Staff Attorney, Victims’ Rights Representation at Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation

Website Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation

About CAASE

Mission and Vision
CAASE envisions a community free from all forms of sexual exploitation, including sexual assault and the commercial sex trade. CAASE addresses the culture, institutions, and individuals that perpetrate, profit from, or support sexual exploitation. Our work includes prevention, policy reform, community engagement, and legal services.

Values
Social and institutional systems do not adequately serve survivors of sexual violation. Sexual violation disproportionately harms people from marginalized communities, including girls and women, people of color, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, people living in poverty, and immigrants and people without documentation. To best support survivors, CAASE confronts the inequities that fuel or intersect with sexual harm. Our dedication to this work is reflected in our values.

  • Dignity – We respect the inherent humanity of all people and strive to expand opportunities for personal autonomy.
  • Accountability – We answer to survivors and collaborate with allies as we seek to hold those responsible for harm accountable.
  • Progress – We create individual, institutional and cultural change by using innovative approaches to ending sexual harm.
  • Equity – We commit to building a world where every person, with consideration for their intersecting identities and unique circumstances, has the same access to opportunity and power.

CAASE does not discriminate against job applicants or employees on the basis of race, color, age, order of protection status, physical or mental disability, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, ancestry, marital status, military status, or unfavorable discharge from military services. CAASE supports a person’s full access to reproductive health information and services.

About the Opportunity
We are delighted to be expanding our legal department! We are currently looking for a Spanish speaking attorney to focus on victims’ rights representation in the criminal justice system focus on the South Side of Chicago.

CAASE legal services utilize legal representation of survivors of sexual assault and commercial sexual exploitation to further the organization’s mission to end sexual exploitation. CAASE’s direct legal services include victims’ rights advocacy within the context of the criminal justice system, civil legal representation using a variety of civil laws specific to Illinois and related to sexual assault and prostitution, and protection of the panoply of other legal rights that victims have in the context of their schooling, their workplace, and their housing. CAASE does not engage in family law or criminal defense work.

The Victims’ Rights Representation Division of the Legal Services Department at CAASE is focused on helping survivors navigate the criminal justice system. Survivors of sexual assault have many rights when they interact with the criminal justice system. CAASE assists survivors of sexual assault with:

  • Discussing the decision to make a police report and what to expect
  • Reporting what happened to police
  • Understanding legal standards and processes
  • Accompanying the survivor to interviews with police and detectives
  • Obtaining a police report and other paperwork
  • Getting current information about the case’s status
  • Attending court dates and providing legal updates
  • Meeting with the prosecutor
  • Discussing plea negotiations
  • Advocating for privacy, safety, restitution, presence and other rights in court
  • Preparing for trial
  • Victim impact statements

Job Details
The Staff Attorney is involved in all aspects of CAASE’s substantive legal work – from development of legal strategies to implementation. They handle a variety of complex cases within the legal department, focusing on victims’ rights representation within the criminal justice system; and manage CAASE’s relationships with community partners and coalitions as assigned. The Staff Attorney will be focused on serving survivors throughout the South and Southwest sides of Chicago and South Suburban Chicago.

Direct Legal Services

The Staff Attorney will carry an active caseload of up to 16 clients and is expected to work independently according to the organization’s policies and procedures. Specific tasks will include:

  • Meet with, assess comprehensive legal needs of, and provide legal advice and representation to victims of sexual assault and exploitation through the commercial sex trade.
  • Provide advocacy and representation to victims seeking to have the criminal justice system investigate and prosecute perpetrators of sexual assault and exploitation.
  • Utilize the Illinois Rights of Crime Victims and Witnesses Act to represent survivors of sexual assault as a victims’ attorney within the criminal court.
  • Handle collateral civil issues as needed and as necessary to advance victims’ rights related to the criminal case, including orders of protection, education, and employment matters.
  • Maintain organized and detailed case files and database.
  • Work closely with individuals and agencies in Southside, Southwest, and South Suburban Chicago to engage stakeholders and survivors and increase awareness of CAASE’s legal services.

External Partnerships and Community Engagement

  • Collaborate with Chicago-based rape crisis centers and victim advocates in providing comprehensive services to victims; manage partnership with specific rape crisis centers as assigned.
  • Develop and present educational programming on CAASE’s legal services program and the legal rights of survivors for Chicago-area attorneys, community leaders, law enforcement personnel, and rape crisis center advocates.
  • Represent CAASE in community-based coalitions, task forces and campaigns as assigned by the Managing Attorney.
  • Seek out, foster, and engage in opportunities to represent CAASE through public speaking and presentations, both locally and nationally.

Status: Full time, exempt.

Reports to: Managing Attorney

Education and Experience

Applicants must have a Juris Doctorate and admission to the Illinois Bar in good standing with some relevant legal experience.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Demonstrated, exemplary research, writing, and litigation skills.
  • Ability to work independently and develop creative and innovative strategies to complex legal questions.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and comfort working with survivors, victim’s advocates, prosecutors, law enforcement, and other attorneys.
  • Comfort and experience with public speaking, particularly in the area of legal education.
  • Demonstrated commitment to working against all forms of violence against girls and women and on behalf of all victims of sexual assault and exploitation, regardless of sex, gender identity, race, ethnicity or economic circumstances. Demonstrated commitment to feminist principles of identifying and opposing all forms and manifestations of inequality.
  • Commitment to developing innovative legal and policy responses to sexual assault through representation of and advocacy for survivors of sexual assault and prostitution within the criminal justice system.
  • Spanish proficiency is strongly preferred.
  • Reliable transportation or means to travel throughout South and Southwest Sides and South Suburban Chicago areas.

This position will be funded as part of CAASE’s work on the Victims’ Rights Enforcement Project. The Victims’ Rights Enforcement Project–also known as Rights In Systems Enforced Project (“RISE Project”) is a project of the National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI). Funded by a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), award number 2018-V3-GX-K018, the RISE Project is funding six legal Clinics to provide crime victims with access to legal representation to assert and seek enforcement of their rights throughout criminal justice processes, increase awareness of victims’ rights and increase victim access to no cost legal services through an expanded body of attorneys knowledgeable about rights assertion and enforcement in criminal trial and appellate courts.

CAASE provides a competitive benefits package, including health, dental, vision, and life insurance insurance, as well as retirement contributions. CAASE additionally offers generous paid time off including parental leave and medical leave. Salary is $60,000.

To apply for this job email your details to hr@caase.org