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

Philadelphia Legal Assistance is an equal opportunity employer.

Paralegal, Unemployment Compensation Clinic Full-Time Position


Philadelphia Legal Assistance (“PLA”) is the federally funded civil legal aid provider for
Philadelphia’s indigent community, providing high volume, high quality legal services including
community education, advice, referral, pro se assistance, representation at administrative hearings and
at all levels of state and federal courts in areas of basic human needs: family safety, health, income
maintenance and home preservation.

The Unemployment Compensation Clinic at PLA represents clients who have been denied
unemployment compensation benefits. Unemployment compensation is a vital social safety net that
provides temporary income replacement to workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their
own. PLA represents over 400 clients a year, providing counsel and advice, representation at
administrative hearings, and legal briefing in appeals. PLA strives to have a larger impact on our
clients’ lives through our work on behalf of individual clients and our advanced use of data collection
and analysis. Our impact work includes changing the law through appellate work, establishing
favorable interpretations of laws and collecting data to support policy change.


The paralegal will serve primarily as a case advocate, project manager, and administrative lead for the
unit. As a case advocate, the paralegal will interview clients and provide legal advice under the
supervision and control of an attorney. The advocate will also be expected to represent clients at
unemployment compensation administrative hearings, which involves the presentation of evidence and
the direct and cross examinations of witnesses. The advocate will work with the Clinic attorneys to
track case information and identify case and legal trends that may need to be addressed with the state
agency. There will be opportunities for the advocate to assist with appellate litigation, including cases
before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. There will also be opportunities to gain experience with
various other aspects of a legal and policy practice, including legislative testimony, white papers and
policy briefs, community outreach, case development, communication with government agencies, and
Right-to-Know and FOIA requests.

There will be opportunities for the paralegal to gain substantive knowledge of other state and federal
employment laws, including state and federal minimum wage and overtime, anti-discrimination, and
tax laws.


  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Passion for workers’ rights
  • Strong organization skills and attention to detail
  • Strong writing skills
  • Strong public speaking skills
  • Personable and empathetic
  • Driven and task-oriented self-starters preferred
  • Applicants with prior advocacy experience, either through prior employment or participation in
  • advocacy competitions (such as debate or mock trial) preferred
  • Spanish fluency preferred

Salary and Benefits

Salary commensurate with experience and comparable to other public interest paralegal salaries. Full
health coverage and excellent benefits.

Application Process

Philadelphia Legal Assistance is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants are
encouraged to apply, especially people with diverse backgrounds and experiences based on age, race,
ethnicity, cultural identity, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression, sexual identity, disabilities,
socioeconomics.  Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and the position will remain open until filled. We encourage applicants to
submit applications early.

Anticipated start date: Summer 2018

Job Announcement: 
Rolling, final application deadline of June 15, 2018.
How To Apply: 

Send cover letter, resume, references, and a five page writing sample to:

PLA Seeking Project Based Fellowship Candidates deadline 07/02/2018

Philadelphia Legal Assistance Center, Inc. (PLA) is interested in sponsoring eligible law students for a Skadden, Independence Foundation, Equal Justice Works fellowship or the Christine A. Brunswick Public Service Fellowship.

Created in January 1996 and primarily funded by the Legal Services Corporation, PLA provides free civil legal services to low income Philadelphians and migrant agricultural workers throughout the state of Pennsylvania. The work is professionally challenging and uniquely fulfilling for those wishing to pursue a career of public interest law on behalf of low income individuals.

PLA attorneys provide high quality representation to low-income individuals in areas of basic human need: shelter, family safety and income maintenance. We encourage the use of creative strategies to resolve legal problems and innovative service delivery models to meet client needs. PLA’s substantive areas of expertise and practice in Philadelphia include: consumer-housing, family, and public benefits. The Consumer-Housing Unit specializes in mortgage foreclosure defense, predatory lending, bankruptcy and consumer protection law. The Family Law Unit provides representation in custody and protection from abuse matters for survivors of interpersonal violence. Welfare issues, including food stamps and medical assistance as well as unemployment compensation and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) cases, are all handled by the Public Benefits Unit.

In addition to PLA’s specialized practice areas, PLA operates several projects that target specific client populations, address specific legal needs or enhance the impact of legal representation.  The following are three examples:

·  PLA’s Pennsylvania Farmworker Project (PFP) represents seasonal and migrant farmworkers throughout the state in employment and employment related matters.

·  PLA enhances the holistic approach of its service delivery model by offering clients assistance with tax controversies through its Low Income Tax Clinic (LITC). 

·  PLA’s Medical Legal Community Partnership (MLCP) provides free on-site legal assistance to patients at community health centers, working jointly with health center staff to improve patients' physical, social, emotional, and legal well-being.

If selected for sponsorship, we will work with the candidate to design a project that complements our service delivery model and meets clients’ critical legal needs.

PLA serves a diverse community of clients and seeks a staff representative of the community we serve. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply, especially people with diverse backgrounds and experiences based on age, race, ethnicity, cultural identity, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression, sexual identity, disabilities, socioeconomics.



Dependent on Experience

Application Deadline: July 2, 2018

Application Materials:  Applicants are asked to submit the following information, with at least the first two items in the initial application:

·  Cover letter describing:

1.  Applicant's area of interest for developing a project

2.  Reasons why PLA is the right place for the project

3.  Any ideas for sustainability of the project after the fellowship ends;

·  Complete resume

·  Writing sample (5-10 page maximum)

·  Transcript

·  List of three references

 Materials should be sent as soon as possible but no later than July 2, 2018 by e-mail to

How To Apply: 

Send resume to: