Litigation Paralegal, Gittis Legal Clinics

  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Philadelphia, PA, USA
  • Feb 08, 2024
Full time Legal Affairs

Job Description


Litigation Paralegal, Gittis Legal Clinics

University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn's distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning. As an employer Penn has been ranked nationally on many occasions with the most recent award from Forbes who named Penn one of America's Best Large Employers in 2023.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

Posted Job Title
Litigation Paralegal, Gittis Legal Clinics

Job Profile Title

Job Description Summary
The Gittis Legal Clinics are Penn Carey Law's dynamic teaching law firm, comprised of eight in-house clinics and a robust externship program that offer students unique opportunities to develop essential lawyering skills and professional values from experiential learning in diverse practice areas. The Gittis Legal Clinics have a special mission to meet the educational needs of students while addressing critical legal needs of clients and underserved communities.

The Litigation Paralegal for the Gittis Legal Clinics provides litigation and administrative support to law students and clinical faculty and works with faculty and staff to ensure the successful delivery of high quality educational and legal services provided by the Gittis Legal Clinics. Clinic litigation may involve representation or advocacy in state and federal courts as well as local, state, federal, and international agencies and legislative bodies.

The Litigation Paralegal will serve as a vital member of the Gittis Legal Clinics staff team and report directly to the Gittis Legal Clinics Executive Director.

Job Description

Job Responsibilities

Litigation and Administrative Support

  • Provide support to law students and clinical faculty representing clients and working on special projects in a broad range of litigation practice areas, including disability, employment, consumer protection, family law, guardianship, housing and landlord-tenant, immigration law, civil rights, human rights, and public benefits law.
  • Use iManage document management software, Microsoft 365 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, SharePoint, etc.), Adobe Acrobat, LegalServer, and other electronic platforms for both case file maintenance and semester preparation.
  • Open, maintain, organize, and close case files, both in electronic and paper format.
  • Prepare and finalize general correspondence, including engagement, introduction, and closing letters to clients, among other documents.
  • Stay up to date with court and administrative rules and filing procedures and assist in preparation, production, and submission of administrative and judicial pleadings and other filings (both e-filings and paper filings), and handle service of process in municipal, state, and federal courts.
  • Maintain client/casework databases and a litigation calendar by tracking case events and filing deadlines. Manage case logistics, including communication with court personnel and others, and conduct case-related research as needed.
  • Assist with referral, selection, and intake of cases and monitor all stages of legal client representation, including performing conflict checks, coordinating client meetings, and ensuring efficient communication between students and their clients, team partners, and clinical faculty.
  • Support faculty with ongoing casework as needed.
  • Manage transition and closure of client files, including but not limited to meetings with students and faculty, review of client/casework databases, and organization of files.
  • Provide assistance with various policy projects with partner organizations, educational outreach to client communities, and outreach-related case management, as needed.
  • Coordinate communication between the Gittis Legal Clinics and outside vendors, including interpreters, translators, process servers, and international publishers; arrange for interpretation and translation for clients with limited English proficiency.
  • Demonstrate excellent spoken and written communication skills in person and while using multiple course and communication platforms, including Canvas, Outlook, MS Teams, DocuSign, Zoom, and Skype.
  • Assist with clients and visitors and handle incoming and outgoing mail.

Clinical Course Support and Training

  • Assist faculty in using Canvas functions and other courseware tools for smooth course management, including by researching, maintaining, and disseminating curriculum materials.
  • Provide logistical coordination and other support for legal practice simulations, classroom exercises, guest speakers, and other course-related activities.
  • Train students in office policies and procedures, client and document management systems, case file maintenance, use of legal, office, and communication tools, and law office professional conduct.
  • Design/edit training materials and provide routine training to students and faculty in using technology and case management tools effectively. Trouble-shoot technology problems with the law school IT department and/or external support teams/consultants.
  • Handle other clinic litigation and project duties as needed.

General Clinic Support

  • Collaborate with the Gittis Legal Clinics faculty and staff team to ensure a cohesive and smooth-functioning law office.
  • Contribute daily to a professional, welcoming, collaborative, comfortable, inclusive, and creative problem-solving environment.
  • Represent the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School and the Gittis Legal Clinics, as needed, to visitors, callers, and external partners.
  • Provide interpretation and translation in Spanish and English, if candidate has an appropriate level of proficiency.

Other Duties and Responsibilities as Assigned

Candidate Qualifications:

A Bachelor's Degree and 3+ years of experience in a law firm, public interest/legal services organization, corporate law department or other legal environment are required.

Proficiency in spoken and written Spanish is highly desirable.

