Staff Attorney – Help for Homeowners Program

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Thousands of Illinois homeowners have fallen behind on their mortgages and property taxes during the COVID pandemic, and are now at risk of losing their homes. The devastating scope and impact of such losses for individual homeowners and their communities are well known.  Legal assistance is critically important to homeowners facing default, foreclosure and similar problems as they try to navigate complex legal procedures and try to work with their lenders through bewildering loss mitigation options.  The Legal Help for Homeowners Project offers a unique opportunity to use a variety of approaches to address these extremely serious issues to help families keep their homes. The project also offers significant opportunities to work with other legal aid programs, pro bono attorneys, and housing counseling agencies to maximize assistance to homeowners.

This program will support our 36 county service area.  The office location for the Staff Attorney will be either Peoria, Rockford, Waukegan or West Chicago-as best meets the needs of the program and the location of the candidate.

Responsibilities

Among other duties as assigned, the Staff Attorneys in this project 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
  • Develop and maintain networking relationships with community agencies that serve the client population in targeted communities and with other local stakeholders
  • Assist in developing community legal information and training
  • Provide accurate and complete information for grant reporting to funders including documenting services in client case records
  • Exhibit a high level of personal energy, organization, and commitment to the position and the PSLS mission

Salary and Benefits

The Legal Help for Homeowners 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 $50,000 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 including employer contributions
  • Extensive training and education program
  • 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

Qualifications

  • Currently admitted to the practice of law in the State of Illinois, or admitted in another state and eligible for reciprocity in Illinois. Consideration will be given to law graduates who will be sitting for the February 2022 bar exam.
  • Experience with trial advocacy and negotiation strongly preferred
  • Excellent oral/written communication, research skills, and computer competency
  • Organizational and case management skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work effectively as a team member
  • Demonstrated commitment and passion for serving disadvantaged populations, knowledge of poverty law, and experience providing services to low-income individuals preferred
  • Some travel is necessary; valid driver’s license and/or reliable transportation is required

Application Details

Please indicate “Help for Homeowners Staff Attorney” in the subject line and email a letter explaining your office preference, interest and experience, resume and 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.

The Organization

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.

Skills

Posted on

November 9, 2021