Staff Attorney, Women & Survivors Project

The Illinois Prison Project (IPP) is a nonprofit organization in Chicago that seeks to reduce mass incarceration by providing legal services to individuals incarcerated in the Illinois Department of Corrections. IPP’s Women & Survivors Project (WSP) engages in advocacy and provides direct legal representation to incarcerated women and survivors of gender-based violence in clemency, parole, medical release, resentencing, and post-conviction matters. IPP is hiring a Staff Attorney who will be devoted to our Women & Survivors Project. Candidates must be available to begin full-time work no later than January 15, 2024.

The ideal candidate will have experience in both the gender-based violence field and the defense-side criminal legal field. Candidates should be passionate about this work, skilled at working with clients, and have excellent oral and written advocacy skills. IPP requires all team members to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Proof of vaccination will be required.

Responsibilities include:

  • Advocate for incarcerated clients in criminal legal and quasi-legal matters, including in proceedings before judges, the Prisoner Review Board (PRB), the Department of Corrections, and the Governor
  • Communicate regularly with incarcerated clients and their family members by phone, mail, and in-person
  • Organize and track voluminous case materials, and maintain up-to-date client information in IPP’s case management system
  • Assist with managing and supervising pro bono attorneys 
  • Assist with proactively building and maintaining relationships with community partners in the gender-based violence and reentry fields 
  • Assist with crafting social media messaging and events 
  • Assist with programmatic and financial reporting for grants

Desired Qualifications:

  • Juris Doctorate degree from ABA-accredited law school
  • Licensed to practice law in Illinois by date of employment 
  • At least one year of experience working in the gender-based violence field, whether before or after law school 
  • At least one year of experience as a practicing attorney, with a strong preference for defense-side criminal legal experience 
  • Commitment to criminal legal reform in Illinois and social, economic, gender and racial justice
  • Comfortable working with incarcerated clients with a diversity of backgrounds, identities, and types of convictions, including convictions related to sexual violence 
  • Be self-driven, creative, highly energetic, and innovative
  • Ability to work collaboratively with staff, interns, law clerks, and volunteers
  • Ability to prioritize work, meet deadlines, and produce quality results
  • Ability to communicate clearly and effectively, both in writing and orally
  • Proficiency using Google and Microsoft suite; prior experience with case management software a plus
  • Strong proofreading and detail-oriented research and writing skills
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Flexibility to work some evenings and weekends as required
  • Ability to commute to IPP’s office in Chicago and travel throughout the state for prison visits, parole board hearings, and other events (car not required)
  • We highly value prior professional and/or lived experience related to defense-side criminal legal work or incarceration, gender based violence, community violence, and/or trauma-informed or anti-violence work

Location: Candidate must live in the Chicago area. Relocation and Illinois bar licensure, if necessary, can occur after the start date but must be accomplished as soon as feasible. IPP maintains a hybrid work environment, including working remotely and out of IPP’s office at 53 West Jackson Blvd in Chicago, Illinois. 

Reports To: Women & Survivors Project Director

Compensation: This is a full-time position with a starting salary of $65,000, and planned quarterly bonuses making the total salary equivalent to $88,229-$114,702 in accordance with IPP’s payscale which is based on experience. Full benefits that include generous vacation leave, sick leave, and 401k along with health, dental, vision, long-term disability, short-term disability, life insurance.

Illinois Prison Project is committed to providing an environment of mutual respect where equal employment opportunities are available to all applicants and teammates without regard to race, color, religion or belief, sex, pregnancy, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, military and veteran status, and any other characteristic protected by applicable law. Illinois Prison Project believes that diversity and inclusion among our teammates is critical to our success as an organization, and we seek to recruit, develop and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool.

How to Apply:

  • Please send a resume, cover letter, writing sample, and three references to with “WSP Staff Attorney” in the subject line.
  • Applicants will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
  • Due to the large volume of applicants, we will not be able to reply to individual emails about an applicant’s status. No phone calls, please.