Fair Housing Staff Attorney

· Geneva, New York
Employment Type Full-Time
Minimum Experience Entry-level
Compensation DOE




The Geneva office of Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc.® (LawNY®) has an immediate opening for a Staff Attorney. The Staff Attorney will represent low-income individuals in fair housing cases based on violations of state and federal anti-discrimination laws. A majority of the Staff Attorney’s time will be dedicated to fair housing matters. In addition, the Staff Attorney may also defend tenants in eviction proceedings and subsidized housing matters, as well as seek to remedy condition problems. The Staff Attorney may also represent tenants in other housing matters, including affirmative litigation.  

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. The Geneva office directly serves residents of Livingston, Ontario, Seneca, Wayne, and Yates counties. 

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 striving to transcend the construct of race and be an anti-racist law-firm. We encourage staff to bring their whole selves to work each day and pledge to celebrate every aspect of who they are. All applicants must be dedicated to working in and sustaining an environment that enables staff and clients to feel empowered, valued, respected, and safe.

Due to COVID-19, LawNY® staff are working remotely all or part of the week. 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: 

  • Provide legal advice to clients regarding fair housing and landlord-tenant law. 
  • Represent tenants in enforcing their housing rights through administrative advocacy, state and federal litigation and other venues. 
  • Work directly with the Fair Housing Testing Coordinator to investigate fair housing cases.
  • Represent tenants facing eviction in summary proceedings. 
  • Educate partner agencies on fair housing law and our work in that area. 
  • Coordinate with partner agencies to access needed services for clients and to inform them of our work.
  • Participate in and contribute to regular fair housing and housing workgroup meetings. 
  • Perform other tasks as relevant to the grants under which this work is performed. 
  • 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.


  • Admission to the New York State Bar, Admission on Motion or eligibility for a temporary practice order is required. 
  • 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:

  • Anti-discrimination or housing law experience is preferred, or the ability to quickly learn and practice in a rapidly evolving area of law. 
  • 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 organizational life and to our work.
  • Experience with the courts and agencies in the Geneva service area, or capability to successfully build relationships with directly impacted community members, courts, and community agencies.
  • 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 Drive/GSuite, Word, and Excel; database programs a plus. 
  • Fluency in Spanish is an advantage but is not required.
  • Lived experience with our client communities is an advantage but is not required.
  • Understanding of the principles of race equity analysis and the intersection of racism and poverty and their application to LawNY’s organizational life and to our work.
  • Passion for social justice and commitment to the mission of LawNY®

Salary: Salary is dependent on experience and based on a pay scale with annual increments. The entry level salary for a Staff Attorney is $50,000 increasing to $57,500 for a Staff Attorney with five years of experience. LawNY® provides an excellent health and benefit package as well as generous leave. This position is considered Exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act. 

To Apply: Applicants should submit 1) a letter of interest, 2) resume, 3) a brief writing sample, and 4) the name and contact information of three references to the attention of Matthew Davis, Managing Attorney of the Geneva office, by June 25, 2021 to ensure full consideration. Applications will be accepted beyond that date and until the position is filled. Please do not send applications directly to the Geneva Office. 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 proud to be an equal opportunity employer. LawNY® encourages applications from diverse candidates. 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.


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  • Location
    Geneva, New York
  • Employment Type
  • Minimum Experience
  • Compensation