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.
The Children & Families Practice Group advocates for students whose right to an education is threatened, represents survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in protective order or domestic relations cases, and defends parents against unwarranted intrusions by the State into their right to parent.
Position: Legal Aid Chicago an opening for a full-time paralegal in the Children & Families Practice Group with a focus on education law cases. The paralegal reports to a Supervising Attorney. The position has an ideal start date of mid-May 2023.
- Interview potential clients, foster care caseworkers, foster parents, and youth in care to intake new cases for the education law team
- Provide litigation support to attorneys including, but not limited to, drafting letters, pleadings, discovery, records requests, and outreach materials
- Present new cases at weekly Case Acceptance Meetings
- Support attorneys in all stages of litigation and with administrative tasks
- Draft documents including: letters to clients, caseworkers, and other professionals; summaries of education records; grant reports; and community outreach materials
- Provide advice and referral to individuals not accepted as clients and make appropriate referrals to additional or alternative legal services and to necessary social services
- Maintain knowledge of the case acceptance criteria of other Legal Aid Chicago Practice Groups to facilitate appropriate internal referrals
- Make appropriate referrals inside Legal Aid Chicago and to external partners
- Attend trainings and maintain up-to-date knowledge on relevant issues
- Assist with investigations, outreach, and trainings
- Track data related to grants and assist on related reporting
- Maintain case files and accurate timekeeping in electronic case management system
- Other duties as determined by the Supervising Attorney and 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.
Undergraduate degree strongly preferred. Applicants must have excellent oral and written skills. Spanish fluency strongly preferred, as well as a demonstrated interest or experience working with Legal Aid Chicago’s client populations. 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. Good organizational and information-gathering skills as well as strong and versatile computer skills are essential. Ability to work collaboratively with others and to draft documents including letters and basic pleadings is essential.
Cover letter, resume, professional writing sample, and the contact information of two professional references are required to apply. Applications 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. Applicants who have experiences with our client communities are encouraged to apply.