Staff Attorney - Public Benefits
Job Type

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 a three (3) full-time Staff Attorneys in the Public Benefits Practice Group to work with clients seeking benefits from the Illinois Department of Human Services and Social Security Administration.



  • Maintain a caseload of individual cases representing clients before the Illinois Department of Human Services and Social Security Administration and in state and federal courts.
  • Interview eligible clients on issues handled within the practice group and provide advice and brief service in appropriate cases.
  • Assist client with initial applications for benefits from the Illinois Department of Human Services and Social Security Administration.
  • 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
  • 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 people with love income including 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 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
  • Be licensed to practice law in another state and is 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 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
  • 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.
  • Applicants must have the ability to work well under pressure.
  • Applicant must have the ability to work well independently and as part of a team.

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 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