Housing Project Managing Attorney

· Choice of Office, New York
Employment Type Full-Time
Minimum Experience Senior Manager/Supervisor
Compensation 77,500

LEGAL ASSISTANCE OF WESTERN NEW YORK, INC.

POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT: Housing Project Managing Attorney


Position Description

 

Legal Assistance of Western New York (LawNY®) seeks to fill an immediate opening for a Housing Project Managing Attorney who will work under the direction of the Deputy Director of Litigation and Advocacy. The Housing Project Managing Attorney is a new management position charged with overseeing housing advocacy across LawNY’s 14 counties through seven physical offices, three satellite offices and multiple housing programs. In 2022, LawNY received federal and state funding for approximately 40 new housing positions, including supervising attorneys, staff attorneys, paralegals and administrative staff. Along with current housing staff, this project will represent approximately 40% of LawNY’s 200 personnel, once fully staffed.

 

The Housing Managing Attorney will be responsible for assisting in the hiring of new staff, and integrating the new and existing housing programs in a single, unified housing unit. LawNY’s intake system currently relies on a mix of local intake processes based in the seven local offices and program-wide intake conducted by regional program units. In collaboration with the Housing Project Intake Supervisor, this position will develop a standardized case acceptance and management model and design and implement an intake system for all housing cases.

 

In addition to these programmatic duties, the Housing Project Managing Attorney will develop and lead advocacy and litigation strategies for housing cases at LawNY in a leadership and support role. They will oversee the representation of tenants in defensive and affirmative litigation by program staff. LawNY’s housing work is currently distributed across managers, attorneys and administrative staff based in local offices. This is a new position that will be responsible for transitioning the management and delegation of these duties to a centralized program structure, overseen by the Housing Project Managing Attorney. In the beginning stages, the majority of the job will involve project management skills, which will eventually give way to a mix of project management and advocacy and litigation support. This advocacy support will include providing training, technical assistance, co-advocacy, litigation support in affirmative cases, coaching on litigation strategy, directing permissible legislative advocacy, outreach and community engagement, media advocacy and tracking emerging legal advocacy approaches. The Housing Project Managing Attorney will also coordinate LawNY’s approaches to advocacy at the structural and systemic level to address issues which broadly impact tenants, including through impact litigation, media relations and community movement building.

 

This position will ultimately direct a unit made up of approximately 80 positions, of which approximately 15 - 20 will be supervising attorneys. This position also will work closely with an administrator responsible for grants and compliance administration, an intake supervisor, and a project manager who will provide supervision and advocacy support. Part of this position will entail the responsibility and authority to create a new supervision structure that avoids parallel disconnected supervision models and is scalable as we rapidly grow the size of our housing practice. Expected methods for this may include adopting peer supervision and identifying and creating additional supervisory positions as needed to adequately support front-line staff and supervisors. The Managing Attorney is responsible for setting standards for appropriate workloads for supervising attorneys, staff attorneys and paralegals in the housing unit, and ensuring that housing staff are supported with a robust supervision team.

 

The Housing Project Managing Attorney reports to the Deputy Director of Litigation and Advocacy and will serve as a member of the management team which includes: Deputy Directors, Managing Attorneys, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Managers, the Chief Finance Officer, the Director of Technology and the Director of Pro Bono Affairs.

 

Responsibilities: These are the most significant responsibilities and primary functions of the position.


  • Plan and restructure LawNY’s seven separate housing units and the office’s existing and new grant funding into one, cohesive program-wide housing unit.
  • Develop a new centralized intake program and provide oversight of a regional intake team, under the direct supervision of a Housing Project Intake Supervisor.
  • Establish housing case acceptance standards and practices, with specific considerations for equity issues, in consultation with the housing attorneys and supervisors and with the approval of the Deputy Director of Litigation and Advocacy.
  • Actively engage organizations led by impacted communities, community organizations, agencies and bar associations in developing and setting advocacy and litigation priorities and strategy.
  • Ensure supervision, training, leadership development and other support for staff in consultation with DEI Managers.
  • Engage in collaborations with other community agencies, organizations and bar associations, both locally and statewide, to spot common issues and patterns and discuss strategies for targeting systemic issues.
  • Monitor capacity for housing cases at each office and equitably balance available services across the program.
  • In consultation with local supervising attorneys, oversee individual advocate caseloads to ensure that attorneys have caseloads appropriate to their experience level and consistent with the highest quality of service delivery and staff well-being.
  • Develop, maintain and oversee written best practices for housing cases, and ensure that housing work across the program is practiced in compliance with the highest ethical standards.
  • Incorporate principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion and engage in learning to become increasingly skilled in supervision that supports diversity, equity, and inclusion (e.g. building a relationship with supervisees based on mutual respect and trust, understanding communication and work styles, having difficult conversations, developing conflict resolution skills, addressing microaggressions and interrupting implicit bias).
  • Monitor developments in the law and lead both initial training for new housing staff and periodic updates for experienced staff.
  • Support, encourage and co-counsel on affirmative and impact housing litigation, in collaboration with the Deputy Director of Litigation and Advocacy, regional litigation staff and subcontractor/partner agencies.
  • Ensure that eviction prevention program staff are engaged in program wide work groups and projects, including diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.
  • Participate as a member of the LawNY® management team in making decisions about the operation and direction of the organization as a whole.
  • Directly supervise the work of the Housing Project Intake Supervisor and the Housing Project Manager.
  • Serve as a resource for programmatic and legal issues for program-wide housing supervising attorneys.
  • Provide input as needed to administrator(s) on fundraising and grant reporting.
  • Collaborate with supervisees, other supervisors, managers, and directors to develop, implement and maintain a diverse, equitable and inclusive work environment.

