Community Legal Services, Inc. (CLS) seeks to sponsor driven and passionate Attorney Fellows who are committed to our client-centered work and mission to fight poverty, challenge systems that perpetuate injustice, and change lives through cutting-edge advocacy and exceptional legal representation. For over 50 years, CLS has been committed to working for justice by serving the legal needs of low-income Philadelphia residents in critical cases that affect their families, their jobs, their homes, and their incomes. We make a difference in the lives of poor and at-risk Philadelphians through high impact policy advocacy, individual representation, strategic use of media and community education. Many of our lawyers are nationally recognized experts in their fields. CLS’s combination of direct client services coupled with broad based impact work is a nationally renowned model. By identifying trends, we develop policy strategies, engage in systemic and legislative advocacy, and work to effectuate sustainable change to the client communities we serve.
Fellows will be placed in one of our 10 practice areas: Employment (including wage theft and criminal records expungement), Energy, Family Advocacy, Health and Independence, Home Ownership and Consumer Rights, Housing, Language Access Project, Medical-Legal Partnership, SSI Disability, or the Youth Justice Project. Fellowship projects will vary depending on time constraints given the duration of the fellowship and the interests and experience of the candidate. CLS typically seeks to sponsor attorney fellows for the Skadden Foundation and the Independence Foundation. However, CLS may also sponsor Attorney Fellows for other fellowships such as Equal Justice Works or law school-based fellowships depending on the needs of the program and the qualifications of the candidate.
The ideal Attorney Fellow candidate will possess a demonstrated passion for, interest in, and commitment to public interest and poverty law, racial justice, and serving low-income communities and clients; a demonstrated ability to providing the highest quality legal services to individual clients; excellent legal analysis and research, writing and oral advocacy skills; an interest in policy and advocacy work; strong networking, relationship building and communications skills; and demonstrated sound professional and legal judgment.
CLS is seeking rising 3Ls, recent graduates or judicial clerks for Attorney Fellowship sponsorships whose projects will commence in the Fall of 2024. A J.D. from an accredited law school and willingness to sit for the Pennsylvania State Bar is required.
What to Include in your application:
Please include a cover letter, resume, recent law school transcript, a list of three professional or academic references and their relationship to you, and one writing sample of 5-10 pages. 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 their unique background and/or experiences might contribute to the diversity, cultural vitality, and perspective of our staff and legal services practice. Furthermore, if you have areas of particular interest or project ideas, we encourage you to state them in your cover letter.
You can submit your application on CLS’s website online at: https://clsphila.org/careers/ OR submit your application below by clicking "Apply Now"
- The deadline to apply for consideration for sponsorship with Skadden Foundation, EJW or Independence Foundation is Tuesday, May 30, 2023. CLS intends to conduct interviews for these applicants starting in early June.
- For applicants interested in being considered for only school-based fellowships, CLS will consider those applications on a rolling basis in conjunction with the application deadlines of the sponsoring law school.
CLS is an equal opportunity employer. CLS 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, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.