Paralegal - Unemployment Compensation Clinic (Philadelphia)

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Paralegal - Unemployment Compensation Clinic

Anticipated Start date:  Summer 2018

Hiring Timeframe:  Rolling, final application deadline of June 15, 2018.

Application requirements:  Cover letter, resume, references, and a five page writing sample

Background:

Philadelphia Legal Assistance (“PLA”) is the federally funded civil legal aid provider for Philadelphia’s indigent community, providing high volume, high quality legal services including community education, advice, referral, pro se assistance, representation at administrative hearings and at all levels of state and federal courts in areas of basic human needs: family safety, health, income maintenance and home preservation.

The Unemployment Compensation Clinic at PLA represents clients who have been denied unemployment compensation benefits. Unemployment compensation is a vital social safety net that provides temporary income replacement to workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. PLA represents over 400 clients a year, providing counsel and advice, representation at administrative hearings, and legal briefing in appeals. PLA strives to have a larger impact on our clients’ lives through our work on behalf of individual clients and our advanced use of data collection and analysis. Our impact work includes changing the law through appellate work, establishing favorable interpretations of laws and collecting data to support policy change.

Responsibilities:

The paralegal will serve primarily as a case advocate, project manager, and administrative lead for the unit. As a case advocate, the paralegal will interview clients and provide legal advice under the supervision and control of an attorney. The advocate will also be expected to represent clients at unemployment compensation administrative hearings, which involves the presentation of evidence and the direct and cross examinations of witnesses. The advocate will work with the Clinic attorneys to track case information and identify case and legal trends that may need to be addressed with the state agency. There will be opportunities for the advocate to assist with appellate litigation, including cases before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. There will also be opportunities to gain experience with various other aspects of a legal and policy practice, including legislative testimony, white papers and policy briefs, community outreach, case development, communication with government agencies, and Right-to-Know and FOIA requests.

There will be opportunities for the paralegal to gain substantive knowledge of other state and federal
employment laws, including state and federal minimum wage and overtime, anti-discrimination, and
tax laws.

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Passion for workers’ rights
  • Strong organization skills and attention to detail
  • Strong writing skills
  • Strong public speaking skills
  • Personable and empathetic
  • Driven and task-oriented self-starters preferred
  • Applicants with prior advocacy experience, either through prior employment or participation in advocacy competitions (such as debate or mock trial) preferred
  • Spanish fluency preferred

Salary and Benefits:

Salary commensurate with experience and comparable to other public interest paralegal salaries. Full
health coverage and excellent benefits.

Application Process:

Philadelphia Legal Assistance is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply, especially people with diverse backgrounds and experiences based on age, race, ethnicity, cultural identity, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression, sexual identity, disabilities, socioeconomics. Interested applicants should email a cover letter, resume, references, and a five page writing sample to work@philalegal.org. Application deadline is June 15, 2018. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and the position will remain open until filled. We encourage applicants to submit applications early.


April 3, 2018