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, unfair evictions, discrimination, wage theft. 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 has an opening for a full-time Staff Attorney in our Employment Law team. The Employment Law team is part of the Immigrants and Workers’ Rights Practice Group (IWR), which includes the areas of Employment law, Immigration, Migrant Farmworkers’ rights, and Human Trafficking law. IWR’s four teams work both independently and sometimes in an interdisciplinary manner when these areas of law intersect.
IWR’s Employment Law team advocates for the rights of workers through litigation, negotiation, and advocacy in various venues. Areas of practice include: Wage and Hour; Discrimination and Harassment, including sexual harassment and hostile work environment; Unemployment Insurance; claims brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); claims brought under the Family Medical leave Act (FMLA) and other state and local protected leave laws; wrongful termination, including retaliation for whistleblowing; and other laws regulating the relationship between workers and their employers. This position reports to a Supervisory Attorney, and will begin as soon as possible.
- Manage an individual caseload and provide full and effective legal representation to individuals
- Maintain and grow competence in the different areas of Employment law that the team practices
- Interview eligible clients on issues handled within the practice group and provide advice and brief services in appropriate cases
- Participate in weekly team meetings to present new cases and reach team consensus on representation
- Work with other IWR staff members in interdisciplinary work
- Represent clients in their claims for unemployment insurance benefits before administrative law judges and pursue appeals as needed
- Represent clients before administrative agencies such as the EEOC, the IDHR, the CCHR, and in state and federal court
- Negotiate settlements to employment disputes between workers and their employers
- 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 training to agencies, advocates, clients, or community groups about legal services and rights impacting low income persons
- Participate in other activities related to poverty law including publication, permissible legislative and administrative advocacy, media relations, and fundraising
- Maintain case files and accurate timekeeping in electronic case management system
- Assist with grant reporting, as appropriate and applicable
- Handle other duties as determined by the Supervisory Attorney 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 Illinois or be licensed in another state and able to waive into the Illinois bar
- Experience or a demonstrated interest in Employment law is preferred
- Strong oral and written communication skills, including legal writing, are required
- The successful candidate will be self-directed, resourceful, and demonstrate an ability to take initiative in their work
- The successful candidate will also have strong client counseling skills, have a commitment to advocating for low-income clients, and be someone who genuinely enjoys interacting with client
- 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.
- 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 successful candidate will be collegial and committed to working as part of a highly collegial team
- Proficiency in Spanish is preferred, but not required.
Cover letter, resume, writing sample, and the contact information for 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 criminal record status. Applicants who have experiences with our client communities are encouraged to apply.