Program Coordinator - Justice, Equity, and Opportunity Program

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Job location
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
Prairie State Legal Services
State: 
Illinois
Job type: 
Legal - Civil
Position Description: 

Prairie State Legal Services, Inc. is launching a new, innovative program to address inequities in targeted low income neighborhoods through community lawyering, hiring community residents to work as advocates beside our staff, and providing legal information programming to help low income residents to understand their legal rights and responsibilities. The Program Coordinator will serve as a Program Staff Attorney within the Coordinator’s local office and will also have overall responsibility for the Program throughout PSLS.

Under the Justice, Equity, and Opportunity Program, Staff Attorneys will address a range of legal issues
including issues related to racial inequality, issues that present barriers to residents’ efforts to be
self-sufficient, and threats to adequate housing.

While traditional Staff Attorney positions at PSLS are based in our offices and are responding to requests for legal help that are first reviewed by our telephone counseling service, this Program aims to embed our attorneys in community based locations trusted within primarily disenfranchised communities. While our traditional Staff Attorney positions are responding to specific priority issues identified by Prairie State, the Justice, Equity, and Opportunity Program Staff Attorneys will be listening to residents and community partners and identifying legal issues disproportionately impacting the residents of such communities.

In addition to the Program Staff Attorneys, PSLS will also hire residents from the targeted communities to
work as Community Advocates. These Community Advocates will assist with outreach, collaborate with the Program Staff Attorneys, and be responsible for providing training and education to other community
residents.

We have full-time Justice, Equity, and Opportunity Program Staff Attorney positions available in our offices in:
• Bloomington
• Joliet
• Kankakee
• Rockford
• Rock Island
• Waukegan

Responsibilities
The Program Coordinator should expect to spend 30-40% of their time on Program oversight. Among other duties as assigned, the Program Coordinator will:
● Develop training for community advocates and navigators
● Ensure program staff understand and practice community lawyering
● Plan and conduct regular program staff meetings
● Complete regular grant reports in collaboration with the Director of Program Development
● Participate in meetings with the Program funder and disseminate information to other PSLS leadership

The remaining 60-70% of the Program Coordinator’s time will be spent providing legal services to clients as a Justice, Equity, and Opportunity Program Staff Attorney. In that capacity, the Program Coordinator will:
● Provide a full range of 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;
● Interview and provide services to applicants on-site at community-based locations;
● Develop and maintain networking relationships with community agencies that serve the client
population in targeted communities and with other local stakeholders;
● Participate in community meetings to better understand the needs of local residents;
● Conduct legal education and training for community residents;
● Exhibit a high level of personal energy, organization, and commitment to the position and the PSLS
mission

Salary and Benefits
The Justice, Equity, and Opportunity Program Coordinator position is a full-time position at 37.5 hours per week. PSLS offers a salary competitive with similar organizations. Our Program Coordinator salary scale starts at $54,830 per year for candidates who meet the minimum qualifications, and increases with each year of relevant experience. PSLS is committed to providing an excellent, comprehensive benefits package to its full-time employees that includes:
● Health insurance, including the opportunity
to qualify for a wellness credit
● Dental insurance
● Vision insurance
● 403b Retirement Plan
● Extensive training and education program
● PTO that starts at 2.5 weeks/year and
increases with additional years worked
● Paid sick leave
● 6 weeks of paid parental leave after one
year of employment

The Organization
Prairie State Legal Services is a not for profit civil legal aid organization that has served northern and central Illinois for more than 40 years. We have a staff of over 175 persons including training and litigation staff with extensive experience. The Justice, Equity and Opportunity Program staff will be part of their local offices and will benefit from the expertise and community connections of the local staff along with program-wide resources. PSLS encourages its staff to use their creativity in developing strategies for reaching our client population and in working with other community agencies. We strive to provide an array of services responsive to the needs of our clients. More information is available on our website at www.pslegal.org .

Requirements: 

Currently admitted to the practice of law in the State of Illinois, or admitted in another state and
eligible for reciprocity in Illinois
● At least 3 years of diverse legal experience
● Understanding the nature of community lawyering and the importance of developing strong
partnerships with community based organizations is desirable
● Experience in offering legal education programs for low income residents and experience with meeting
grant conditions and responsibilities is also desirable
● Experience with trial advocacy and negotiation preferred
● Commitment and passion for fighting inequity
● Experience working with the community at large and specifically working with diverse populations
preferred
● Strong interpersonal skills
● Excellent oral/written communication, research skills, and computer competency
● Organizational and case management skills
● Ability to work effectively as a team member
● Moderate travel is necessary; valid driver's license and/or reliable transportation is required

To apply: 

Please indicate “Justice, Equity, and Opportunity Program Coordinator” in the subject line and email a letter identifying your office preference and explaining your interest and experience, resume, three references, and a short writing sample (no more than 10 pages) to [email protected]

Resumes accepted until positions are filled.

Prairie State Legal Services is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive working environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We recruit, employ, pay, and promote qualified applicants and employees without regard to race, ethnicity, color, religion, gender, gender identity, expression, or
presentation, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or any other legally protected status.

Notes: 
Equal Opportunity Employer
Submission deadline: 
Monday, May 31, 2021