Intake Attorney

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Type: Full Time

Min. Experience: Experienced

Community Legal Services, Inc. of Philadelphia (CLS) is a non-profit public interest organization that provides 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 low-income individuals and communities. CLS has several legal units covering a wide range of civil legal services. 

CLS seeks an experienced attorney to serve as Intake Attorney. The Intake Unit is often potential clients’ first connection to CLS and plays a critical role in ensuring that applicants are treated with respect and that their voices are heard. The Intake Unit interviews potential clients facing legal problems in areas such as employment, homeownership, health, and utilities. It is vital that people seeking legal help can quickly gain expert information, advice, and legal assistance. The Intake Attorney will play a crucial role by supervising and training intake paralegals to ensure that they effectively speak with applicants for legal services, conduct interviews, and connect them with legal assistance. 

The Intake Attorney will help ensure that the intake process runs efficiently and that applicants are treated with dignity and respect. The Intake Attorney will report to the Managing Attorney of Intake and will collaboratively work to oversee the systems through which people struggling to get by can access help and support from CLS. The position will also involve working with the Deputy Director of Legal Practice, the Director of Law and Technology, Legal Managers, and others to develop and improve intake systems, procedures, and workflow design across CLS and with partner agencies. The attorney will not have their own caseload separate and apart from brief cases stemming from the intake process.  

Additional duties and responsibilities include: 

  • Conducting regular case reviews with each intake paralegal
  • Ensuring that each paralegal has a clear understanding of the basic legal problems clients face and are appropriately issue-spotting, timely and accurately recording information in our case management system and providing high quality service to applicants.
  • Monitoring intake to ensure compliance with procedures, quality standards, and regulatory and contractual obligations.
  • Effectively communicating with relevant units and referral agencies to stay abreast of case priorities and legal updates and updating intake staff accordingly.

·       Coordinating referrals to and from other legal service programs, outside agencies, community groups and/or elected officials.

  • Participating in the orientation and training of newly hired or less experienced staff.
  • Maintaining, tracking, and recording data and metrics regarding intake.
  • Assisting the management team in leading change and promoting a positive team attitude.
  • Effectively and timely communicating with applicants for services.
  • Accurately identifying applicant eligibility, case priorities, funding source, and level of services to be provided.
  • Assisting in creating and maintaining intake manuals and protocols and updating external communications related to intake.
  • Identifying trends and gaps in programmatic services based on client needs.
  • Identifying areas where outreach, community education and self-help materials may help address important gaps in services. 

Required Qualifications

·       Admission to the Pennsylvania Bar or ability to waive in.

  • Excellent communication, interpersonal, time management, project management, problem-solving and administrative skills.
  • Excellent client interviewing, legal analysis, research and writing skills.
  • Demonstrated leadership and organizational and supervisory skills. 
  • Ability to work with, learn about and employ technology and data.
  • Demonstrated commitment to racial and economic justice.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide constructive and positive feedback early and often.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Ideally, three or more years of experience as an attorney.
  • Substantive knowledge of and experience with legal service clients and their legal problems.
  • Legal experience with one or more relevant civil legal issues such as employment, SSI, utilities, consumer, or mortgage issues.
  • Experience with community engagement work.

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 January 20, 2023. 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 (past or current supervisors preferred) and one brief writing sample (2-10 pages).

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 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, supervision related salary increments, and benefits are also governed by that agreement. The current agreement provides for a starting salary of $62,000 for a new attorney, which increases with years of experience.

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 generous leave package. 

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




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