House of Ruth Maryland, Inc.

The House of Ruth Maryland is one of the nation's leading intimate partner violence centers, helping thousands of battered women and their children find the safety and security that so many of us take for granted.

Services provided at the House of Ruth Maryland include legal advice and representation, counseling, emergency shelter, community education and outreach and abuse intervention programming.  Nearly 9,000 victims received services from the House of Ruth Maryland in 2015.


Founded:  1977 Headquartered:  Baltimore Contact:  Erika Buffaloe
Phone:  (410) 889-0840 Website:
Staff Attorney

Location: Baltimore

Years of Experience: 0-1 Years
Department: VICTIM SERVICES Level of Education: Master's Degree
Full/Part Time: Full Time Hours per Week: 40 Hours are Specific
Shift: Day Shift Job Type: Regular


Are you a social justice warrior?  Do you want to be part of the fight to end intimate partner violence?  House of Ruth Maryland, the state’s largest domestic violence legal clinic, is recruiting entry-level attorneys to represent victims of intimate partner violence in protective order cases.  Located inside the courthouse, House of Ruth attorneys provide legal information and referrals, safety planning, and representation to low-income victims of intimate partner violence.  Training provided.  Must be licensed to practice law in Maryland.

The Staff Attorney - POARP advises and represents victims of intimate partner violence in protective and peace order proceedings, and in related matters such as contempt, modification, extension and shielding proceedings.  The Staff Attorney delivers client-focused legal services by working with clients to determine their objectives and develop realistic strategies for achieving those objectives, through assessment and awareness of clients’ particular social and cultural needs, by developing safety plans specific to clients’ particular circumstances, and by seeking and processing clients’ feedback.  This position carries a full caseload of protective/peace order cases, supports the Clinic’s fundraising efforts, and participates in the Clinic’s advocacy efforts (appellate work, legislation, training, etc.).  The Staff Attorney participates in the identification of systemic obstacles for victims of intimate partner violence, and assists in formulating a plan and strategies for the removal of these obstacles, including innovative legal strategies, community education, and appellate or legislative advocacy.  The Staff Attorney provides referrals to social services, housing and shelter assistance, mental health care services, and other crisis intervention services. New admittees are encouraged to apply.

Primary Responsibilities:

• Provide high-quality, client-centered representation to a full caseload of clients in in protective and peace order cases, as well as related matters such as contempt, modification, appeal and shielding hearings.  Specific duties include:
o Engage in all forms of litigation preparation, such as evidence collection, lay and expert witness identification and preparation, and settlement negotiations.
o Engage in effective litigation techniques, such as persuasive oral argument, witness preparation and testimony, expert witness presentation, presentation of physical, documentary and other types of evidence, cross examination and impeachment.
o Engage in appellate litigation as needed, including filing of appeals and petitions for writs of certiorari, researching appellate issues, writing appellate briefs, conducting moot arguments, and arguing before Maryland in banc panels and appellate courts.
o Knowledge of and compliance with all ethical and legal requirements for attorneys.
• Conduct comprehensive intake interviews and provide legal information, referrals, and advocacy to victims of intimate partner violence.
• Conduct lethality assessments and create safety plans with all clients.
• Inform clients about and register them for notification from VINE Protective Order.
• Promptly serve walk-in clients and return phone calls within 24 hours.
• Promptly accept or reject clients requesting representation and give referrals to clients who are rejected for representation.
• Provide legal consultation and referrals regarding matters tangentially related to intimate partner violence, including criminal charges, immigration, landlord-tenant, and unemployment.
• Acquire and maintain knowledge of family and intimate partner violence law, trial skills and practice, best practices and regularly review recent court decisions on family law, intimate partner violence cases, civil litigation and evidence.
• Acquire and maintain knowledge of the resources and services available to clients and how clients can access them.
• Perform conflicts checks and input client data into computer database.
• Create and maintain client files, including regular data entries in each client’s database file on services rendered.
• Meet representation goals as set by Clinic Director and all requirements of grant(s) funding position.
• Coordinate with other programs that provide representation to victims of intimate partner violence.
• Assist in training and provide technical assistance to staff of criminal justice agencies, including police, state’s attorneys, probation officers and court personnel and other agencies as requested.
• Establish and maintain cordial and professional relationships with all courthouse personnel.
• Liaise with the legal community to improve the legal community’s and the courts’ responses to victims of intimate partner violence.
• Recruit and maintain relationships with private attorneys to perform pro bono legal services on behalf of Clinic clients.
• Identify systemic obstacles that impair victims’ access to a fair judicial process, and work within the Clinic to formulate goals and strategies to remove these obstacles.
• Publicize and educate the legal community about the needs of victims of intimate partner violence.
• Pursue and deliver speaking engagements on behalf of the agency.
• Create and maintain clean and efficient walk-in courthouse offices.
• Insure that offices have working office equipment, supplies and resource materials for clients.
• Recruit, train and supervise students, interns and volunteers to provide client advocacy services and office support.
• Complete requirements of all grants, including written reports in a timely manner.
• Provide timely data for all reports required by all funding sources, including regular written reports.
• Conduct follow-up surveys and research inquiries regarding the efficacy of representation services.
• Other duties as assigned.

Nothing in this job description restricts management’s right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time.  




• Licensed to practice law in the State of Maryland. 
• Ability to learn and litigate civil protective orders and domestic law. 
• Knowledge of criminal law helpful. 
• Must be able to advocate on behalf of victims of intimate partner violence. 
• Ability to develop and maintain good working relationships with individuals of diverse backgrounds, including clients, House of Ruth staff, and members of the community. 
• Demonstrated commitment to the provision of legal services. 
• Ability to work in a fast-paced environment and handle multiple tasks at one time. 
• Ability to write well. 
• Computer literate (MS Word, internet, email). 
• Ability to travel among HRM offices and courthouse offices. 
• Ability and willingness to implement management decisions which s/he has not participated in making.  Interest in litigating divorce/custody cases, as well as appellate cases, desired.
• Ability to learn how to competently litigate protective/peace order hearings in District and circuit courts within a short period of time.
• Ability to learn how to competently negotiate consent agreements in protective/peace order cases in District and circuit courts.
• Must be current in knowledge of intimate partner violence law, court procedure, and other aspects of the law relevant to practice.
• Strong advocacy skills on behalf of victims of intimate partner violence in various environments, such as the courtroom, in community meetings, with opposing counsel, in bar association meetings, etc.
• Ability to identify barriers intimate partner violence victims encounter and develop strategies to overcome these barriers.
• Ability to work in a fast-paced environment and shift quickly between multiple tasks.
• Ability to develop and maintain good working relationships with individuals of diverse backgrounds, including clients, House of Ruth staff, and members of the community.
• Ability to effectively use a computer for data entry, work processing, email and other functions.
• Strong outreach skills.
• Strong interpersonal and interviewing skills.
• Strong time management and office maintenance skills.
• Ability to pass a criminal background check.

Language Requirements: English Manages Others: No
Career Level: Associate Travel Required: Up to 25%
Pay Comments: Depends on Experience
Benefits:  Dental Insurance
Domestic Partner Benefits
Health and Wellness Programs
Medical Insurance
Prescription Drug Coverage
Vision Insurance
Disability Insurance
Employee Assistance Plan
Life Insurance
Paid Time Off
Retirement Savings and Planning

Version updated 11/25/2019 11:53 AM