Employment Unit-Workplace Justice Project Immigrant Workers Rights & Wage Theft Staff Attorney

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Type: Full Time

Min. Experience: Entry Level

Community Legal Services (CLS) of Philadelphia is seeking an attorney in its Employment Unit located at the 1424 Chestnut Street office location. CLS’s mission is to fight poverty, challenge systems that perpetuate injustice and change lives through cutting-edge advocacy and exceptional legal representation.  CLS is recognized as one of the leading legal services programs in the country.  We provide high quality direct legal representation, engage in systemic policy advocacy with the goal of effectuating broad based change, and conduct community education and outreach.

CLS has eight (8) legal units providing free civil legal services to low-income Philadelphians. The Employment Unit works to protect workplace rights of low wage workers, to fight inequality and to fight the exploitation of workers whether through misclassification, discrimination, or theft of labor. It also prioritizes eradication of barriers to employment, including criminal records, child abuse records, discrimination, licensing restrictions, and non-competes.

Summary of Position:  A major part of this job will involve work on a grant to represent workplace crime victims, including wage theft and sexual assault, with a particular emphasis on immigrant workers who are particularly vulnerable to exploitation.  This work will involve multiple plaintiff litigation. For this reason the ideal candidate will have strong language skills and at least one year of litigation experience.  Applicants should have 2-5 years of legal practice experience.

Attorneys in the Employment Unit are expected to handle a significant caseload of individual clients. In addition, they are expected to contribute to our impact advocacy in our priority areas, including through legislative and policy advocacy and class action and other impact litigation.  They are also asked to engage in community education and clinics.

CLS seeks applicants with the following qualifications:

  • Demonstrated commitment to working with diverse populations
  • Experience and interest in policy advocacy, litigation and other forms of impact advocacy
  • Experience with managing grants and contract deliverables
  • Exhibit sound professional and legal judgment
  • Excellent negotiation and analytical skills
  • Excellent legal research and writing skills
  • Experience and ability to work with low-income and vulnerable individuals
  • Excellent work ethic, organization, and communication skills
  • Demonstrated commitment to economic and social justice work
  • Illustrate a high level commitment to racial justice advocacy
  • Substantive knowledge and experience in our areas of practice in Employment and/or Immigration Law is preferred, including experience with U and T visas
  • Ability to speak and write in Spanish strongly preferred, other languages will be considered

To Apply: CLS will accept applications on a rolling basis until the position has been filled. However, candidates are highly encouraged to submit their application by August 12, 2019 for consideration for first round interviews. You can submit your application on CLS’s website online at: https://clsphila.org/about-cls/available-positions/ OR submit your application below by clicking "Apply Now"

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 Philadelphia Legal Services Union N.O.L.S.W./Local 2320/UAW.  The current minimum starting salary is governed by that 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.

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 and transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.    

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