Paralegal- Public Benefits

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Job location
120 S. LaSalle St.
Chicago, IL 60603
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
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Position Description: 

For more than 50 years LAF has provided people living in poverty in metropolitan Chicago with comprehensive, free legal services to resolve non-criminal issues.
Each year LAF’s more than 80 full-time attorneys and staff help resolve civil legal problems, including domestic violence, consumer fraud, unfair evictions and improper benefit denials and terminations. Our work impacts more than 40,000 people each year.
Position: Public Benefits Paralegal
• Paralegals work under the direct supervision of an attorney and the authority conferred upon the paralegal in the handling of cases or client service functions is determined by the supervisory attorney.
• Paralegals handle all functions related to casework, from initial intake through representation of clients at administrative hearings; some paralegals may exclusively perform non-casework functions. The duties of the paralegal include the following:
• Maintain knowledge of law and procedures related to benefits administered by the Illinois Department of Human Services such as Medicaid, SNAP, TANF and the Social Security Administration;
• Maintain a regular intake schedule and other casework duties which include, without limitation: consultation with supervising attorney as to proper course of action, preserve the confidence of clients, avoid conflicts of interest, account for clients' moneys, maintain the same ethical standards of conduct required of attorneys;
• Represent clients by undertaking such activities as: interview and initial fact gathering, factual and legal research, devise, review, revise and implement the strategy for going forward, prepare a case for hearing, draft legal papers, negotiate, present evidence, interrogate witnesses, oral advocacy, and properly prepare the client and maintain an ongoing relationship;
• Work with attorneys on cases or projects; investigation and research; preparation of depositions, discovery materials, pleadings, briefs and other legal materials;
• Provide advice and referral to individuals not accepted as clients and make appropriate referrals to additional or alternative legal services and to necessary social services;
• Participate in maintaining good community relations by acting as a liaison between community groups and the LAF staff. Tasks may include, without limitation: outreach and community education to client groups and social service agency personnel; advocacy training in legal rights and entitlement to above-named groups; training of staff, and other groups, when assigned to or approved by the supervisory attorney;
• Apply proper eligibility standards, both financial and subject matters, in accepting clients for service;
• Prepare reports and statistics related to cases and other projects;
• Maintain proficiency with all equipment, computer hardware and software necessary to perform the duties of the position; and
• Such other duties as are reasonably related to the function of the paralegal and as may be assigned from time to time by the supervisor.


Qualifications: Applicants must have:
• Excellent oral and written skills;
• A commitment to social justice;
• A college degree (except for current internal applicants as specified in the Collective Bargaining Agreement);
• Basic internet and computer skills, including familiarity with such programs as MS Word, Outlook, and Excel;
• Experience and competence advocating for other people;
• Good organizational skills
Preferred applicants will have:
• Familiarity with public benefit program eligibility criteria;
• Experience and comfort interacting with people living in poverty, older adults, people with physical, mental and cognitive disabilities, immigrants and people with limited English Proficiency;
• Spanish fluency;
• Access to a car and ability to drive; and
• Sense of humor.
Salary: Depends on experience. Generous fringe benefits.

To apply: 

To Apply: Send cover letter, resume, and the names and contact information of two professional references by December 31, 2017 to: [email protected]. Be sure to write “Public Benefits Paralegal” in the subject line of your e-mail. No phone calls, please.

Equal Opportunity Employer
Submission deadline: 
Sunday, December 31, 2017