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City of Philadelphia

Recruitment and Staffing

The Law Department's civil practice includes unique issues involving public interest. Our lawyers help chart the course for the City in business, health, safety, commerce, civil rights, taxation, and community development.Working with the City Solicitor, our lawyers prepare contracts and other legal documents to which the City is a party. Each year, hundreds of ordinances are drafted within the Law Department. Advice is provided to the Mayor, City Council and the operating departments so the City can manage risk and develop proactive and sound policies. Thus, the work of our lawyers significantly influences the projects and outcomes of the City of Philadelphia. For this reason, our lawyers are routinely provided with intellectual challenge and the satisfaction of knowing their legal work makes a difference in the lives of the citizens of Philadelphia.

The Law Department is committed to excellence and is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Our staff of 160 lawyers, 45 legal assistants and 46 support persons is very diverse, including a mix of seasoned attorneys to serve as mentors. While we routinely recruit from the neighboring law schools, our staff includes graduates from many other institutions, including the law schools of Columbia University, University of Virginia, Yale, Howard, and Harvard. Decisions regarding hiring and promotion are based on merit.

Many of our lawyers have worked their entire career with the Law Department. They attribute their tenure with the Department to three factors: significant responsibility, meaningful legal work and a collegial atmosphere. Other lawyers have joined the Law Department after working for law firms. Absent business development pressure and administrative demands these lawyers have found the City to be a place where they can balance their personal and professional lives.

The City of Philadelphia maintains a high quality of life at a reasonable cost. The historical and cultural resources are unparalleled. The City and the region have a vital academic presence, with several major universities, hospitals and law schools. Centered in the Northeast Corridor, Philadelphia is an easy drive or train ride to New York City, Baltimore, Washington, the Pocono Mountains, and the Jersey Shore. Residence in Philadelphia is required within six months of appointment, and housing in Philadelphia is varied and affordable, from downtown high-rises, to nearby neighborhoods.

The City provides the best available medical and pension plans for its employees. Basic coverage includes medical, dental, prescription, vision and life insurance. Each year, the City develops a Continuing Legal Education ("CLE") program specifically tailored to the needs of municipal lawyers. The Law Department pays the full cost for the required CLE credits. In addition, the Law Department pays the Annual "Lawyer Assessment" fee for each attorney.

The Law Department hires approximately 20 law students for its summer program. Each student is assigned to a practice unit within the Department for the entire summer, given an opportunity to experience the day-to-day operations of the unit, and participate in meaningful and substantial legal work. In addition, students are given the opportunity to meet attorneys from the various practice groups and managers from some of the City's operating departments. All students are invited to visit several of the City's operating facilities. This experience will develop a broader understanding of the responsibility of a municipal government and the role of the municipal lawyer. Certain law schools offer internship or clinical programs within the Law Department. Application requirements include a cover letter, resume, law school transcript, writing sample and two references. All candidates for employment must be licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania. Applications should be directed to Craig M. Straw, First Deputy City Solicitor, at: City of Philadelphia Law Department, One Parkway Building, 17th floor, 1515 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102-1595 or at