Staff Attorney-Energy Unit

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Job location
1424 Chesnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
Community Legal Services of Philadelphia
Job type: 
Legal - Civil
Position Description: 

Community Legal Services (CLS) of Philadelphia is seeking a staff attorney in its Energy Unit. The Energy unit assists low-income Philadelphians to obtain and maintain utility service and is engaged in cutting edge work on Utility affordability issues to further principles of “universal service” in Philadelphia, across the state and nation-wide.
This position involves a dynamic combination of individual and group representation and systemic advocacy. The staff attorney position includes representing individual clients to obtain utility service (electricity, natural gas and water), to maintain utility service and to obtain service reconnection when such utility service has been terminated, and to represent client groups before relevant commissions and courts in complex, multi-party litigation and appeals. The attorney will also engage in various forms of systemic advocacy and impact litigation. Position will include some supervision and continual training of two paralegals and student interns.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
• Litigation and trial work.
• Ability and interest in assuming a highly visible role as counsel representing residential customers and consumer advocacy groups before relevant commissions and courts in complex, multi-party litigation and appeals. These proceedings require full participation in formal and informal discovery, preparation of expert testimony, evidentiary hearings, and extensive briefing of the issues. Oral argument may be involved.
• Work collaboratively with others in the Energy Unit’s efforts to assist the approximately 500-700 low-income individual clients annually with shut-off notices, without service, or with utility related concerns that threaten their continued access to utility service.
• Appear before legislative committees regarding utility service issues.
• Active participation in coalitions with consumer advocacy organizations and local, state and national campaigns concerning affordable utility service
• Conduct community education and trainings on utility law for members of the public, group clients, coalition members, and other advocates.

Supervisory Responsibilities: May be asked to supervise paralegals and interns.

This is a full-time position covered by the collective bargaining agreement between Community Legal Services, Inc. (CLS) and the Philadelphia Legal Services Union N.O.L.S.W./Local 2320/UAW. The current minimum entry level salary is governed by such agreement and is subject to change according to the provisions of the current collective bargaining agreement. Raises and benefits are also governed by that agreement. CLS offers a very generous and comprehensive benefits package.


Education and/or Experience: J.D. from an accredited law school and admission to Pennsylvania State Bar is required. Two (2) or more year’s legal experience preferred.

Preferred Qualifications Include:
• Litigation and trial advocacy experience
• Excellent legal analysis, research and writing skills
• A demonstrated commitment to providing the highest quality legal services to individual clients
• Knowledge of or an interest in utility issues, including for instance:
o Customer Assistance Programs
o Ratemaking practice and procedure for public utilities
o Municipal finance and rating agency practices
• Knowledge of administrative law principles and rules of civil and appellate procedure sufficient to provide legal representation of the highest quality to individual clients before the PUC and other applicable regulatory and judicial forums
• Strong networking, relationship building and communications skills
• Sound professional and legal judgment
• Interest in defending and advancing legal consumer protection principles, including but not limited to those applicable to consumers of utility services
• Policy advocacy experience

To apply: 

What to Include in your application and how to apply:

Please include a cover letter, resume, three professional references and one brief writing sample (10 pages or less). Community Legal Services values a diverse work environment and strongly encourages women, people of color, people who identify as LGBTQ, and people with disabilities to apply. CLS invites all applicants to include in their cover letter a statement about how your unique background and/or experiences might contribute to the diversity, cultural vitality, and perspective of our staff and legal services practice.

Please submit your materials to:

Community Legal Services, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes applicants of all diverse backgrounds to apply. CLS, Inc. does not discriminate in the selection of employees on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, sexual identity, genetics, age, national origin, disability, or veteran status. In addition to federal law requirements, CLS complies with all applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.
Submission deadline: 
Friday, September 29, 2017