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Staff Attorney – Civil Rights

  • Full Time
  • Chicago

Website Equip for Equality

Criminal Systems & Re-entry STAFF ATTORNEY
(Focus on People with Disabilities Impacted by Incarceration)



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 Independent Monitoring 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 Staff Attorney position is within the Civil Rights Team, which handles a wide range of legal issues impacting people with disabilities. These issues include: removing barriers to public accommodations and government services and programs; criminal justice; community integration to support individuals to live in the most integrated community setting; employment discrimination; transportation; the right to be free from abuse and neglect; individuals’ legal rights in institutions and community settings; and self-determination and personal decision-making in the context of guardianship and other forms of substituted decision-making.


This staff attorney position is funded by the Illinois Access to Justice program to provide civil rights advocacy for individuals impacted by incarceration including specifically to overcome barriers to re-entry. Responsibilities include:

• Outreach to other stakeholders and allies, as well as services providers and correctional systems to identify and assist people with disabilities to successfully return to their communities
• Conducting interviews and providing written and telephone advice to people with disabilities, family members and providers
• Oral and written advocacy and negotiations on issues including access to programs to assist people to get release; petitioning for early release; and on legal issues upon release
• Direct representation people with disabilities who are incarcerated or upon re-entry have civil legal issues on a variety of issues including program access, housing, employment and healthcare
• Identifying systemic barriers to the successful re-entry by people with disabilities and advocacy to address those barriers
• Training on the legal rights of people with disabilities

This position reports to the Managing Attorney of the Criminal Legal Systems Team.

• A law degree and license
• Minimum of 3 years criminal or civil legal experience
• Strong written and oral communication skills
• Experience with and/or commitment to working with low income and diverse client populations
• Travel required throughout the State, including to correctional facilities (adjusted as necessary due to COVID-19 restrictions)
• Demonstrated commitment to civil rights
• Personal or professional experience with people with disabilities
• Spanish language fluency is a plus
• This position can be located in the Chicago or Springfield office
• All EFE staff must be fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19
Equip for Equality encourages qualified candidates of all backgrounds and identities to apply for this position.


Application Deadline is June 22, 2022. Please Include salary expectations in cover letter. Salary is commensurate with experience and EFE offers excellent benefits.

Apply online:

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 Human Resources at and provide the nature of your request and your contact information. Disability related information that is disclosed via the application process will be kept confidential.

Learn more about EFE at
Equip for Equality is An Equal Opportunity Employer

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