Release date: July 8, 2013
The Elmhurst-based Citizen Advocacy Center (“Center”) is an award winning, nonprofit organization dedicated to building democracy in the 21st century by strengthening the public’s capacities, resources and institutions in the Chicagoland area.
The Center is seeking an energetic person who is able to advance our mission by using legal advocacy, community organizing, public policy analysis, public speaking/media relations, and litigation to build democracy. Lawyers with excellent research, writing, speaking, advocacy, mentoring and litigation skills are encouraged to apply.
Responsibilities of this position are set forth in the complete job description below. The ideal candidate will want a long-term public interest career and have at least two years experience in legal advocacy, community organizing, and litigation. Lawyers with less experience but with a long-term dedication to public interest law will also be considered.
* Start Date: Immediately
* Compensation: $28,000 - $35,000
Depending on prior experience,
with a potential to increase with the growth
of the organization and job performance.
Benefits include health care, vacation,
and pension when vested.
* The Center is an equal opportunity
* Interested applicants:
Submit the form below or email
a cover letter and resume with the
subject line: Community Lawyer Applicant
Complete Job Description for Community Lawyer
PROVIDE LEGAL ASSISTANCE
• Provide legal assistance to citizens and organizations that telephone, visit our storefront office, or email the Center with questions or concerns about the laws that protect and ensure citizen participation in the decision-making process and about issues of public significance. Answer legal questions that are matters of public concern and fit within our mission and criteria of building democracy for the 21st century.
• Conduct legal research and public interest litigation at all levels of state and federal court.
• Supervise the legal projects of student interns and other volunteers, including cooperating attorneys.
• Refer citizens who have legal problems that are outside the scope of the Center's service or beyond the Center’s capacity.
• Work to promote democracy, teach leadership, and maximize power and participation of community groups.
• Develop the sustainability of communities through grassroots organizing. This includes building community groups from scratch, developing new leadership where none existed, and organizing the unorganized.
• Help community groups organize campaigns and plan strategies that will enable them to advance a community cause. Improve communities by sharing information on issues identified by community members including legal information, raising questions, exploring options and alternatives, setting goals and deadlines, solving conflicts, and creating positive change.
• Educate citizens and youth about how to be an active, informed, and effective community participant through speeches, written materials including lesson plans, one-on-one conversations, and the media.
• Advocate on behalf of the democratic process and issues that affect the well being of the communities and the citizens served by the Center, by writing, giving public comment at government meetings and speaking to community groups and professional organizations.
• Work with policy makers and educators in the Illinois at all levels of government to build youth civic engagement policies, opportunities and curricula.
• Facilitate trainings and presentations for the public, students, teachers, the press, and public officials about the laws that enable and ensure citizen participation in the governmental decision-making process on matters of public significance.
MONITOR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS/INSTITUTIONS
• Function as project manager to facilitate grant programs per objectives established by Center staff.
• Monitor local governments for abuses of power and undemocratic practices.
• Hold government officials and entities accountable when antidemocratic policies are being implemented that dissuade public participation.
• Litigate, when necessary, to hold public officials accountable for acting contrary to the public interest or to reform anti-democratic policies.