For over 50 years, Legal Aid Chicago has provided free civil legal assistance to people living in poverty in metropolitan Chicago. Each year our attorneys, volunteers, and staff help resolve civil legal problems, including domestic violence, consumer fraud, and unfair evictions. Legal Aid Chicago was founded on the philosophy that all individuals are entitled to quality civil legal representation, regardless of their income. We work to ensure that poverty is not an impediment to justice by dismantling the legal barriers that perpetuate inequality. Legal Aid Chicago staff live our mission through our core values of equity, excellence, inclusion, kindness, and respect.
Position: Legal Aid Chicago seeks two full-time staff attorneys in our Housing Practice Group (HPG).
The Housing Practice Group seeks to ensure that tenants live in decent, safe, and sanitary housing, free from discrimination and affirmatively furthers fair housing through litigation, negotiation, and advocacy in various venues. The HPG defends tenants – mostly subsidized housing residents -- against unwarranted evictions and represents individuals and families who are facing the termination of their tenant-based rental assistance under the Housing Choice Voucher and other subsidized housing programs.
The staff attorney will engage in all aspects of our advocacy work, including but not limited to, a new Right to Counsel Pilot Project (RTC). The RTC Pilot will provide extended representation to tenants in eviction court in Chicago. The position will begin as soon as possible.
- Manage an individual caseload and provide full and effective legal representation to individuals and/or groups;
- Maintain and grow knowledge in a specialized area of law, and competence in related areas of law;
- Interview eligible clients on a wide range of housing issues and provide advice and brief services in appropriate cases;
- Participate in complex litigation or advocacy to address systemic issues;
- Work collaboratively with Legal Aid Chicago staff, students and volunteers to provide comprehensive legal services;
- Conduct community education and outreach and build relationships with community partners in poverty fighting efforts;
- Participate in training to agencies, advocates, clients, or community groups about legal services and rights impacting low income persons and other vulnerable persons;
- Participate in other activities related to poverty law including publication, permissible legislative and administrative advocacy, media relations, and fundraising as needed;
- Maintain accurate timekeeping records;
- Assist with grant reporting, as appropriate and applicable;
- Handle other duties as determined by the Supervisory Attorneys and the Director.
Salary: Commensurate with experience. Legal Aid Chicago offers a comprehensive benefits package, including low-cost employer-paid health plan options, employer-provided group life and long-term disability insurance, fitness center access, generous paid time off, and much more.
- Applicants must have a J.D. degree and be licensed to practice law in Illinois (or will be sworn into the Illinois bar in November 2022), or be licensed in another state and able to waive into the Illinois bar.
- Experience in housing law and eviction defense is preferred.
- Strong oral and written communication skills, highly developed organizational skills, and great client counseling skills
- The successful applicant will be collegial, well-organized, and demonstrate a commitment to and experience with our client communities and/or people living in poverty, and applicants are encouraged to share that experience in their cover letter.
- Applicants must have excellent communication skills and the ability to work well under pressure.
- Bilingual applicants preferred
Cover letter, resume, official law school transcript, writing sample, and the contact information of two professional references are required to apply. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. No phone calls, please.
Legal Aid Chicago is firmly committed to creating a diverse workplace and is proud to provide equal employment opportunities to all applicants and therefore does not discriminate on the basis of creed, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age religion, marital or parental status, alienage, disability, political affiliation or belief, military or military discharge status, or ex-offender status. Applicants who have experiences with our client communities are encouraged to apply.