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Staff Attorney (Fair Housing Enforcement Program)

Description: 

Position Summary: 

The Bath office of Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc.® (LawNY®) has an immediate opening for a Staff Attorney to work in the Fair Housing Enforcement Project (FHEP). The staff attorney will be responsible for providing direct representation to clients in cases involving housing discrimination based upon race, color, national origin, gender, religion, familial status, disability and lawful source of income.  The level of services provided to clients range from advice and brief service to representing clients in litigation filed in state or federal court or the Division of Human Rights. 

The Bath area offers reasonable housing costs and a high quality of life. The southern Finger Lakes region abounds with recreational and cultural activities.  LawNY staff are offered a hybrid workplace within a standard 35 hour work week, Monday through Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm. LawNY values and promotes a collaborative environment and a healthy work life balance. 

About LawNY, Inc. 

LawNY is a non-profit law firm that provides free civil legal services to low-income individuals and families in a fourteen-county area of western New York. LawNY values and promotes a collaborative environment and a healthy work life balance.  Staff are offered a hybrid workplace and flexible schedules are possible. LawNY is committed to equitable inclusion across race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, ability, sex, religion, economic circumstances, ethnicity, national origin, and culture. We strive to transcend the construct of race and be an anti-racist law firm. Staff are encouraged to bring their whole selves to work each day and to celebrate every aspect of who they are.

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 will require direct in-person contact with clients and in-person appearances in court or administrative agencies as needed to perform the functions of their role.

Core responsibilities include:

  • Maintain a full-time caseload representing eligible clients facing housing discrimination.
  • Provide training and assistance to community-based organizations.
  • Advocate in a variety of legal settings, including administrative forums and state and federal courts.
  • Collaborate with other LawNY advocates, the private bar, human services providers, non-profit organizations and community, client or other advocacy groups to address the issues facing directly-impacted community members, including providing community legal education.
  • Collaborate with colleagues to develop, implement, and maintain a diverse, equitable and inclusive work environment.
  • Maintain a high level of professional competence through attendance at training sessions, seminars and conferences and individual efforts to keep abreast of current developments in the area of poverty law, the application of a race equity lens to client service, as well as issues in the community affecting low-income people. 

Requirements:

  • Applicants must be admitted to the New York State Bar, eligible for admission, or qualify for a practice order.  Law school graduates who have taken the first available New York State bar examination following completion of law school may qualify for a practice order pending admission to the New York State bar pursuant to the LawNY practice order.  Attorneys admitted in another jurisdiction may qualify for a practice order for up to 18 months pursuant to a court rule.
  • Applicants should have a sincere and demonstrated commitment to race equity.
  • A strong commitment to advocating on behalf of marginalized people.
  • Strong legal research and writing skills.

Desired skills: the ideal candidate will have many of the following qualifications:

  • Experience with the courts and agencies in our service area, or capability to successfully build relationships with directly impacted community members, courts, and community agencies.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills for a wide variety of audiences, including a commitment to providing trauma-informed services.
  • Demonstrated ability to cultivate and develop inclusive and equitable working relationships with staff, clients and community members.
  • Prior legal experience, particularly with low-income and other oppressed communities and clients.
  • Understanding of the principles of race equity analysis and the intersection of racism and poverty and their application to LawNY’s organization and work. 
  • Strong oral and written communication skills for a wide variety of audiences.
  • Strong fact-gathering and interview skills.
  • Strong problem-solving, 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 Workspace, Word, and Excel; database programs a plus.
  • Fluency in Spanish or another language spoken by our clients is an advantage but is not required.
  • Lived experience with our client communities is an advantage but is not required.
  • Passion for social justice and commitment to the mission of LawNY.

Salary and Benefits:  Salary is dependent on years of relevant experience and based on a pay scale with annual increments. The entry level annual salary for a newly admitted attorney with no practice experience is $58,00 and increases to $64,000 for an attorney with five years of experience.  We provide a superlative package of fringe benefits including:

  • 35 hour work week to promote work/life balance
  • 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

We also provide a very generous leave package including, in the first year of employment, four weeks of vacation, 12 sick days, 5 personal days, and 2 floating holidays. New parents receive 20 days of paid new parent leave provided by LawNY.

LawNY is a qualifying public service loan forgiveness employer and a participant in the LSC loan repayment assistance program.

Requirements: 
  • Applicants must be admitted to the New York State Bar, eligible for admission, or qualify for a practice order.  Law school graduates who have taken the first available New York State bar examination following completion of law school may qualify for a practice order pending admission to the New York State bar pursuant to the LawNY practice order.  Attorneys admitted in another jurisdiction may qualify for a practice order for up to 18 months pursuant to a court rule.
  • Applicants should have a sincere and demonstrated commitment to race equity.
  • A strong commitment to advocating on behalf of marginalized people.
  • Strong legal research and writing skills.

 

To Apply: 

Applicants should submit a letter of interest, resume, three references and a writing sample to the attention of Ellen Heidrick, Managing Attorney, Bath office. Applications will be reviewed until the position is filled. You can apply through our Bamboo platform here. 

 The letter of interest should highlight the applicant's commitment to advocating for justice for people who experience marginalization because of their race or social or economic status.

  

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.

 

This position is considered exempt pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Information

Submission Deadline: 
February 29, 2024
Organization Information: 
Legal Assistance of Western NY
United States