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.
The Staff Attorney will provide legal services to low-income individuals primarily in the area of serving victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, but will also cover a wide-range of other legal issues including housing, public benefits, consumer, health, education, and other areas. PSLS is operating remotely for much of its services due to the pandemic, so a certain level of telecommuting can be expected. Applicants for this position should note that PSLS’ McHenry office will be relocating to Woodstock, IL in early Spring.
Among other duties as assigned, the Staff Attorney will:
- Interview applicants for legal services and assess their legal issues with a focus on those issues that have an immediate impact on their basic human needs;
- Provide 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;
- Develop and maintain networking relationships with local bar associations and with local, state, and federal governments and community agencies that serve our client population, including those serving persons with disabilities, other special needs, and older adults;
- Conduct outreach events with client communities, including client education and intake events at community partner locations.
- 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; and,
- 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 $50,000 per year, higher depending upon experience; Excellent comprehensive benefits package including health, dental, retirement, training and education, and generous leave time including paid parental leave.
- Candidates who are currently admitted to the practice of law in the State of Illinois, or admitted in another state and eligible for reciprocity in Illinois are preferred. Consideration will be given to law graduates who sat for the February 2021 bar exam or are sitting for the July 2021 bar exam.
- Experience in trial advocacy and negotiation
- Strong interpersonal skills
- Excellent oral/written communication, research skills, and computer competency
- Organizational and case management skills
- Ability to work effectively as a team member
- Spanish language proficiency is preferred, but not required
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 providing services to low-income individuals.
Some travel is required; applicant must have a valid driver’s license and/or reliable transportation.
Please indicate “McHenry Staff Attorney” 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 [email protected]
- Managing Attorney Paul Zukowski at [email protected]
- Program Administrator Connie Peterson at [email protected]
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.