Paralegal – New Leaf Project – Prairie State Legal Services, Inc. – Waukegan, IL

Prairie State Legal Services participates in New Leaf Illinois, a state-funded network of 20 non-profit organizations throughout the state that provides legal representation and other resources to help people expunge cannabis convictions from their records. Under the New Leaf Program, we are hiring a full-time Paralegal to work with attorneys in our New Leaf Program, which provides criminal records relief for individuals with cannabis related criminal records. The position is based in Waukegan but will also provide remote support and assistance to attorneys across our service area.


Among other duties as assigned, the Paralegal will:

  • Open files for clients as requested by attorney
  • Complete eligibility intakes for applicant and assign to local offices or program attorneys for interviews
  • Perform client conflict checks in consultation with the New Leaf Program Manager or Managing Attorney
  • Maintain contact with clients to provide information on the status of their cases
  • Research and chart client criminal records
  • Prepare pleadings and correspondence for the Project Attorneys
  • Prepare correspondence and documents for direct services to clients
  • Monitor case files to see that they contain all required documents
  • Help acquire police reports, court documents, and other information needed for preparation
  • Generate and mail notices for court proceedings and schedule matters on the court docket
  • Help coordinate services for victims by volunteer attorneys
  • Track referrals to and from other agencies
  • Help prepare grant report materials, maintain updated information on the New Leaf Referral Portal
  • Assist the Program Coordinator and Project Attorneys in other duties as assigned

Salary and Benefits

The Paralegal position is a full-time position at 37.5 hours per week. PSLS offers a salary competitive with similar organizations. Our Paralegal salary scale starts at $35,000 per year for candidates who meet the minimum qualifications, and increases with each year of relevant experience. PSLS is committed to providing an excellent, comprehensive benefits package to its full-time employees that includes:

  • Health insurance, including the opportunity to qualify for a wellness credit
  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • 403b retirement plan including employer contributions
  • Extensive training and education program
  • PTO that starts at 3 weeks/year and increases with additional years worked at PSLS
  • Paid sick leave
  • 6 weeks of paid parental leave after one year of employment
  • 12 paid holidays


· Commitment to improving access to legal aid for individuals looking to seal and expunge their criminal records, especially cannabis records, to improve access to employment and housing

· 2-year associates degree, a 4 year bachelor’s degree, and/or a paralegal certificate

· Excellent organizational and oral/written communication skills

· Proficient with computers and online tools

· Occasional travel across our service area is necessary; valid driver’s license and/or reliable transportation is required

· We will give preference to candidates who have experience providing services to low-income individuals

Application Details

Please include a cover letter explaining your interest and experience, resume, three references, and a short writing sample (no more than 10 pages).

Resumes accepted until position is filled.

Prairie State Legal Services is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive working environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We recruit, employ, pay, and promote qualified applicants and employees without regard to race, ethnicity, color, religion, gender, gender identity, expression, or presentation, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or any other legally protected status.

The Organization

Prairie State Legal Services is a not for profit civil legal aid organization that has served northern and central Illinois for more than 40 years, maintains 11 office locations, and has a staff of over 175 employees including training and litigation staff with extensive experience. Our 36 county service area includes rural communities, suburban areas, and mid-size urban cities which necessitates the development of diverse strategies and we encourage our staff to cultivate and utilize creative approaches to reach and serve our client population. Employees of PSLS benefit from the expertise and community connections of their local office staff along with robust program-wide resources. We strive to provide an array of services responsive to the needs of our clients and therefore have developed several specialized projects and maintain one of the most productive pro bono programs in the nation. PSLS has excellent fiscal controls and upholds the highest rating from Charity Navigator and Guidestar. For more information regarding PSLS services and operations, please visit our website at

Job Type: Full-time

Pay: From $35,000.00 per year


  • Dental insurance
  • Flexible spending account
  • Health insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Paid time off
  • Parental leave
  • Retirement plan
  • Vision insurance


  • Monday to Friday


  • legal: 1 year (Preferred)

Work Location: One location

Apply Here

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