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 a full-time Staff Attorney in our Immigration Law team. The Immigration law team is part of the Immigrants & Worker’s Rights Practice Group (IWR), which includes the areas of employment law, immigration, migrant farmworkers rights, and human trafficking law. IWR’s four teams work both independently and in an interdisciplinary manner when these areas of law intersect. This position works within a supportive team of attorneys and paralegals and reports to an experienced Supervisory Attorney.
The Immigration Law team provides trauma-informed advocacy, advice, brief services and full representation to individuals and families before U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), the Chicago Immigration Court and, less frequently, the U.S. Department of State. Areas of primary practice include Asylum; U Visa petitions; VAWA self-petitions; Naturalization; and Adjustment of Status.
- Manage a caseload and provide full and effective legal representation to individuals
- Maintain and grow competence in the different areas of Immigration law that the team practices
- Interview eligible clients on a wide range of Immigration issues and provide advice and brief services for eligible immigrants
- Participate in advocacy to address systemic issues
- Participate in weekly team meetings to present new cases and reach team consensus on representation
- Represent clients in applications before USCIS
- Work collaboratively with Legal Aid Chicago staff, students, and volunteers to provide comprehensive legal services
- Work with other IWR staff members in any interdisciplinary work
- Make appropriate referrals both internally and to outside agencies
- Maintain case files and accurate and timely timekeeping in electronic case management system
- Assist with grant reporting, as appropriate and applicable
- 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
- Handle other duties as determined by the Supervisory Attorney and the Director.
Salary and Benefits:
This position is part of the National Organization of Legal Services Workers, UAW Local 2320. The Collective Bargaining Agreement sets employment terms and compensation is determined by the CBA salary scale, based on paid experience.
The Staff Attorney position begins at $63,500 and increases for every relevant year of experience.
Legal Aid Chicago offers a comprehensive benefits package, including:
- Bilingual Staff Attorneys are eligible for an additional stipend
- Medical, dental, and vision insurance, effective the first day of employment
- Time Off: 15 vacation days and 13 sick days accrued within the first year of employment
- 14 paid holidays, including one floating holiday
- Six weeks of Paid Parental Leave at 100% of the salary after six months of employment
- 403(b) retirement plan with an employer contribution after one year of employment
- $50,000 Basic Life and Accidental Death & Dismemberment insurance, at no cost
- Access to Employee Assistance Program resources, at no cost
- Chicago Bar Association Membership, at no cost
- Reimbursement of annual ARDC registration fees
- Monthly internet reimbursement
- Legal Aid Chicago is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and is an eligible employer for the federal public service loan forgiveness program
- Applicants must be licensed to practice law in Illinois or in another state or
- be licensed to practice law in another state and able to waive into the Illinois bar or willing to sit for the July Illinois bar or
- have passed the bar in another state and be able to waive into the Illinois bar or
- be a law school graduate who will sit for the July 2023 bar exam and is awaiting results and is eligible to apply for a 711 license
- Experience in Immigration Law strongly preferred
- The successful applicant will 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 strong oral and written communication skills, strong organizational skills, and the ability to work well under pressure
- The ideal candidate will have strong client counseling skills and be someone who genuinely enjoys interacting with clients
- The successful applicant will be collegial and committed to working as part of a highly collegial team
- The applicant’s personal background, experience, or professional background should reflect an ability to work effectively in cross-cultural situations with clients, co-workers and the community we serve.
- Spanish proficiency required
Legal Aid Chicago offers a hybrid work environment. Our office, located in downtown Chicago at 120 S. LaSalle Street, is ADA accessible and has convenient access to public transportation and local expressways. This position may require travel to court or other outreach events.
To Apply: Submit a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and the contact information of two primary professional references and one alternative professional reference. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and the position will remain open until filled.
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, or any other protected status.
If an accommodation is needed to complete this application, contact Human Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org.