in which everyone is treated with dignity and respect and justice is readily available regardless of ability to pay.  We have a DEI committee that is staff led and meets weekly.  CMLS also works with a consultant to help us in our DEI efforts.  We encourage employees to participate in MSBA/HCBA activities and legal services activities that support Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, LGBTQIA+, and /or disabled people. 

Summer Associate/Clerkship Description

The law clerk will work out of the Minneapolis office. The law clerk will have a supervisor. The clerk will work in a collaborative team environment.  The clerk will assist several staff attorneys in a variety of family law cases, housing cases, including eviction actions, and government benefits cases which establish or preserve the basic income of the family.  The staff attorneys will answer questions on assignments and the supervisor will also be available to answer questions.  Initially the clerk may assist in writing advice letters under the supervision of attorneys who will review drafts.   Other work will include drafting pleadings, legal research and drafting memos.  Efforts will be made to offer a courtroom experience under the supervision of an attorney.

Successful Candidate Qualities

Successful candidates will be committed to advocating for justice for low-income and marginalized people, team oriented, technologically adept, open to a variety of work assignments, able to work independently; willing to ask questions.

Summer Clerkship Salary and Benefits

Our work week is 33.75 hours with the office closing at noon on Fridays subject to professional obligations. We pay $19.00 an hour for the summer clerkship.  We reimburse mileage at the IRS rate for work related mileage.  CMLS has a hybrid work/remote work policy.  Employees are asked to work two days in the office and otherwise may work remotely subject to professional obligations.