Prairie State Legal Services, Inc. is seeking a Staff Attorney to join our team in the Kankakee office. This position will focus on domestic violence services (VOCA) and racial inequities (Justice, Equity and Opportunity).
Under the VOCA Program: PSLS provides comprehensive legal assistance to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, with a focus on matters that arise as a direct result of the client’s victimization. Attorney services include obtaining protective/restraining orders and other relief to ensure our clients’ safety and security. Clients may receive legal assistance in a wide range of other legal issues as necessary to address consequences of victimization and obtain long-term safety and stability; this may include housing, employment, consumer, and family law matters.
Under the Justice, Equity and Opportunity Program: Staff Attorneys will address a range of legal issues including issues related to racial inequality, issues that present barriers to residents’ efforts to be self-sufficient, and threats to adequate housing. This program aims to embed our attorneys in trusted community-based locations within primarily disenfranchised communities. The Justice, Equity, and Opportunity Program Staff Attorneys will be listening to residents and community partners and identifying legal issues disproportionately impacting the residents of such communities.
Among other duties as assigned, the Staff Attorney in this project will:
- Interview victims of abuse in a manner sensitive to the trauma they may have experienced and attuned to honoring their choices
- Assess the needs of victims in terms of their immediate legal needs for protection and other legal issues that are an outgrowth of abuse
- Engage with police and prosecutors to advocate for victims
- Engage with domestic violence and sexual assault providers to coordinate service delivery and identify/address issues that have an impact on victims
- Interview and provide services to applicants on-site at community-based locations
- Participate in community meetings to better understand the needs of local residents
- Conduct legal education and training for community residents
- Provide a full range of legal services including legal research and factual investigation, counsel and advice, brief services and document preparation, dispute resolution and representation of clients in administrative and judicial proceedings
- Develop and maintain networking relationships with local bar associations and with local, state, and federal governments and community agencies that serve our client population
- Provide accurate and complete information for grant reporting to grant funders including documenting services in the case record
- Attend training required by the grants
- Actively participate in staff committees or task forces focused on services for victims
- Exhibit a high level of personal energy, organization, and commitment to the position and the PSLS mission
Salary and Benefits
The Staff Attorney position is a full-time position at 37.5 hours per week. PSLS offers a salary competitive with similar organizations. Our Staff Attorney salary scale starts at $50,000 per year for candidates who meet the minimum qualifications, and increases with each year of relevant experience. PSLS is committed to providing an excellent, comprehensive benefits package to its full-time employees that includes:
- Health insurance, including the opportunity to qualify for a wellness credit
- Dental insurance
- Vision insurance
- 403b retirement plan including employer contributions
- Extensive training and education program
- Flex scheduling and partial remote work available
- PTO that starts at 3 weeks/year and increases with additional years worked at PSLS
- Paid sick leave
- 6 weeks of paid parental leave after one year of employment
- 12 paid holidays
- Candidates who are currently admitted to the practice of law in the State of Illinois, or admitted in another state and eligible for reciprocity in Illinois are preferred. Consideration will be given to law graduates that will be sitting for the next bar exam.
- Experience with trial advocacy and negotiation preferred.
- Commitment to aiding victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and family abuse
- Strong interpersonal skills
- Excellent oral/written communication, research skills, and computer competency
- Organizational and case management proficiency
- Ability to work effectively as a team member
- The ideal candidate will have demonstrated experience in effectively communicating with and serving victims.
- Candidates with Spanish language proficiency are highly preferred.
- Moderate travel may be required; applicant must have a valid driver’s license and/or reliable transportation.
- We will give preference to candidates who have experience providing services to low-income individuals
Please indicate “Kankakee Staff Attorney” in the subject line and email a letter explaining your interest and experience, resume, three references, and a short writing sample (no more than 10 pages) to [email protected] Resumes accepted until position is filled.
Prairie State Legal Services is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive working environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We recruit, employ, pay, and promote qualified applicants and employees without regard to race, ethnicity, color, religion, gender, gender identity, expression, or presentation, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or any other legally protected status.
Prairie State Legal Services is a not for profit civil legal aid organization that has served northern and central Illinois for more than 40 years, maintains 11 office locations, and has a staff of over 200 employees including training and litigation staff with extensive experience. Our 36 county service area includes rural communities, suburban areas, and mid-size urban cities which necessitates the development of diverse strategies and we encourage our staff to cultivate and utilize creative approaches to reach and serve our client population. Employees of PSLS benefit from the expertise and community connections of their local office staff along with robust program-wide resources. We strive to provide an array of services responsive to the needs of our clients and therefore have developed several specialized projects and maintain one of the most productive pro bono programs in the nation. PSLS has excellent fiscal controls and upholds the highest rating from Charity Navigator and Guidestar. For more information regarding PSLS services and operations, please visit our website at www.pslegal.org.