Community Resource Specialist-Prairie State Legal Services, Inc.-Woodstock
Job Opportunity Announcement Community Resource Specialist
Every day, people across Illinois are denied the basic rights to which they are entitled under the law simply because they can’t afford a lawyer. It’s our mission to change that.
Prairie State Legal Services, Inc. is seeking a Staff Attorney to join our team in the Rockford office. Staff attorneys at PSLS provide a wide range of legal services to some of the most vulnerable members of our communities, including low income individuals, older adults, veterans, and people with disabilities. We focus services on legal problems that impact the ability of our clients to meet their basic human needs, including physical safety, access to healthcare, adequate housing, and financial stability. Prairie State is the only legal aid organization in the majority of our area and we pride ourselves on providing high quality legal services to our clients while fostering a work environment that is motivating, collaborative, and rewarding, with plenty of opportunities for professional growth.
Under the Justice, Equity, and Opportunity Program, Staff Attorneys will address a range of legal issues including issues related to racial inequality, issues that present barriers to residents’ efforts to be self-sufficient, and threats to adequate housing. In addition to the Program Staff Attorneys, PSLS will also hire residents from the targeted communities to work as Community Advocates. These Community Advocates will assist with outreach, collaborate with the Program Staff Attorneys, and be responsible for providing training and education to other community residents.
While traditional Staff Attorney positions at PSLS are responding to requests for legal help that are first reviewed by our telephone counseling service, this program aims to embed our attorneys in trusted community-based locations within primarily disenfranchised communities. The Justice, Equity, and Opportunity Program Staff Attorneys will be listening to residents and community partners and identifying the legal issues disproportionately impacting the residents of such communities.
Responsibilities Among other duties as assigned, the Staff Attorney will:
• Provide legal services to low-income individuals covering a wide range of legal issues, including housing, family, public benefits, consumer, health, education, and other areas
• Interview applicants for legal services and assess their legal issues with a focus on those issues that have an immediate impact on their basic human needs
• Provide legal services including legal research and factual investigation, counsel and advice, brief services and document preparation, dispute resolution, and representation of clients in administrative and judicial proceedings
• Develop and maintain networking relationships with local bar associations and with local, state, and federal governments and community agencies that serve our client population
• Conduct outreach events with client communities, including client education and intake events at community partner locations
• Provide accurate and complete information for grant reporting to grant funders including documenting services in the case record
• Actively participate in an internal task force related to one or more areas of our practice
• Exhibit a high level of personal energy, organization, and commitment to the position and the PSLS mission
Salary and Benefits
The Staff Attorney position is a full-time position at 37.5 hours per week. PSLS offers a salary competitive with similar organizations. Our Staff Attorney salary scale starts at $60,577 per year for newly licensed attorneys, and increases with each year of relevant experience. PSLS is committed to providing an excellent, comprehensive benefits package to its full-time employees that includes:
• Health insurance, including the opportunity to qualify for a wellness credit
• Dental insurance
• Vision insurance
• 403b Retirement Plan including employer contributions
• Extensive training and education program
• Flex scheduling and partial remote work available
• PTO that starts at 3 weeks/year and increases with additional years worked at PSLS
• Paid sick leave
• 6 weeks of paid parental leave after one year of employment
• 12 Paid holidays
• Candidates currently admitted to the practice of law in the State of Illinois or admitted in another state and eligible for reciprocity in Illinois are preferred. Consideration will be given to law graduates that will be sitting for the next bar exam.
• Experience in trial advocacy and negotiation preferred
• Strong interpersonal skills
• Excellent oral/written communication, research skills, and computer competency
• Organizational and case management proficiency
• Ability to work effectively as a team member
• Spanish language proficiency is preferred, but not required
• Some travel is required; applicant must have a valid driver’s license and/or reliable transportation
• We will give preference to candidates who have experience providing services to low-income individuals
Please indicate “Staff Attorney – Rockford” in the subject line and email a letter indicating your office preference and explaining your interest and experience, your resume, three references, and a short writing sample (no more than 10 pages) to [email protected].
Resumes accepted until positions are filled.
Prairie State Legal Services is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive working environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We recruit, employ, pay, and promote qualified applicants and employees without regard to race, ethnicity, color, religion, gender, gender identity, expression, or presentation, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or any other legally protected status.
PSLS is a not for profit civil legal aid organization that has served northern and central Illinois for 45 years, maintains 11 office locations, and has a staff of nearly 200 employees, including training and litigation staff with extensive experience. Our 36 county service area includes rural communities, suburban areas, and mid-size urban cities, which necessitates the development of diverse strategies, and we encourage our staff to cultivate and utilize creative approaches to reach and serve our client population. Employees of PSLS benefit from the expertise and community connections of their local office staff, along with robust program-wide resources. We strive to provide an array of services responsive to the needs of our clients. PSLS has excellent fiscal controls and upholds the highest rating from Charity Navigator and Guidestar. For more information regarding PSLS services and operations, please visit our website at https://pslegal.org.
Job Status: Open