POSITIONS AT PEOPLE’S LAW OFFICE

2023 CIVIL RIGHTS LITIGATION AND MOVEMENT LAWYERING FELLOWSHIP

People’s Law Office is seeking one or more post-graduate fellows, beginning in the fall of 2023.

The program is a two-year commitment, with the possibility of continuing at the firm at the end of the fellowship. The program is designed for newly admitted attorneys (with less than 5 years experience) who are interested in civil rights and criminal defense litigation and working with and on behalf activists and organizers fighting for social change.

The Civil Rights Litigation and Movement Lawyering Fellowship will provide an opportunity to work in all practice areas in which People’s Law Office provides representation. Fellows will participate in all aspects of civil litigation in federal court, including written discovery and depositions, legal research, drafting motions and memos, and participating on trial teams. Additional opportunities include representation of clients in criminal matters at both the trial level and post-conviction phase.

Our attorneys and legal workers have successfully fought for the civil and human rights of people who have been wrongfully convicted, falsely arrested, tortured and subjected to other forms of state violence. Our office has also steadfastly provided legal support to social movements fighting for radical change, representing political organizations, campaigns, activists, and individuals who have faced government repression because of their political views or organizing work.

Qualifications

  • J.D. degree or expected by spring 2023
  • Admission to the Northern District of Illinois, or ability to be admitted by fall 2023
    • Preference toward candidates with anticipated or current admission to the Illinois bar
  • Strong research and writing skills
  • Experience working in civil rights or other aspects of public interest law
  • Demonstrated commitment to supporting marginalized and oppressed communities 
  • Experience and/or familiarity with social justice organizing and movements fighting for social change

Application Process

Please submit:

  • A cover letter or email describing your interest in civil rights litigation, movement lawyering, and the work of People’s Law Office.
  • A current resume
  • Law school transcript (unofficial is acceptable)
  • Writing Sample
  • 2-3 References

All materials should be sent via email to: Fellowship[at]peopleslawoffice.com

We will be conducting interviews and extending offers on a rolling basis.

Salary and Benefits

The position is a full-time, two-year position. Starting salary begins at $65,000 annually, with the potential for higher rates based on experience. Compensation also includes generous benefits and paid time off. 

Additional Information
Fellows are expected to live in, or be willing to move, to the Chicagoland area.

BIPOC, women, people of all gender identities and gender expressions, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. 

Positions at People’s Law Office

2023 CIVIL RIGHTS LITIGATION AND MOVEMENT LAWYERING FELLOWSHIP

People’s Law Office is seeking one or more post-graduate fellows, beginning in the fall of 2023.

The program is a two-year commitment, with the possibility of continuing at the firm at the end of the fellowship. The program is designed for newly admitted attorneys (with less than 5 years experience) who are interested in civil rights and criminal defense litigation and working with and on behalf activists and organizers fighting for social change.

The Civil Rights Litigation and Movement Lawyering Fellowship will provide an opportunity to work in all practice areas in which People’s Law Office provides representation. Fellows will participate in all aspects of civil litigation in federal court, including written discovery and depositions, legal research, drafting motions and memos, and participating on trial teams. Additional opportunities include representation of clients in criminal matters at both the trial level and post-conviction phase.

Our attorneys and legal workers have successfully fought for the civil and human rights of people who have been wrongfully convicted, falsely arrested, tortured and subjected to other forms of state violence. Our office has also steadfastly provided legal support to social movements fighting for radical change, representing political organizations, campaigns, activists, and individuals who have faced government repression because of their political views or organizing work.

Qualifications

  • J.D. degree or expected by spring 2023
  • Admission to the Northern District of Illinois, or ability to be admitted by fall 2023
    • Preference toward candidates with anticipated or current admission to the Illinois bar
  • Strong research and writing skills
  • Experience working in civil rights or other aspects of public interest law
  • Demonstrated commitment to supporting marginalized and oppressed communities 
  • Experience and/or familiarity with social justice organizing and movements fighting for social change

Application Process

Please submit:

  • A cover letter or email describing your interest in civil rights litigation, movement lawyering, and the work of People’s Law Office.
  • A current resume
  • Law school transcript (unofficial is acceptable)
  • Writing Sample
  • 2-3 References

All materials should be sent via email to: Fellowship[at]peopleslawoffice.com

We will be conducting interviews and extending offers on a rolling basis.

Salary and Benefits

The position is a full-time, two-year position. Starting salary begins at $65,000 annually, with the potential for higher rates based on experience. Compensation also includes generous benefits and paid time off. 

Additional Information
Fellows are expected to live in, or be willing to move, to the Chicagoland area.

BIPOC, women, people of all gender identities and gender expressions, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. 

2023 SUMMER INTERNSHIPS

People’s Law Office is accepting applications for our 2023 summer internship and educational program, which focuses on civil rights litigation rooted in social and racial justice and radical legal work.

Interns will participate in a wide range of litigation-related work and will be exposed to a progressive law office that has been committed to being “people’s lawyers” since 1969. Our attorneys and legal workers have successfully fought for the civil and human rights of people who have been wrongfully convicted, falsely arrested and subjected to excessive force and torture at the hands of law enforcement officials and prosecutors. The office has also steadfastly represented political activists and individuals who have been targeted by government officials because of their political views or organizing work.

The program is open to law students, with a strong preference for students who have completed their second year of law school. Candidates should demonstrate experience in and/or commitment to social justice, organizing and/or social movements. To apply please send a resume, cover letter and writing sample to plo[at]peopleslawoffice.com. Applications will be accepted until December 11, 2022, and will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Remote positions are available, with a preference for applicants residing in Chicago. The position includes a stipend.

