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Staff Attorney






The Elmira office of Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc. ® (LawNY) has an immediate opening for a Staff Attorney. LawNY is a not-for-profit law firm providing civil legal services to low-income clients in a 14-county area of western New York, including the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier regions. The Elmira office primarily serves residents of Chemung and Schuyler Counties.

The Staff Attorney will provide direct legal representation primarily in landlord-tenant matters and related government benefit matters. We seek to enable those at-risk of homelessness to maintain their housing and prevent eviction through the provision of legal representation and advocacy. We provide representation to tenants in city, town and village courts throughout Chemung and Schuyler Counties. We also work with a diverse group of community stakeholders in our efforts to help tenants maintain their current housing or re-locate to secure and stable alternative housing.


Core responsibilities include: 

  • Assistance and legal advocacy related to helping low-income people maintain their housing, housing subsidies and income supports.
  • Providing representation in administrative hearing forums and the court system to challenge evictions, public housing and housing subsidy terminations, wrongful public benefit determinations and illegal housing practices.
  • Client interviews and investigation.
  • Represents clients zealously within the bounds of the Rules of Professional Conduct.
  • Data collection and file maintenance.
  • Outreach activities.
  • Relationship-building with court staff, community groups and other stakeholders.


The applicant must have the caring, patience, and emotional maturity to help low-income people overcome crisis situations. LawNY maintains an extensive safe operations plan and seeks to ensure the safety of both our staff and our clients. All staff are still required to fulfill their professional obligations, which may require some direct in-person contact with clients and in-person appearances in court or administrative agencies. LawNY is committed to equitable inclusion across race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, ability, sex, religion, economic circumstances, ethnicity, national origin, and culture.


Salary:  Salary is dependent on experience and based on a pay scale with annual increments.  The beginning salary for a Staff Attorney with no prior experience is $51,820, and the salary for a Staff Attorney with five years of relevant experience is $59,320 as per the LawNY salary scale. 


Benefits: We provide a superlative package of fringe benefits including:

-94% employer paid health insurance (with significant HSA contributions to offset high deduction plans)                                                                                                          

-100% employer paid dental and disability insurance

-$50,000 automatic life insurance

Leave:  We also provide a very generous leave package including, in the first year of employment, four weeks of vacation,12 sick days and 5 personal days. New parents receive 20 days of paid vacation.

LawNY participates in the Legal Services Corporation loan repayment assistance program and is a qualifying public service loan forgiveness employer.


This position is considered Exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act. 



  • Requirements:  

    • Admission to the New York State Bar.  
    • A commitment to helping poor and disadvantaged people overcome institutional barriers to legal access.


    Desired Skills: 

    • Prior legal experience with low-income and other oppressed communities and clients.
    • Lived experience with our client communities is highly desired.
    • Strong problem-solving abilities, time management, and organizational skills.
    • Ability to work under deadlines and manage multiple tasks.
    • Ability to empathize and sensitively respond to people in crisis situations.
    • Excellent use of Google Drive/GSuite, Word, and Excel.
    • Passion for social justice and commitment to the mission of LawNY.


To Apply: 

HOW TO APPLY:  To apply, submit your cover letter, resume, writing sample and three references to the attention of Thomas Dubel, Deputy Director, through LawNY’s BambooHR platform here: Please include the [last name], [firstname]and [position sought] in the name of your documents.

To promote social justice and achieve our mission, LawNY® is committed to maintaining a diverse staff and creating an inclusive and respectful workplace. In your cover letter, please explain how you think your lived and/or professional experience or background has prepared you to contribute to a work environment with a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion.


Questions? Contact Brenda Thompson, Human Resources Administrator at

Applications will be reviewed until the position is filled. 

Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc. (LawNY) is an equal opportunity employer. LawNY® strongly encourages applications from Black, Indigenous and People of Color, women, LGBTQIA+ individuals, people with disabilities, and persons from other underrepresented groups whose background may contribute to working in and sustaining an environment that enables staff and clients to feel empowered, valued, respected, and safe. LawNY welcomes applications regardless of race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy, national origin, age, disability, genetic information or any other consideration protected by law.




Submission Deadline: 
March 2, 2022
Organization Information: 
Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc.
United States