Family Advocacy Unit Paralegal

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Type: Full Time

Min. Experience: Entry Level

Community Legal Services of Philadelphia (CLS) is seeking a Paralegal in its Family Advocacy Unit (FAU). CLS is one of the leading legal services programs in the country, with a holistic, interdisciplinary model of legal representation. We represent parents involved with the Philadelphia child welfare system in their effort to maintain or regain custody of their children. The paralegal would, under the supervision of an attorney, work as part of a legal team to provide representation and advocacy for parents in their child welfare case. 


The job duties and responsibilities necessary for this position include:  

  • Working with attorneys, social workers, paralegals, and peer parent advocates to assist clients facing Department of Human Services involvement, including providing clients with brief case management, referrals to other agencies, and legal advice under the supervision of an attorney. 
  • Attending case planning meetings and court hearings to support clients. 
  • Identifying and connecting clients to needed services 
  • Conducting intake interviews with new clients, both via walk-in intake and via the FAU hotline. 
  • Responding to legal referrals via telephone, and track referral outcomes consistently in CLS’s case management system. 
  • Assisting with intake functions for new cases, including file maintenance, gathering needed documentation, and investigation. 
  • Assisting with the FAU’s data module by ensuring the collection and entry of accurate information about clients and case outcomes.    
  • Assisting with file maintenance for ongoing cases, and ensuring cases are properly closed in a timely manner. 
  • Assisting with legal filings, including administrative tasks associated with filing motions and legal briefs. 
  • Identifying and developing relationships with new community partners and building upon existing community relationships. 
  • Assisting with community outreach and the development of community education programs. 
  • Serving clients in crisis in an empathetic, culturally competent, and trauma-informed way. 

The ideal candidate will have the following skills and abilities: 

  • Exceptional organizational skills 
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently 
  • Demonstrated reliability and willingness and flexibility to travel within the City.  
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills 
  • An ability to work as part of a team 
  • Commitment to using their knowledge to help parents involved in these systems.   


  • High School Diploma or GED 
  • Strong writing skills 
  • Computer literacy 


  • Four-year college degree 
  • Prior experience assisting clients navigating the child welfare system is helpful but not required.  
  • Fluency in Spanish, and experience with public benefits, housing, and education issues are all desirable, but not required 

To Apply: CLS will accept applications on a rolling basis until the position is filled.  You can submit your application on CLS’s website online at CLS Careers or by clicking "Apply Now" below.

What to Include in your application: Please include a cover letter, resume, three professional references (at least two being past or current supervisors) identifying your relationship, and one brief writing sample (10 pages or less). 

 CLS 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

Compensation: This is a full-time position covered by the collective bargaining agreement between CLS and the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees, AFL-CIO, and its affiliate District 1199C. The current minimum starting salary is $45,970 for entry-level applicants, which increases with relevant years of experience and according to the provisions of the current collective bargaining agreement. CLS asks for a minimum two-year commitment from individuals who accept an offer of employment for a paralegal position. 

Benefits: CLS offers a very generous and competitive benefits package including 100% employer-paid medical (including gender-affirming care), life, and short/long-term disability benefits, a 403(b)-retirement plan with employer contribution, and a generous leave package, including 13 paid holidays and five personal holidays each year. 

Community Legal Services, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes applicants of all diverse backgrounds to apply. CLS 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. 

Apply for this Position
* Required fields
First name*
Last name*
Email address*
Phone number*

Attach resume as .pdf, .doc, .docx, .odt, .txt, or .rtf (limit 5MB) or paste resume

Paste your resume here or attach resume file

Do you fluently speak a language other than English?
Please submit your cover letter explaining your interest in Community Legal Services and about how your unique background and/or experiences might contribute to the diversity, cultural vitality, and perspective of our staff and legal services practice.. (.pdf files only please)*
Please provide a list of at least three professional references. (.pdf files only please)
*Please do not submit recommendation letters*
Please provide a writing sample which demonstrates your writing ability of at least 1 to 2 pages*
How did you hear about this job posting?*
Do you know anyone that currently works at Community Legal Services? If yes, please write the name below identifying your relationship*
Human Check*