Paralegal (SSI Unit)
Community Legal Services, Inc. of Philadelphia 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 eight legal units covering a wide range of civil legal services.
CLS is seeking a paralegal for its SSI Unit. CLS’s SSI Unit helps individuals with serious disabilities qualify for and keep Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA).
SSI is a core Social Security program that provides income support to adults aged 65 and over and individuals at any age with severe disabilities. CLS’s SSI Unit provides full legal representation to individuals with disabilities at all stages of the SSI application process, including during informal state-level disability reviews, at formal administrative hearings, and in federal court. The Unit also represents current SSI recipients whose disabilities are under review by SSA. CLS prioritizes cases for individuals who have significant barriers in navigating SSA processes, including individuals with serious behavioral health conditions, including trauma; individuals who are limited English proficient; and children. CLS ensures that clients are connected to medical care, school supports, and other resources, and advocates for policy reforms that improve the lives of individuals with disabilities.
While the duties of the paralegal position will vary based on the needs of the SSI Unit, the position will involve client interviews and other frequent communications with clients and SSA, both orally and writing, about issues that arise during the clients’ SSI cases. The position will also involve identifying, requesting, pursuing, tracking, and organizing medical and other evidence to support clients’ SSI claims. Because the position requires handling a high volume of time-sensitive evidence requests, a demonstrated history of exceptional organizational skills is required. Strong client interviewing and written and oral advocacy skills are also needed.
This is a full-time position covered by the collective bargaining agreement between Community Legal Services, Inc. (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 $37, 800 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.
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.
- Required qualifications: High School Diploma or GED. Exceptional organizational skills; strong writing skills; computer literacy, including proficiency in using Outlook; the ability to learn complex material quickly; initiative; strong interpersonal skills; and ability to interact well in a multi-cultural environment.
- Preferred qualifications: Bachelor’s degree in a related field or Associate’s degree in Paralegal Studies. Experience with a social services agency or a nonprofit organization that advocates on behalf of the poor, and/or experience in legislative or administrative advocacy. Fluency in writing and speaking a language other than English, preferably Spanish.
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: https://clsphila.org/careers/ OR https://clsphiladelphia.applytojob.com/apply/H3g8iOBM4x/SSI-UnitParalegal
What to Include in your application: Please include a cover letter, resume, three professional references and one brief writing sample (10 pages or less). Community Legal Services 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.