- Prairie State Legal Services, Inc.
Prairie State Legal Services, Inc. (PSLS) is a non-profit legal services organization with 40 years of experience providing quality legal services to low-income persons, currently with 12 field offices in 36 counties in northern and central Illinois. Our expertise extends to family law, public benefits, consumer law, health, and education, among other areas. In housing matters, we specialize in fair housing/housing discrimination, foreclosure defense, landlord/tenant disputes, and federally-subsidized housing rights. We have maintained multi-year special projects, with diverse funding to provide legal advocacy services to persons with HIV/AIDS; disabled children and adults; the elderly; the homeless; victims of domestic violence, and many others. Annually, PSLS handles over 22,000 applications for legal help and serves over 16,000 clients.
We pride ourselves on fostering a work environment that is motivating, collaborative, and fun, with plenty of opportunities for professional growth. PSLS believes in providing the highest quality of legal representation to its clients.
LOCATION: Rock Island
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Under this project, PSLS will provide comprehensive legal assistance to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, with funds from the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority. The focus will be in matters that arise as a direct result of the client’s victimization. Services will include obtaining protective/restraining orders and other relief relating to family, custody, visitation, support, or dependency. Other services will relate to matters involving creditors, housing, employment, or that otherwise address the consequences of a person's victimization.
SALARY AND BENEFITS: Full-time position, 37.5 hours per week. Competitive salary with other legal non-profits, DOE; excellent benefits.
RESPONSIBILITIES: Among other duties as assigned, the Staff Attorney in this project will:
- Interview victims of abuse in a manner sensitive to the trauma they may have experienced and attuned to honoring their choices;
- Assess the needs of victims in terms of their immediate legal needs for protection and other legal issues that are an outgrowth of abuse;
- Engage with domestic violence and sexual assault providers to coordinate service delivery and identify/address issues that have an impact on victims;
- Engage with police and prosecutors to advocate for victims;
- 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;
- Provide accurate and complete information for grant reporting to grant funders including documenting services in the case record;
- Attend training required by the grant;
- Actively participate in staff committees or task forces focused on services for victims;
- 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, older adults, and other special needs; and,
- Exhibit a high level of personal energy, organization, and commitment to the position and the PSLS mission.
QUALIFICATIONS: Applicants 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 highly preferred. Consideration will be given to 3-L applicants who are registered to sit for the July 2018 Illinois bar exam.
The successful applicant will have a demonstrated trial advocacy and negotiation skills, a commitment to aiding victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and family abuse, strong interpersonal skills, excellent oral/written communication and research skills, and computer competency. The successful applicant will have training and demonstrated experience in effectively communicating and serving victims.
The applicant should have demonstrated organizational and case management skills and the ability to work effectively as a team member. Local travel is required, with a valid driver’s license and reliable transportation. Candidates who are Spanish-English bilingual are highly preferred.
About the organization
Prairie State Legal Services offers free legal services for low income persons and those over 60 who have serious civil legal problems like domestic abuse, eviction, foreclosure and public benefits and need legal help to solve them.
We have 11 offices covering 36 counties in northern and central Illinois. Our Administrative Office is located in Rockford, IL.The mission of Prairie State Legal Services, Inc. is to ensure equal access to justice and fair treatment under the law by providing legal advice and representation, advocacy, education, and outreach that serve to protect basic human needs and enforce or uphold rights.