Supervisor, Holistic Juvenile Defense Legal Team

Title:

Supervisor, Holistic Juvenile Defense Legal Team

Status:

Full-time Exempt

Reports to:

Director of Holistic Legal Services

Salary:

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.

About North Lawndale

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.

Job Description

The Supervisor will lead the Holistic Juvenile Defense team, managing an amazing team of lawyers and a paralegal assigned to juvenile court, and work closely with the Juvenile Case Manager Supervisor in overseeing and perfecting the implementation and integration of the legal and social services delivered to our justice-involved minors. The Supervisor is an expert in juvenile law and understands the unique developmental needs of minors and emerging adults. The Supervisor will work with the Supervisor of the Holistic Emerging Adult Defense Legal Team and the Director of Holistic Legal Services to develop and implement policies, procedures, and best practices aimed at assessing and building their team members skills and strengths, while ensuring the delivery of exceptional legal and social services.

The Supervisor will act as co-counsel in a limited number of cases. The Supervisor will be responsible for assigning lawyers to individual cases, and reviewing and providing feedback on case work plans, legal pleadings, research memos, moots, and other attorney activities. The Supervisor will facilitate training opportunities (internal and external) for the team, as well as the other lawyers, case managers and outreach workers. The Supervisor will also attend internal and external meetings with strategic community and other partners. This is a new position, and thus will require an extra level of flexibility, creativity and leadership.

Responsibilities

  • Collaborate closely with Juvenile Case Manager Supervisor, Outreach Supervisor, and Restorative Justice Hub Director in directing and overseeing management of delivery of holistic legal services to each youth we serve 
  • Develop, implement, and oversee best practices in holistic community lawyering 
  • Ensure that all pleadings are well researched and written 
  • Help develop novel and creative legal strategies 
  • Work with lawyers on case strategy, investigations and research areas 
  • Review exams, oversee moots and attend select court appearances to provide support and / or feedback 
  • Act as lead or co-counsel in a limited number of cases (will have a reduced case load) 
  • Help respond to client or case crises 
  • Provide support to attorneys to ensure their needs are being met, especially during times of high stress 
  • Collaborate with pro bono partners on cases 
  • Help develop and implement standards, guidelines, procedures, and forms to ensure quality holistic representation 
  • Help oversee case management systems 
  • Create a manual for the legal team in partnership with the Supervisor of the Holistic Emerging Adult Legal Team 
  • Help create and implement procedures to assess and strengthen attorney performance, including regular individual meetings and performance reviews 
  • Review audits of client files with Case Manager and Outreach Supervisors for quality assurance 
  • Supervise “on-call” lawyers (lawyers who go to police stations in the evening and on weekends and who appear in weekend bond court) in partnership with the Supervisor of the Holistic Emerging Adult Legal Team 
  • Provide opportunities for lawyers to develop other professional skills and assume different roles and responsibilities 
  • Keep up to date on best practices, legal developments and applicable social science 
  • Help supervise legal interns 
  • Oversee consent and intake procedure for new clients in partnership with the Supervisor of the Holistic Emerging Adult Legal Team 
  • Attend management meetings 
  • Attend external meetings with community, legal and government partners 
  • Provide regular reports to the Director of Holistic Services and the Vice President of Research and Development 
  • Be available in the evenings and on weekends 
  • Minorities encouraged to apply

Qualifications & Requirements

  • Licensed to practice in Illinois or eligibility for admission to the Illinois bar 
  • Five or more years of juvenile defense trial experience 
  • Strong trial advocacy skills 
  • Excellent research and writing skills 
  • Passion for social justice, particularly as it relates to the criminal justice system 
  • Cultural sensitivity – ability and comfort working with a diverse staff, clients, and community partners 
  • Experience with working with high-risk justice-involved youth 
  • Highly resourceful and able to initiate and manage multiple projects and deadlines 
  • Ability to lead in a fast-paced, team-oriented environment 
  • Ability to manage and perform in high stress situations 
  • Management or supervisor experience 
  • Ability to work independently and effectively manage the team 
  • Ability to collaborate with an interdisciplinary team 
  • Familiarity with restorative justice practices a plus 
  • Willingness to work evenings and weekends as necessary 
  • Valid driver’s license, car, and proof of insurance required 
  • Individuals from, or with connections to, North Lawndale or adjacent neighborhoods will be given special consideration 
  • Willingness to live in North Lawndale preferred

Application

Please submit a cover letter, resume, writing sample, transcript of court proceedings in which you appeared (if available) and a list of three references to: Cathryn Crawford, Director of Holistic Legal Services, at ccrawford@lclc.net. Include the position title in email subject. The position, which is available September 1, 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.