Uptown People’s Law Center (UPLC), a small (eight employees) nonprofit legal organization, is hiring a Legal Director. The Legal Director, in cooperation with the Executive Director, will be responsible for high level supervision of all of the cases undertaken by the Uptown People’s Law Center, to ensure that we deliver the highest quality representation to our clients. This includes cases handled in house by staff attorneys, as well as cases in which Uptown People’s Law Center is co-counsel with pro bono attorneys (generally from large firms). Our cases include administrative claims for Social Security Disability benefits and defense of tenants facing evictions, but the majority of the Legal Director’s time will be devoted to our prisoners’ rights work.
The Legal Director reports to the Executive Director. The overall responsibility of the Legal Director will be to plan and supervise the legal services provided by the Uptown People’s Law Center and its pro bono partners to fulfill our mission of advocating for prisoners, tenants, and disabled people denied public benefits.
Specific responsibilities include:
Help develop innovative litigation strategies to further the mission of the Uptown People’s Law Center and to meet the legal needs of our clients.
Supervise, coordinate, and evaluate legal work performed by our staff, volunteers, and interns.
Develop, recruit, and provide high-level strategic input into impact litigation carried out with our pro bono partners.
Develop and maintain relationships with UPLC’s network of pro bono partner law firms.
Develop and maintain relationships with community activists and other groups active in the areas of prisoners’ rights, disability rights, and affordable housing.
Participate, along with the Executive Director and all staff, in case development and selection.
Maintain a small (5-10) caseload of individual cases.
Carry out special projects and other directives as assigned by the Executive Director.
Provide support as needed to the communications and fundraising work of the Uptown People’s Law Center.
JD., licensed to practice law in Illinois, or with the ability to become licensed within a reasonable time.
At least five years of experience in one or more of the following: representation of prisoners in civil rights litigation; participation in complex federal class action litigation; and supervision of other attorneys, including pro bono attorneys.
The ability to work effectively with both the clients of Uptown People’s Law Center and attorneys at large firms.
Strong verbal and written communication skills, including the ability to communicate effectively with diverse audiences.
Internal Number: 7737691411
About Uptown People's Law Center
Uptown People's Law Center is a small not-for-profit legal clinic located on the North Side of Chicago. We work primarily in three areas: representing disabled people wrongly denied Social Security disability benefits; representing tenants in disputes with their landlords (primarily eviction defense); and representing prisoners in civil rights cases challenging their treatment in Illinois prisons.