Employment

Below are descriptions of positions within the Public Guardian's office.

LAW STUDENT INTERNSHIP - The Adult Guardianship Division of the Office of the Cook County Public Guardian offers a unique opportunity to law students. Attorneys in the Adult Guardianship Division represent the Public Guardian in his capacity as guardian of disabled adults. While attorneys primarily handle guardianship matters in the Probate Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County, they often find themselves representing the Public Guardian on behalf of the disabled adults in other divisions such as Municipal, Chancery, and Domestic Relations, to name a few. As law clerks in the Adult Guardianship Division, students assist attorneys by conducting legal research, drafting memoranda, motions and other legal pleadings, and preparing for trial or other hearings. Student law clerks are also offered the unique opportunity to accompany attorneys in the field to conduct real property inspections, visit with disabled adults at their residence, and attend meetings with other professionals working with the disabled adults. A law student with a license under Supreme Court Rule 711 may appear before the court supervised by one of the Adult Guardianship attorneys. All student law clerks are provided in-house training at the start of the clerkship and are mentored by the attorneys. All clerkships are unpaid. Check with your individual school for externships or other credit arrangements. Interested law students should submit a cover letter and resume to: Office of the Cook County Public Guardian, Attn: Legal Internship Coordinator, 69 West Washington Street, Suite 700, Chicago, Illinois 60602. Deadlines for submitting applications are November 15th for Spring clerkships, April 15th for Summer clerkships, and July 15th for Fall clerkships.

LAW STUDENT INTERNSHIP - The Juvenile and Domestic Relations Divisions of the office welcome law clerks throughout the year to assist in representing clients from birth to age 21. Volunteers, grant recipients and students working for credit are encouraged to apply. The law clerk program is designed to provide students with practical experience. Law clerks may request to be assigned to the Juvenile Division, Appeals Unit or the Domestic Relations Division. Duties may include drafting motions and other court documents, legal research, case preparation, interviewing witnesses and otherwise assisting experienced attorneys in advocating for children and youth. Students with a license issued pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 711 may appear in court under the supervision of a licensed attorney and receive training to interview child clients. All law clerks participate in an orientation and formal training. In addition, each law clerk receives performance evaluations. Law clerks must be enrolled in an accredited law school, possess the ability to communicate and work with attorneys and other professional staff, demonstrate excellent oral and written communication skills and show enthusiasm and assertiveness. Volunteers, grant recipients and students working for credit may submit a cover letter and resume via email, fax or mail to the Office of the Cook County Public Guardian, 2245 West Ogden Avenue, 4th Floor, Chicago, Ilinois 60612, Attn: Bernadette Phillips, Coordinator, Law Clerk Program, bphillips@cookcountygov.com, 312-433-5144, fax: 312-433-5129.

ATTORNEY (Guardian Ad Litem I) - It is the duty of the GAL I employed by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) to represent minors in Juvenile Court as both their attorney and guardian ad litem. As the minor's attorney, the GAL I is to present the minor's wishes to the court. As the minor's guardian ad litem, the GAL I is to present to the court what s/he believes to be in the minors' best interest. At all times the GAL I is to follow the ethical rules as provided in the Code of Professional Responsibility. Each GAL I is expected to maintain contact with clients, observe confidentiality in client matters and use a reasonable degree of care to ensure the health, safety and welfare of our clients. Requirements: JD. Licensed to practice in Illinois.

PARALEGAL - It is the duty of a paralegal employed by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), under general supervision, to perform a variety of duties to assist the attorneys in their representation of our clients. The paralegal must follow the ethical requirements as set forth in the Code of Professional Responsibility. Each paralegal is expected to maintain contact with clients, observe confidentiality in client matters and use a reasonable degree of care to ensure the health, safety and welfare of our clients. Requirements: B.A. or B.S. in related field and a post-baccalaureate paralegal certificate.

CHILD INTERVIEWER - Interviews Office of the Public Guardian clients both at court and in their placements, in preparation for upcoming court dates and hearings. Travels to interview clients who are in out-of-county and out-of-state placements. Makes recommendations to attorneys regarding proper services and/or action that should be advocated for on behalf of clients. Reports incidents of abuse or neglect of a client to the DCFS hotline. Attends staffings at attorneys' request. Requirements: At least three years direct service experience in child welfare. B.A. or B.S. in related field