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Career Opportunity Details

Attorney Fellowship: Equal Justice Works Elder Justice Program
Location: Rock Island or Ottawa
Hours: Full-Time

Prairie State Legal Services, Inc. is a not-for-profit legal aid organization that provides civil legal aid services to the poor, elderly, and people with disabilities. Prairie State 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. Prairie State 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.

PSLS has been competitively selected by Equal Justice Works as an implementing partner of Equal Justice Works’ Elder Justice Program (EJP). EJP is a national, professional fellowship program for attorneys designed to increase access to legal assistance for older victims of crime. This program is supported by an award from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime, Award Number 2019-V3-GX-K033.

Job Description

PSLS is seeking diverse and dynamic applicants for two 24-month, full-time attorney positions as an Equal Justice Works Fellows in the Elder Justice Program. Fellows may be located in PSLS’ Ottawa or Rock Island offices and will serve clients in Whiteside, Lee, LaSalle, Livingston, Iroquois, McLean, Woodford, Marshall, Putnam, Bureau, Stark, Knox, Henderson, Warren, Henry, Mercer and Rock Island counties.

An Equal Justice Works fellowship is an opportunity to transform your passion for equal justice into a career. As a Fellow, you will be part of a prestigious cohort EJP attorneys hosted by legal services organizations across the United States. The Fellow will provide direct legal services to older victims of crime on civil legal issues arising from their victimization in areas such as financial exploitation, guardianship, housing, employment, protection orders, public benefits, and victims’ rights enforcement. In addition to providing direct legal services, Fellows will conduct outreach and training to legal and allied professionals on elder abuse and help increase multidisciplinary, coordinated responses.

As an Equal Justice Works Fellow, you will develop experience and skills to be a leader in social justice while contributing to a broader community of practice serving older victims. Fellows in the Elder Justice Program cohort are required to actively participate in peer-to-peer learning and trainings delivered by Equal Justice Works and training partners throughout the year. In addition, Fellows have individual access to on-demand technical assistance from subject matter experts and are required participation in Equal Justice Works Leadership Development Training in 2020 and 2021(Oct/Nov) in Washington DC.


Among other duties as assigned, the Staff Attorney will:

• Provide victim-centered direct legal services – legal screening, advice, brief service, direct representation–to older victims of crime in rural communities to address civil legal issues that arise from the victimization

• Protect and enforce victims’ rights on behalf of clients

• Develop and maintain networking relationships with local bar associations and with local, state, and federal governments and community agencies that serve older adults

• Strategize, plan and conduct training and outreach on elder abuse to legal and allied professionals

• Engaging in peer-to-peer learning as part of the Equal Justice Works Elder Justice Program Fellow cohort

• Actively contributing to and participating in Elder Justice Program cohort activities (resource exchanges; mandatory webinars and conference calls; and in-person trainings including Equal Justice Works Leadership Development Training in Washington DC in Oct/Nov 2020 and 2021.

• Demonstrating leadership as an Equal Justice Works fellow

• Contributing to required programmatic reporting and overall program evaluation

• Provide accurate and complete information for grant reporting to grant funders including documenting services in the case record

• Actively participate in a staff committee or task force related to one or more areas of our practice

• Exhibit a high level of personal energy, organization, and commitment to the position and the PSLS mission

Salary and Benefits

These are full-time positions at 37.5 hours per week minimum. Salary starts at $50,000 per year, higher depending upon experience. PSLS offers an excellent comprehensive benefits package including health, dental, retirement, training and education, and generous leave time including paid parental leave.


Currently admitted to the practice of law in the State of Illinois, or admitted in another state and eligible for reciprocity in Illinois.

• Demonstrated commitment to serving disadvantaged populations, knowledge of poverty law, and interest in providing services to low-income individuals, particularly older victims of crime

• Excellent oral/written communication, research skills, and computer competency

• Organizational and case management skills

• Ability to work collaboratively in a multidisciplinary setting to facilitate a coordinated community response and provide holistic services to clients

• Spanish language proficiency is preferred, but not required

Fellows must commit to fulfilling the twenty-four month fellowship and will sign a Fellowship Agreement with Equal Justice Works.

Moderate travel is required; applicant must have a valid driver's license and/or reliable transportation.

Application Details

Please indicate “ Equal Justice Works Fellowship” in the subject line and email a letter explaining your interest, experience, and office preference, your resume, three professional 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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