Cabrini Green Legal Aid (CGLA) has strengthened lives, assisted families and supported communities – one person at a time for over 40 years. CGLA does more than give people a second chance – we are addressing the root causes of unemployment, homelessness, poverty and other challenges that contribute to crime and recidivism. This is accomplished by combining high-quality legal services with supportive services coordinated through strategic partnerships with social service providers, government agencies, and other legal aid organizations. Legal representation focuses on those negatively impacted by the criminal justice system through criminal defense work, criminal records work and civil cases that arise from criminal justice system involvement.
This is a fulltime position for a Supervising Attorney of the Criminal Records Program. The Criminal Records Program provides high-volume legal services to over 5,000 men and women each year in the Chicagoland area who are seeking to remove barriers imposed by their criminal records through expungement and sealing, pardons, health care waivers and certificates. The primary responsibilities of this role are to implement CGLA’s priorities in the criminal records practice and to train and supervise in-house staff, fellows, interns, and volunteers to assure quality legal representation. Services are performed at CGLA’s office, at remote locations, including Help Desks at the Daley Center in downtown Chicago, South Suburban Cook County (Markham), at the offices of designated community partners, and in Cook County circuit courts. Reporting to the Director of Legal Programs, this position supervises at least two staff attorneys, volunteer attorneys and law students as required to fulfill program goals.
- Manages and supervises the Criminal Records program, which provides legal services to eliminate or mitigate collateral consequences of criminal and juvenile records for adults and emerging adults (ages 14 -24).
- Oversees the provision of legal services at CGLA’s offices, the CGLA Help Desks at the Daley Center, Markham courthouse, and the Cook County Juvenile Justice Center. Collaborates with CGLA’s Pro Bono Coordinator to establish volunteer shift calendars for Help Desks, petition hearings, and other volunteer opportunities in the criminal records programs, including “Evenings at CGLA,” which is currently scheduled on Mondays from 5:00 pm. until 8:00 p.m.
- Establishes schedules for Criminal Records attorneys to supervise Help Desks, petition hearings, and other criminal records activities.
- Collaborates with the Pro Bono Coordinator to establish an effective method for assessing volunteers’ skill levels and assigning them to shifts commensurate with their skill levels.
- Oversees CGLA’s representation of petitioners as “friend of the court” during court hearings at the George N. Leighton Criminal Court Building and other courthouses as agreed upon. Maintains relationships with State’s Attorneys and employees of the circuit court to establish procedures for effective and efficient handling of cases during the court call.
- Oversees the provision of criminal and juvenile records legal services at CGLA’s community partner agencies consistent with agreed upon Memoranda of Understanding.
- Establishes and maintains case acceptance criteria for the Criminal Records program.
- Schedules and facilitates meetings of the Criminal Records Program staff to encourage camaraderie and communication among team members.
- Actively participates in case acceptance meetings, legal team meetings, and CGLA staff meetings.
- Manages the CGLA clemency program, including processes for screening eligibility of potential clients, submission of petitions to the Illinois Prisoner Review Board, and follow-up processes to ensure high-quality representation, ongoing communication with clients, and proper and timely handling of petitions and client communications upon receipt of pardons and denials.
- Collaborates with CGLA’s Pro Bono Coordinator to identify potential clients to refer to pro bono clinics for assistance with alternative remedies that mitigate collateral consequences of criminal records, including health care worker waivers, certificates of rehabilitation, and clemency petitions. Assists the Pro Bono Coordinator at clinics as required or requested.
- Collaborates with the Pro Bono Coordinator to schedule criminal records classes for lawyers and law students to prepare them to volunteer in a variety of positions at CGLA, including positions at CGLA Help Desks and petition hearings and in matters requiring direct representation.
- Teaches criminal records classes and assigns staff to teach classes on a rotating basis.
- Provides advice, support, training, and supervision at community and countywide second chance summits, including the Cook County annual summit.
- Responds to technical assistance requests from other legal aid organizations and public interest law practitioners.
- Ensures accurate statistical and outcome tracking within case management system and maintains current client case files and records.
- Provides direct legal services to CGLA clients, maintaining a manageable caseload proportionate to other responsibilities. Maintains up-to-date client information in CGLA’s case management system to ensure accurate data collection and statistical tracking.
- Works with CGLA leadership team to ensure all program goals are met each fiscal year.
- Assists in writing grant applications, providing program-specific outcomes data and writing narratives as assigned.