- Cabrini Green Legal Aid
Cabrini Green Legal Aid (CGLA) has been providing legal services to the community since 1973, and while our reach has expanded beyond the Cabrini Green neighborhood, our focus has narrowed to working for and alongside individuals, families and communities impacted by the direct and collateral consequences of the criminal justice system. Each year, over 6,000 people access CGLA’s services to remove or prevent barriers to employment and education caused by pending criminal cases and past criminal records and to stabilize families and housing threatened by arrest or conviction. Through zealous legal services, social supports and systemic advocacy, CGLA seeks to strengthen individual lives, protect families, and mobilize communities impacted by arrest and incarceration.
The Supervising Attorney is responsible for managing the Criminal Defense Program, one of CGLA’s three legal programs and supervising the department staff in the execution of the program deliverables. The Criminal Defense Program team members provide direct representation to low income individuals facing allegations of criminal activity in juvenile and adult misdemeanor, felony, and parole revocation hearings. The Criminal Defense Program team also provides representation in civil matters related to criminal arrests and allegations, including seizures of property and money, civil no-contact orders, and orders of protection associated with a criminal charge. Most legal services occur at Cook County Circuit Courts throughout the county, while parole revocation hearings are handled at other state facilities throughout Illinois. The person in the role will also ensure that the Criminal Defense Team is meeting its goals and complying with all pertinent grant requirements.
- Manage and oversee the Criminal Defense Program; supervise the handling of criminal defense program legal services (including juvenile focused representation and related-civil matters) by staff, contract, fellow or volunteer attorneys (when applicable) and law student interns;
- Ensure the successful completion of fiscal year programmatic goals for the Criminal Defense Program;
- Provide legal representation to CGLA clients, maintaining a manageable caseload proportionate to other responsibilities. Maintain up-to-date client information in CGLA’s case management system to ensure accurate data collection and statistical tracking.
- Work with the Client Support Services Program to ensure that CGLA’s interdisciplinary practice serves clients in meaningful ways beyond the delivery of legal services;
- Oversee the provision of legal services for clients of CGLA’s community partner agencies consistent with agreed upon Memoranda of Understanding;
- Establish and maintain case acceptance criteria for the Criminal Defense program; work with the Intake Attorney to approve pre-screening of potential clients and assist with intake process improvement as needed.
- Assist in leading weekly intake meeting for Criminal matters in conjunction with Intake Attorney and Criminal Records supervisor; ensure program representation at weekly Civil intake meetings, as well as on various interoffice committees;
- Schedule and facilitate meetings of the Criminal Defense Program staff to encourage camaraderie and communication among team members;
- Actively participate in case acceptance meetings, legal team meetings, and CGLA staff meetings.
- Collaborate with CGLA’s Pro Bono Coordinator to maintain pro bono partnerships with participating law firms to identify and refer cases to partner law firms; provide training and ongoing supervision and guidance to pro bono attorneys handling referred cases.
- Coordinate with other program supervisors and staff in matters involving cross-program representation to facilitate the provision of legal services to mutual clients;
- Utilize LegalServer client database for case management and reporting and calendaring of all client matters and agency meetings in shared Outlook calendars as appropriate; ensure accurate statistical and outcome tracking and maintain current client case files and records.
- Assist in the development and delivery of community and professional relationships through educational outreach & presentations;
- Utilize opportunities for professional development, including participating in supervisor roundtable and supervisor coaching;
- Keep abreast of changes in the law as well as helping to inform policy initiatives that involve criminal defense; and
- Perform such other duties as the position requires or as assigned by the Executive Director or Director of Legal Programs.
Required Qualifications and Experience
The ideal candidate will possess the following:
- A demonstrated commitment to social justice and criminal justice reform;
- At least five (5) years of prior criminal litigation experience;
- 3-5 years of prior supervisory or program management experience along with demonstrated leadership skills;
- Familiarity with cross-functioning programs and/or ability to collaborate with others;
- Licensed to practice in Illinois, or capable of obtaining licensure in a reasonable timeframe;
- Experience with Microsoft Office Suite.
- The ability to communicate information and ideas well in speaking so others will understand;
- Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions; conclusions or approaches to problems;
- Ability to train and mentor new staff, volunteer attorneys, as well as law student interns;
- Strong organizational, communication, and leadership skills;
- The ability to manage multiple projects and tasks;
- Well organized and able to meet deadlines;
- Able to work well under pressure;
- Ability to work in a fast-paced, team-centered environment;
- Possess skills to motivate, develop, and direct people as they work.
About the organization
Cabrini Green Legal Aid (CGLA) has strengthened lives, assisted families and supported communities – one person at a time for over 40 years. CGLA does more than give people a second chance – they are addressing the root causes of unemployment, homelessness, poverty and other challenges that contribute to crime and recidivism. This is accomplished by combining high-quality legal services with supportive services coordinated through strategic partnerships with social service providers, government agencies, and other legal aid organizations. Legal representation focuses on those negatively impacted by the criminal justice system through criminal defense work, criminal records work and civil cases that arise from criminal justice system involvement.
Who We Serve
We serve residents of the City of Chicago in civil and criminal defense cases and residents of Cook County in criminal records cases.