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Staff Attorney (Language Access & Immigrant Advocacy)


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 staff attorney to support and further advocacy issues that impact low-income immigrant and Limited English Proficient communities.  This includes issues that affect their access to benefits, courts, government agencies, systems, and services.  This new staff attorney will work collaboratively and potentially supervise one other staff attorney who is also working part-time to support this advocacy.

This position entails becoming an expert in language access law and working with advocates across all Units at CLS, and with external partners, to help identify issues Limited English Proficient persons face, and provide strategic and significant support to move advocacy relating to Language Access forward.  It will involve being a key CLS leader for some language access policy issues and doing, as well as supervising, the detailed analysis and writing required for that work.  This work includes advocating and providing technical assistance regarding the creation, implementation of Language Access Policies/Plans at external public agencies, governments, and courts.  It also includes advocating for language access provisions in City legislation, as well as advocating for Court Language Access improvements, locally and statewide.

In addition to language access specific work, this position entails helping to coordinate CLS advocacy related to issues impacting low income immigrants.  Every substantive Unit at CLS represents persons who are immigrants.  In many instances, their immigration status may inappropriately impact their access to public benefits, full participation in the community, and access to justice reasons beyond language access. This person would work collaboratively with advocates at CLS to coordinate strengthen, amplify, and communicate about our advocacy for low income immigrants.  This person would also help coordinate efforts to respond to and address certain local, statewide and national policies that impact low-income immigrants where we have relevant substantive expertise and experience.

The ideal candidate will have immigration law knowledge and experience, experience working with persons who are immigrants and with persons who have Limited English Proficiency, and at least 6 years of relevant litigation and policy experience.

Approximately 40-60% of the staff attorney’s work will be focused on language access and immigrant advocacy coordination.  This position will also involve working within another substantive unit for the remaining approximately 40-60% of the attorney’s time, handling a caseload and engaging in policy work and community education in that substantive area, including (but not exclusively) on behalf of immigrants and persons with Limited English Proficiency.  The Substantive area and percentage of work division will be determined with consideration of CLS needs and candidate’s expertise, experience and interest. 

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.


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.   



We seek applicants with the following qualifications:

  • Ideally 6 or more years of policy and litigation experience
  • Excellent legal analysis skills
  • Excellent work ethic, organization, and communication skills
  • Excellent legal research and writing skills
  • Excellent litigation skills and oral advocacy skills
  • Possess sound professional and legal judgment
  • Ability and experience to empathetically and zealously work with and represent low income clients, especially clients who are LEP and/or immigrants
  • Ability to manage a significant caseload of individual clients
  • Illustrate a high level of commitment to racial justice advocacy
  • Ideal candidate has immigration law knowledge
  • Ideal candidate has experience, and demonstrated interest in issues related to Language access & advocacy for immigrants


To Apply: 

CLS will accept applications on a rolling basis until the position has been filled. However, candidates are highly encouraged to submit their application by Friday, December 20, 2019 for consideration for first round interviews. 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 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.



Submission Deadline: 
December 20, 2019
Organization Information: 
Community Legal Services
1424 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19102
United States