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Posted by: Barbara Fish - 11/27/2018
Job Expires: 1/25/2019
Staff Attorney

Volunteer Legal Service Project of Monroe County (VLSP) provides free legal help to low-income residents of Monroe County, New York who are facing non-criminal legal problems. VLSP's services are provided by 1,600 pro bono volunteers who donate their time and talent to ensure that low-income people have access to the justice system ​when faced with serious legal problems.  VLSP has a small 16-person staff of highly motivated, innovative, and committed attorneys and non-attorney advocates.

Summary Description:  The Staff Attorney will be primarily responsible for overseeing pro bono representation of client civil matters including housing (landlord/tenant and eviction matters in the City of Rochester as well as suburbs), bankruptcy and debt collection, elder law, and other consumer law matters.  The Staff Attorney will also have the opportunity to work on matters handled in other VLSP units, including family law, immigration, business start-ups, etc. This position reports to the Managing Attorney, and ultimately to the Executive Director.  

The Staff Attorney will be both sensitive to the needs of VLSP's low-income client population, and adept at training and supporting volunteer attorneys from the private bar.  The individual will be responsible for supervision of VLSP paralegals and interns working on client matters, as well as ensuring that funder requirements are met and program goals are accomplished in a timely manner.  The Staff Attorney will also be responsible for planning volunteer trainings and CLEs on relevant topics, and speaking at seminars and other events as needed.

This position requires maturity and judgment in dealing with volunteer attorneys from the private bar as well as community partners.    The individual must be a self-starter and should have excellent attention to detail including the ability to record information accurately, produce reports and evaluate information to determine compliance for agency programs and funders.  A sense of humor is appreciated, and must be willing to pitch in as needed -- VLSP has a small staff of professionals who work as a team to deliver high-quality legal representation to clients and a rewarding experience to volunteers.

Participation in community outreach events, including some evening legal clinics and tenant town court, is required.  Occasional (brief) travel for conferences may be required 1-3 times per year. Opportunities for personal professional development and growth, and to create new programs to meet gaps in legal services in our community.

Education/Experience: J.D. and admission to the NY Bar required.  Ideal candidate will have a minimum of 3 years practice experience in one or more of the following substantive law areas:  bankruptcy, landlord-tenant/housing, wills and end-of-life planning, and/or other consumer matters. Experience serving low-income or special populations preferred.  

Skills and/or Abilities: Must have strong attention to detail and accuracy. Excellent written and oral communication skills. Ability to document information accurately, prepare database reports and evaluate information to determine compliance with program standards. Ability to work under pressure and provide a high level of client care. Ability to work in a community setting when legal services are provided outside of the office. Must be able to adapt to changing priorities, job assignments and working conditions.

Physical Demands:  The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the basic functions of this job.  While performing the duties of this job, the employee is required to stand, walk, sit and talk and hear. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds.  Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision and distance vision. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act reasonable accommodations will be made for a person who is differently-abled to accomplish the job functions.

Work Environment: Normal office conditions. The purpose of a Legal Services pro bono office is to provide efficient and competent legal representation for poor people in civil cases. Each member of the staff is an integral part in the proper representation of a client. Therefore all staff members must be aware of the pressures faced by our clients and must assume the responsibility of dealing with the clients and visitors pleasantly and professionally.

Other Duties as Assigned: This job description is intended to describe the general nature of the position and typical duties and responsibilities.  It is not to be construed as an exhaustive list of duties performed. It in no way states or implies that these are the only duties to be performed by the employee occupying this position.  The employee is expected to perform other duties necessary for the effective operation of the agency.

VLSP is an equal opportunity employer. We have a very diverse staff and welcome candidates of color, ethnic minorities, people who are differently-abled, veterans and LGBTQ persons.

Salary commensurate with experience and abilities.   VLSP offers a full benefits package which includes health and dental care, short and long-term disability, paid family leave, life insurance, parking/transportation supplement, and generous paid time off.

To apply for this position, email a cover letter, resume and business references to Tina M. Foster, Executive Director, at Position open until filled. No telephone calls please.

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