Youth Justice Project-Social Worker

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Type: Full Time

Min. Experience: Entry Level

Community Legal Services, Inc. is seeking a Social Worker for its Youth Justice Project (“YJP”). This is a full time position and it will be located at the 1424 office. 


YJP uses a holistic, community-based model of legal representation to give youth aged 16-24 an opportunity to stabilize their lives and move past the legal obstacles that keep them in poverty. YJP holds a rotating series of legal clinics for youth at community sites throughout Philadelphia, connecting with youth who are often unaware of their rights and resolving the multiple legal problems they may be facing. For example, YJP opens the doors to success by providing expungements that lead to employment and education opportunities, connecting youth with public benefits that keep them safe and healthy, and helping young parents provide the best care for their families. The YJP social worker will help develop and strengthen community partnerships, coordinate legal clinics, provide support at clinics, and provide wrap-around support for youth in addressing their legal and non-legal problems. The social worker will also help to develop YJP’s first ever youth advisory fellowship program.


Tasks will include but are not limited to:


Client Work

  • Work with legal team to assist youth clients in accessing services, navigating systems making referrals, and other help as needed to work toward their goals.
  • Help maintain contact with youth through relationship building, and follow-up in the short and long-term, to assess whether needs have been met.
  • Supervise social work students interning with CLS on client and project work.

Community Engagement

  • Identify and develop relationships with new community partners and build upon existing community relationships.
  • Update community education materials as needed.
  • Coordinate and facilitate YJP bi-monthly brownbag lunches with youth advocates across Philadelphia.
  • Develop and conduct trainings for community partners and youth about their legal rights and YJP’s holistic model alongside YJP attorneys.


  • Work with YJP team and youth fellows to assess, analyze, and address systemic barriers and challenges faced by our youth.

Special Projects

  • Help develop and facilitate a youth advisory fellowship program through which youth fellows will be compensated for their work with YJP, better informing our service delivery model, community engagement plan, and advocacy work.
  • Assist staff with ongoing special projects such as policy and legal changes, grant applications, data collection and analysis, etc.
  • Identify training needs for YJP and CLS staff and assist with development of new staff trainings on best practices, social service areas, or community resources.

Required and/or Preferred Skills and Abilities:

  • Masters in Social Work (M.S.W.) required
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Dependability, initiative, motivation and concern for the interests of youth
  • Commitment to racial justice and to combating intersectional oppression
  • Non-judgmental, empathetic, patient, and understanding
  • Ability to work cooperatively with other staff as member of a legal team
  • Experience working with youth is preferred.
  • Ability to speak another language helpful, but not required
  • Coursework and experience with research, collecting/analyzing data and programs helpful, but not required

Additional Position Requirements:

  • Some evening and weekend work will be required. CLS offers compensatory and flexible schedule arrangements subject to the approval of a legal manager. 
  • Ability to travel to different parts of the city (via public transportation)

To Apply: CLS will accept applications on a rolling basis until the position has been filled. You can submit your application on CLS’s website online at:  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 National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees, AFL-CIO and its affiliate District 1199C. The current minimum starting salary is $47, 250 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 and transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training. 


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