Demonstrated experience as described above, including with varied aspects of civil trial preparation, including federal and state electronic filing; preparing tables of authorities; scheduling and setting up depositions; preparing exhibits; organizing and preparing briefs; and researching rules of civil procedure and court protocols. Must demonstrate an appreciation for the mission of the Gittis Legal Clinics, the clients we serve, and the students we educate. Must be able to handle matters confidentially and with discretion. Must have experience with and an affinity for working with clients with diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

Also required: excellent coordination and organizational skills, including keen attention to detail and the ability to prioritize work; excellent ability to communicate orally with a wide variety of constituents; excellent critical thinking skills and a proven ability to problem solve creatively and diligently; and a high level of competency in using Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, Excel, Power Point, Publisher). Experience with course management software (Canvas or others) a plus.

In addition, these attributes are highly valued:

  • A background and/or experiences that will contribute to the diversity, vitality, and cultural perspective of our clinical education program, staff, and clients;
  • Experience with using interpreters, translators, and other language access resources;
  • The ability to learn quickly and think creatively;
  • A willingness to learn and embrace new technology;
  • The ability to work in a fast-paced environment, multi-task and prioritize, and manage tasks under pressure;
  • A commitment to learning new systems and improving upon existing systems;
  • The ability to work well both independently and collaboratively with colleagues throughout the law school and with outside partners; and
  • Demonstrated reliability, responsibility, initiative, and enthusiasm for contributing to high quality services and work products.

Special Requirements
A cover letter and a resume are required to apply for this position. Applicants are encouraged to express how their unique background and experiences might contribute to the diversity, cultural vitality, and perspective of the Gittis Legal Clinics.

Penn requires a background check after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

Job Location - City, State
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Department / School
Law School

Pay Range
$24.13 - $40.00 Hourly Rate
Salary offers are made based on the candidate's qualifications, experience, skills, and education as they directly relate to the requirements of the position, as well as internal and market factors and grade profile.

Affirmative Action Statement
Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements
Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

University Benefits

  • Health, Life, and Flexible Spending Accounts: Penn offers comprehensive medical, prescription, behavioral health, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits to protect you and your family's health and welfare. You can also use flexible spending accounts to pay for eligible health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars.
  • Tuition: Take advantage of Penn's exceptional tuition benefits. You, your spouse, and your dependent children can get tuition assistance here at Penn. Your dependent children are also eligible for tuition assistance at other institutions.
  • Retirement: Penn offers generous retirement plans to help you save for your future. Penn's Basic, Matching, and Supplemental retirement plans allow you to save for retirement on a pre-tax or Roth basis. Choose from a wide variety of investment options through TIAA and Vanguard.
  • Time Away from Work: Penn provides you with a substantial amount of time away from work during the course of the year. This allows you to relax, take vacations, attend to personal affairs, recover from illness or injury, spend time with family—whatever your personal needs may be.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: In partnership with Genworth Financial, Penn offers faculty and staff (and your eligible family members) long-term care insurance to help you cover some of the costs of long-term care services received at home, in the community or in a nursing facility. If you apply when you're newly hired, you won't have to provide proof of good health or be subject to underwriting requirements. Eligible family members must always provide proof of good health and are subject to underwriting.
  • Wellness and Work-life Resources: Penn is committed to supporting our faculty and staff as they balance the competing demands of work and personal life. That's why we offer a wide variety of programs and resources to help you care for your health, your family, and your work-life balance.
  • Professional and Personal Development: Penn provides an array of resources to help you advance yourself personally and professionally.
  • University Resources: As a member of the Penn community, you have access to a wide range of University resources as well as cultural and recreational activities. Take advantage of the University's libraries and athletic facilities, or visit our arboretum and art galleries. There's always something going on at Penn, whether it's a new exhibit at the Penn Museum, the latest music or theater presentation at the Annenberg Center, or the Penn Relays at Franklin Field to name just a few examples. As a member of the Penn community, you're right in the middle of the excitement—and you and your family can enjoy many of these activities for free.
  • Discounts and Special Services: From arts and entertainment to transportation and mortgages, you'll find great deals for University faculty and staff. Not only do Penn arts and cultural centers and museums offer free and discounted admission and memberships to faculty and staff. You can also enjoy substantial savings on other goods and services such as new cars from Ford and General Motors, cellular phone service plans, movie tickets, and admission to theme parks.
  • Flexible Work Hours: Flexible work options offer creative approaches for completing work while promoting balance between work and personal commitments. These approaches involve use of non-traditional work hours, locations, and/or job structures.
  • Penn Home Ownership Services: Penn offers a forgivable loan for eligible employees interested in buying a home or currently residing in West Philadelphia, which can be used for closing costs or home improvements.
  • Adoption Assistance: Penn will reimburse eligible employees on qualified expenses in connection with the legal adoption of an eligible child, such as travel or court fees, for up to two adoptions in your household.

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