State and federal fair housing laws prohibit housing discrimination based on race, ethnic identity, sex, familial status, disability, and other factors. However, there are still instances of discrimination occurring throughout central and northern Illinois. It’s our mission to change that.
Prairie State Legal Services is seeking a Staff Attorney for its Fair Housing Project. The Project provides free legal services to individuals who experience unlawful discrimination in acquiring or maintaining housing. The Fair Housing Project Staff Attorney will investigate, evaluate and litigate or otherwise resolve housing discrimination cases in state and federal court and before administrative agencies.
Among other duties as assigned, the Fair Housing Project Staff Attorneys in this program will:
- 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;
- Interview and provide services to applicants on-site at courthouse sites, outreach locations and the office;
- Interact with housing providers on behalf of clients;
- Develop and maintain networking relationships with community agencies that serve the client population in targeted communities and with other local stakeholders;
- Evaluate and analyze results of fair housing investigations, including fair housing testing administered by a Test Coordinator
- Conduct legal education and training for community residents;
- Provide accurate and complete information for grant reporting to funders including documenting services in case records;
- Stay abreast of changes in fair housing regulations, statutes and ordinances as well as current administrative and legal decisions/rulings;
- Exhibit a high level of personal energy, organization, and commitment to the position and the PSLS
- Candidates 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 recent law graduates.
- Experience with trial advocacy and negotiation strongly preferred
- Commitment and passion for fighting inequity
- Strong interpersonal skills
- Excellent oral/written communication, research skills, and computer competency
- Organizational and case management skills
- Ability to work effectively as a team member
- Some travel is necessary; valid driver’s license and/or reliable transportation is required
- Spanish language proficiency is preferred, but not required
- We will give preference to candidates who have experience providing services to low-income individuals
Salary and Benefits
The Fair Housing Project 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 $60,577 per year for newly licensed attorneys 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
- Extensive training and education program
- Flex scheduling and partial remote work
- PTO that starts at 3 weeks/year and increases with additional years worked
- Paid sick leave
- 6 weeks of paid parental leave after one year of employment
- 12 paid holidays per year
Please indicate “Rockford Fair Housing Project 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 positions are 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 nearly 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.