Staff Attorney - Parent Defender Representation

for its West Point branch office.

TITLE: Parent Defender/Staff Attorney

Job Responsibilities

1. Provides legal representation and assistance to clients in Youth Court matters and proceedings in the Youth Court of Clay County and adjacent counties in East Mississippi, including, but not necessarily limited to:

  • Negotiation and litigation with various divisions and levels of government.
  • Alternate dispute resolution.
  • Seek and maintain a productive working relationship with the Department of Human Services and other State and Youth Court officials.
  • Representation of parent(s) with neglect, abuse, supervision, and other child welfare issues in the various youth courts.
  • Perform other related tasks as mandated by the Managing Attorney, the Executive Director, or Advocacy Director

2. Interviews, advises, and represents eligible clients on youth court matters in conformity with the Mississippi Certification Standards for performance of attorneys representing parents in child protection cases or termination of parental rights proceedings.

3. When required, travels to outlying communities on a regular scheduled basis as coordinated by the Managing Attorney.

4. Reviews and supervises the work product of support staff when this work relates to clients being advised or represented by the parent defender/staff attorney.

5. Communicates and establishes good working relationships with courts, local and state bar associations, community agencies, as well as local client groups.


  • Must be licensed to practice law in the state of Mississippi.
  • Must have a minimum of three (3) years of law practice experience.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Excellent organizational, networking, and relationship-building skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in collaboration across organizational boundaries to achieve agreed upon goals.
  • Commitment to the mission of North Mississippi Rural Legal Services, Inc.
  • Experience in Youth Court law, procedures and proceedings preferred.
  • Excellent organizational, networking, and relationship-building skills

Additional Requirements

The parent defender/staff attorney shall substantially comply with Performance Standards adopted by the Parent Representation Taskforce of the Children’s Justice Commission and the Office of State Public Defender. These Standards shall serve as the Scope of Services provided by the attorney. The parent defender/staff attorney may accept appointments from the Youth Court pursuant to Miss. Code
§43-21-201(2) or by direct engagement subject to NMRLS guidelines and not to exceed caseload limitations in standards.

Salary/Fringe Benefits

Dependent on experience.

Opening/Closing dates

Open until filled.


Send resume, writing sample, and three (3) letters of reference to:

Ben Thomas Cole, II, Executive Director
North Mississippi Rural Legal Services
P. O. Box 767
Oxford, MS  38655
(662) 234-8731, ext. 2108

Or e-mail to: