Community Legal Services of Philadelphia (CLS) is seeking a staff attorney in its Housing Unit to start in September 2023. We are accepting applications from junior and more experienced attorneys. The Housing Unit fights for the stability of vulnerable individuals and families by preventing homelessness through legal advocacy and promoting housing quality and affordability for low-income tenants. The Housing Unit is significantly expanding its eviction prevention services to support implementation of Philadelphia’s Right to Counsel for tenants in court proceedings.
CLS is a non-profit public interest organization providing free civil legal services to low-income Philadelphia residents. As the largest provider of free civil legal services in the Philadelphia area, CLS is both locally and nationally renowned as a premier legal services provider dedicated to ensuring access to justice for all low-income individuals and communities. We provide high quality direct legal representation, engage in systemic policy advocacy with the goal of effectuating broad-based change, and conduct community education and outreach.
Lawyers in the Housing Unit zealously represent private, public, and subsidized housing tenants in matters involving eviction, illegal lockouts, fair housing violations, termination or loss of subsidy, substandard housing, and discrimination, as well as barriers to stable housing for those with criminal records or domestic or sexual violence issues. Representation includes all aspects of litigation including client interviewing, investigation, discovery, identifying and preparing witnesses and exhibits, pleadings, briefs, and trial and appellate level representation in state and federal court.
Lawyers in the Housing Unit also engage in non-litigation focused advocacy, including policy, administrative and legislative advocacy, and racial justice initiatives. The attorney may also organize and teach community and professional education sessions on topics such as lead paint elimination, preservation of affordable housing, criminal records, federal housing policy, tenant eviction laws, domestic violence, and more.
The staff attorney will work with the Managing Attorney to establish connections to community and government agency partners and to develop impact advocacy strategies to remove barriers to housing and provide low-income individuals and families access to the courts. The staff attorney may provide supervision and support to paralegals, social workers, and interns.
Required qualifications include:
- Strong team player eager to work in a fast-paced, high-volume work environment
- Commitment to high quality, compassionate representation for clients
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Ability to meet deadlines and perform multiple tasks while maintaining attention to detail
- Demonstrated ability to handle direct service cases and impact cases of a complex nature
- Ability to work cooperatively with staff at all levels of the organization
- Excellent people skills and the ability to maintain positive relations with a diverse population
- Demonstrated commitment to racial and economic justice
To Apply: CLS will accept applications on a rolling basis until the position has been filled. However, candidates are highly encouraged to submit their application by Friday, March 17, 2023, for consideration for first round interviews. You can submit your application on CLS’s website online at: https://clsphila.org/careers/ OR submit your application below by clicking "Apply Now"
What to Include in your application: Please include a cover letter, resume, three professional references (past or current supervisors preferred), and one brief writing sample (10 pages or less).
CLS values a diverse work environment and strongly encourages women, people of color, people who identify as LGBTQ, people with disabilities, people who have experienced poverty or homelessness and people who have had prior contact with the juvenile, criminal, or child welfare systems to apply. CLS invites all applicants to include in their cover letter a statement about how your unique background and/or experiences might contribute to the diversity, cultural vitality, and perspective of our staff and legal services practice.
Compensation: This is a full-time position covered by the collective bargaining agreement between CLS and the Philadelphia Legal Services Union N.O.L.S.W./Local 2320/UAW. CLS offers a competitive salary based on experience. The current minimum starting salary is $62,000 for newly admitted attorneys, which increases with relevant years of experience and according to the provisions of the current collective bargaining agreement.
Benefits: CLS offers a very generous and competitive benefits package including 100% employer paid medical (including gender affirming care), life, and short/long-term disability benefits, a 403(b)-retirement plan with employer contribution, and generous leave package, including 13 paid holidays and five personal holidays each year.
Community Legal Services, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer. CLS, Inc. does not discriminate in the selection of employees on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, sexual identity, genetics, age, national origin, disability, or veteran status. In addition to federal law requirements, CLS complies with all applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall and transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.