Agency Profile: For more than 50 years Legal Aid Chicago has provided people living in poverty in metropolitan Chicago with comprehensive free legal services to resolve non-criminal issues. Each year Legal Aid Chicago’s more than 80 full-time attorneys and staff help resolve civil legal problems, including domestic violence, consumer fraud, and unfair evictions.
Position: Paralegals work alongside attorneys and directly with clients on legal issues. This position will be placed in Legal Aid Chicago’s Volunteer Services Unit to support work with community based legal clinics in Austin and Englewood and clinics focused on criminal records relief (e.g., expungement and sealing). This position is grant-funded and will run from January until June 30, 2020.
Community Legal clinics: At Legal Aid Chicago’s community-based legal clinics, clients meet with attorneys on a walk-in basis. Volunteer attorneys interview clients at the clinic to gather facts. With guidance from Legal Aid Chicago attorneys, the volunteer attorneys advise clients on their legal options and are guided on next steps. Many of these cases are considered for representation by Legal Aid Chicago. The clinics are open to any type of civil matter, operate in the early evening to increase accessibility for clients, and don’t require an appointment. Legal Aid Chicago currently operates four community based monthly legal clinics (in North Lawndale, Woodlawn, Humboldt Park, and Uptown) and the new clinics in Austin and Englewood will operate in the same model. The temporary paralegal will support the new clinics in Austin and Englewood.
Expungement and sealing clinics: Legal Aid Chicago operates one-day clinics to serve clients with barriers to employment, education, or housing who seed to have their criminal record expunged or sealed, or with alternative forms of criminal record relief such as certificates of good conduct and healthcare waivers. Prior to the clinic, clients are screened, registered and advised on how to obtain their rap sheets. While at the clinic, volunteer attorneys interview clients and prepare the paperwork necessary for filing for the requested expungement, sealing, or other relief. After the clinic, Legal Aid Chicago files the petitions with court and appears in court, if necessary, to obtain the relief for the client and complete the process. The temporary paralegal will provide support for all aspects of the expungement and sealing clinic, including screening clients, assisting attorneys with paperwork and filing.
Duties include, but are not limited to:
· Conduct telephone and in person interviews to determine client eligibility for services and advise clients on how to obtain rap sheets
· Assist with the preparation and filing of paperwork for expungement, sealing or other record relief
· Attend and assist with the operation of monthly legal clinics (three in Austin and three in Englewood).
· Attend and assist with the operation of six expungement legal clinics
· Ensure smooth operations of the clinics including client registration and volunteer training and recruitment
· Engage and provide administrative support to volunteers and staff at the community legal clinics and criminal records relief clinics
· Track data related to grant, pro bono work, and assist on related reporting
· A college degree
· Computer proficiency, including familiarity with Microsoft Office applications
· Excellent interpersonal, communication, and organizational skills
· The ability to work well under pressure, and to learn and retain new information
· Availability during evening hours on days when clinics are held is required.
· Connection to either Austin neighborhood or Englewood neighborhood is a plus.
Please visit our website at https://www.legalaidchicago.org/get-involved/work-with-us/ Select " Temporary Paralegal- Volunteer Services Unit- Austin". Be sure to put the phrase "Expungement Paralegal" in the subject line of your email.
Applications received before January 17th will be given preference. Position will remain open until filled.
Legal Aid Chicago is firmly committed to creating a diverse workplace and is proud to provide equal employment opportunities to all applicants and therefore does not discriminate on the basis of creed, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age religion, marital or parental status, alienage, disability, political affiliation or belief, military or military discharge status, or ex-offender status. Applicants who have experiences with our client communities are encouraged to apply.
Job Type: Temporary