Housing Attorney

· Geneva, New York
Employment Type Full-Time
Compensation DOE

POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT (January 2022)

GENEVA, NEW YORK

FULL-TIME STAFF ATTORNEY

 

The Geneva office of Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc.® (LawNY®) has two immediate openings for a Staff Attorney. The Staff Attorney will represent low-income individuals with the majority of the Staff Attorney’s time dedicated to housing matters. The Staff attorney may represent clients in matters related to state and federal anti-discrimination laws. The Staff Attorney may 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, located in the heart of the renowned Finger Lakes area of New York, directly serves residents of Livingston, Ontario, Seneca, Wayne, and Yates counties. The area, recognized for its wine and spectacular scenery, abounds with recreational and cultural activities.  Coupled with very reasonable housing costs, the area offers a high-quality lifestyle.  LawNY values and promotes a collaborative environment and a healthy work life balance.  Staff are offered a hybrid workplace and flexible schedules are possible.

 

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 strive to transcend the construct of race and be an anti-racist law firm. Staff are encouraged to bring their whole selves to work each day and to celebrate every aspect of who they are.

 

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:

  • Maintain a full-time caseload representing eligible clients facing housing related legal issues in our service areas.
  • Develop experience in landlord/tenant matters, fair housing, federal and state housing programs, code enforcement, mobile homes, redevelopment and land use, homelessness support, consumer issues, and the intersection of all these issues with racial justice.
  • Advocate in a variety of legal settings, including but not limited to litigating in various levels of New York State and federal courts, appellate practice, bankruptcy practice, mediations and negotiations, transactional work and administrative law hearings.
  • 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.
  • Collaborate with colleagues to develop, implement, and maintain a diverse, equitable and inclusive work environment.
  • Maintain 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.
  • Participate in and contribute to regular fair housing and housing workgroup meetings.

 

Requirements:

  • 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:

  • Experience with the courts and agencies in our service area, or capability to successfully build relationships with directly impacted community members, courts, and community agencies.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills for a wide variety of audiences, including a commitment to providing trauma-informed services.
  • Demonstrated ability to cultivate and develop inclusive and equitable working relationships with staff, clients and community members.
  • 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 Workspace, Word, and Excel; database programs a plus.
  • Fluency in Spanish or another language spoken by our clients is an advantage but is not required.
  • Lived experience with our client communities 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 and based on a pay scale with annual increments.  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

We also provide a very generous leave package including, in the first year of employment, four weeks of vacation, 12 sick days, 5 personal days, and 2 floating holidays. New parents recieve 20 day of paid new parent leave provided by LawNY.

 

LawNY is a qualifying public service loan forgiveness employer and a participant in the LSC loan repayment assistance program.

 

This position is considered exempt pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act.


To Apply: To apply, submit your cover letter, resume, writing sample, and three references through LawNY’s BambooHR platform by February 7, 2022, to ensure full consideration. Applications will be accepted beyond that date until the position is filled. 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 an equal opportunity employer, 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. In reviewing applications, we look for applicants who have experience and/or thoughtfulness in working with traditionally marginalized populations.

This position is considered exempt pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act.

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  • Location
    Geneva, New York
  • Employment Type
    Full-Time
  • Compensation
    DOE