Staff Paralegal- Jamestown, Elmira, or Ithaca

POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT (September 2020)

FULL-TIME PARALEGAL PRO BONO COORDINATOR 

COVID-19 Tenant Legal Assistance Initiative

 

Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc. ® (LawNY) has an immediate opening for a Paralegal Pro Bono Coordinator. LawNY is a not-for-profit law firm providing civil legal services to low-income clients in a 14-county area of western New York, including the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier regions. 

 

The Paralegal Pro Bono Coordinator position will be funded by a grant from the New York State Office of the Attorney General’s COVID-19 Tenant Legal Assistance Initiative fund, and will handle the project’s logistics over the 13 rural counties in our service area, including client intake and placement of cases with pro bono volunteers. The paralegal will also provide support to clients, volunteers, pro bono attorneys and the project’s staff attorney, primarily in landlord-tenant matters, and with grant administration. The paralegal will be part of the Regional Pro Bono Team and report to the Director of Pro Bono Affairs. The focus of the project is to assist tenants facing eviction. This position can be located in LawNY’s Jamestown, Elmira, or Ithaca office, although due to COVID-19 restrictions, it is currently remote.

 

Core Responsibilities include:

  • Court scheduling/calendaring.

  • Client screening and intake on-site in City, County and Justice Courts, including obtaining documentation and determining eligibility for services.

  • Client interviews and investigation.

  • Assisting attorneys in the preparation of cases, including conducting legal research and preparing drafts of legal documents and memorandum, as permitted by law and ethical considerations.

  • Data collection, data entry and file maintenance.

  • Outreach activities including developing programmatic promotional materials, tenant education programs and resources related to COVID-19 protections to the general public.

  • Relationship-building with court staff, community groups and other stakeholders.

  • Recruiting and coordinating pro bono attorneys and other volunteers to connect with tenants needing legal assistance.

  • Surveying current in-court tenant programs and identifying possible needs for expansion using pro bono assistance.

 

The applicant must be detail-oriented and have the ability to work in a fast paced court based environment. The applicant must also have the caring, patience, and emotional maturity to help low-income people overcome crisis situations. Due to COVID-19, LawNY staff are working remotely all or part of the week. LawNY maintains an extensive safe operations plan and seeks to ensure the safety of both our staff and our clients. All staff are still required to fulfill their professional obligations, which will require direct in-person contact with clients and in-person appearances in court or administrative agencies as needed to perform the functions of their role.

 

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.

 

Requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree, Associate’s degree, and/or relevant work experience is required.

  • Applicants must be organized and have excellent interpersonal and writing skills.

  • Applicants must have a demonstrated commitment to helping poor and disadvantaged people overcome institutional barriers to legal access.

 

Desired Skills:

  • Prior experience with low-income and other oppressed communities and clients.

  • 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.

  • Experience with the use of trauma informed care practices is highly preferred.

  • Excellent use of Google Drive/GSuite, Word, and Excel; database programs a plus.

  • Proficiency in Spanish is an advantage but is not required.

  • 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. 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, three references and a writing sample to the attention of Kelly McGovern, Esq., Director of Pro Bono Affairs. All applications and inquiries should be sent by email to lawnyapplications@lawny.org only. All applications received by October 2, 2020 will receive full consideration. Applications received after that date 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 pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act.

 

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