BIPOC, women, people of all gender identities and gender expressions, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

The Passing of Dennis Cunningham

From the People’s Law Office Family,

Dennis Cunningham, our dear friend and 50 plus year comrade in the struggle for justice and human rights, has passed away. He was an inspiration for, and one of the founders of, the People’s Law Office, and a mentor and role model to all of us and to many others.

He represented with creativity and militancy, Fred Hampton and many other Black Panthers, the Attica Brothers, Judy Bari, Puerto Rican independentistas, Rasmea Odeh, Geronimo Pratt and many others. He brought his improv experience at Second City to the courtroom and to his brilliant written advocacy.

Dennis  was one of a kind, and will be deeply missed by all those who knew him and loved him. Special condolences to his wonderful children, Delia, Joe, Miranda and Bernardine, his three grandchildren, his brother Robbie and his nieces and nephews. 

Rest in Power our good Brother

La Luta Continua!

Statement by the Marcus Deon Smith Legal Team

As a result of much blood, sweat and tears by the Marcus Smith family, community activists, and the Smith legal team, the Greensboro City Council voted last evening to settle the Marcus Deon Smith case by releasing the following joint statement:

The City of Greensboro and the family of Marcus Deon Smith have reached an agreement to resolve the lawsuit brought by the Estate of Marcus Deon Smith. Importantly to these parties, the total settlement of $2,570,000 (the majority of which will be paid by the City of Greensboro and the remainder by Guilford County) will financially benefit both the parents of Marcus Deon Smith and his children, and will formally acknowledge with a commemorative plaque that Marcus Deon Smith’s life mattered. These parties will soon request judicial approval of the settlement and dismissal of the lawsuit, without any findings of wrongdoing or liability. After the settlement is concluded, these parties intend to move forward in the spirit of respect and reconciliation.

While the details of the agreement are still confidential,we on the legal team and on behalf of the Smith family want to thank the activists of Greensboro and all those of goodwill in the Greensboro community for standing shoulder to shoulder with us in this long struggle for transparency and justice in the Marcus Deon Smith case. We are gratified that this agreement will honor Marcus’s deep love for his children and that the City of Greensboro will formally recognize that Marcus Deon Smith’s life matters.  

The Smith Legal Team 
Flint Taylor and Ben Elson of the People’s Law Office and Graham Holt 

Free Bernina Mata!

On Wednesday, Bernina Mata’s freedom team filed a Petition for Executive Clemency on behalf of Bernina Mata with the Illinois Prisoner Review Board. Anchored by Bernina’s long-time attorney Joey Mogul, along with Rachel-White Domain of the Illinois Prison Project, Love & Protect, American Friends Service Committee–Chicago, and a third year law student from NYU. We are calling on Governor Pritzker to commute Bernina’s sentence and bring our friend home. To learn more about Bernina’s case read the Injustice Watch article, and go to FREEBERNINA.com to find out how you can support Bernina’s clemency. #FreeBernina!

Applications for Summer 2022 Internship

People’s Law Office is accepting applications for our 2022 summer internship and educational program, which focuses on civil rights litigation rooted in social and racial justice and radical legal work.

Interns will participate in a wide range of litigation-related work and will be exposed to a progressive law office that has been committed to being “people’s lawyers” since 1969. Our attorneys and legal workers have successfully fought for the civil and human rights of people who have been wrongfully convicted, falsely arrested and subjected to excessive force and torture at the hands of law enforcement officials and prosecutors. The office has also steadfastly represented political activists and individuals who have been targeted by government officials because of their political views or organizing work.

The program is open to law students. Candidates should demonstrate experience in and/or commitment to social justice, organizing and/or social movements. To apply please send a resume, cover letter and writing sample to plo[at]peopleslawoffice.com. Applications will be accepted until December 11, 2021, and will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Due to the current pandemic, we are prepared for the internship to take place remotely, so applicants are not required to reside in Chicago. A stipend will be available.

BIPOC, women, people of all gender identities and gender expressions, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.  

The Torture Machine Racism and Police Violence in Chicago

Order your copy at haymarketbooks.org

With his colleagues at the People’s Law Office (PLO), Taylor has argued landmark civil rights cases that have exposed corruption and cover-ups within the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and throughout the city’s corrupt political machine.

The Torture Machine takes the reader from the 1969 murders of Black Panther Party chairman Fred Hampton and Panther Mark Clark—and the historic, thirteen-years of litigation that followed—through the dogged pursuit of commander Jon Burge, the leader of a torture ring within the CPD that used barbaric methods, including electric shock, to elicit false confessions from suspects.

Joining forces with community activists, torture survivors and their families, other lawyers, and local reporters, Taylor and the PLO gathered evidence from multiple cases to bring suit against the CPD officers and the City of Chicago. As the struggle expanded beyond the torture scandal to the ultimately successful campaign to end the death penalty in Illinois, and obtained reparations for many of the torture survivors, it set human rights precedents that have since been adopted across the United States.

Welcome Our New Associate, Shubra Ohri

People’s Law Office is pleased to welcome our new associate, Shubra Ohri.  Shubra is a creative and dedicated advocate who brings her passion for human rights both internationally and domestically to her work at People’s Law Office.  Shubra is currently using her extensive international human rights experience to present the Jon Burge torture cases to the United Nations Committee Against Torture in Geneva.  In Geneva, she is urging the Committee to call on the United States to comply with the provisions of the Convention Against Torture by providing redress to Burge torture survivors and holding those officers complicit in the systematic torture responsible for their violations of international human rights law. 

Summer internships available

People’s Law Office is accepting applications for our summer internship and educational program, which focuses on learning about civil rights litigation rooted in social justice and radical legal work.

The program is open to law students. To apply send resume, cover letter and writing sample to sarahgelsomino[at]gmail.com.

Applications are due March 21. A stipend is available.