Serve New York AmeriCorps VISTA Veterans and Consumer Debt Partnership with LawHelpNY- Geneva


Serve New York AmeriCorps VISTA

Veterans and Consumer Debt Partnership with LawHelpNY


Program Start Date:

Members will attend a Pre-Service Orientation (July 31 – August 3, 2017) and start their term of service on or about August 4, 2017.

Project Description:

Legal Assistance of Western New York®’s (LawNY®) Geneva office seeks one AmeriCorps VISTA Member to assist with developing our Veterans and Consumer Debt Partnership with LawHelpNY.

LawNY® is a not-for-profit law firm which provides civil legal services to low-income clients in a fourteen-county region in western New York State. The Geneva office serves five of those fourteen counties (Livingston, Ontario, Seneca, Wayne and Yates) and provides representation primarily in the areas of housing, public benefits, family, education, consumer, health and elder law. LawNY® has six other offices located in Bath, Elmira, Ithaca, Jamestown, Olean and Rochester, New York.

LawNY® is partnering with Pro Bono Net (PBN) and the LawHelpNY program on this project. Pro Bono Net is a national nonprofit dedicated to increasing access to justice through innovative technology solutions, collaboration and network-building. PBN’s LawHelpNY program specifically serves low-income individuals in New York State by providing legal information and legal referral information to those who cannot afford an attorney.  In a novel collaboration, LawHelpNY and Legal Assistance of Western New York have collaborated to create an online Consumer Triage initiative to provide information and legal services to residents of Western New York, especially veterans, facing a range of issues regarding consumer debt.

The VISTA member will develop and implement an upstate outreach program for LawHelpNY and the online Consumer Triage initiative with a particular focus on organizations serving veterans and their families, to be done through both in-person and online promotion and training. The member will support the administration of a volunteer-driven live chat program, helping to recruit and train volunteers, and manage the remote volunteer program.  The VISTA member will also maintain and update content on LawHelpNY to help low income individuals resolve civil legal issues.

LawNY® is looking for a talented and dedicated AmeriCorps VISTA member to help develop the project into something that can meet the community’s needs now and for years to come. Candidates should have a bachelor’s degree, strong writing skills, strong verbal communication skills, and a high degree of comfort with technology. Prior experience working with veterans and/or low income/disadvantaged households is preferred.  The member should have a commitment to eliminating poverty and its effects in our communities and to high standards of professional performance. The member’s activities will include community outreach, developing relationships with community-based organizations, strategic use of social media, providing administrative support to a substantial online volunteer program, and helping maintain quality content on the LawHelpNY website.

Serve New York and LawNY® present an opportunity to be part of a great AmeriCorps VISTA team, excellent training and mentoring, and a chance to make a critical difference in the lives of low income people and their communities. The VISTA member will team with dedicated professionals, including other AmeriCorps members, in an established poverty law program.


Benefits of AmeriCorps VISTA Service:

  • $17,170 annual stipend, paid as follows:
  • $11,676 annual stipend ($486.50 bi-weekly) from AmeriCorps Serve New York VISTA Program
  • $5,494 housing allowance ($457.83 per month) paid by LawNY®
  • Option of a $5,775 education award or a $1,500 cash stipend presented at the end of a year of service
  • Deferment of qualified federal and some private student loans
  • Year long position with possibility of 2nd year
  • Post-service federal employment incentives and opportunities
  • Health care, child care, life insurance available
  • Intensive trainings and member support


Member Qualifications:

  • Requires full-time service (applicant can have part-time outside employment)
  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • This position requires strong computer skills, including fluency in using the Internet and Microsoft Office Suite, and a high degree of comfort with learning new tools such as website content management systems, Google Apps for Nonprofits, and online chat tools.
  • The candidate must be comfortable with social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
  • The candidate must be comfortable with online research to identify new tools and resources in the area of access to justice.
  • The candidate must be comfortable with public speaking and teaching other professionals and community members about online resources available for low-income individuals, especially veterans, who are facing legal issues.
  • The candidate must have strong verbal and written communication skills, and be able to write about complex matters in a straightforward and accessible way.
  • The candidate must be self-initiated, well-organized, and attentive to detail.
  • The candidate would ideally have a driver’s license and access to a car


Application Procedure:

Applicants should email a letter of interest, a resume, and the names of three references to Kate Woods, Managing Attorney of LawNY®’s Geneva office, at the following email address: lawnyapplications"at"lawny"dot"org. Applicants will also need to submit an application to the general program posting at

More information about AmeriCorps and the Serve New York VISTA Program is available at All applications will be considered until the position is filled.

Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc.® is an equal opportunity employer. Minorities, women and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

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