Summer Associate Program: Public Benefits Project

Project description:

The Public Benefits Project supports Community Legal Aid's mission by promoting economic justice for working class and low-income residents. Project staff provide direct legal services to help clients obtain or maintain unemployment compensation, federal and state government benefits, including social security, disability, food and cash assistance, and Medicaid.


Activities for the role:

The Public Benefits summer associate will gain valuable insight and skills through direct interaction with clients. The summer associate will support the project and can expect to engage in the following activities:

  • Conduct factual investigations including interviewing clients, requesting and reviewing medical records, reaching out to medical providers for records, preparing files for hearing

  • Attend administrative hearings, public benefits team meeting, community meetings, and outreach events

  • Conduct legal and policy research

  • Develop self-help materials for clients who utilize Unemployment Compensation, SNAP, SSI, SSDI, and Medicaid

  • Draft pleadings, research memoranda, policy papers, and correspondence

  • Other duties as assigned


Preferred qualifications:

The strongest candidates will have the following qualifications:

  • Strong research/writing background

  • Strong interest for students with their Intern Certificate

  • Strong research/writing skills

  • Proficient in Microsoft Word, Google Docs, and legal and internet research tools

  • Ability to speak a foreign language is highly desirable

  • Strong interest for students with their Intern Certificate

  • No prior substantive law, evidence, litigation, or research and writing experience is needed, but a course in Administrative Law would be helpful

  • Interest or background in poverty law and/or economic justice is helpful, but not required


Personal attributes:

Successful candidates will possess the following characteristics:

  • Ability to be self-motivated and able to work on their own and in a team

  • Demonstrated interest in and sensitivity to the legal needs of the poor as well as motivation to improve the condition of the poor

  • Excellent interpersonal skills

  • First-rate oral and written communications skills

  • Ability to relate to and work with both professionals and residents of a community with one of the highest poverty rates in the country

  • Strong analytical and organizational skills

  • High dependability


Number of open positions:

There is one open position (Youngstown/Akron)