Staff Attorney - Medical-Legal Partnerships Group
Job Type
Full-time
Description

Legal Aid Chicago encourages applicants with relevant volunteer and work experience, who have experiences with our client communities or individuals who identify as a person of color, LGBTQIA+, immigrant, or otherwise having backgrounds and experiences that are underrepresented in the legal profession to apply.


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 Medical-Legal Partnerships Group (MLP). These positions report to a Supervisory Attorney.


Legal Aid Chicago’s Medical-Legal Partnerships work directly with hospitals and health care providers to address social determinants having the greatest negative consequences for client-patients’ health and well-being. Currently we have two active partnerships. Recovery Legal Care partners with the UChicago Hospital’s Trauma Center to serve victims of violent crime. Health Forward/Salud Adelante partners with the Cook County Health and Hospitals System to integrate legal, medical, and public health services in Chicago’s most health challenged neighborhoods.


The MLP team handles a wide range of public benefits legal issues, such as advocating for crime victims’ compensation from the State of Illinois and challenging wrongful denials, terminations, and other issues concerning benefits from the Department of Human Services including SNAP, TANF, AABD Cash, and Medicaid, as well as SSI and disability benefits issues with the Social Security Administration. Our MLP team is also increasing its capacity to provide MLP clients more holistic legal services to address their unique needs. This developing endeavor requires teamwork, creativity, and flexibility by the MLP attorneys to work cooperatively with Legal Aid Chicago’s Practice Groups to address legal issues impacting housing, employment, personal safety, immigration, criminal records (expungement/sealing), and consumer/financial.


The MLP staff hold bi-weekly meetings, trainings, and peer support, and may handle crossover work depending on funding and organizational needs. However, at this time we expect newly hired attorneys to work within Recovery Legal Care. These positions require regular on-site rotation at UChicago Hospital and meeting directly with patients recovering from violent injury (most often firearm-related). Trauma-informed practices, including managing vicarious trauma and self-care, are essential. In addition, a significant amount of current legal practice involves intake, gathering of documentation to support benefits applications, and administrative advocacy. Court-based litigation is not the primary focus for these positions.


Responsibilities: 

  • Maintain a caseload of individual cases with an emphasis on representing clients before the Social Security Administration, Illinois Department of Human Services, Office of the Attorney General (Crime Victims Compensation), and other state agencies that oversee public benefits in state and federal courts
  • Maintain and grow knowledge in a specialized area of law, and competence in related and additional areas of law
  • Develop expertise concerning health harming legal issues affecting our patient/client population
  • Interview eligible clients on a wide range of legal issues and provide advice and brief services in appropriate cases, including on-site at hospitals or health clinics
  • Work collaboratively with Legal Aid Chicago staff to provide comprehensive legal services and engage in a holistic approach to client service
  • Work collaboratively with medical teams to support the MLP service model
  • Participate in complex litigation or advocacy to address systemic issues designed to have a lasting, measureable effect on our client community
  • Engage in community outreach, provide legal training and provider education for our health partners, and assist with data collection and reporting to our health partners
  • 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
  • Handle other duties as determined by the Supervisory Attorneys and leadership team.

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 $68,072 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 18 sick days accrued within the first year of employment
  • 19 paid holidays, including four (4) floating holidays
  • Twelve 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
  • 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
Requirements
  • Applicants must have a J.D. degree and be licensed to practice law in Illinois, or be licensed in another state and able to waive into the Illinois bar or willing to sit for the next 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 sat/will sit for the July 2024 bar exam and is awaiting results and is eligible to apply for a 711 license
  • Strong oral and written communication skills, highly developed organizational skills, and great client counseling skills
  • 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 and manage self-care and vicarious trauma to engage effectively with victims of violent injury, particularly firearm injury
  • Spanish language proficiency is a plus

Legal Aid Chicago offers a hybrid work environment. Our offices, located in downtown Chicago at 120 S. LaSalle Street, is ADA accessible and has convenient access to public transportation and local expressways.  This position requires travel to hospitals, and may include travel for court or educational or 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 humanresources@legalaidchicago.org.