Staff Attorney, Special Education Clinic

Chicago, IL
Full Time
Practice Areas: NA
Organizational Background
For nearly 35 years, Equip for Equality has been advancing the human and civil rights of people with disabilities across Illinois. Among our many accomplishments, Equip for Equality has made Chicago public transportation more accessible, helped tens of thousands of people with disabilities move from institutions into the community, increased inclusive education and educational outcomes for students with disabilities, and enhanced safety and quality of care in a variety of settings. We have offices throughout Illinois.

Equip for Equality has three Programs: the Civil Rights Team, the Special Education Clinic, and the Abuse Investigation Unit. Equip for Equality has a dedicated staff of 59 attorneys, social workers, and administrative staff working every day to advance our mission. As we work to improve society’s inclusion of individuals with disabilities, we also strive to be an inclusive, diverse, and welcoming workplace.

The Special Education Clinic provides services to students of all disabilities and their families in securing vital special educational placements, supports and services.

Job Summary
  • The attorney will participate in all aspects of the Clinic’s work including:
  • providing brief written and telephone advice
  • oral and written advocacy
  • direct representation at IEP meetings, mediations, and expulsion hearings
  • direct representation in due process hearings or federal court
  • Systemic litigation and advocacy

This position reports to the Vice President of the Special Education Clinic. Training will be provided on special education law, client interviewing, and our internal case management system. Opportunities will be provided to work with pro bono attorneys and law student interns as well as other professional development opportunities.

Our goal is to empower Parents and families to be advocates while ensuring the rights of students with disabilities.

  • Requirements And Preferred Experience
  • A law degree and Illinois law license
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Experience with and/or commitment to working with low income and diverse client populations
  • Travel required within the nearby geographic area
  • Commitment to civil rights
  • Personal or professional experience with people with disabilities
  • Spanish language fluency is a plus
  • This position is located in the Chicago office

Equip for Equality encourages qualified candidates of all background and identities to apply for this position.

Application Deadline, How to Apply, Compensation and Benefits, Start date (if relevant)

Please submit resume and cover letter as soon as possible as there is an immediate opening. Include salary expectations in cover letter. Salary is commensurate with experience and EFE offers excellent benefits.

Resumes without cover letters will not be considered.

Because Equip for Equality is a community-serving organization and safety is of the utmost importance, Equip for Equality requires a background check for employees and others who volunteer or perform services for us depending on the role. The background check is run for employees once a conditional offer of employment has been extended. Background checks are conducted in accordance with all applicable laws, EFE’s policy, and paid for by EFE. A disclosed record may not automatically disqualify a candidate from employment.

Do you need a reasonable accommodation for our application process?

Equip for Equality is committed to working with and providing reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation because of a disability for any part of the application process, please contact Courtney Smith at or (312) 895-7333 and let her know the nature of your request and your contact information. Disability related information that is disclosed via the application process will be kept confidential.

Equip for Equality is An Equal Opportunity Employer

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