Staff Attorney (Disability Justice)
CLS is seeking a Disability Justice Staff Attorney. The Disability Justice Staff Attorney will represent clients with serious disabilities in administrative hearings and federal court. The attorney will also engage in cutting edge systemic advocacy, including class action litigation, to challenge policies that hurt people with disabilities nationwide.
CLS is seeking applicants with trial advocacy or other oral advocacy experience. Supervisory experience is also strongly preferred. The ideal candidate will have a passion for challenging injustice in large bureaucracies, including the Social Security, behavioral health, medical, and education systems, to ensure that people with disabilities are treated fairly and can access the supports they need.
This position is located within CLS’s SSI Unit. The SSI Unit’s core work focuses on helping individuals with serious disabilities qualify for and keep Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) – but the Unit does much more than that. The Unit uses a holistic representation model, incorporating social workers and other non-attorney advocates, to ensure that clients can access medical care, school supports, and other resources that stabilize their lives. Attorneys and non-attorney advocates fight for policy and other reforms at the national, state, and local levels, to improve the lives of CLS clients and other people with serious disabilities.
CLS prioritizes cases for people who have significant barriers to navigating systems, including individuals with serious behavioral health conditions, including trauma; individuals who are limited English proficient; and children.
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 starting salary is governed by that 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 seeks applicants with the following qualifications:
- Excellent negotiation and analytical skills;
- Excellent client interviewing skills;
- Excellent legal research and writing skills;
- Litigation experience;
- Experience and interest in legislative and administrative advocacy and other policymaking;
- Experience and interest in community education and outreach;
- Excellent work ethic, organization, and communication skills;
- Demonstrated commitment to public interest work;
- Demonstrated commitment to working with diverse populations;
- Illustrated, high level commitment to racial justice;
- Sound professional and legal judgment; and
- Experience supervising others.
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.
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/Tknj3NvJhy/SSI-Unit-Disability-Justice-Staff-Attorney
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.