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Career Opportunity Details

Supervising Attorney - Low Income Tax Clinic
Location: West Chicago, IL
Hours: Full-time

September 17, 2020

Prairie State Legal Services

Job Opportunity Announcement

Supervising Attorney – Low Income Tax Clinic

West Chicago, IL

 

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. More information is available on our website at www.pslegal.org

                           

Job Description

PSLS’ Low Income Tax Clinic (LITC) represents low-income taxpayers in disputes with the IRS regarding federal income tax liability. The LITC receives its funding, in part, by a grant from the Internal Revenue Service (since 2011).

 

The Clinic consists of a Supervising Attorney and a staff attorney who evaluate cases and represent clients in a wide range of controversies. The Supervising Attorney is responsible for all Clinic activities including client representation, supervision of the staff attorney, interns, and volunteers, community outreach, fundraising, training, and grant reporting and preparation.

 

Working in a LITC can be one of the most rewarding roles in legal aid because of the significant financial impact cases can have for clients. In 2019, the LITC opened 112 new representation cases and closed 98 representation cases and 59 consultation cases.  Clinic advocacy refunded $66,862.00 in cash to taxpayers and its clients realized a total decrease of $552,301.00 in corrected tax liabilities, penalties and interest. For the first six months of 2020, that total approximated $1,000,000.00 dollars.

 

The Supervising Attorney will work out of our West Suburban Office, located in West Chicago, IL. We would consider any of our other offices that best meets the needs of the firm and the candidate. For a list of PSLS offices, visit https://www.pslegal.org/psls-locations.asp. Due to the pandemic, some remote work is also permitted.

 

Responsibilities

Through the efforts described below, the Supervising Attorney will have a lasting impact on service to low-income taxpayers in northern and central Illinois. Among other duties as assigned, the Supervising Attorney will: 

  • Interview applicants for legal services and assess their tax issues. We frequently represent taxpayers in audits, appeals, requests for innocent spouse relief, collection matters, denials of available deductions and credits (including the Earned Income Tax Credit); and tax problems stemming from identity theft, worker misclassification, and deceptive tax schemes. Although our LITC is not a tax preparation service, preparation of prior years’ tax returns is often necessary to resolve a taxpayer’s controversy.
  • Provide legal services for clients through legal research, counsel and advice, litigation (primarily in the U.S. Tax Court), advocacy before the IRS or other administrative agencies, and systemic advocacy on issues having an impact on low-income and ESL taxpayers. 
  • Supervise the LITC staff attorney, as well as recruit, train, and supervise interns and volunteers.
  • Manage the LITC budget.
  • Develop pro bono resources to help serve our clients, educate community members about tax issues in collaboration with volunteers and social service agencies, and train legal services attorneys on the intersection of tax law with other areas in which they practice.
  • Develop and maintain networking relationships with local bar associations and with local, state, and federal governments and community agencies that serve our client population.
  • Track data required by funders, keep accurate records on service delivery, and prepare and submit funding proposals and grant reports to the IRS and other sources.
  • 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 $58,000 per year, higher depending upon experience; Benefits package includes health, dental, retirement, and generous leave time including parental leave.

 

Qualifications

  • J.D. degree after graduation from an ABA-accredited law school and admitted to practice law in Illinois, or admitted in another state and eligible for reciprocity in Illinois
  • Admission to U.S. Tax Court
  • At least 3 years of practice experience resolving tax controversies such as cases involving entitlements to credits and deductions, and pursuing collection remedies such as offers in compromise, installment agreements, and innocent spouse relief. Preferably, the candidate will also have tax preparation experience.
  • Excellent attention to detail, interpersonal skills, and oral and written communication skills
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite
  • Demonstrated organizational and case management skills
  • Demonstrated ability to supervise others effectively

 

We will give preference to candidates who have knowledge of poverty law and experience providing services to low-income individuals

 

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

 

Application Details

Please indicate “ Supervising Attorney – LITC” 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:

 

 

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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