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Career Opportunity Details

Director of Pro Bono Services
Location: Collar County Region, IL
Hours: full-time

Prairie State Legal Services (PSLS) is a not-for-profit legal aid organization that provides civil legal aid services to the poor, elderly, and people with disabilities. PSLS has 12 offices serving 36 counties throughout northern and central Illinois. We focus services on legal problems that impact the ability of our clients to meet their basic human needs, including physical safety, access to healthcare, adequate housing, and similar needs. PSLS is the only legal aid organization in the majority of our service area. Annually, we handle over 22,000 applications for legal help and serve over 16,000 clients. We pride ourselves on providing high quality legal services to our clients while fostering a work environment that is motivating, collaborative, and fun, with plenty of opportunities for professional growth.

Job Description

PSLS encourages and invites private-practice attorneys to provide pro bono legal help to low-income clients to supplement the work of its paid staff. There are nine individual staff members who devote all or a portion of their time to local pro bono coordination. Some of this local work has been recognized regionally and nationally. We are proud of the number of clients we are serving through pro bono involvement, but we know there is opportunity to do much more. The Director of Pro Bono Services is a new position for PSLS which will be focused on building upon best practices, expanding pro bono work that has the best impact for our clients, and developing relationships to expand pro bono services using untapped volunteer resources.

The start date for this position is October 1, 2019.

Responsibilities

Among other duties as assigned, the Director of Pro Bono Services will:

  • Conduct an in-depth inventory and assessment of pro bono currently taking place at PSLS, including leading an analysis of the value and potential value of pro bono, which takes full measure of the variety of direct and indirect benefits to clients
  • Be responsible for leading and overseeing pro bono activities at PSLS and, together with the Executive Director, for charting the direction of the development of those activities
  • Be responsible for long-term planning for pro bono activities at PSLS, and, together with the Executive Director, for setting specific goals for pro bono including numbers of cases handled and numbers of attorneys volunteering
  • Conduct assessments every six months to evaluate both the progress on the pro bono plan and the impact of that progress in terms of clients served, the types of cases for which they receive assistance, and the practical results of that assistance
  • Work closely with the Managing Attorneys of the local offices (or their designees) and with the local office PAI (pro bono) Coordinators to ensure that pro bono is well-integrated into the work of the local offices, addresses legal issues which have a significant impact on clients’ lives, and leverages the maximum involvement of the private bar in PSLS’ work
  • Develop relations with corporate law departments and the organized bar, design appropriate opportunities for in-house counsel and other volunteers to participate in pro bono with PSLS, and work with other staff members who will be responsible for administration of those opportunities
  • Prepare grant reports to submit to the Legal Services Corporation that include in-depth analyses of goals and objectives, summaries of major accomplishments, major lessons and recommendations, and other program information
  • Exhibit a high level of personal energy, organization, and commitment to the position and the PSLS mission

Salary and Benefits

Full-time position, 37.5 hours per week. Salary starts at $70,000 per year, higher depending upon experience; Excellent comprehensive benefits package including health, dental, retirement, training and education, and generous leave time.

Qualifications

  • Currently admitted to the practice of law in the State of Illinois, or eligible for licensing within six months of the first date of employment with PSLS
  • Significant trial or other relevant legal experience
  • Member in good standing of any state bar for at least five years
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Excellent oral/written communication, research skills, and computer competency
  • Ability to work effectively as a team member

The ideal candidate will have a demonstrated commitment to serving disadvantaged populations and we will give preference to candidates who have knowledge of poverty law, and experience with a legal services program, pro bono service, bar associations, and/or firm or corporate practice.  

Local travel is required, with a valid driver’s license and reliable transportation.

Application Details

Please indicate “Director of Pro Bono Services” 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:

  • Director of Human Resources Jessica Hodierne at jkhodierne@pslegal.org
  • Program Administrator Connie Peterson at cpeterson@pslegal.org

Resumes accepted until position is filled

Prairie State Legal Services is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. We will recruit, employ, pay, and promote qualified applicants and employees without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or any other legally protected status.

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