Legal Services Paralegal- Ithaca

LawNY – Ithaca Job Announcement



The Ithaca office of Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc.® (LawNY®) has an immediate opening for a Staff Paralegal in our Housing and Benefits unit with primary responsibility for operating our Early Intervention Homelessness Prevention Project. Responsibilities include a broad range of outreach, intake, advocacy, and case management services related to preserving and securing safe and affordable housing, including homelessness prevention and housing advocacy for clients in Tompkins County.  The Paralegal’s duties will include outreach to clients and community agencies, initial client intake interviews, factual investigation of clients’ cases, legal research, and communication with clients and community agencies, including shelter providers and landlords.  

This is labeled a Paralegal position because our primary purpose is to provide legal advocacy, but this position requires social work skills more than legal research and writing. An applicant with background experience (or a Bachelor’s degree) in social work or social service would be welcomed and would work closely with Staff Attorneys and Paralegals in our Housing and Benefits unit.

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:

  • Develop and implement an early intervention and case management project to supplement our existing court-oriented eviction defense and housing advocacy services.

  • Outreach to clients and community agencies, initial client intake interviews, factual investigation of clients’ cases, legal research, and communication with clients and community agencies, including shelter providers and landlords.

  • Substantial collaboration with the partner agencies

  • 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. 

  • Case management services using a strengths based approach and experience with the use of trauma informed care practices is highly preferred.  

  • 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. The salary for a Paralegal who is credited with five years of experience is $35,000. The initial salary will increase annually based upon LawNY®’s salary scale.  LawNY® 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. All applications and inquiries should be sent by email to only. Please do not send applications directly to Ithaca office staff. All applications received by August 31, 2020 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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