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.
The Public Benefits Practice Group (PBPG) challenges wrongful denials, terminations, calculations, overpayments, and sanctions concerning benefits from the Department of Human Services including SNAP, TANF, AABD Cash, and Medicaid. The group also challenges wrongful denials, terminations, and overpayments concerning benefits from the Social Security Administration including SSI and Social Security Disability benefits. The Veterans Rights Project within PBPG seeks to meet the holistic civil legal needs of military veterans and their families with special emphasis on benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Position: Legal Aid Chicago seeks a full-time Staff Attorney in Public Benefits Practice Group to work within the Veterans’ Rights Project.
- Maintain a caseload of individual cases representing clients before the Department of Veterans Affairs, Social Security Administration, Illinois Department of Human Services and in state and federal courts
- Act as a subject matter expert within PBPG concerning Veterans Benefits and civil legal issues affecting veterans
- Interview eligible clients on issues handled within the practice group and provide advice and brief service in appropriate cases
- Participate in weekly team meetings to present new cases and reach team consensus on representation
- Work with other practice group staff in interdisciplinary work
- Maintain knowledge in other areas of law handled by Legal Aid Chicago to ensure that clients’ legal needs are identified and met in those areas
- 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
- Help organize and operate our intake system and veterans’ clinic and work with pro bono attorneys
- 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 community outreach and support legal training and community education for clients and community partners that serve veterans
- Maintain case files and timekeeping in electronic case management system
- 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 either be licensed to practice law in Illinois or be licensed in another state (and able to waive into the Illinois bar or be willing to sit for the next Illinois bar).
- Strong oral and written communication skills, highly developed organizational skills, and great client counseling skills and be someone who genuinely enjoys interacting with clients.
- The successful applicant will be collegial 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 the ability to work well under pressure.
The ideal candidate will have demonstrated interest or experience working with veterans. 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, writing sample, and the contact information for two professional references, one of which should be a former employer, 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.