Job Opportunity: Staff Attorney-Public Benefits

We are looking for a dynamic and creative staff attorney, who would be assigned to our Public Benefits Team to enhance our work with low income New Mexicans to address hunger and secure fundamental fairness in the administration of the public safety net.   This is a full-time permanent position.

The work at the Center on Law and Poverty is varied, always challenging and highly rewarding.  The work week is reasonable and the staff superb.  We offer a good non-profit salary and excellent benefits.

Required: Law degree and license; minimum three years of civil litigation experience; demonstrated intellectual or academic excellence; very strong research and writing skills; demonstrated persistence and capacity to lead; ability to problem-solve creatively; detail-oriented; commitment to economic and racial justice in alignment with the mission of the NM Center on Law & Poverty.  Preferred: experience with advocacy seeking systemic fairness in the administration of government benefit programs or in related institutional contexts; experience working with diverse community groups and other allies; familiarity with poverty law; Spanish fluency.

Apply in confidence by sending a resume and letter specifying which position you are interested in and detailing how you meet the position requirements to veronica@nmpovertylaw.org  We are an equal opportunity employer. People with disabilities, people of color, former recipients of public assistance, or people who have grown up in poverty, are especially encouraged to apply.

Kim Posich Memorial Celebration

Please join us to celebrate the life of Kim Posich at the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History. The memorial will be located in the courtyard of the museum. Light snacks and refreshments will be served.

Hosts: Gail Evans & Ruza Donohue

When: Friday, August 18th from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Where: The Albuquerque Museum of Art and History 2000 Mountain Rd NW, Albuquerque, NM

 

Introducing our Summer 2017 Legal Interns

The New Mexico Center for Law and Poverty would like to recognize its two outstanding summer legal interns, Eduardo (Eddie) Garcia and Dawn Vernooy.

Eduardo Garcia

Eddie is a recipient of the Peggy Browning Fellowship for distinguished students who have excelled in law school and have demonstrated a commitment to workers’ rights through their educational, work, volunteer, and personal experiences.

Eddie is working under the supervision of the Workers’ Rights team focusing on an initiative to pass an Albuquerque earned sick leave ordinance, creating workers’ compensation outreach materials in Spanish and English for agricultural workers, and defending Albuquerque’s minimum wage ordinance.

A native of the Juárez, México- El Paso, Texas, Eddie was involved in community organizing and activism in the borderland. A witness to his parents struggle with minimum-wage and poor working conditions, he advocated for justice for farmworkers, day laborers, and retail and service industry workers.

Eddie will graduate from UNM School of Law in 2018.

Dawn Vernooy

Dawn Vernooy is the recipient of the Seth Montgomery Fellowship for exceptional law students working on poverty related issues at the Center.

Dawn is working under the supervision of the Workers’ Rights and Public Benefits teams focusing on initiatives to secure paid time off for sick workers and defending Albuquerque’s minimum wage ordinance as well as securing unobstructed access to Medicaid and food assistance. She has a deep personal connection to the work at the Center as a former food assistance and current Medicaid recipient.

A graduate of Albuquerque’s West Mesa High, Dawn holds a PhD in English and has spent over a decade in academia at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania focusing on women’s and workers’ rights. She currently serves on the Sexual Assault Nurses Examiners Collective board of directors.
Dawn will graduate from UNM School of Law in 2019.

Kim Posich 1953-2017

A memorial will be held for Kim at 6pm on Friday, August 18th at the Albuquerque Museum (2000 Mountain Rd NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104).

Remembering Kim

Kim Posich, long-time Executive Director of the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty, passed away on Sunday night at home. His family, the Center staff, and the community mourn the loss of such a tremendous social justice advocate.

Gail Evans, the Center’s Legal Director and his wife, wrote the following remembrance of Kim:

Kim was diagnosed with ALS in January of 2015. During these past few years, as his body steadily shut down, his mind, his humor, his grace, his patience, his appreciation of life did not. He continued to be a wonderful partner, parent, grandfather, friend, and colleague, contributing to the Center’s work until very recently, when he became more and more focused on the basics – breathing, eating, and drinking – all of which had become a real struggle.

Many of us loved and respected Kim. We loved his intellect; we loved his determination to build a more just world; we loved his persistent fight against poverty and injustice; we loved his appreciation for life, nature, a good joke, a good poem, and a good game, and we loved how much he loved. He truly was a beautiful man.

Please take a moment to appreciate the sky, the light, a flower growing in a crack in the sidewalk, and remember Kim. Be kind and understanding to someone you don’t know, or don’t like, and remember Kim. Say yes to someone in need who asks you for a favor, and remember Kim. Be inspired by the Freedom Riders and remember Kim. Take a bold move for justice, and remember Kim.

 

Kim at the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty

Kim Posich served as Executive Director of the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty for 14 years, between 2002 and 2016. He joined the Center with a clear purpose: to transform the small but effective organization into the powerhouse of legal advocacy in New Mexico that it is today. In the ensuing years, he achieved that vision beyond what anyone could have imagined. He increased the Center’s budget by more than $1 million, grew the size of the Center’s staff by 300 percent, and expanded the issue areas in which the Center was engaged, all while staying true to the Center’s history and core values. The Center’s achievements under his tenure are too numerous to list, but a few highlights include:

  • Leading stakeholders from around the state in a successful campaign to expand Medicaid eligibility. This change extended healthcare coverage to over 250,000 adults who were not previously eligible.
  • Winning a landmark lawsuit extending workers’ compensation benefits to agricultural laborers.
  • Coordinating campaigns that brought $16 million of financial support to New Mexico’s civil legal services system—the “legal emergency room” for the poor.
  • Collaborating with community groups to persuade the University of New Mexico Hospital to stop charging uninsured, indigent patients 30 percent more than insured patients and requiring them to pay 50 percent of expected charges for some services in advance.
  • Arguing for improvements to the state’s administration of public benefits that resulted in hundreds of thousands of people getting assistance more effectively when they needed it.

