Housing Staff Attorney

· Bath, New York
Employment Type Full-Time

Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc.® (LawNY) is a not-for-profit law firm providing free legal services to eligible clients in civil cases through seven regional offices covering a 14-county area in Western New York.  LawNY was awarded eviction prevention grants by both the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, and is hiring three (3) new staff attorneys to provide eviction defense services in LawNY’s Bath office.


POSITION SUMMARY:


LawNY’s Bath office is located in the southern Finger Lakes region, and serves Steuben and Allegany Counties.  The staff attorneys will provide direct legal representation primarily in landlord-tenant matters to low-income clients from Steuben and Allegany Counties, as part of the newly expanded eviction prevention program. This expanded eviction prevention program aims, in part, to reach residents of typically underserved, rural communities, and enable those at-risk of homelessness to maintain their housing.


The Bath area offers reasonable housing costs and a high quality of life. The southern Finger Lakes region abounds with recreational and cultural activities.  LawNY staff are offered a hybrid workplace within a standard 35 hour work week, Monday through Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm. LawNY values and promotes a collaborative environment and a healthy work life balance. 


ABOUT LAWNY: 


LawNY receives funding from the Legal Services Corporation, New York State Office of Court Administration, Interest on Lawyer Accounts (IOLA) Fund of the State of New York, United Way, AmeriCorps, Equal Justice Works, Office of the NYS Attorney General, and numerous municipalities, foundations and donors. Our workforce includes approximately 180 attorneys, paralegals and support staff.

 

It is LawNY’s mission to increase access to justice through excellent legal representation, advocacy and service. LawNY’s vision is a society where access to justice is not determined by one’s social or economic status. LawNY seeks to address systemic inequalities and injustices and foster racial, social and economic justice.

 

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 and volunteers to bring their whole selves to work each day and pledge to celebrate every aspect of who they are.



RESPONSIBILITIES:

 

These are the most significant responsibilities and primary functions of the position:


  • 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.
  • Representing clients zealously within the bounds of the Rules of Professional Conduct.
  • Data collection and file maintenance in keeping with LawNY guidelines and grant requirements.
  • Outreach activities, including connecting with and providing client groups with relevant legal information and available resources including LawNY programs.
  • 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. 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, including direct in-person contact with clients and in-person appearances in court or administrative agencies multiple times a week.


REQUIREMENTS: 


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.


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 these, 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.


  • Understands the specific experiences of historically marginalized racial groups in the U.S., particularly Black, Indigenous and Latinx groups.
  • Embraces and actively promotes an inclusive and equitable work environment.
  • Able to serve as an advocate for individuals of all ethnicities, genders, ages and backgrounds.
  • Prior experience with low-income and other oppressed communities and clients.
  • 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.


COMPENSATION:

Salary is dependent on years of relevant experience and based on a pay scale with annual increments. The entry level annual salary for a newly admitted attorney with no practice experience is $51,820 and increases to $57,820 for an attorney with five years of experience.  

Benefits: 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  
  • Retirement plan                                                               

Leave:  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 paid floating holidays to be used throughout the year.  All employees also receive 13.5 paid holidays.  New parents receive 20 days of paid new parent leave. 

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

These positions are considered exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

TO APPLY: 

Applicants should submit a cover letter describing interest and qualifications, a resume, a brief writing sample, and three (3) professional references to the attention of Ellen Rita Heidrick, Managing Attorney at https://lawny.bamboohr.com/jobs/view.php?id=55. The position is available immediately. All completed applications will receive full consideration 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® 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 pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act.

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  • Location
    Bath, New York
  • Employment Type
    Full-Time