Holistic Defense Attorney/ Staff Attorney

Website Lawndale Christian Legal Center

LCLC’s Holistic Defense Attorney is passionate about representing youth in court. The attorney’s primary responsibility will be to provide LCLC’s unique model of holistic, community-based, zealous, and competent legal representation to youth from North Lawndale charged with felonies and misdemeanors. Attorneys partner with case managers, outreach workers, and community allies to provide holistic, restorative legal defense services in juvenile court. Every youth is supported by two attorneys (primary and secondary), a case manager, street outreach support, and connections to wrap around services from community partners. The Attorney reports to the Holistic Defense Legal Team Supervisor.


  • Zealous representation of indigent youth at all stages of juvenile and/or criminal court proceedings
  • Visiting police stations when a client is in custody (including weekends and evenings)
  • Appearing in court for all hearings, from detention to probation status checks
  • Conducting or directing case investigations, including witness interviews and scene visits
  • Researching, writing, and litigating pre-trial motions
  • Serving as first or second chair in hearings and trials
  • Creating “mitigation packets” to create a powerful and genuine narrative about a client to use in plea negotiations, with an eye towards avoiding permanent felony convictions and incarceration
  • Working closely with LCLC’s social services staff, legal interns, and partners to ensure that needed legal and social services are integrated and coordinated for clients
  • Collaborating with North Lawndale Community Restorative Justice Hub partners and Cook County system partners to serve our clients holistically and coordinate referrals
  • Collaborating with pro bono partners on cases at the direction of the Holistic Defense Team Supervisor
  • Utilizing current social science research about adolescents and emerging adults in approach to clients, court advocacy, and negotiations
  • Keeping updated and detailed paper and electronic files and database records
  • Continuously seeking professional development through trainings
  • Attending meetings internally and with other organizations and agencies

Required Qualifications

  • Licensed to practice in Illinois or eligibility for admission to the Illinois bar
  • Two to ten years of juvenile or criminal defense trial experience
  • Strong trial advocacy skills
  • Excellent research and writing skills
  • Passion for social justice, particularly as it relates to the criminal justice system
  • Cultural sensitivity – ability to work with a diverse staff, clients, and community partners
  • Highly resourceful and able to initiate and manage multiple projects and deadlines
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, team-oriented environment
  • Ability to work independently and effectively manage an active caseload
  • Ability to perform in high stress situations
  • Ability to collaborate with an interdisciplinary team
  • Familiarity with restorative justice practices a plus
  • Willingness to work evenings and weekends as necessary
  • Valid driver’s license, car, and proof of insurance required
  • Individuals from, or with connections to, North Lawndale or adjacent neighborhoods will be given special consideration
  • Willingness to live in North Lawndale preferred
  • Minorities encouraged to apply

Please submit a cover letter, resume, writing sample, transcript of court proceedings in which you appeared (if available), and a list of three references to: Cathryn Crawford, Director of Holistic Legal Services. Include position title in email subject.  The position, which is available immediately, will remain open until filled.

Lawndale Christian Legal Center is an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, marital status, age, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, pregnancy, genetic information, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, or any other status protected under federal, state, or local law. All aspects of employment including the decision to hire, promote, discipline, or discharge, will be based on merit, competence, performance, and organizational needs. Our goal is to be a diverse workforce that is representative of those we serve.

To apply for this job email your details to ccrawford@lclc.net