• Location

    1424 Chestnut St. Philadelphia, PA 19102

  • Category

CLS is seeking a staff attorney for its SSI Unit.  The SSI Unit helps individuals with serious disabilities qualify for and keep Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

SSI is a core Social Security program that provides income support to adults aged 65 and over and individuals at any age with severe disabilities.  CLS’s SSI Unit provides full legal representation to individuals with disabilities at all stages of the SSI application process, including during informal state-level disability reviews, at formal administrative hearings, and in federal court.  The Unit also represents current SSI recipients whose disabilities are under review by SSA.  CLS prioritizes cases for individuals who have significant barriers in navigating SSA processes, including individuals with serious behavioral health conditions, including trauma; individuals who are limited English proficient; and children.  CLS ensures that clients are connected to medical care, school supports, and other resources, and advocates for policy reforms at the national, state, and local levels that improve the lives of individuals with disabilities.

The SSI Unit staff attorney position will involve high volume individual client representation of clients in informal SSA proceedings, administrative hearings, and federal court.  It will also involve engaging in innovative systemic advocacy, including class action litigation and legislative and administrative advocacy at all levels of government.

The position may involve some supervision of interns and other staff, depending on experience.

Substantive knowledge and experience in Social Security law is helpful but not required.  Other experience in representing and/or advocating for issues affecting individuals with disabilities is helpful but not required.

CLS seeks applicants with the following qualifications:

  • Excellent negotiation and analytical skills;
  • Excellent client interviewing skills;
  • Excellent legal research and writing skills;
  • Litigation experience;
  • Experience and interest in legislative and administrative advocacy and other policymaking;
  • Experience and interest in community education and outreach;
  • Excellent work ethic, organization, and communication skills;
  • Demonstrated commitment to public interest work;
  • Demonstrated commitment to working with diverse populations;
  • Illustrated, high level commitment to racial justice;
  • Sound professional and legal judgment; and
  • Experience supervising others.


This is a full-time position covered by the collective bargaining agreement between Community Legal Services, Inc. (CLS) and the Philadelphia Legal Services Union N.O.L.S.W./Local 2320/UAW.  The current minimum starting salary is governed by that agreement and is subject to change according to the provisions of the current collective bargaining agreement.  Raises and benefits are also governed by that agreement.

Community Legal Services, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer.  CLS, Inc. does not discriminate in the selection of employees on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, sexual identity, genetics, age, national origin, disability, or veteran status.  In addition to federal law requirements, CLS complies with all applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment.  This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall and transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.


About Us

Community Legal Services, Inc. of Philadelphia is a non-profit public interest agency providing free civil legal services to low-income Philadelphia residents.  As the largest provider of free civil legal services in the Philadelphia area, CLS is both locally and nationally renowned as a premier legal services provider dedicated to ensuring access to justice for all low-income individuals and communities.  CLS has eight legal units covering a wide range of civil legal services.  The Housing Unit, located at our 1424 Chestnut Street office, fights for the stability of vulnerable individuals and families by preventing homelessness through legal advocacy and promoting housing quality and affordability for low-income tenants.

Apply for this job

To Apply: CLS will accept applications on a rolling basis until the position has been filled. You can submit your application on CLS’s website online at: OR  What to Include in your application: Please include a cover letter, resume, three professional references and one brief writing sample (10 pages or less).  Community Legal Services values a diverse work environment and strongly encourages women, people of color, people who identify as LGBTQ, people with disabilities, people who have experienced poverty or homelessness and people who have had prior contact with the juvenile, criminal, or child welfare systems to apply.  CLS invites all applicants to include in their cover letter a statement about how your unique background and/or experiences might contribute to the diversity, cultural vitality, and perspective of our staff and legal services practice.

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