Staff Paralegal (Ithaca)

POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT (January 2022)

ITHACA, NEW YORK

FULL-TIME STAFF PARALEGAL

The Ithaca office of Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc. ® (LawNY) has an immediate opening for a Staff Paralegal. 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 Ithaca office primarily serves residents of Tompkins and Tioga Counties.

The Staff Paralegal will provide support to clients and attorneys, primarily in landlord-tenant and related government benefit matters. We seek to enable those at-risk of homelessness to maintain their housing and prevent eviction through the provision of legal representation and advocacy. We provide representation to tenants in city, town and village courts throughout Tompkins and Tioga Counties. We also work with a diverse group of community stakeholders in our efforts to help tenants maintain their current housing or re-locate to secure and stable alternative housing. 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 Responsibilities include:

  • Client screening and intake, 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.

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

The applicant must be detail-oriented and have the ability to work in a fast-paced environment. The applicant must 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 may require some direct in-person contact with clients and in-person appearances in court or administrative agencies. 

 

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 $36,820. 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 Keith McCafferty, Managing Attorney. 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 pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act.

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