Supervising Attorney

· Ithaca, New York
Employment Type Full-Time
Minimum Experience Mid-level
Compensation DOE





About Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc.®

Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc. (LawNY®) is a not-for-profit law firm providing civil legal services to low-income clients in a fourteen county area of western New York. 

LawNY® was created by a merger of three regional legal service programs in 2004. The programs had long standing close relationships to the communities they served, which are maintained by our local offices. Staff works out of seven local offices and across numerous regional projects based in Bath, Elmira Geneva, Ithaca, Jamestown, Olean and Rochester. Our advocates vigorously represent low income clients 

LawNY® has been providing high quality legal representation for 53 years. While our services are always expanding, our core priorities remain focused. Our 2020 cases were closed in the following practice areas: Housing (26.8%); Income Maintenance (26%); Family Law (22.4%); Health Law (13%); Miscellaneous Benefits (including wills, advanced care documents and filing waivers) (4.8%); Consumer Law (3.4%); Employment (2.6%); Individual Rights (0.8%); and Education (0.3%) In 2020, LawNY closed a total of 4,881 cases, benefiting 10,532 New Yorkers.

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 increasingly committed to creating a law firm where race equity, diversity and cultural competency are integral components of our work, from client advocacy to internal operations. We are actively seeking applicants whose work incorporates this perspective and whose lived and professional experience contributes to sustaining an environment that enables staff and clients to feel empowered, valued, respected, and safe.

About the Ithaca Office

The Ithaca office has been serving clients in Tompkins and Tioga Counties for over 40 years.  With a staff of 20+, the advocates in the Ithaca office serve individuals with substantive legal issues in the areas of housing, public benefits, unemployment, consumer debt, foreclosure, disability advocacy, elder law, re-entry, family law, and other civil legal areas that impact an individual’s income, health, and housing. 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.

Position Summary - Supervising Attorney

The Ithaca office of LawNY seeks to fill an immediate opening for a supervising attorney position in the areas of housing (landlord-tenant) and homelessness prevention.We encourage applicants with a wide range of substantive legal experience to apply. We expect those that fill this position to grow and adapt their practice to the needs of the community and the organization, and place an emphasis on supervision skills and the ability to practice in multiple forums. The applicant must have the caring, patience, and emotional maturity to help low-income people overcome crisis situations.

The Supervising Attorney provides leadership and supervision in comprehensive legal services to eligible clients in LawNY®  priority areas in accordance with LawNY® program guidelines. The ideal candidate should have a strong understanding of the intersection of these legal issues with racial justice. Supervisors play a critical role in realizing LawNY’s DEI vision. Every supervisor is expected to actively engage in learning and becoming increasingly skilled in supervision that supports diversity, equity, and inclusion.

This position reports to the Managing Attorney of the Ithaca office.

Responsibilities These are the most significant responsibilities and primary functions of the position.

  • Provides legal services to low income clients and client groups including advice, negotiation, litigation and administrative advocacy in accordance with LawNY® program priorities and case handling policies.
  • Supervises caseload of supervised personnel, ensuring that each employee handles an appropriate amount of work, and coordinates the periodic review of these cases. 
  • Reviews and approves supervisee timekeeping and data entry; maintains thorough and timely case and file management and ensures compliance by supervisees under the program rules specified by the Legal Services Corporation, other funders, and LawNY®’s internal policies.
  • Provides supervision that is responsive to each supervisee’s level of development, skill set, and learning style.
  • Works to be aware of and to mitigate the ways that power dynamics and implicit bias, including supervisor/supervisee, job title, race, gender, and other factors may affect their relationships with supervisees.
  • Collaborates with supervisees, other supervisors, managers, and directors to develop, implement, and maintain a diverse, equitable and inclusive work environment.
  • Collaborates with other human services providers, non-profit organizations and community groups as well as the courts, administrative tribunals and the private bar to address legal problems within our community.
  • Maintains 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. 
  • Incorporates principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion and engages in learning to become increasingly skilled in supervision that supports diversity, equity, and inclusion (e.g. building a relationship with supervisees based on mutual respect and trust, understanding communication and work styles, having difficult conversations, developing conflict resolution skills, addressing microaggressions and interrupting implicit bias). 

Qualifications These are the basic qualifications for the position. 

  • Admitted to practice and in good standing in New York State, eligible for admission without examination, or willing to take the next available Bar examination.
  • Three (3) or more years of previous experience at LawNY® or in legal services.
  • Demonstrated commitment of service to low-income people.
  • Demonstrated leadership in critical issues facing low-income people.
  • Commitment to engaging in learning and developing supervision skills that support diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Additional Traits and Skills 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 the qualities listed, the ideal candidate will have many of these qualities. LawNY® encourages each candidate to think about their own personal knowledge, skills, and experience, as well professional skills and experience, in relation to this list of traits and skills. 

  • Litigation and advocacy experience in state and/or federal court and/or administrative forums.
  • Experience Incorporating an anti-racist and anti-oppressive lens into legal practice.
  • An understanding of the concepts of institutional and structural racism and their impact on underserved and underrepresented communities
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills, including a commitment to providing trauma-informed services.
  • Experience and demonstrated skill in mentoring and training less-experienced attorneys, paralegals and/or other staff.
  • Supports and enhances a sense of belonging and success of staff from traditionally marginalized populations.
  • Demonstrated ability to cultivate and develop inclusive and equitable working relationships with staff, clients and community members.
  • Demonstrates an understanding of diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-oppression concepts and issues, especially as they apply to agency recruitment, hiring and retention
  • Ability to support and mentor staff in their pursuit of career advancement, training and professional development.
  • Humility in working with colleagues and clients across the spectrum of diversity, including race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, immigrant status, religious identity, physical and mental disabilities, and/or limited English proficiency.
  • Lived experience with our client communities.
  • True fluency in a language other than English that is spoken by our clients.
  • Ability to work under deadlines and manage multiple tasks.

Start Date & Application Timeframe

This position is available immediately.  You will receive a confirmation email when your application has been received on our HR platform here.


Salary is set on a standardized organizational salary scale based on years of job experience. Salary:  Salary is dependent on experience and based on a pay scale with annual increments. The salary for a Staff Attorney with five years of legal services experience is $71,000 per year.


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  
  • Remote Work Policy: New staff are able to work from home up to 3 days per week during their 6 month probationary period with manager approval. This increases to 5 days per week once successfully finished with probationary period with manager approval.
  • LawNY is committed to providing a work-life balance to their employees.  We encourage and support a 35 hour work week to ensure our employees have this balance.


Application Instructions 

To apply, submit your cover letter, resume, and three references through LawNY®’s BambooHR platform, here. Please include the [last name] [firstname] [position sought] in the name of your documents. You will receive a confirmation email when your application has been received by our HR platform.

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.

Questions? Contact Brenda Thompson, Human Resources Director at

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.

Thank You

Your application was submitted successfully.

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