 

Qualifications These are the traits, attributes, attitudes, and skills that speak to the candidate’s ability to succeed in the position. While no one candidate will possess all of the requirements listed, the ideal candidate will have many of the following qualifications. LawNY encourages each candidate to think about their own personal knowledge, skills, and experience, as well professional skills and experience, in relation to the list of qualifications.

 

  • (Required) Minimum of five years of legal experience as an attorney, with a preference for experience within civil legal services.
  • (Required) Admitted to practice and in good standing in New York State, eligible for admission without examination, or able to be admitted pro hac vice.
  • (Required) Experience supervising others and conducting training on substantive legal topics, especially housing issues.
  • Experience with one or more aspects of housing law, including eviction prevention, tenants’ rights and affordable housing.
  • Litigation experience, including experience with motion practice, discovery and conducting trials.
  • Demonstrated leadership on critical issues facing low-income people.
  • Demonstrated commitment to services to low-income people.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and undertake initiatives.
  • Demonstrated ability to command the trust and respect of staff members, community groups and the legal community.
  • Commitment to engaging in learning and developing supervision skills that support diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Experience related to serving individuals from historically oppressed populations.
  • An understanding of the concepts of institutional and structural racism and their impact on underserved and underrepresented communities
  • Incorporates an anti-racist and anti-oppressive lens into legal practice.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills, including a commitment to providing trauma-informed services.
  • Experience and demonstrated skill in mentoring and training less experienced attorneys, paralegals and/or other staff.
  • Humility in working with colleagues and clients across the spectrum of diversity, including race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, immigrant status, religious identity, physical and mental disabilities and/or limited English proficiency.
  • Ability to work under deadlines and manage multiple tasks.

 

Organization Information

Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc. (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.

 

LawNY® has been providing high quality legal representation for 53 years. Our 2021 cases were closed in the following practice areas: housing (31%);  government benefits (26%); family law (25.5%); health law (9.4%); miscellaneous benefits including wills and advance care directives (4.8%); consumer law (4.7%); employment law (1.8%); individual rights (0.8%); and education (1.3%).

 

LawNY® has a revenue side budget of over $15.2 million, with approximately 90 contracts with various federal, state, county, and city agencies, as well as area United Ways, foundations and private donations.

 

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 are increasingly committed to creating a law firm where race equity, diversity and cultural competency are integral components of our work, from client advocacy to internal operations. We are actively seeking applicants whose work incorporates this perspective and whose lived and professional experience contributes to sustaining an environment that enables staff and clients to feel empowered, valued, respected, and safe.

 

Office Description

LawNY® was created by a merger of three regional legal service programs in 2004, and today has over 170 employees, including attorneys, paralegals, and a legal support team who work closely across areas of specialization to bring a holistic approach to addressing legal issues affecting our clients and community. LawNY® has seven fully staffed field offices in Bath, Elmira, Geneva, Ithaca, Jamestown, Olean and Rochester, several satellite offices across Western New York, and a business office in Rochester.

 

This position is program wide and will collaborate with all of the LawNY offices. The position can be located in any LawNY® office. LawNY® offers a hybrid work schedule of up to three remote days per week during an employee’s first six months, and up to fully remote thereafter, consistent with job responsibilities. This position will require periodic in-person appearances and some travel across the organization’s service area.  


Salary:

Salary is set on a standardized organizational salary scale based on years of job experience. Upon job offer, candidates are asked to complete a form describing years of direct and comparable experience. Human Resources and the Executive Director review the form and provide the candidate with a proposed salary placement. The candidate may review and suggest alternate placement. The salary scale intends to mitigate bias.

 

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
  • Remote Work Policy: New staff are able to work from home up to 3 days per week during their 6 month probationary period with manager approval. This increases to 5 days per week once successfully finished with a probationary period with manager approval.
  • LawNY is committed to providing a work-life balance to their employees. We encourage and support a 35 hour work week to ensure our employees have this balance.

 

We also provide a very generous leave package including, in the first year of employment, 20 days of vacation plus 13.5 holidays and two floating holidays.  Employees also receive 12 sick days and five personal days per year.  New parents receive 20 days of paid new parent leave.

 

LawNY® staff may qualify for public interest law school loan forgiveness programs.

 

Application Instructions:

To apply, submit your cover letter, resume, and three references through LawNY®’s BambooHR platform, here. References will not be contacted until after any interview, and will not be contacted without your knowledge. 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 support a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion in LawNY’s processes.


Applications for this position will close February 28, 2023. Please apply before then for full consideration. The job will remain posted until filled. If not filled by this date, applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. You will receive a confirmation email when your application has been received on our HR platform. LawNY® will contact you to inform you whether you have been offered an interview.

 

Questions or Accommodations? Contact Sandra Coyne at scoyne@lawny.org

 


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.

Thank You

Your application was submitted successfully.

  • Location
    Choice of Office, New York
  • Employment Type
    Full-Time
  • Minimum Experience
    Senior Manager/Supervisor
  • Compensation
    77,500