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: Paralegals work alongside attorneys and directly with clients on legal issues. This position is located in Legal Aid Chicago’s Pro Bono & Community Partnerships Group and supports our community based legal clinics and Advance Directives and Property Transfers project (ADAPT). This position reports to a Supervisory Attorney.
At Legal Aid Chicago’s community-based legal clinics, clients meet with volunteer attorneys who interview clients to gather facts. With guidance from Legal Aid Chicago attorneys, the volunteer attorneys advise clients on their legal options and provide guidance on next steps. The clinics are open to any type of civil matter, operate in the early evening to increase accessibility for clients, and do not require an appointment. Legal Aid Chicago currently operates three community based monthly legal clinics (in North Lawndale, Woodlawn, and Humboldt Park) and one virtual clinic. New clinics in high priority neighborhoods are also in planning stages.
The Advance Directives and Property Transfers (ADAPT) Project assists clients to create Powers of Attorney for Healthcare, Powers of Attorney for Property (Finances), Living Wills and Transfer on Death Instruments. After screening by Legal Aid Chicago, a volunteer attorney conducts a telephone interview with the client and prepares the desired documents. The paralegal provides support for all aspects of this project, including screening and scheduling clients, coordinating with volunteer attorneys and assisting with transmitting the paperwork to clients.
Responsibilities: Under the supervision of Legal Aid Chicago attorneys, duties include, but are not limited to:
- Conduct telephone and in person interviews to determine client eligibility for services
- Attend and assist with the operation of community legal clinics
- Ensure smooth operations of the clinics and ADAPT including client registration and volunteer training and recruitment
- Engage and provide administrative support to volunteers and staff at the community legal clinics and in the ADAPT program
- Track data related to grant, pro bono work, and assist on related reporting
- Other duties as assigned.
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.
- Undergraduate degree preferred
- Computer proficiency, including familiarity with Microsoft Office applications
- Excellent interpersonal, communication, and organizational skills
- The ability to work well under pressure, and to learn and retain new information
- Availability during evening hours on days when clinics are held is required
- 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
Cover letter, resume and the contact information for two professional references are required to apply.
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.