ERAP Paralegal (Emergency Rental Assistance Program)

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

POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT (September 2021)

GENEVA, NEW YORK

FULL-TIME STAFF PARALEGAL


 

The Geneva office of Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc. ® (LawNY) has an immediate opening for a Staff Paralegal assisting clients and staff with the New York State Emergency Rental Assistance Program. 

 

 

About Legal Assistance of Western NY and the Geneva Office

 

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. The Geneva office serves residents of Livingston, Ontario, Seneca, Wayne, and Yates Counties. LawNY’s Geneva office has been serving clients in Western New York for over 40 years.  With a staff of more than 30, the advocates in the Geneva office 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 Geneva 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.

 

 

Position Summary - Emergency Rental Assistance Program Paralegal


The Geneva office of LawNY seeks to fill an immediate opening for a paralegal position in the areas of housing (landlord-tenant) and homelessness prevention. We encourage applicants with a wide range of substantive legal experience to apply. We expect those that fill this position to grow and adapt their practice to the needs of the community and the organization.

 

The applicant must have the caring, patience, and emotional maturity to help low-income people overcome crisis situations. The ideal candidate should have a strong understanding of the intersection of the legal issues within LawNY®  priority areas with racial justice.

 

This position reports to the Supervising Attorneys of the Geneva office.

 


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


  • Assists community members at risk of homelessness with applications to various local, state, and federal rent assistance programs, with an emphasis on applications to New York State’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP).
  • Conducts outreach to our client communities, and with institutional community partners to raise awareness of resources available to assist community members at risk of homelessness.
  • Provides legal services to low income clients and client groups including caseworker support, advice, negotiation, and litigation support in accordance with LawNY® program priorities and case handling policies.
  • Assists with the operation of LawNY’s housing hotline to provide anonymous legal information and resources to community members, and to screen callers against intake priorities to provide limited or full legal representation.
  • Collaborates with colleagues to develop, implement, and maintain a diverse, equitable and inclusive work environment.
  • Collaborates with other human services providers, non-profit organizations and community groups as well as the courts, administrative tribunals and the private bar to address legal problems within our community.
  • Maintains 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.


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.


  • Previous experience in legal services or the legal field.
  • Ability to think creatively, be strategic, and exercise good judgment.
  • Ability to work under deadlines and manage multiple tasks with a high attention to detail.
  • Exceptional written, oral, and interpersonal communication skills, including a commitment to providing trauma-informed services.
  • Dedication to serving all clients.
  • A deep understanding of and passion for housing, racial justice, and anti-poverty policy.
  • Understands the specific experiences of historically marginalized racial groups in the United States, particularly those of Black, Indigenous, and Latinx groups.
  • 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.

 

 

Additional Qualifications The following are skills a candidate may possess based on past experience in a similar role or through lived experience, but are not required to apply for the job.


  • Demonstrated leadership in critical issues facing low-income people.
  • Lived experience with our client communities.
  • Mission-aligned experience (work or lived) partnering with and advocating in low-wealth communities and communities of color
  • True fluency in a language other than English that is spoken by our clients.

 

 

Start Date & Application Timeframe

For full consideration please apply by Friday, September 17, 2021. 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 of Friday, October 1, 2021. If no qualified candidates are identified in this timeframe, applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.



Salary and Benefits

Salary is set on a standardized organizational salary scale based on years of job experience. The beginning salary for a Paralegal with one year of experience is $30,000; the beginning salary scale for a Paralegal with five years of legal services experience is $35,000.

 

LawNY provides an excellent package of fringe benefits including health, dental, vision, disability and life insurance as well as generous leave provisions.


Application Instructions

To apply, submit your cover letter, resume, and three references through LawNY’s BambooHR platform. Please include the [last name] [firstname] [position sought] in the name of your documents. You will receive a confirmation email when your application has been received by our HR platform.

 

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 include how you think your lived and/or professional experience or background has prepared you to contribute to a work environment with a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion.

 

For questions, or if you are unable to submit your application through BambooHR, please contact Brenda Thompson, Human Resources Administrator at bthompson@lawny.org.

 

 

Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc. ® (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 non-exempt pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act.


 

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  • Location
    Geneva, New York
  • Employment Type
    Full-Time
  • Minimum Experience
    Entry-level
  • Compensation
    Dependent on Experience