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Chief Administrative Law Judge (SPSA 8L)

We continually strive for a workforce that reflects the growing diversity within the State of Illinois.  A variety of employee backgrounds, perspectives, ideas and experiences are crucial to our ability to most effectively serve the public.  Bilingual skills welcome

Reasonable Accommodation Statement

Persons with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations throughout the hiring process and during performance of all job duties.  Please email the Central Management Services Disability Resource Center at CMS.DisabilityResCen@illinois.gov or call (217) 524 - 7514 for further information and to request an accommodation.

Sponsorship for Employment

The State of Illinois does not provide sponsorship for employment visa status (e.g. H-1B visa status).  To be considered for permanent employment with the State of Illinois, applicants must be currently authorized to work in the United States on a full-time basis.

Disclosure of Salary Information

In compliance with the Illinois Equal Pay Act, 820 ILCS 112/1 et seq., the State does not seek, request, or require a job applicant’s wage or salary history.  Employment decisions are not made based on an applicant’s wage or salary history.  To that end, please do not include wage or salary information in your resume or other profile or application materials.

Date:  Jun 3, 2021

Chicago, IL, US, 60602-3315

Job Requisition ID:  3758

DCFS is deeply committed to the welfare and protection of children.  We invite you to join our innovative team to help make a positive difference in the lives of the children and families of Illinois. 


The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is seeking an organized, professional, and results oriented individual to serve as Chief Administrative Law Judge/Administrator of the Administrative Hearings Unit.  Subject to management approval, this position will direct, manage, and oversee a system of administrative hearings for the Department and provide oversight of staff serving as Administrative Law Judges.  The position will assign and schedule hearings and report hearing officer recommendations to the Director, while also reviewing incoming and pending appeals for pre-hearing disposition.  This position is a great opportunity for anyone who would like to use their skills as an attorney to benefit child welfare services. DCFS offers a competitive compensation plan, excellent benefits, and a pension program. The ideal candidate for this position will have excellent legal and organizational skills and strong leadership capabilities. We invite all qualified applicants to apply to join our innovative team to help make a difference in the lives of children and families.


Agency:  Department of Children and Family Services 
Closing Date/Time:  06/17/2021 
Salary:  Pay Range is $4,295 to $12,734 / Anticipated Starting Salary is $8,333 to $10,833 
Job Type:  Salaried Full Time 
County:  Cook 
Number of Vacancies:  1 
Plan/BU:  Term Appointment Gubernatorial (Management Bill) 000 


****************A RESUME IS REQUIRED FOR THIS JOB POSTING****************

Please attach a DETAILED Resume/Curriculum Vitae (CV) to the MY DOCUMENTS section of your application. You WILL NOT be considered for the position if you attach a CMS100, CMS100b or any other document that is not a Resume or CV.

Job Responsibilities

1.  Serves as Chief Administrative Law Judge and Administrator of the Administrative Hearings Unit

  • Directs, manages, and oversees a system of administrative hearings for the Department
  • Reviews, modifies, and implements existing statewide program objectives and develops new program initiatives
  • Acts authoritatively on policy making operations
  • Develops long range plans for the Department and modifies programs toward the accomplishment of goals and objectives
  • Directs the establishment and maintenance of systems for receiving and docketing hearing requests, assigning and scheduling hearings, and reporting hearing officers’ requests
  • Assigns and schedules hearings and reports hearing officers’ recommendations to the Director
  • Directs the collection and cataloguing of decisions according to subject matter
  • Reviews reports, reads transcripts, and observes the conduct of hearings
  • Drives or travels to various locations in the performance of duties
  • Serves as full line supervisor
  • Assigns and reviews work
  • Provides guidance and training to assigned staff

(Job Responsibilities continued)

2.  Counsels staff regarding work performance

  • Reassigns staff to meet day-to-day operating needs
  • Establishes annual goals and objectives
  • Approves/disapproves time off requests
  • Adjusts first level grievances
  • Effectively recommends and imposes discipline up to and including discharge
  • Prepares and signs performance evaluations
  • Determines and recommends staffing needs


3.  Reviews incoming and pending appeals for pre-hearing disposition

  • Hears and rules on motions and directs the course of litigation in emergent situations
  • Conducts hearings and makes recommendations to the Director


4.  Reviews and critiques proposed legislation and provides input into the conceptualization and drafting of new and amendatory legislation affecting the Department

  • Performs legal review and analysis of existing and proposed programmatic and administrative policies and procedures to ensure compliance with state and federal law and legal consistency with planning and policy

Job Responsibilities (cont)

5.  Works with the Office of Child and Family Policy to identify and assess the need for new and/or amended regulations

  • Proposes and edits draft regulations affecting the Administrative Hearings Unit


6.  Plans and conducts extensive complex legal research on legal and quasi-legal issues affecting administrative hearings


7.  Performs other duties as required or assigned which are reasonably within the scope of the duties enumerated above

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Minimum Qualifications:

  1. Requires completion of law school
  2. Requires four years of administrative experience in the practice of law
  3. Requires possession of a license to practice law in Illinois


Preferred Qualifications (in order of significance):

  1. Prefers 5 years of professional experience in the practice of child law
  2. Prefers 4 years of experience supervising professional legal staff in a public or business organization
  3. Prefers 3 years of professional experience conducting or arguing administrative hearings and appeals
  4. Prefers 3 years of professional experience conducting legal research as an attorney
  5. Prefers 3 years of professional experience conducting legal analysis
  6. Prefers 3 years of professional experience drafting regulations in a public or business organization

Employment Conditions

  • Requires the ability to pass a background check
  • Requires possession of a valid driver’s license and ability to travel

Education Degree

  • Requires graduation from Law School and license to practice law in Illinois

Work Hours:  M-F, 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM 
Work Location: 17 N State St Chicago, IL 60602-3315 
Agency Contact:  Kelly.J.Firebaugh@illinois.gov 
Job Function: Administration/Management; Legal and Compliance 

PIN:  65-2000S