Every day, people across Illinois are denied the basic rights to which they are entitled under the law simply because they can’t afford a lawyer. It’s our mission to change that.
Prairie State Legal Services, Inc. is seeking a candidate to join our team in the Rockford Office as a Legal Secretary and Pro Bono Coordinator. Legal Secretaries at PSLS provide a wide-range of legal support to attorneys that enables them to serve some of the most vulnerable members of our communities with a focus on assisting with legal problems that impact the ability of our clients to meet their basic human needs, including physical safety, access to healthcare, adequate housing, and financial stability. PSLS also has a vibrant volunteer program through which local volunteer attorneys assist PSLS clients free-of-charge and the Pro Bono Coordinator is responsible for the local administration of this program for their office. PSLS is the only legal aid organization in the majority of our area and we pride ourselves on providing high quality legal services to our clients while fostering a work environment that is motivating, collaborative, and rewarding, with plenty of opportunities for professional growth.
The Legal Secretary/Pro Bono Coordinator will balance their time between the responsibilities of each role.
Responsibilities that fall under the Legal Secretary role include:
- Supporting attorneys in their legal work including assisting with and preparation of routine pleadings, notices, subpoenas, correspondence, and other similar documents; scheduling court dates; e-filing; scheduling client appointments in open cases; assisting with medical and other records requests; assisting attorneys with file organization and review of closed files; and assisting with filing
- Entering client information and data into case management software
- Performing a variety of other office tasks such as typing, copying, faxing, and emailing
- Greeting clients and answering the phone as needed
- Periodically assisting with outreach and off-site intakes
Responsibilities that fall under the Pro Bono Coordinator role include:
- Interview prospective clients, assess eligibility, and evaluate cases for pro bono assistance
- Place cases with volunteers in areas of law consistent with PSLS priorities, including housing, consumer, public benefits, and family law
- Prepare form pleadings and instructional materials for volunteers
- Manage client files and database records
- Ensure local volunteers’ work is accomplished in accordance with funder requirements, including regulations of the Legal Services Corporation
- Serve as liaison between the local office and the central Pro Bono Unit, including regularly attending pro bono specific meetings, reporting on new or emerging trends among the client community, referring eligible local clients to Pro Bono Unit projects and assisting with outreach to local client populations, referring interested local attorneys to Pro Bono Unit projects and assisting with recruitment of local attorneys for Pro Bono Unit projects as requested, and assisting with local clinics for different Pro Bono Unit projects when requested
Salary and Benefits
The Legal Secretary/Pro Bono Coordinator position is a full-time position at 37.5 hours per week. PSLS offers a salary competitive with similar organizations. Our Legal Secretary salary scale starts at $15 per hour 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
- PTO that starts at nearly 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
- High School Diploma, GED, or equivalent and either one additional year of relevant education or one year of experience in the legal field
- Excellent organizational skills
- Excellent oral and written communication
- Strong computer skills including proficiency using Microsoft Word and Excel
- Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work effectively as a team member
- The ability to cultivate and maintain strong relationships with program volunteers
- Demonstrated interest in and commitment to assisting low-income individuals in the resolution of their legal problems
- Spanish language proficiency is preferred, but not required
- We will give preference to candidates who have experience providing services to low-income individuals
Please indicate “Rockford Legal Secretary” in the subject line and email a letter explaining your interest and experience, resume, and three references 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 175 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.