The Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights (CLCCR) seeks a staff attorney to lead the Equitable Development Initiative that is part of our Community Law Project. This initiative provides legal, policy, and strategic support to community-based organizations and coalitions organizing and advocating for equitable development. This position is an ideal opportunity for an attorney with a passion for racial equity and civil rights, and the drive and skills to take our equitable development work to the next level of growth and impact.
Founded in 1969 at the height of Chicago’s Freedom Movement, CLCCR is Chicago’s leading nonprofit civil rights legal organization. Our board adopted a new mission statement in 2017 that puts racial equity front and center and focuses more explicitly on systemic change and community empowerment. CLCCR provides legal support through partnerships with the private bar and collaborates with grassroots organizations and other advocacy groups to implement community-based reforms. We pursue our advocacy through litigation, transactional legal assistance, policy advocacy, community education, coalition building, and media advocacy. Our projects focus on education equity, housing opportunity, voting rights, hate crime, pro se federal court settlements, police accountability, and community economic development.
Our Community Law Project (CLP) has a long history of supporting low-income people and communities of color through transactional legal assistance and education to nonprofit organizations, entrepreneurs and small business owners, and first-time homebuyers. Several years ago, CLP developed its Equitable Development Initiative – grounded in a community lawyering model - to provide legal, policy, and strategic support to communities organizing and advocating for voice and agency in the face of development that threatens displacement. Our work helps to ensure that local residents and small business owners benefit from development and investment in their communities rather than being pushed out. It involves building relationships with grassroots leaders and organizations in communities most affected by poverty and racial disparities; helping them shape their goals and priorities; and supporting them in implementing community-driven solutions to address the related dynamics of gentrification and displacement.
Demonstrated commitment to and experience with advancing a racial equity mission
D. degree required. Applicants must be admitted to the Illinois Bar, be eligible for admission through reciprocity or take the Illinois Bar within six months
At least three years of legal experience; transactional legal experience preferred, particularly in the areas of real estate, land use, other housing-related experience, or local government law and policy
Experience working with community organizers or coalitions, including communities of color
Proven client counseling skills
Spanish language proficiency preferred but not required
Excellent written and oral communication, including experience with public speaking
Flexibility and ability to prioritize and work on multiple projects
Ability to work effectively as part of a team
Ability to use considerable judgment, initiative, and independence, and maintain confidentiality
How to Apply: Applications will be accepted through March 23, 2018. If interested, please email a
resume, cover letter, and two professional references to: Elesha Jackson at email@example.com
No phone inquiries please. Due to the anticipated volume of applications, we may not be able to respond to individual applications.
Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, parental status, marital status, status as a veteran or other military status, source of income, arrest record, citizenship status, or on any other basis prohibited by local, state, or federal law. CLCCR strongly encourages attorneys of all backgrounds to apply, including people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+ people, people who speak languages in addition to English, and others whose background and experiences would help our organization better understand and serve our clients and community members.
More information about Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and our Community Law Project is available at www.clccrul.org
Coalition support: serve as the legal partner to provide strategic guidance, conduct legal research, provide related legal services, and support advocacy on matters relevant to community organizations and coalitions organizing campaigns for equitable community development, including Community Benefits Agreements (CBAs);
Drafting: complete necessary legal documents to memorialize agreements between stakeholders; prepare outlines and summaries of coalition/organization requests to developers; and draft FOIA requests and other requests for information made by coalitions;
Contract negotiation: negotiate agreements with developers or other entities on behalf of or in conjunction with community organizations/coalitions;
Legal assistance: Identify and address legal needs of clients, including referring them to other CLCCR staff or volunteer attorneys;
Policy advocacy: Policy research and advocacy on matters relevant to equitable development;
Outreach & Training: plan, implement and document outreach and training programs, including one-on-one meetings and speaking at CLP workshops, coalition meetings and conferences; draft training materials and supervise pro bono volunteers drafting training materials;
Attend evening and weekend meetings and events in Chicago neighborhoods.
Additional Salary Information: Salary: Salary is commensurate with experience and based on the organization’s salary scale.