As New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty Board Member John W. Boyd wrote:

Kim’s tireless work has resulted in accomplishments that have changed New Mexico law and improved our state in ways that make us very proud.

Rest well, Kim. We will miss you.

Job Opportunity: Staff Attorney-Workers’ Rights

We are looking for a highly capable lawyer to join our staff in a full-time permanent position with the Workers’ Rights Team, which fights to improve pay and working conditions for hardworking low-income New Mexicans. We pursue strategic litigation to support community-organizing campaigns for social and economic change, and to ensure that employers and government officials comply with their legal obligations towards working people. More information about the Workers’ Rights Team’s current work is available on our website.

The work at the Center on Law and Poverty is varied, always challenging and highly rewarding.  The workweek is reasonable and the staff superb.  We offer a reasonable non-profit salary and excellent benefits.

Required: Law degree and license; minimum three years of civil litigation experience; excellent research, writing and legal advocacy skills; ‘no-stone-unturned’ thoroughness and persistence; leadership; ability to be articulate and forceful in the face of powerful opposition; ability to problem-solve creatively; detail-orientation; and familiarity with New Mexico.

Preferred: five years or more of civil litigation experience; experience with workers’ rights laws; experience working with organizers and community groups; strong Spanish language skills.

Apply in confidence by emailing a resume and a cover letter describing your interests in social justice and workers’ rights to veronica@nmpovertylaw.org . Please put your name in the subject line. We are an equal opportunity employer.  People with disabilities, people of color, former recipients of public assistance, or people who have grown up in poverty are especially encouraged to apply.

Two Center Attorneys Selected as Fellows for Prestigious Race-Equity Training

The Center is pleased to announce that Supervising Attorney Sovereign Hager and Staff Attorney Abuko Estrada have been selected to participate in the Sargent Shriver National Center on Law and Poverty’s Racial Justice Training Institute (RJTI). RJTI is a national training program committed to promoting race equity as an integral part of antipoverty advocacy. Over a six month period, RTJI fellows will participate in a combination of online and onsite learning to develop their skills to successfully address the role racism plays in causing and perpetuating poverty.

As part of their fellowship, Sovereign and Abuko have spent the week in Chicago training with the Shriver Center. Abuko said, “The Shriver Center’s Racial Justice Training Institute has been an inspirational experience. I am excited to put into the action the tools and strategies learned and continue to engage with a great network of advocates across the nation. I am honored to be a part of the training and feel positive it will help to inform and transform the Center’s work and impact in New Mexico.”

Staff Attorney Abuko Estrada
Staff Attorney Abuko Estrada
Supervising Attorney Sovereign Hager
Supervising Attorney Sovereign Hager

NM Trial Lawyers Association Honors the Center

On Friday, April 22nd, the New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association recognized the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty with the 2016 AMICUS Award for Significant Contributions to the Advancement of Law. Professor Michael Browde presented the award to the entire staff of the Center and shared his reflections on our work:

“…the Center has become the leading legal organization in service to the poor in this state—serving client interests directly in the broadest ways possible, while also working diligently and cooperatively with the legal aid and specialized legal service organizations that work so hard in service to the poor and disadvantaged segments of our society. So, it is fitting in the extreme that NMTLA honors, the Center, its extraordinary Executive Director, Kim Posich, its indefatigable Director of Litigation, Gail Evans, and its marvelous and dedicated staff.”

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Thank you to the New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association for this honor!

Introducing the Center’s new Executive Director!

It is with great pleasure that we introduce you to the NM Center on Law and Poverty’s new Executive Director, Edward Tabet-Cubero. Edward 2
Edward’s family has deep New Mexican roots, and he is intimately familiar with our state’s strengths and weaknesses. He has a deep understanding of inequity and an unshakable commitment to address it. And he comes to the Center with the leadership, management skills, personal strength and vision to shape our role in doing so.

Mr. Tabet-Cubero has had an accomplished career as an educational leader and advocate, serving as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, district program director, university instructor, and most recently Assistant Superintendent of Santa Fe Public Schools. Between 2011 and 2015, Mr. Tabet-Cubero worked as Associate Director of the nonprofit organization Dual Language Education of New Mexico (DLeNM). DLeNM’s mission is to “develop, support, and advocate for high-quality dual language enriched education in New Mexico.” In 2014, Mr. Tabet-Cubero was one of 24 New Mexico fellows selected to participate in the WK Kellogg Foundation’s National Community Leadership Network. He currently plays a variety of roles with a number of grassroots community organizations and non-profits, including the New Mexico Coalition for the Majority, which continues to find success in its advocacy for the 72% of New Mexican students who are linguistically and culturally diverse.

Mr. Tabet-Cubero will begin his new position at the Center on Law and Poverty on June 1, 2016. He will be working with Kim Posich, the Center’s long-time Executive Director, over a period of several months to facilitate a smooth transition.

The Staff and Board of the NM Center on Law and Poverty know that Mr. Tabet-Cubero will be an outstanding leader for our organization as we move into the next 20 years of advocating on behalf of New Mexico’s low-income families! Please join us in welcoming him to the Center.