Attorney Fellowship Sponsorship - Fall 2020 Fellowships

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CLS’s mission is to fight poverty, challenge systems that perpetuate injustice, and change lives through cutting-edge advocacy and exceptional legal representation. For over fifty (50) years, Community Legal Services, Inc. (CLS) has been committed to working for justice by serving the legal needs of low-income Philadelphia residents in critical cases that affect their families, their jobs, their homes, and their incomes.

We make a difference in the lives of poor and at-risk Philadelphians through high impact policy advocacy, individual representation, strategic use of media and community education. We work at the City, State and national levels. Many of our lawyers are nationally recognized experts in their fields. CLS’s combination of direct client services coupled with broad based impact work is a nationally renowned model. By identifying trends we develop policy strategies, engage in systemic and legislative advocacy, and ultimately work to effectuate sustainable change to the client communities we serve.

CLS seeks to sponsor Attorney Fellows to engage in exciting and innovative work that is important to our mission, our clients and is appropriate given the time constraints of the fellowship length, and the interests and experience of the candidate. Depending on the nature of the project, fellows will be placed in one of our eight legal units: Employment (including wage theft and criminal records expungement), Housing and Eviction Prevention, Home Ownership and Consumer Rights, Welfare/Public Benefits, SSI Disability, Energy Unit, Aging and Disabilities Unit, Language Access Project, or the Family Advocacy Unit.

CLS typically seeks to sponsor attorney fellows for the Skadden Foundation and the Independence Foundation. However, CLS may also opt to sponsor Attorney Fellows for other fellowships such as Equal Justice Works or law school based fellowships depending on the needs of the program and the qualifications of the candidate.

The ideal Attorney Fellow sponsorship candidate will possess a demonstrated passion for, interest in and commitment to public interest and poverty law; a demonstrated ability to providing the highest quality legal services to individual clients; will possess excellent legal analysis and research, writing and oral advocacy skills; will have an interest in policy and advocacy work; will possess strong networking, relationship building and communications skills; exhibit sound professional and legal judgment; and illustrate a high level commitment to racial justice and serving low-income communities and clients.

CLS is seeking incoming 3Ls, recent graduates or judicial clerks for Attorney Fellowship sponsorships whose projects will commence in the Fall of 2020. A J.D. from an accredited law school and willingness to sit for the Pennsylvania State Bar is required.

What to Include in your application:

Please include a cover letter, resume, recent law school transcript, a list of three (3) professional or academic references and two (2) brief writing samples of 10 pages or less no later than close of business on Monday June 24, 2019.

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. Furthermore, if you have areas of particular interest or project ideas, we encourage you to state them in your letter.

You can submit your application on CLS’s website online at: OR

  • The deadline to apply for consideration for sponsorship with Skadden Foundation, EJW or Independence Foundation is June 24, 2019. No late applications will be considered for these applications. CLS intends to conduct interviews for these applicants starting in early July.
  • For applicants interested in being considered for only school-based fellowships, CLS will consider those applications on a rolling basis in conjunction with the application deadlines of the sponsoring law school.

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, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

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