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Energy Unit Paralegals

Description: 

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 and projects covering a wide range of civil legal services  

CLS is seeking two (2) full-time Energy Unit paralegals.  Affordable home utility services are vital to the health and safety of all Philadelphians. The Energy Unit, informed by the community we serve, fights to ensure that every Philadelphian has equitable access to utility services. We actively challenge policies and procedures that disproportionately impact people of color, holding utilities accountable through direct legal representation, community engagement, impact litigation and advocacy.   

Energy Unit paralegals provide direct assistance to clients and further the mission of the Energy Unit by: 

  • Strategically evaluating the available legal options/resources to preserve our clients’ access to utility service; 

  • Developing substantive experience in utility law and relationships with providers of utility assistance; 

  • Reviewing relevant statutes, regulations, and utility tariffs when assessing the merits of clients’ disputes; and  

  • Supporting and engaging in ongoing advocacy efforts to promote access to affordable home utility services for all Philadelphians. 

JOB DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

The job duties and responsibilities necessary for this position include:  

  • Interviewing Energy applicants over the telephone and/or in person; 

  • Providing advice and representation to the Unit’s clients;  

  • Maintaining a large number of client files under the supervision of attorneys in the unit; 

  • Negotiating affordable payment terms and resolution of utility disputes with PWD, PECO, and PGW, including communication with utility liaisons and advocating in writing on behalf of clients; 

  • Providing representation in informal disputes at the utility level;  

  • Preparing client cases for hearings before the Philadelphia Water Department, Tax Review Board, Office of Administrative Review, and Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission; 

  • Helping clients compile convincing evidence and assist witnesses with the preparation of oral and written testimony;  

  • Conducting community education and trainings;  

  • Providing advice to clients under the supervision of attorneys; 

  • Attending quarterly utility advisory committee meetings, as needed; and 

  • Advocating for policy changes.  

The ideal candidate will have the following skills and abilities:

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills. 

  • Strong attention to detail. 

  • Strong research and investigation skills.  

  • Ability to deal with a high volume of direct client interaction.  

  • Knowledge of other community resources for appropriate referrals. 

  • Client interviewing skills, obtaining the relevant case facts and drafting thorough notes, emails and letters. 

  • Ability to negotiate favorable outcomes for clients. 

  • Compassion and understanding for clients who are often dealing with significant levels of stress. 

  • Ability to learn a large volume of complex material quickly, initiative, strong interpersonal skills and ability to interact well in a multi-cultural environment.  

  • Willingness and motivation to assist on substantive cases and administrative matters. 

POSITION REQUIREMENTS:  

  • High School Diploma or a GED is a minimum requirement.  

  • Strong writing skills 

  • Strong computer literacy 

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

To Apply: CLS will accept applications on a rolling basis until the position is filled.  You can submit your application on CLS’s website online at https://clsphila.org/careers/  or https://clsphiladelphia.applytojob.com/apply/xMTIbXPwXA/Energy-Unit-Paralegals

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. 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. 

Requirements: 

POSITION REQUIREMENTS:  

  • High School Diploma or a GED is a minimum requirement.  

  • Strong writing skills 

  • Strong computer literacy 

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

To Apply: 

To Apply: CLS will accept applications on a rolling basis until the position is filled.  You can submit your application on CLS’s website online at https://clsphila.org/careers/ or https://clsphiladelphia.applytojob.com/apply/xMTIbXPwXA/Energy-Unit-Paralegals 

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. 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. 

Information

Submission Deadline: 
August 29, 2022
Organization Information: 
Community Legal Services
1424 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA
United States