If you have a passion to make a difference in the world and want to be a part of making sure that everyone, from every zip code in Chicago, no matter the color of their skin, has an equal chance at real justice, Lawndale Christian Legal Center is the place to do that.
Every day when we walk into our offices on Hamlin near 16th Street in North Lawndale, we see the home where Martin Luther King, Jr. lived and worked in 1966. Dr. King ran his Chicago campaign focused on showing that racism was a national issue, not just a “southern problem” right next door to our offices. And we come to work with a focused mission as well: to keep black and brown young people out of prison, transform our broken criminal justice system and help restore communities, public health and safety in Chicago.
This is a goal worth working for every day.
The lawyers and staff who work with us have joined us because ours isn’t a small challenge. It is (as they often say in grad school) a “big hairy audacious goal.” They also join us because of our track record of success. This is work we’ve been doing for over 11 years, and it’s having a real impact. Ask our clients who, with our support, have beaten the odds and are not one of the disproportionate numbers of black men under 25 filling our prisons…or one of the 75% of them who are arrested again within 3 years of their release.
Ask former Cook County Public Defender, Amy Campanelli, who left a lucrative career trajectory in the public sector and is now a key part of our team because she believes LCLC’s holistic, restorative-justice approach is the “right way to change our very broken public defense system.”
But there are also a few less obvious reasons to join the team here. For one thing, you’ll have the opportunity to dive into the deep end right away. You will get into the courtroom and gain meaningful trial experience in your first year. For another, you’ll have the chance to get to know your clients as people, become a part of their stories, and help them find their futures.
Also, at LCLC you’ll be working in an environment that’s already diverse, not just “committed to it.” Not only are our lawyers, staff, leadership, and board all diverse, we foster a truly inclusive environment where you can be your authentic self. Imagine coming to work where no code switching is required. Where you can have natural hair. Where you aren’t the token or “the only one.”
Another reason to work here is that you’ll be side by side, on a daily basis, with others as passionate about racial and economic justice and criminal justice reform as you are. People who believe Black Lives Matter and who come to work with a sense of purpose and with the knowledge that what they’re doing is a step toward the world we want to live in. Who wake up every morning ready to go work, because, as one of our newest hires, Tim Jones puts it (echoing the words of Kobe Bryant) “Job’s not done.”
So, are you a lawyer committed to justice and equity in black and brown communities? Do you want to be part of a creative, transformative approach that is holistic, community-led and restorative-justice-based? If so, let’s talk. We’re now hiring at three levels– entry level, right out of law school; supervisors with 7+ years’ experience; and if you’ve had 10+ years of experience, at the director level.