Site Tools

Current Size: 100%

Why Work (or Intern) at CLS?

Why Work (or Intern) at CLS?

To find out which positions are currently available at CLS click here.

Community Legal Services is one of the nation’s most successful civil legal services programs, focusing on individual representation and systemic and law reform advocacy.  CLS staff serves as catalysts to change for our clients in low-income communities throughout Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and often nationally. A career or internship with CLS is an exciting, enriching and challenging experience where you will be able to insure low-income individuals and families obtain equal access to justice and make systemic change.

CLS attorneys are nationally recognized experts in their areas of specialty.  Our attorneys are regularly quoted in and contribute to local and national media such as the Philadelphia Inquirer, the New York Times, National Public Radio, and major network and cable news broadcasts.  Additionally, CLS attorneys have testified before the U.S. Congress and are regularly consulted on legislation at the local, state and federal level.

CLS Social Workers play a critical role in the delivery of legal services at Community Legal Services, whether it is building relationships with clients or building coalitions across agencies. Working with seniors, homeowners, parents and tenants, CLS Social Workers provide significant legal assistance, advocacy, planning, and counseling. They develop working relationships with clients and their families and connect them to critical resources to help address current legal issues and prevent future legal problems. In addition, CLS Social Workers can be seen organizing cross system collaborations, providing educational workshops, developing new resources, and advocating for policy change. 

What types of jobs are available with CLS:

CLS offers a variety of employment opportunities for attorneys, social workers, interns & externs (summer & school-year), paralegals, and administrative and development staff.  CLS regularly hosts attorney fellowships and annually seeks candidates interested in CLS sponsorship and support for submission of application for fellowship with a variety of fellowship funding organizations.

CLS also provides diverse field placement opportunities for students of social work in the areas of general practice, family advocacy, and housing. Social work interns gain valuable insight into the intricacies of social work practice in the legal setting, including both direct service and systems advocacy. Field placement activities may include individualized case management, home visits, client advocacy, coalition meetings, and court hearings. In addition, CLS social workers provide interns with one-on-one supervision, educational opportunities, and the ability to network with experts in the field.

What are the types of issues and area of focus does CLS work on?

As a large, urban program in the nation’s 5th largest city, CLS offers substantial opportunities for staff to accept the exciting challenge of delivering high quality legal services to a diverse client population.  Our advocacy includes direct representation as well as policy advocacy, community education, and impact litigation.  CLS provides excellent training and professional growth for all staff because of the richness of the advocacy that is provided to our clients.

Annually CLS serves more than 11,500 eligible clients, providing assistance on diverse and overlapping civil legal problems which include:

  • social security/SSI
  • consumer protection
  • domestic violence
  • public assistance
  • landlord-tenant
  • bankruptcy
  • child welfare
  • employment problems
  • public utility access and rates
  • medical assistance
  • veteran’s benefits
  • health
  • civil rights
  • food assistance (SNAP/Food Stamps)
  • rights of limited English proficient individuals

Click here to read our Diversity & Inclusion Committee mission statement.

Community Legal Services, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer.  CLS, Inc. does not discriminate in the selection of employees on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, disability, or veteran status.