Energy Unit Paralegal - Community Legal Services of Philadelphia

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Community Legal Services, Inc. of Philadelphia (CLS) is a non-profit public interest agency providing 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 all low-income individuals and communities. CLS has ten legal units and projects covering a wide range of civil legal services.

CLS seeks an Energy Unit paralegal. This is a full-time position.

JOB DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

The job duties and responsibilities necessary for this position include:

  • Interview Energy applicants over the telephone and/or in person (subject to CLS remote work policy);
  • Provide advice and representation to the Unit’s clients;
  • Maintain a large number of client files under the supervision of attorneys in the unit;
  • Negotiate affordable payment terms and resolution of utility disputes with PWD, PECO, and PGW, including communication with utility liaisons and advocating in writing on behalf of clients;
  • Provide representation in informal disputes at the utility level;
  • Prepare client cases for hearings before the Philadelphia Water Department, Tax Review Board, Office of Administrative Review, and Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission;
  • Help clients compile convincing evidence and assist witnesses with the preparation of oral and written testimony;
  • Conduct virtual community education and trainings;
  • Provide advice to clients under the supervision of attorneys;
  • Attend quarterly utility advisory committee meetings, as needed; and
  • Policy advocacy also possible.

In addition to the duties listed above, the Energy Unit paralegal will:

  • Strategically evaluate the available legal options/resources to preserve access to utility service for as long as possible.
  • Preferably have some substantive experience in Utility law.
  • Review relevant statutes, regulations, and utility tariffs when assessing the merits of clients’ disputes.

The ideal candidate will have the following skills and abilities:

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Strong attention to detail.
  • Ability to use the Internet to assist with case investigations.
  • High tolerance for interaction with bureaucracies.
  • Ability to deal with a high volume of direct client interaction.
  • Knowledge of other community resources for appropriate referrals.
  • Client interviewing skills, obtaining the relevant case facts and drafting thorough notes, emails and letters.
  • Ability to negotiate favorable outcomes for clients.
  • Compassion and understanding for clients who are often dealing with significant levels of stress.
  • Ability to learn a large volume of complex material quickly, initiative, strong interpersonal skills, and ability to interact well in a multi-cultural environment.
  • Willingness and motivation to assist on substantive cases and administrative matters.

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS:

  • High School Diploma or GED
  • Strong writing skills
  • Computer literacy
  • Fluency in writing and speaking a language other than English, preferably Spanish, is strongly preferred, but not required.

CLS staff are currently working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic but planning to return to offices starting in October 2021. Office location for this position has not been determined.

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 Tuesday, August 31, 2021 for consideration for first round interviews. You can submit your application on CLS’s website online at:

What to Include in your application:

Please include a cover letter, resume, three professional references preferably from current or former supervisors/managers and one brief writing sample (10 pages or less). CLS values a diverse and inclusive work environment where employees feel a sense of belonging 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. CLS asks for a minimum two-year commitment from individuals who accept an offer of employment for a paralegal position. The current minimum starting salary is $38,600 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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