Paralegal - Consumer Unit (Multiple Locations)

· Choice of Office, New York
Employment Type Full-Time
Minimum Experience Mid-level
Compensation $33,670 - $39,420



Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc. ® (LawNY) has an immediate opening for two Staff Paralegals assisting providing services to consumers with student loans under the Education Debt Consumer Assistance Program. These positions will join our consumer unit, which provides services in a variety of consumer matters across our 14-county service area.  

Position Description

The Staff Paralegals will provide support to clients and attorneys in education debt matters, including repayment options, loan forgiveness, loan discharge due to disability status, loan consolidation, and loan rehabilitation. These two paralegals will join our existing 7-person consumer unit, which already includes one paralegal and one attorney working on student loan issues. The Staff Paralegals will serve as primary case-handlers, under the supervision of an attorney, and will offer counseling services, consumer education, application assistance, and litigation support. A portion of these paralegals’ time will also be spent on public-facing outreach and education regarding consumer rights and the availability of resources, including LawNY’s services.

This position is program wide and will collaborate with all seven of the LawNY offices. The position can be located in any of LawNY’s offices, including in Rochester, Ithaca, Geneva, Jamestown, Olean, Bath, and Elmira. 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.  

This position reports to the Supervising Paralegal of the Consumer unit.

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

  • Client screening and intake, including obtaining documentation and determining eligibility for services.
  • Client interviews and investigation. 
  • Provision of debt counseling, including evaluation for repayment, loan forgiveness, loan discharge, and loan rehabilitation.
  • Assisting community members with educational debt with applications as appropriate.
  • Assisting attorneys in the preparation and defense of education debt cases, including conducting legal research and preparing drafts of legal documents and memorandum, as permitted by law and ethical considerations.
  • Data collection and file maintenance in keeping with LawNY guidelines and grant requirements.
  • Outreach activities including connecting with and educating client groups with relevant legal information and available resources including LawNY programs.
  • Collaborating with colleagues to develop, implement, and maintain a diverse, equitable and inclusive work environment.
  • Collaborating with other human services providers, non-profit organizations and community groups as well as the courts, administrative tribunals and the private bar to address consumer legal problems within our community.
  • Maintaining 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. 
  • Upon completion of onboarding and training, an intensive training exam must be taken and passed as required by our funder.

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) Bachelor's degree, Associate’s degree, and/or relevant work experience, is required.
  • Previous experience in legal services or the legal field 
  • Previous experience and/or education in finance 
  • Extensive knowledge or personal experience in student loans is preferred.  
  • Experience with computation, organization, analysis and storage of data in tabular form.
  • Exceptional written, oral, and interpersonal communication skills, including a commitment to providing trauma-informed services.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to helping low-income and disadvantaged people overcome institutional barriers to legal access.
  • Able to serve as an advocate for individuals of all ethnicities, genders, ages and backgrounds.
  • Strong problem-solving abilities, time management, and organizational skills.
  • Able to work under deadlines and manage multiple tasks with a high attention to detail.
  • Proficiency in Spanish is an advantage but is not required.
  • Previous experience or demonstrated ability to conduct outreach to a variety of audiences and through a variety of mediums
  • Proficiency with computers and related technology, including email, Google Suite, and electronic case management systems 
  • Previous experience providing case management, and especially previous experience with client interviewing, fact-gathering, and assisting third parties with technical applications
  • A commitment to 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 in a team setting and to implement team objectives independently.

Salary and Benefits

Salary is set on a standardized organizational salary scale based on years of job experience. The entry level annual salary for a Staff Paralegal with no experience is $33,670, and for a Staff Paralegal with five years of experience is $39,420.  


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 is a qualifying public service loan forgiveness (PSLF) employer.

About Legal Assistance of Western NY

LawNY is a not-for-profit law firm providing high quality civil legal services to low-income clients in a 14-county area of western New York, including the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier regions. With a staff of more than 170, the advocates at LawNY serve individuals with substantive legal issues in the areas of housing, public benefits, unemployment, consumer debt, foreclosure, disability advocacy, elder law, family law, and other civil legal areas that impact an individual’s income, health, and housing. Our staff includes 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® 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.

Start Date & Application Timeframe

Applications for this position will close March 10, 2023. Please apply before then for full consideration. 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.

This position starts as soon as possible after offers are made, with a target start date in April 2023. The job will remain posted until filled. If not filled by this date, applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. 

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.


Questions or Accommodations? Contact Sandra Coyne at

Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc. (LawNY) is an equal opportunity employer, committed to inclusive hiring and dedicated to diversity in our work and staff. 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.

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  • Location
    Choice of Office, New York
  • Employment Type
  • Minimum Experience
  • Compensation
    $33,670 - $39,420