DAP Staff Attorney

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




The Bath office of Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc.® (LawNY®) has an immediate opening for a full-time Staff Attorney in our Disability Advocacy Program (DAP). The staff attorney’s primary responsibility will be to represent claimants who have been denied Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and/or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. This work will include administrative appeals within the Social Security Administration’s appeals process, as well as litigation in federal court.  Our objective is to have the position filled by October 1, 2021.


Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc.® is a not-for-profit law firm which provides civil legal services to low-income clients in a fourteen-county area of western New York including the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier regions.  The Bath office directly serves residents of Allegany and Steuben Counties. The office provides legal advice and representation in the areas of housing, public benefits, family law, employment and consumer law. Program attorneys and paralegals work across areas of specialization to bring a holistic approach to addressing issues affecting our low-income clients and communities.


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. 

Core Duties:

  • Represent low-income, disabled clients at all levels of SSA’s administrative appeals process to include representation at field offices, at the Reconsideration appeal level, at Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearings, and at the Appeals Council, as well as in federal court on appeal to the U.S. District Court.
  • Maintain a full-time caseload, including representation of eligible DAP clients in the Social Security and federal court appeals processes.
  • Develop specialized knowledge of SSI and SSDI law, administrative law, and federal court practice, as it relates to claims for SSI/SSDI disability benefits.  
  • Collaborate with other LawNY® advocates, paralegals and support staff; human services providers; non-profit and community organizations; and client or other advocacy groups to address problems of the poor, including providing community legal education.
  • Coordinate with referral sources and assist with grant reporting requirements.
  • Supervise case work, legal research, and client communications assigned to support staff, paralegals, interns and volunteers.


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 must demonstrate a strong commitment to helping low-income and disadvantaged people, as well as a commitment to working with clients and staff in an equitable and inclusive manner.

Desired/Preferred Skills: 

  • Relevant legal experience working within SSA’s administrative appeals process and/or with clients seeking disability benefits.
  • Prior experience working with low-income and other oppressed communities and clients.
  • Lived experience with our client communities.
  • Excellent verbal communication skills and writing abilities.
  • Strong problem-solving abilities, time management, and organizational skills.
  • Commitment to timely meeting deadlines, strong attention to detail, and ability to manage multiple tasks.
  • Ability to empathize and sensitively respond to people in crisis situations.
  • Experience using Google Drive/GSuite, Microsoft Word and Excel, and online case management systems.
  • 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®.
  • Proficiency in Spanish is an advantage, but is not required

Salary: Salary is dependent on experience and based on a pay scale with annual increments.  Beginning salary for a Staff Attorney with no prior experience is $50,000 and increases to $57,500 for an attorney with five years’ experience as per the LawNY® salary scale.  LawNY® also provides an excellent benefits package including health, dental, vision, disability, and life insurance, generous leave provision, some paid holidays, retirement plan, and paid parental leave.

Procedure: Applicants should submit a letter of interest, resume, three (3) professional references, and a brief writing sample to Ellen Rita Heidrick, Managing Attorney, LawNY®’s Bath Office. All applications and supporting documents should be submitted through our online application portal. Please do not send applications directly to the Bath Office. All completed applications received by August 31, 2021 will receive full consideration.  Applications will be reviewed until the position is filled.

LawNY® is 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 (FLSA).

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