Elder Justice Program Fellowships (3) - Rochester, Ithaca, & Olean

Elder Justice Program Fellowships (3)

Equal Justice Works Elder Justice Program

Based at Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc.®



Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc.® (LawNY®)  is hosting three two-year full-time Fellowships sponsored by Equal Justice Works to focus on assisting elderly victims of abuse, neglect, and exploitation. One Fellow will be housed at LawNY’s Rochester, NY office, one Fellow will be housed at LawNY’s Ithaca, NY office and the other Fellow will be housed at LawNY’s Olean, NY office. Pursuant to Equal Justice Works guidelines, the selected Fellows’ two year term of service is expected to start on or about July 1, 2020.


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 fourteen county area in Western New York. LawNY receives funding from the New York State Office of Court Administration, Legal Services Corporation, Interest on Lawyer Account (IOLA) Fund of the State of New York, AmeriCorps, Equal Justice Works and a number of other funders. Our workforce includes approximately 145 attorneys, paralegals and support staff.

The Elder Justice Program mobilizes 22 Fellows across the country to address the gap in civil legal services for victims of elder abuse and exploitation, with a special emphasis in serving rural communities. Fellows serve at legal services organizations for a two-year term, where they work with victims of elder abuse and exploitation to enforce their rights and address wide-ranging civil legal issues, such as financial exploitation, housing, protection orders, guardianship, and public benefits, and make referrals to other supportive services. Fellows are part of a nationwide cohort aimed at increasing coordinated, multidisciplinary responses to the victimization of older adults.

Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc.  has been competitively selected by Equal Justice Works as an implementing partner of Equal Justice Works’ Elder Justice Program (EJP). EJP is a national, professional fellowship program for attorneys designed to increase access to legal assistance for older victims of crime. This program is supported by an award from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime, Award Number 2019-V3-GXK033.


The Equal Justice Works Elder Justice Legal Fellow will:

  • Provide high quality legal services to older adults who have been victims of elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation. In most instances, this will involve conducting intake, assembling evidence, conducting interviews and researching the relevant law.

  • Build key stakeholder relationships and support multidisciplinary teams of social workers, medical professionals, and law enforcement. 

  • Provide know your rights sessions at senior centers, nursing homes, assisted living communities, and other community-based settings.

  • Recruit and train pro bono attorneys, through new and existing programs affiliated with the host sites.

  • Collect data on the nature of the abuse and the services provided, including the indicia of abuse, the legal issue for which the client is receiving services, and the identity of the alleged perpetrators of abuse.

  • Actively contribute to and participate in Elder Justice Program cohort activities

(resource exchanges; mandatory webinars and conference calls; and trainings including Equal Justice Works Leadership Development Training in Washington DC in Oct/Nov 2020 (a virtual event) and 2021 (in person).


The ideal candidate will have the following qualifications:

  • Admitted to practice in New York State

  • A demonstrated commitment to public interest work and strong desire to assist indigent clients

  • Strong writing, communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills

  • The ability to work collaboratively in a variety of contexts

  • Prior experience in managing independent projects or assignments

  • Law school clinic, externship, summer or other relevant practice experience 

  • A valid driver’s license

  • The ability to begin the fellowship on or about July 1, 2020 and to serve a two-year commitment..  

  • Prior experience regarding elder law issues a strong plus


Salary is commensurate with experience (LawNY’s starting salary for a newly admitted attorney with no relevant experience is $50,000). LawNY offers an excellent fringe benefits package including health insurance (medical, dental, vision, Rx), disability insurance, life insurance, a 403(b) plan, and generous vacation and sick leave. 

TO APPLY:  Please send a letter of interest, resume, law school transcript, a list of three (3) references with email addresses and telephone numbers, and a legal writing sample to Gregg A. Thomas, Managing Attorney, at lawnyapplications@lawny.org. Interested applicants should apply as soon as possible. The Fellowship start date will be on or about July 1, 2020.  Applications will be reviewed as they are submitted.

Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc.® is an equal opportunity employer, and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, age, disability or veteran status.


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