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Staff Attorney


Community Legal Services (CLS) of Philadelphia is seeking an attorney in its Employment Unit located at the 1424 Chestnut Street office location. CLS’s mission is to fight poverty, challenge systems that perpetuate injustice and change lives through cutting-edge advocacy and exceptional legal representation.  CLS is recognized as one of the leading legal services programs in the country.  We provide high quality direct legal representation, engage in systemic policy advocacy with the goal of effectuating broad based change, and conduct community education and outreach.

CLS has eight (8) legal units providing free civil legal services to low-income Philadelphians. The Employment Unit’s top priority is to eradicate criminal record barriers to employment, and two-thirds of our cases involve criminal records.  Other priorities include:  expunging child abuse records; preserving jobs (usually using the FMLA and ADA); obtaining or protecting income streams related to employment (such as pensions and employer-provided disability benefits); preserving clients’ ability to work (occupational licenses, patient abuse registry, non-compete agreements); wage cases; and cases involving immigrant workers, welfare-to-work situations, and the misclassification of employees as independent contractors.

Summary of Position: Attorneys in the Employment Unit are expected to handle a significant caseload of individual clients. In addition, they are expected to contribute to our impact advocacy in our priority areas, including through legislative and policy advocacy and class action and other impact litigation.  They are also asked to engage in community education and our expungement clinics. A major part of this job is anticipated to be to provide sophisticated work on national grants involving the provision of technical assistance on criminal record clearing and Clean Slate, an innovative model through which criminal records are sealed by automation.   For this reason, applicants must have at least five (5) or more years of experience. 

CLS seeks applicants with the following qualifications:

  • Demonstrated commitment to working with diverse populations
  • Excellent negotiation and analytical skills
  • Experience with data and analytics, including providing technical assistance on projects
  • Experience with client interviewing
  • Experience with managing grants and contract deliverables
  • Experience and interest in policy and other forms of advocacy
  • Excellent legal research and writing skills
  • Experience and ability to work with low-income and vulnerable individuals
  • Excellent work ethic, organization, and communication skills
  • Demonstrated commitment to public interest work
  • Illustrate a high level commitment to racial justice advocacy
  • Substantive knowledge and experience in our areas of practice in Employment Law
  • Exhibit sound professional and legal judgment

This is a full-time position covered by the collective bargaining agreement between Community Legal Services, Inc. (CLS) and the Philadelphia Legal Services Union N.O.L.S.W./Local 2320/UAW.   The current minimum entry level salary is governed by such agreement and is subject to change 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 comprehensive benefits 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 and transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

To Apply: 

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.

How To Apply: Please submit your materials to 


DEADLINE FOR APPLYING: CLS will accept applications until August 13, 2018 but applicants should apply as soon as possible.


Submission Deadline: 
August 13, 2018
Organization Information: 
Community Legal Services of Philadelphia
1424 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
United States
Phone: 21598