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.

Volunteer opportunity for law students: medical-legal-community partnership in West Philadelphia

Philadelphia Legal Assistance (PLA) and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) have formed a Medical-Legal-Community Partnership (MLCP) in order to provide collaborative, free legal assistance to patients on-site at public health centers in Philadelphia. PLA and PDPH are seeking highly-motivated law students to serve as MLCP Legal Advocates at Health Center #3, a community health center locatedon 43rd Street between Baltimore Ave. and Chester Ave. in University City, as well as Health Center #4, which is located on Haverford Avenue at 46th Street.

MLCP Legal Advocates will be in charge of operating the Medical-Legal-Community Partnership’s office at the Health Center. They will interview clients, provide legal advice and brief legal services, and give group presentations on legal topics to clients in the waiting area. If the client needs legal assistance beyond what the Legal Advocate can provide, the Legal Advocate will work up the client’s case for referral to attorneys at local legal services organizations (PLA, Community Legal Services, Philly VIP, Senior Law Center, etc.). Legal Advocates will receive training and close supervision from two experienced supervising attorneys and will work in close collaboration with the health center’s medical and social work staff.

The Medical-Legal Partnership model is being adopted increasingly across the country as a way to address the “social determinants of health.” There are many barriers to effective healthcare treatment: social, economic, and legal, and others. Medicine cannot address these barriers directly, but healthcare staff can partner with social workers and lawyers and together, help patients overcome those barriers. Legal advocates and social workers, working in concert with healthcare providers, can address the issues that make patients’ lives chaotic: domestic violence, unsafe living conditions, child custody, debt, evictions, mortgage foreclosure, and loss of benefits.

While most other MLPs have been collaborations between legal services organizations and hospitals, the MLCP is different because it is a partnership between a legal services organization and a small, local health center that is part of a large public health infrastructure. Legal Advocates will have the opportunity to help build this innovative system for delivering “legal care” and help establish the MLCP’s reputation in the community.

Work requirements:

  • Must work one shift per week of four consecutive hours at the Health Center.

  • Must attend a 1.5-hour weekly group supervision meeting at Drexel University School of Law.

This is a demanding pro bono project that requires a strong commitment to service and reliability but it is a highly rewarding project. Legal Advocates will gain valuable legal experience by working with clients directly and engaging in cross-disciplinary collaboration.

This is a highly selective opportunity for 2Ls and 3Ls; exceptional 1Ls with relevant experience will be considered, as well.


  • Commitment to improving the well-being of low-income communities.

  • Willingness to engage respectfully, appropriately, and sensitively with patient/clients, providers, and staff of diverse ethnic backgrounds and experiences.

  • Strong communication and interviewing skills.

  • Maturity, self-motivation, and ability to adapt quickly.

  • Willingness to engage proactively in inter-professional collaboration.

  • French language ability and experience in healthcare and are valuable but not required.

If you are interested in the possibility of volunteering for the MLCP, please send your résumé and statement of interest to
Cynthia Haskin
Supervising Attorney, Medical-Legal-Community Partnership
Philadelphia Legal Assistance
718 Arch Street, Suite 300N
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Phone: 215-460-6639
Fax: 215-981-3870
How To Apply: 

Send resume to: Cynthia Haskin,

Seeking to Sponsor Project Based Fellowship Candidates

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, support 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.


Application Procedure

Application Deadline: July 15, 2017

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, and

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 15, 2017 by e-mail to


PLA serves a diverse community of clients and seeks a staff representative of the community we serve. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer. It is the policy of Philadelphia Legal Assistance to ensure equal employment opportunity without discrimination or harassment on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, veteran’s status, age, disability, or any other characteristic protected by law.

July 15, 2017
How To Apply: 

Send resume to: