Careers

Working at PLA

Our work allows all of our staff to make a positive impact on low-income communities throughout Philadelphia.  A career with PLA is both an exciting and enriching experience and will allow you to help low-income individuals and families obtain equal access to justice.

Throughout each year, PLA offers a variety of employment opportunities for attorneys, paralegals, law school graduates with fellowships, support staff, and interns.

Inquiries about employment should be directed to work@philalegal.org.

Philadelphia Legal Assistance is an equal opportunity employer.

Volunteer opportunity for law students: medical-legal-community partnership in West Philadelphia

Philadelphia Legal Assistance (PLA) and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) have formed a Medical-Legal-Community Partnership (MLCP) in order to provide collaborative, free legal assistance to patients on-site at public health centers in Philadelphia. PLA and PDPH are seeking highly-motivated law students to serve as MLCP Legal Advocates at Health Center #3, a community health center locatedon 43rd Street between Baltimore Ave. and Chester Ave. in University City, as well as Health Center #4, which is located on Haverford Avenue at 46th Street.

MLCP Legal Advocates will be in charge of operating the Medical-Legal-Community Partnership’s office at the Health Center. They will interview clients, provide legal advice and brief legal services, and give group presentations on legal topics to clients in the waiting area. If the client needs legal assistance beyond what the Legal Advocate can provide, the Legal Advocate will work up the client’s case for referral to attorneys at local legal services organizations (PLA, Community Legal Services, Philly VIP, Senior Law Center, etc.). Legal Advocates will receive training and close supervision from two experienced supervising attorneys and will work in close collaboration with the health center’s medical and social work staff.

The Medical-Legal Partnership model is being adopted increasingly across the country as a way to address the “social determinants of health.” There are many barriers to effective healthcare treatment: social, economic, and legal, and others. Medicine cannot address these barriers directly, but healthcare staff can partner with social workers and lawyers and together, help patients overcome those barriers. Legal advocates and social workers, working in concert with healthcare providers, can address the issues that make patients’ lives chaotic: domestic violence, unsafe living conditions, child custody, debt, evictions, mortgage foreclosure, and loss of benefits.

While most other MLPs have been collaborations between legal services organizations and hospitals, the MLCP is different because it is a partnership between a legal services organization and a small, local health center that is part of a large public health infrastructure. Legal Advocates will have the opportunity to help build this innovative system for delivering “legal care” and help establish the MLCP’s reputation in the community.

Work requirements:

  • Must work one shift per week of four consecutive hours at the Health Center.

  • Must attend a 1.5-hour weekly group supervision meeting at Drexel University School of Law.

This is a demanding pro bono project that requires a strong commitment to service and reliability but it is a highly rewarding project. Legal Advocates will gain valuable legal experience by working with clients directly and engaging in cross-disciplinary collaboration.

This is a highly selective opportunity for 2Ls and 3Ls; exceptional 1Ls with relevant experience will be considered, as well.

Qualifications:

  • Commitment to improving the well-being of low-income communities.

  • Willingness to engage respectfully, appropriately, and sensitively with patient/clients, providers, and staff of diverse ethnic backgrounds and experiences.

  • Strong communication and interviewing skills.

  • Maturity, self-motivation, and ability to adapt quickly.

  • Willingness to engage proactively in inter-professional collaboration.

  • French language ability and experience in healthcare and are valuable but not required.

If you are interested in the possibility of volunteering for the MLCP, please send your résumé and statement of interest to
Cynthia Haskin
Supervising Attorney, Medical-Legal-Community Partnership
Philadelphia Legal Assistance
718 Arch Street, Suite 300N
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Phone: 215-460-6639
Fax: 215-981-3870
How To Apply: 

Send resume to: Cynthia Haskin, chaskin@philalegal.org

Family Law Unit full-time attorney

Philadelphia Legal Assistance (PLA) seeks to immediately hire a full-time attorney for its Family Law Unit.  PLA is a non-profit legal services organization primarily funded by the Legal Services Corporation. PLA serves approximately 3,000 clients each year in the area of Family Law and views the practice of family law to be an integral part of the war on poverty and family violence.  This includes taking a wide variety and complex mix of family law cases, including child custody, child and spousal support, protection from abuse and divorce. The family law practice at PLA also focuses on issues of interpersonal family violence. In collaboration with Women Against Abuse, Community Legal Services, and HIAS PA, PLA has receiving funding for an attorney position funded by VOCA to provide holistic legal services to victims of crime, including domestic violence and sexual assault with a focus on immigrant survivors. Under the JFF grant, the Attorney will supervise the JFF Court Based Advocate and provide representation to non-offending parents in custody cases involving allegations of child sexual abuse and where the opposing party is represented. The PLA Family Law Unit attorney must be aggressive, an active litigator with both courtroom presence and good research and writing skills, empathetic to client concerns (particularly family violence), able to deal with highly emotional situations, willing to work as part of a team of both attorneys and paralegals, and always maintain the highest ethical standards.

 

Please send a resume and cover letter to work@philalegal.org if interested.  Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and accepted until position is filled.

How To Apply: 

Send resume to: work@philalegal.org