Deputy Director of Litigation & Advocacy

· Multiple Offices, New York
Employment Type Full-Time
Minimum Experience Manager/Supervisor
Compensation Dependent Upon Experience



Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc.® (LawNY®) has an immediate opening for a deputy director of litigation and advocacy. 

LawNY® provides free civil legal help to individuals and families struggling with poverty in a nearly 10,000 square mile 14 county area with an urban center in Rochester and rural counties in western New York, the Finger Lakes and the Southern Tier. We provide services through seven staffed offices located in Bath, Elmira, Geneva, Ithaca, Jamestown, Olean and Rochester. Including AmeriCorps attorneys and paralegals, we presently have 173 staff members, including 81 attorneys.

In 2021, we closed nearly 5,400 cases, including 31% housing law, 25% family law, 20% government benefits, 5% consumer and 5% wills and estates and advance care directives.  We are also deliberately growing our practice in the areas of employment and education.

We have a revenue side budget of over $18.8 million, with approximately 90 contracts with various federal, state, county and city agencies, as well as area United Ways, foundations and private donations.

LawNY® is committed to equitable inclusion across race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, ability, sex, religion, economic circumstances, ethnicity, national origin and culture.


The director of litigation and advocacy will provide information, technical assistance, co-advocacy, supervision, training and strategic support to staff on litigation, systemic advocacy, permissible legislative advocacy, outreach and engagement with the community, media advocacy and emerging legal advocacy approaches. Specific responsibilities will include:


  • Leading and planning an articulated strategic advocacy vision and promoting systems for identifying and carrying out high quality impact litigation and policy advocacy, with a focus on LawNY®’s priority areas;
  • Acting as a catalyst for the identification of systemic issues that affect LawNY®’s clients, and generating critical thinking among staff in pursuit of LawNY®’s mission;
  • Mentoring attorneys at all levels, teaching litigation strategies and developing the litigation skills of the program’s attorneys;
  • Modeling effective advocacy and emerging legal advocacy approaches in federal and state courts, administrative proceedings, legislative and other policy forums and the community;
  • Co-counseling, coordinating, supporting and participating in major or complex litigation;
  • Working with LawNY® managers and supervisors to develop, evaluate and monitor caseloads and legal work of all program attorneys and paralegals;
  • Assisting staff to remain current on procedural and substantive law as well as policy and research issues regarding LawNY®’s priority areas and broader issues affecting the client community;
  • Identifying and facilitating connections across LawNY®’s offices, units and substantive practice areas;
  • Acting as a resource to LawNY® staff on the New York Rules of Professional Conduct;
  • Ensuring that all LawNY® offices maintain strong working relationships with community organizations, local bar associations, the courts, social service agencies, funding sources, public officials, the media and other individuals or groups related to the provision of legal services to vulnerable communities;
  • Working closely with senior management and other staff involved in development to shape funding requests which align with LawNY®’s mission and board established priorities;
  • Supporting implementation of best practices to help ensure knowledge sharing across offices and practice areas; and
  • Promoting diversity and inclusion program wide and in community partnerships, outreach and client interaction, in partnership with LawNY®’s diversity, equity and inclusion managers.


  • At least five years of relevant litigation experience, including federal and complex civil litigation;
  • Management, supervisory and/or leadership experience in a non-profit legal program or equivalent experience demonstrating outstanding skills in these areas;
  • Licensed to practice law in the State of New York or eligible for admission to the New York Bar at the time of hiring (must be admitted within one year of hire);
  • Ability to inspire and motivate staff through a vision of client and community centered services;
  • Demonstrated commitment to principles of diversity and inclusion;
  • Capacity to lead a team of highly talented and motivated professionals committed to a culture of collegiality, mutual respect and high quality advocacy;
  • Willingness to travel to provide on-site support to staff in multiple offices; and
  • An appreciation for the big picture balanced with sharp attention to detail.

The deputy director of litigation and advocacy reports to the executive director and works in partnership with the management team which includes other deputy directors, managing attorneys, diversity, equity and inclusion managers, the chief finance officer, the director of technology and the director of pro bono affairs. The deputy director of litigation and advocacy directly supervises the managing attorney of the eviction prevention program, the director of pro bono affairs, four program wide litigation support attorneys and leadership of the program wide consumer law unit.


Salary and Benefits:

Salary is dependent on experience and will increase annually based upon LawNY®’s salary scale, budget permitting. The starting salary range is $68,820 with five years of experience, the minimum experience level for this position.

We provide a superlative package of fringe benefits including:

  • in 2022, 94% employer paid health insurance (with significant HSA contributions to offset high deduction plans);

  • 100% employer paid dental and disability insurance; and

  • $50,000 automatic life insurance.

We also provide a very generous leave package including, in the first year of employment, 20 days of vacation plus 13.5 holidays and two floating holidays.  Employees also receive 12 sick days and five personal days per year.  New parents receive 20 days of paid new parent leave.

LawNY® staff may qualify for public interest law school loan forgiveness programs.


The position can be based in any LawNY® office.  The federal court in which LawNY® presently engages in our most significant litigation is located in Rochester.

Application Process:

To apply, submit your cover letter, resume, and three references through LawNY®’s BambooHR platform here:, by March 31, 2022.


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 explain 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.


Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc. (LawNY) is an equal opportunity employer. LawNY® strongly encourages applications from Black, Indigenous and People of Color, women, LGBTQIA+ individuals, people with disabilities and persons from other underrepresented groups whose background may contribute to working in and sustaining an environment that enables staff and clients to feel empowered, valued, respected and safe. 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 under the Fair Labor Standards Act.



Thank You

Your application was submitted successfully.

  • Location
    Multiple Offices, New York
  • Employment Type
  • Minimum Experience
  • Compensation
    Dependent Upon Experience