Legal Intake Manager

The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania (ACLU-PA) seeks a Legal Intake Manager (LIM) to manage the organization’s legal intake program, which includes managing volunteers and interns, to help screen more than 5,000 annual requests from Pennsylvanians for legal assistance, help identify cases suitable for ACLU legal action, and support ACLU-PA’s Legal Department with case preparation.  

The ACLU-PA is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public-interest organization, dedicated to defending and enhancing personal freedoms protected by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights through litigation, legislative advocacy, and community education. It is a fast-paced environment that addresses issues with dynamic, precedent-setting solutions. The ACLU-PA has ten volunteer chapters, over 40,000 members and donors, more than 30 full-time employees, and a $4.7 million operating budget.

The Legal Intake Manager (LIM) manages the ACLU-PA’s intake and referral service statewide.  The ACLU-PA receives more than 5,000 requests for legal assistance each year, through phone messages, mail and our online complaint form.  The LIM is responsible for managing all aspects of the ACLU-PA’s response to these requests, including hiring, training, and supervising intake volunteers and interns; screening requests to identify potential ACLU cases and to provide a meaningful response to all complainants; working with the Legal Department to research and develop potential cases and advocacy campaigns; and providing ancillary administrative support for the legal department and staff attorneys.

The ideal candidate will have a J.D. degree (but it is not required); practical experience in applying legal principles to individual circumstances, preferably in a legal services setting; excellent writing skills; strong supervisory skills for recruiting, training, overseeing and motivating volunteers; exceptional organizational skills and a system-oriented working style to maintain legal department records, and handle and prioritize multiple activities and responsibilities; and respect for others and sensitivity to the needs and legal issues affecting people of diverse backgrounds and cultures.

The position is based in the ACLU-PA’s Philadelphia office.  The LIM will report to the Deputy Legal Director.

JOB RESPONSIBILITIES

The LIM’s primary job responsibility is to manage ACLU-PA’s intake operations.  Specific responsibilities include:

  • Recruit, train, and supervise interns and volunteers who will review and respond to requests for legal assistance (intake) and to identify complaints appropriate for ACLU-PA intervention;

  • Meet regularly with Legal Department staff to make recommendations and discuss intake, potential cases, and other Legal Department needs;

  • Use individual judgment and discretion to identify potential cases suitable for ACLU-PA assistance and then investigate the complaints to prepare them for consideration by ACLU attorneys;

  • Ensure prompt, professional, and kind responses to more than 5,000 Pennsylvanians who seek assistance from the ACLU-PA each year;

  • Manage database and other systems used by the ACLU-PA to track complaints and to provide information, referrals, and assistance to people whose requests are not within the scope of our mission. Ensure that the intake records are accurate, up-to-date, and well organized;

  • Direct monthly Legal Department administrative meetings and share in the execution of departmental administrative tasks; and

  • Complete other special projects for the Legal Department as needed.

QUALIFICATIONS

Education / Experience:

  • Two years of experience in project and personnel management, in any field;

  • Practical experience in applying legal principles to individual circumstances, preferably in a legal services setting;

  • Familiarity with legal principles applicable to common legal complaints of legal services clients (employment, family, public benefits, criminal) is important; and

  • J.D. degree preferred (not necessarily admission to bar).  This is not a staff attorney position and will not evolve into one. 

Required Skills / Competencies:

  • Ability to apply legal principles to identify potential ACLU cases and distinguish relevant legal issues;

  • Strong supervisory skills for recruiting, training, and overseeing volunteers, and setting standards for high performance;

  • Demonstrated ability to motivate and inspire volunteers;

  • Exceptional organizational skills and a system-oriented working style are essential to maintain legal department records, manage a large group of volunteers, and handle and prioritize multiple activities and responsibilities;

  • Proven ability to work well with people from variety of backgrounds and who have a wide range of interests, skills and concerns.  Respect for others and sensitivity to the needs and legal issues affecting people of diverse backgrounds and cultures;

  • Creativity, problem-solving skills, initiative, and a self-starting attitude are necessary to identify areas for improvement and initiate improvements in department practices;

  • Flexibility, patience, and willingness to learn; and

  • Excellent writing skills.

Preferred Skills / Competencies:

  • Spanish fluency;

  • Experience in interviewing, gathering facts, and analyzing information; and

  • Legal writing experience.

COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS

Salary is commensurate with experience and within the parameters of the ACLU-PA compensation scale.  Excellent benefits include generous vacation and sick leave; individual/family employer-provided health insurance; life insurance and long-term disability; defined contribution plan with employer match; and 10 paid holidays. This position is full-time, salaried, and exempt from overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE

To apply, send a letter of application and resume to legalsearch@aclupa.org.  Please include “Legal Intake Manager” in the subject line of the email.  In your letter, please indicate where you learned of the posting. No calls, please.

DEADLINE

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, at which time the job announcement will be removed from our website, www.aclupa.org/jobs.  

The ACLU-PA is an equal opportunity employer.  We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU-PA encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, or record of arrest or conviction.

The ACLU-PA comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union (the “Union”) of Pennsylvania and the ACLU Foundation (the “Foundation”) of Pennsylvania.  The Union is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation, and ACLU membership dues fund its lobbying work. Donations to the Union are not tax-deductible. The ACLU Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. Foundation funds support litigation and public education efforts. Donations to the Foundation are tax-deductible. The Legal Intake Manager is an employee of the ACLU Foundation of Pennsylvania.

Both the ACLU of Pennsylvania and the ACLU Foundation of Pennsylvania have the same overall mission, and share office space, employees, and the same board of directors. The two entities are jointly known by the term “ACLU of Pennsylvania.”

ACLU-PA’s hiring process will comply with Philadelphia’s Fair Criminal Records Screening Standards (“Ban the Box”) ordinance.

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