Housing Attorney

· Ithaca, New York
Employment Type Full-Time
Compensation Dependent Upon Experience




The Ithaca office of Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc. ® (LawNY) has two immediate openings for Staff Attorneys. 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, including the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier regions. The Ithaca office primarily serves residents of Tompkins and Tioga Counties.

The Staff Attorney will provide direct legal representation primarily in landlord-tenant matters and related government benefit matters. We seek to enable those at-risk of homelessness to maintain their housing and prevent eviction through the provision of legal representation and advocacy. We provide representation to tenants in city, town and village courts throughout Tompkins and Tioga Counties. We also work with a diverse group of community stakeholders in our efforts to help tenants maintain their current housing or re-locate to secure and stable alternative housing.


Core responsibilities include: 

  • Assistance and legal advocacy related to helping low-income people maintain their housing, housing subsidies and income supports.
  • Providing representation in administrative hearing forums and the court system to challenge evictions, public housing and housing subsidy terminations, wrongful public benefit determinations and illegal housing practices.
  • Client interviews and investigation.
  • Represents clients zealously within the bounds of the Rules of Professional Conduct.
  • Data collection and file maintenance.
  • Outreach activities.
  • Relationship-building with court staff, community groups and other stakeholders.


The applicant must have the caring, patience, and emotional maturity to help low-income people overcome crisis situations. 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 may require some direct in-person contact with clients and in-person appearances in court or administrative agencies. 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.



  • Admission to the New York State Bar.  
  • A commitment to helping poor and disadvantaged people overcome institutional barriers to legal access.

Desired Skills:


  • Prior legal experience with low-income and other oppressed communities and clients.
  • Lived experience with our client communities is highly desired.
  • Strong problem-solving abilities, 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.
  • Proficiency in Spanish is an advantage but is not required.
  • Passion for social justice and commitment to the mission of LawNY.

Salary and Benefits: Salary is dependent on experience. The salary for a full time Staff Attorney with no prior experience is $58,000 and the salary for a Staff Attorney with five years of relevant experience is $65,500. The salary will increase annually based upon LawNY®’s salary scale.


LawNY® provides an excellent health insurance, disability and employee benefits package:


-94% employer paid health insurance (with significant HSA contributions to offset high deduction)    

-100% employer paid dental and disability insurance                                                         

-$50,000 automatic life insurance   


Leave:  We also provide a very generous leave package including, in the first year of employment, 4 weeks of vacation,12 sick days and 5 personal days. New parents receive 20 days of paid new parent leave.


HOW TO APPLY: To apply, submit your cover letter, resume, three references and a writing sample to the attention of Keith McCafferty, Managing Attorney through LawNY®’s BambooHR® platform. Please State clearly in your cover letter which position you are applying for. Applications will be reviewed until the position is filled.


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 Exempt pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act.

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  • Location
    Ithaca, New York
  • Employment Type
  • Compensation
    Dependent Upon Experience