Staff Paralegal

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





The Ithaca office of Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc.® (LawNY®) has an immediate opening for one or two staff paralegals in our public benefits and/or housing units. Responsibilities include a broad range of intake, advocacy, and case management services related to securing and maintaining public benefits, including TANF, Safety Net, SNAP, Unemployment insurance, and Social Security/SSI benefits, as well as preserving and securing safe and affordable housing.  The paralegal’s duties will include initial client intake interviews, factual investigation of clients’ cases, legal research, and communication with clients and community agencies, including shelter providers and landlords. 


LawNY® is a not-for-profit law firm providing civil legal services to low-income clients in a fourteen-county region in the Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, and western New York State.  The Ithaca office serves two of these counties (Tompkins and Tioga) and provides representation primarily in the areas of housing, government benefits, family law, elder law, reentry and consumer law. Our Ithaca 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 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. 

Core Duties:

  • Initial client intake interviews and data entry for new clients in Tompkins and Tioga Counties.
  • Factual investigation of clients’ cases, legal research, drafting of legal documents, and communication with clients and community agencies, including shelter providers and landlords.
  • Advocacy for and direct representation of clients under the supervision of Staff Attorneys.
  • Collaboration with other human services providers, non-profit organizations and community, client or other advocacy groups to address problems of the poor, including providing community legal education.
  • Thorough and timely case and file management, including case closing and compliance. 


  • Bachelor's degree, Associate’s degree, and/or relevant work experience, is required.  
  • Applicants must have excellent interpersonal skills, and organization and writing skills. 
  • A commitment to helping poor and disadvantaged people overcome institutional barriers to legal access is desired. 

Desired Skills:

  • Prior legal experience with low-income and other oppressed communities and clients.
  • Attention to detail and keen organization skills.
  • Ability to work under deadline and manage multiple tasks.
  • Lived experience with our client communities highly desired.
  • Ability to empathize and sensitively respond to people in crisis situations.
  • Strong problem-solving abilities, time management, and organizational skills.
  • Excellent use of Google Drive/GSuite, Word, and Excel; database programs a plus.
  • Proficiency in Spanish is an advantage but is not required.
  • 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.
  • Passion for social justice and commitment to the mission of LawNY®.


Salary: Salary is dependent on experience. Beginning salary for a Staff Paralegal under LawNY’s current salary scale is $30,000 for a 35-hour work week; salary with 5 years of  relevant experience would be $35,000 as per the LawNY® salary scale. The initial salary will increase annually based upon LawNY®’s salary scale.  LawNY® also provides an excellent health insurance, disability and employee benefits package.


Procedure:  Applicants should submit a letter of interest, resume with three references and a writing sample to Gregg A. Thomas, Managing Attorney.  Please do not send applications directly to Ithaca office staff. All applications received by May 31, 2021 will receive full consideration.  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 non-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

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