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 Housing Practice Group (HPG), focusing on our Eviction Prevention in Chicagoland (EPIC) Project. HPG 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. 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 Program and other subsidized housing programs.
The staff attorney will engage and support pro bono attorneys and work alongside the EPIC paralegal to increase our capacity to serve tenants facing eviction, with an emphasis on suburban tenants.
This position reports to a Supervisory Attorney.
- 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
- Develop and maintain knowledge of housing law applicable to eviction proceedings in Cook County in order to provide support to volunteers providing legal representation to clients in eviction matters including advice, settlement assistance and extended representation in court
- Participate in weekly team meetings to present new cases and reach team consensus on representation;
- Work collaboratively with Legal Aid Chicago supervisors, staff, students and volunteers to provide comprehensive legal services
- Train and support volunteer attorneys in providing advice, settlement assistance and representation to tenants facing eviction in Cook County
- Consult with and support volunteer attorneys during client interview and advice sessions conducted via Zoom
- Provide guidance to volunteer attorneys regarding substantive and procedural issues for clients in eviction proceedings, including co-counseling on some cases
- Perform project management duties, such as scheduling team meetings, monitoring progress toward project goals, and drafting project progress reports
- Collaborate on projects that could involve outreach to community groups, developing new strategies for serving our clients, or address systemic issues through litigation, negotiation or advocacy
- 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 case files and accurate timekeeping in electronic case management system
- Track data related to pro bono work and assist on related reporting
- Assist in reporting and administering applicable grants
- 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 be licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois, or licensed to practice law in another state and able to waive into the Illinois bar or willing to sit for the next Illinois bar
- Applicants must be highly collegial, be willing to work in an interdisciplinary manner with all Legal Aid Chicago staff and have enthusiasm about working in a fast-paced practice and training and mentoring less experienced attorneys, advocacy staff, and volunteers
- Strong oral and written communication skills, highly developed organizational skills, and great client counseling skills are all required
- Experience coordinating volunteers, organizing and implementing trainings is preferred
- Confidence in speaking to groups of professionals is necessary
- 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
Cover letter, resume, law school transcript, legal writing sample and the contact information of 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.