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Youth Justice Project & Employment Unit Paralegal

Description: 

Community Legal Services, Inc. (CLS) a nationally recognized legal services program dedicated to fighting poverty, challenging systems that perpetuate injustice, and changing lives though cutting-edge advocacy and exceptional legal representation. CLS helps people when they face the threat of losing their homes, incomes, health care, and even their families. CLS attorneys and other staff provide a full range of legal services, from individual representation to administrative advocacy to class action litigation, as well as community education and social work. CLS is a private, non-profit law firm dedicated to providing excellent, free legal services to low-income Philadelphians since 1966. 

YJP uses a holistic, community-based model of legal representation to give youth aged 16-24 an opportunity to stabilize their lives and move past the legal obstacles that keep them in poverty. YJP holds a rotating series of legal clinics for youth at community sites throughout Philadelphia, connecting with youth who are often unaware of their rights and resolving the multiple legal problems they may be facing. For example, YJP opens the doors to success by providing expungements that lead to employment and education opportunities, connecting youth with public benefits that keep them safe and healthy, and helping young parents provide the best care for their families.  

The YJP/Employment unit paralegal will provide ongoing case support for YJP/Employment unit staff and will perform case-handling responsibilities for YJP/Employment Unit clients. The paralegal will also help support YJP programming, including coordinating outreach and clinics with community partners, supporting follow-up from clinics, and conducting prescreening interviews using the YJP holistic screening tool.  

JOB DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Provide legal/case support to YJP attorneys handling complex cases within CLS’s employment unit, including drafting documents, interviewing young clients, and following up on cases as needed 

  • Under the direct supervision of an attorney, represent clients in employment cases requiring more limited advocacy/representation, including writing demand letters to employers, and drafting juvenile and adult expungement petitions 

  • Assist in post-YJP clinic follow-up to clients, including following up on referrals, helping to open legal cases when needed, and providing additional resources as appropriate. 

  • Conduct prescreen interviews using the YJP holistic screening tool for youth who contact the YJP directly through the YJP hotline and google form 

  • Identify and develop relationships with new community partners and build upon existing community relationships to coordinate and conduct clinics and trainings 

  • Create and update Know Your Rights materials in youth-friendly formats and work with the communications team to get the word out to young people about their legal rights and YJP services 

  • Some travel to different parts of Philadelphia, as well as some evening and weekend work, will be required for our clinic and community outreach program. CLS offers flexible schedule arrangements to compensate staff for off-hours work 

The ideal candidate will have the following skills and abilities: 

  • Dependability, initiative, motivation, and concern for the interests of youth 

  • Commitment to racial justice and to combating intersectional oppression 

  • Non-judgmental, empathetic, patient, and understanding 

  • Ability to work cooperatively with other staff as a member of a legal team 

  • Experience working with a social services agency or a nonprofit organization that advocates on behalf of the poor and/or youth 

  • Experience with project management and/or strong organizational and time management skills 

  • Ability to create and maintain strategic partnerships and relationships 

 

 

Requirements: 

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS

  • High School Diploma or GED is required 

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills 

  • Strong computer skills 

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS 

  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field or Associate’s degree in Paralegal Studies 

  • Ability to speak another language, particularly Spanish 

  • Lived experience as a young person with any of the issue areas the YJP works on  

To Apply: 

To Apply: 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/stC0372k52/Youth-Justice-Project-Employment-Unit-Paralegal

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. For this job, the perspective of people with criminal records is especially valuable. 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 $41,990 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: 
January 17, 2023
Organization Information: 
Community Legal Services
1424 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia , PA 19102
United States