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Employment Unit Paralegal


Community Legal Services, Inc. of Philadelphia (CLS) is a non-profit public interest agency 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. CLS has ten legal units covering a wide range of civil legal services.  

CLS is seeking a full time paralegal for its Employment Unit. The Employment Unit’s work focuses on eliminating barriers to employment; fighting against worker exploitation; and ensuring workers receive the pay and benefits they are entitled to. The unit most commonly handles cases involving criminal record and child abuse record clearing; challenges to employer policies and state laws that overly restrict access to employment based on records; wage theft; and access to unemployment benefits. The unit also handles a variety of other employment matters including sexual harassment; discrimination; job preservation; job safety; and pension and employer-based disability benefits. The unit prioritizes cases involving workers who are more likely to face discrimination or exploitation, including immigrant workers and young workers, and approaches its casework and advocacy through a racial justice lens.  

The Employment Unit paralegal will specialize in addressing barriers to employment caused by criminal records. The paralegal will work with our records team to combat the consequences of the hyper-criminalization of poor, Black and brown individuals and families through direct representation and by strengthening community partnerships, helping to build community power and uplifting community voices.  

The Employment paralegal would, among other things, perform the following duties: 

  • Screen clients for eligibility for criminal record clearing 

  • Provide clients with advice or representation in the expungement, sealing, and pardon processes, under the supervision of attorneys 

  • Participate in a community-based record clearing clinic program and other community-based outreach 

  • Partner with directly impacted people who are interested in advocating for changes to the law to help build power and capacity for long-term systemic change 

  • Collaborate with and coordinate teams within the unit that perform advocacy on criminal records issues, including the unit’s current effort to expand record clearing to felony convictions and to convene record clearing advocates from around the country 

  • Other case work as needed  





  • High School diploma or GED.  

  • Demonstrated commitment to working with diverse populations and advocating for racial and economic justice. 

  • Strong interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills. 

  • Experience or interest working in partnership with grassroots and community-based organizations. 

  • Strong analytical skills, including the ability to learn and apply new and complex areas of the law to client situations.  

  • Strong organizational and time management skills. 

  • Experience or interest in policy advocacy and other forms of impact advocacy. 

  • Sound professional judgment.  

  • Demonstrated commitment to public interest work. 

  • Strong computer literacy with an emphasis on Microsoft Office.  


  • Strong and proven commitment to racial justice work and advocacy, professional and/or lived experience with the impact of hyper-criminalization. 

  • Fluency in writing and speaking a language other than English, preferably Spanish, is preferred, but not required  

To Apply: 

To Apply: CLS will accept applications on a rolling basis until the position has been filled. You can submit your application on CLS’s website online at: or

What to Include in your application: Please include a cover letter, resume, three professional references from current or former supervisors, 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. For this job, the perspective of people with criminal records is especially valuable. 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. 

This is a full-time position covered by the collective bargaining agreement between CLS and the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees, AFL-CIO and its affiliate District 1199C. CLS asks for a minimum two-year commitment from individuals who accept an offer of employment for a paralegal position. The current minimum starting salary is $38,600 for entry-level applicants but that salary is subject to change or adjustment if an applicant has relevant years of experience and according to the provisions of the current collective bargaining agreement. Raises and benefits are also governed by that agreement. 

CLS offers a very generous and competitive benefits package including 100% employer paid medical, life, and short/long-term disability benefits, a 403(b) retirement plan with employer match, and generous leave package.  

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, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.   


Submission Deadline: 
July 5, 2022
Organization Information: 
Community Legal Services
1424 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia , PA 19102
United States