Equity for Elders Paralegal - Bloomington

December 16, 2022

Prairie State Legal Services focuses services on legal problems that impact the ability of our clients to meet their basic human needs, including physical safety, access to healthcare, adequate housing, and similar needs. PSLS has 11 offices serving 36 counties throughout northern and central Illinois. It is the only legal aid organization in the majority of its service area providing services to the poor, elderly, and people with disabilities.

PSLS was awarded a grant from the Administration on Community Living to develop an innovative program for older adults that will be based within senior subsidized housing and work collaboratively with adult protective services to address issues of elder abuse and exploitation. PSLS was one of 4 grantees nationwide and the goal is to develop replicable models of service that can then be implemented in other communities.

Under this project, PSLS provides comprehensive legal assistance to eligible older adults in issues related to government income or medical benefits, housing issues, exploitation and abuse and other related legal issues. The program will provide extensive outreach and legal education programs for older adults. The Paralegal will be based with our office in Bloomington and will work with an experienced staff attorney in handling a variety of legal issues for older adults. This position does not require a paralegal degree.

Responsibilities
Among other duties as assigned, the Paralegal will:

  • Interview applicants for legal services and assess their legal issues
  • Collect and develop evidence under the supervision of the project attorney
  • Under the supervision of a licensed attorney, provide services including legal research, factual investigation, and document preparation
  • Develop educational materials for older adults and their family members
  • Present legal information and outreach programs for older adults and gather feedback on such programming via surveys.
  • Assist in developing collaborative relationships with other service providers to maximize help to older adults
  • Conduct onsite interviews with older adults seeking services at outreach locations and in the office
  • Assist in preparing guides and reports based on project experiences in developing onsite legal aid within housing complexes for older adults and other project deliverables
  • Provide accurate and complete information for grant reporting to grant funders including documenting services in the case record
  • Exhibit a high level of personal energy, organization, and commitment to the position and the PSLS mission

Qualifications

  • 2-year associate degree, 4-year bachelor’s degree, and/or a paralegal certificate
  • Strong commitment to serving older adults of limited means
  • Patience and compassion
  • Excellent time management, organizational, oral/written communication, and research skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Proficient with computers and online tools
  • Previous legal experience preferred
  • Local travel is necessary; valid driver’s license and/or reliable transportation is required

Salary and Benefits
The Paralegal position is a full-time position at 37.5 hours per week and is expected to begin January 9, 2023. PSLS offers a salary competitive with similar organizations. Our Paralegal salary scale starts at $35,000 per year for candidates who meet the minimum qualifications, and increases with each year of relevant experience. PSLS is committed to providing an excellent, comprehensive benefits package to its full-time employees that includes:

  • Health insurance, including the opportunity to qualify for a wellness credit
  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • 403b retirement plan including employer contributions
  • Extensive training and education program
  • PTO that starts at 3 weeks/year and increases with additional years worked at PSLS
  • Paid sick leave
  • 6 weeks of paid parental leave after one year of employment
  • 12 paid holidays

Application Details
Please indicate “Equity for Elders Paralegal-Bloomington” in the subject line and email a letter explaining your interest and experience, resume and three references to careers@pslegal.org.

Resumes accepted until position is filled.
Prairie State Legal Services is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive working environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We recruit, employ, pay, and promote qualified applicants and employees without regard to race, ethnicity, color, religion, gender, gender identity, expression, or presentation, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or any other legally protected status.

The Organization
Prairie State Legal Services is a not for profit civil legal aid organization that has served northern and central Illinois for more than 40 years, and has a staff of over 200 employees including training and litigation staff with extensive experience. Our service area includes rural communities, suburban areas, and mid-size urban cities which necessitates the development of diverse strategies and we encourage our staff to cultivate and utilize creative approaches to reach and serve our client population. Employees of PSLS benefit from the expertise and community connections of their local office staff along with robust program-wide resources. We strive to provide an array of services responsive to the needs of our clients. PSLS has excellent fiscal controls and upholds the highest rating from Charity Navigator and Guidestar. For more information regarding PSLS services and operations, please visit our website at www.pslegal.org.