Community Legal Services, Inc. of Philadelphia is a non-profit public interest agency providing free civil legal services to low-income Philadelphia residents. As the largest provider of free civil legal services in the Philadelphia area, CLS is both locally and nationally renowned as a premier legal services provider dedicated to ensuring access to justice for all low-income individuals and communities. CLS has eight legal units covering a wide range of civil legal services. The Housing Unit, located at our 1424 Chestnut Street office, fights for the stability of vulnerable individuals and families by preventing homelessness through legal advocacy and promoting housing quality and affordability for low-income tenants.
CLS is looking to fill two (2) paralegal job openings in the Housing Unit. These would be full-time positions responsible for interviewing potential clients both in person and over the telephone on a rotating basis with other unit members, providing advice and representation to the unit’s clients as well as maintaining a large number of client files, under the supervision of attorneys in the unit. Housing unit Paralegals provide representation at administrative hearings, such as the Fair Housing Commission and public housing grievance and admissions hearings. The position also includes conducting community education and trainings, and some involvement in policy advocacy around issues such as habitability, preservation of affordable housing, reasonable accommodations and barriers to housing due to domestic/sexual violence and criminal records.
Strong interpersonal skills, excellent oral and written communication skills, as well as the ability to deal with a high volume of direct client interaction are required. Some substantive experience in Housing law is preferred, but not required. Good writing skills and the ability to learn a large volume of material quickly are also required. Other responsibilities and qualifications necessary for this position include knowledge of other community resources for appropriate referrals, interviewing clients, obtaining the relevant case facts and drafting thorough memoranda for the case handlers, negotiating favorable outcomes for clients, and giving clients advice under the supervision of attorneys. Fluency in writing and speaking a language other than English, preferably Spanish, is preferred, but not required.
Required Qualifications: Two or four-year college degree. Strong writing skills, computer literacy, the ability to learn complex material quickly, initiative, strong interpersonal skills and ability to interact well in a multi-cultural environment. Willingness and motivation to assist on substantive cases and administrative matters
Preferred Qualifications: Experience in legislative or administrative advocacy, or experience with a social services agency or a nonprofit organization that advocates on behalf of the poor.
1424 Chestnut St. Philadelphia, PA 19102
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