Housing Unit: Landlord-Tenant Help Center Paralegal

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Type: Full Time

Min. Experience: Entry Level

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.

This is a full-time paralegal position responsible for staffing the Landlord-Tenant Help Center (LTHC), a project of CLS’s Housing unit, located at the Municipal Court.  The LTHC Paralegal would work with the LTHC Staff Attorney to provide legal advice and representation at the LTHC and Municipal Court.  While the Paralegal would be based at our 1424 office location, the Paralegal would physically be present and work at the LTHC for up to four days per week.

This position’s essential job functions will involve coordinating tasks around the LTHC.  These duties will primarily include, but are not limited to:

  • Coordinating intake, referrals, and monthly meetings among tenant advocate organizations serving the LTHC.
  • Working closely with Municipal Court staff to build trusting, collaborative, and respectful relationships.
  • Partnering with the LTHC Staff Attorney to establish and maintain systems for screening and identifying clients with unmet legal issues.
  • Assisting the LTHC Staff Attorney with conducting intake interviews.
  • Triaging, tracking, and timely working on a high volume of referrals, and assisting the LTHC Staff Attorney in organizing referral systems and maintaining client case files. 
  • Providing legal advice, referrals, and representation to clients facing landlord-tenant issues under the close supervision of the LTHC Staff Attorney.
  • Scheduling community outreaches and gathering and reporting on outcomes.
  • Collecting caseload and other data that demonstrates the success of the LTHC and synthesizing or analyzing the data when needed.
  • Support the day to day management of the LTHC and associated activities.
  • Additional duties may include maintaining a small caseload of clients, some phone intake, and undertaking a Court Navigator role. 

Job Qualifications & Other Knowledge, Skills & Abilities: Strong interpersonal skills, demonstrated reliability, strong organizational skills, demonstrated ability to oversee tasks and handle project management duties, 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 strongly preferred, but not required. 

To Apply: CLS will accept applications until December 22, 2017.  You must submit your application on CLS’s website online at:  https://clsphila.org/about-cls/available-positions   or Click "Apply Now" below.

What to Include in your application: 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, people with disabilities, people who have experienced poverty or homelessness and people who have had prior contact with the juvenile, criminal, or child welfare systems 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.

This is a full-time position covered by the collective bargaining agreement between Community Legal Services, Inc. (CLS) and the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees, AFL-CIO and its affiliate District 1199C.  CLS asks for a minimum two-year commitment from individuals who accept an offer of employment for a paralegal position.  The current minimum starting salary is $32,500 for entry-level applicants but that salary is subject to change or adjustment if an applicant has relevant years of experience and according to the provisions of the current collective bargaining agreement.  Raises and benefits are also governed by that agreement.

Community Legal Services, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer.  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. 


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