Diversion Attorney


Diversion Attorney


Full-time Exempt

Reports to:

Supervisor, Holistic Juvenile Defense Legal Team


Commensurate with experience

Hire Date:

LCLC will close the posting as soon as we find an exceptional candidate

Who We Are 

Lawndale Christian Legal Center (LCLC) specializes in providing a unique form of holistic community- based criminal defense representation grounded in restorative justice principles to minors and emerging adults (24 and under) from North Lawndale. This highly relational and innovative model is performed by an interdisciplinary team of attorneys, case managers, outreach workers, and strategic community partners that provide developmentally appropriate supports for minors and emerging adults. The team identifies and meets the various needs of our youth at every phase of the criminal justice system: from diversion, arrest, through trial, and the completion of any period of probation, supervision, or parole, and beyond. By serving justice-involved minors and emerging adults holistically in their community, LCLC is leading the transformation of the traditional criminal justice system and establishing new best practices in community-based holistic interventions grounded in restorative justice that are more effective, cost less, and result in greater public safety for all. We believe our holistic, community-led (approximately 70% of our staff and Board of Directors are from North Lawndale) restorative justice model will transform the criminal justice system and end mass incarceration. More information on LCLC can be found at www.lclc.net.

Our North Lawndale Community

North Lawndale is a vibrant and resilient community and we are proud to be a part of it. Our office is located just next door to the Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Apartments and Exhibit Center, built on the site where Dr. King lived for six months during his Chicago Freedom Campaign in 1966. North Lawndale is tightly-knit, and we are gratified by our affiliation with the Lawndale Community Church, an organization that has done so much to bring necessary health and legal services to the community. Unfortunately, following decades of disinvestment, “white flight”, redlining, and other harbingers of systemic poverty and violence, North Lawndale still suffers from high levels of poverty, economic hardship, violence, and over- policing. 

In North Lawndale, approximately 850 officers are assigned to the two police districts that patrol 35,000 residents. In addition, a significant percentage of specialized units (which are historically aggressive and abusive) have been ordered to rove in our community. More than 1,500 youth are arrested in North Lawndale yearly, the second highest rate in Chicago. Indiscriminate stops and searches of North Lawndale residents are a daily occurrence; 66% of adults surveyed perceived no legitimate reason for their most recent police stop. A startling 59% of adults in North Lawndale have been arrested, 30% convicted, and 27% jailed. 

Despite the seemingly insurmountable odds that our youths encounter within North Lawndale, namely the violence, poverty, and police brutality, they demonstrate hope, resolve, and a drive to make their neighborhood a better place. We are continually inspired by our clients’ resilience and positivity in the face of external challenges. It is both an honor and a privilege to help them walk them away from the criminal justice system and equip them to take control of their future.

Juvenile Intervention and Support Center (JISC)

The JISC is the Chicago Police Department’s processing center for youth arrested in ten neighborhoods in the City of Chicago. A recent report of the Office of the Inspector General suggested necessary reforms to make the process more trauma-informed and ensure more cases are diverted and deflected away from the juvenile justice system. As part of these ongoing JISC reforms, the Mayor’s Office and Department of Family & Support Services (DFSS) contracted with LCLC to complement and expand the services provided to young people at JISC to better support youth and improve outcomes. The JISC Diversion Attorney works with a LCLC case manager on site at the JISC to provide limited legal representation and diversion advocacy to divert and deflect youth who come through the JISC. The JISC Diversion Attorney position is a distinct and separate position funded through a partnership with the Mayor’s Office as part of the City’s efforts to reduce juvenile crime in Chicago.

Job Description

LCLC’s Diversion Attorney is passionate about creative avenues in representing youth outside of court. The attorney’s primary responsibilities are to represent young people at the JISC by advocating for pre-prosecution diversion and deflection. The Diversion Attorney also provides young people critical legal advice concerning their rights, the charges they face and the legal process. The attorney works in conjunction with Case Managers, Outreach Workers, and community allies to connect young people to LCLC’s partner organizations to support their overall well-being (including their mental health and career development) and that serve to prevent further engagement in the juvenile justice system. This unique representation is a part of LCLC’s model of holistic, community-based, zealous, and competent legal representation of youth.


  • In partnership with the Case Managers stationed at JISC (who is part of the legal team), interview young people who arrive at the JISC to gather information to effectively advocate for diversion and deflection and assess pre and post-arrest rights were not violated.
  • Negotiate with CPD detectives for a young person to be placed in a pre-prosecution diversion program in lieu of being charged and prosecuted.
  • Counsel the young person regarding next steps whether they are diverted or prosecuted and advise them of their rights in a manner that is developmentally appropriate.
  • Communicate with parents or guardians to inform them of the post-JISC process and expectations for their child and answer any questions about the process.
  • Draft narrative reports, giving synopses about interactions between the young person and Chicago Police including information on diversions and prosecutions.
  • Document the details regarding each young person, including information about the case, the client and social services referrals that may be appropriate through detailed paper and electronic files and database.
  • Provide the Public Defender’s Office with information related to bail issues if formal charges are filed.
    Work closely with LCLC’s social services staff, legal interns, and partners to ensure that needed legal and social services are integrated and coordinated for clients.
  • Attend meetings internally and with other organizations and agencies, including the Chicago Police Department, the City of Chicago’s Mayor’s Office, and JISC’s partner organizations.
  • Conduct legal research, draft motions and memoranda on occasion to assist LCLC staff attorneys.

Qualifications & Requirements

  • Licensed to practice in Illinois.
  • Two + years of juvenile or criminal defense trial experience or two + years of analogous negotiation experience.
  • Strong oral advocacy and negotiation skills.
  • Excellent communication skills with young people from a variety of backgrounds.
  • Strong research and writing skills.
  • Passion for social justice, particularly as it relates to changing the experience of young people’s first contact with the criminal justice system.
  • Cultural sensitivity and the ability to work with a diverse staff, clients, and community partners.
  • Highly resourceful and able to initiate and manage multiple projects and deadlines.
  • Ability to multi-task and prioritize JISC responsibilities with other LCLC projects.
  • Ability to work independently.
  • Ability to think on your feet in high stress situations.
  • Physical presence at the JISC during LCLC’s operating hours on Monday to Friday from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. is required. Operating hours are subject to change based on arrest data, so flexibility with hours is also necessary.
  • Individuals from or with connections to North Lawndale, Austin, Humboldt Park, Little Village, or Auburn or Gresham or adjacent neighborhoods will be given special consideration.
  • Willingness to work evenings and weekends.
  • Minorities encouraged to apply.
  • Valid driver’s license, reliable transportation and proof of insurance are required.
  • This is an excellent position for a retired PD or someone with excellent negotiation skills looking to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable young people.


Please submit a cover letter, resume, original writing sample, and a list of three references to: Latrionna Moore, at lmoore@lclc.net. Include position title in email subject. The position, which is available immediately, will remain open until filled.

Lawndale Christian Legal Center is an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, marital status, age, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, pregnancy, genetic information, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, or any other status protected under federal, state, or local law. All aspects of employment including the decision to hire, promote, discipline, or discharge, will be based on merit, competence, performance, and organizational needs. Our goal is to be a diverse workforce that is representative of those we serve. 

North Lawndale residents and minorities encouraged to apply.