Receptionist/Administrative Assistant

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




The Ithaca Office of LawNY has an immediate opening for a receptionist/administrative assistant to serve in a variety of support roles in a busy legal aid office. The Ithaca Office staff currently includes 21 staff members who work together as a team to provide civil legal services to low-income clients in Tompkins and Tioga Counties. The primary areas of practice are housing and homelessness prevention (including landlord-tenant and foreclosure matters), public benefits (including public assistance, SNAP, SSI/Social Security and Unemployment Insurance), re-entry, and services for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, or Elder Abuse. The receptionist/administrative assistant is charged with being the first person a client or visitor comes in contact with, and gives the first impression of the office. Therefore, they should have an empathetic and friendly attitude toward the client, potential client, or visitor.

Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc. ® is a not-for-profit law firm providing civil legal services to low-income clients in a fourteen-county area of western New York including the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier regions.  The Ithaca office directly serves residents of Tompkins and Tioga Counties.

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:

  • Greets clients and visitors in person or by telephone in a welcoming and professional manner.
  • Performs client screening, screens and interviews applicants for assistance; enters information into the LawNY case management system according to intake manual protocol.
  • Possesses knowledge of the income guidelines and established legal priorities of the program.
  • Knows and informs applicants of the client complaint and appeal procedures within the program.
  • Opens, closes and maintains paper and electronic client files; performs data entry; prepares files and applications for in-office or telephone intake interviews;
  • Schedules appointments in conformity with office procedures.
  • Has a basic knowledge of other Social Services agencies in the community and provides information and referral services as appropriate.
  • Becomes familiar with and operates on day-to-day basic office equipment including computer, telephone, photocopier, postage meter, and other office equipment.
  • Assists as instructed by supervisor with the case management system, case filing system, office calendar, tickler system, incoming and outgoing mail, telephone messages, library, brief bank, maintenance and inventory of equipment, office supplies and other office systems.
  • Maintains close communications with office staff; assists with scheduling appointments and makes and receives telephone calls on a day-to-day basis.
  • Maintains confidentiality of matters concerning clients, both within and outside of the office.
  • Undertakes other responsibilities and duties as directed and required by the office manager.


Preferred Qualifications:  

  • Ability to speak and write well.
  • Ability to work well with people.
  • Ability to work independently.
  • Ability to exercise sound judgment and common sense in dealing with client and ethical problems.
  • Computer experience in Word, spreadsheets and computer networks.
  • Lived experience with our client communities highly desired.
  • Strong problem-solving abilities, time management, and organizational skills.
  • Ability to work under deadline 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.
  • 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 and based on a pay scale with annual increments.  Beginning salary for a Receptionist or Administrative Assistant under LawNY’s current salary scale is $27,300 for a 35-hour work week; salary with 5 years of  relevant experience would be $31,850 as per the LawNY® salary scale.  We also provide an excellent package of fringe benefits including health, disability, and life insurance as well as generous leave provisions.

Procedure:  Applicants should submit a letter of interest and resume with three references to Gregg A. Thomas, Managing Attorney of the Ithaca Office.  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 Exempt pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act.

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