To start immediately, this position is an ideal opportunity for individuals interested in a career in law, public policy, or social work. The paralegal will primarily handle cases that fall within the scope of NYLAG's State-funded Disability Advocacy Project, part of the Public Benefits Unit. These are cases in which impoverished New Yorkers who receive public benefits have been inappropriately denied Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. The paralegal will handle their own case load, managing cases from intake through representation at an administrative hearing. The paralegal must be prepared to independently handle a high volume of cases and to interact with a diverse client population in a sensitive and professional manner. The paralegal will work closely with NYLAG's experienced attorneys and case handlers, and will receive both on-the-job and more formal training.
Duties and Responsibilities:
- Conduct intake interviews in English and Spanish of individuals denied SSI and SSDI benefits.
- Obtain and review medical records.
- Research federal regulations and medical journals.
- Draft pre-hearing briefs outlining medical history and legal argument.
- Represent clients at administrative law hearings.
- Advocate for clients with SSA hearings offices and field offices.
- 2 or 4 year college degree plus 1 year of relevant work experience; or 3-5 years of relevant work experience required.
- High Spanish proficiency (i.e. capable of conducting a client interview in the language)
- Excellent analytical skills so as to assess whether clients have a legal basis for appeal based on medical evidence.
- Strong writing skills and attention to detail.
- Excellent organizational skills.
- Ability to work independently and under pressure.
- Demonstrated commitment to public service.
- No medical background necessary.
- Experience with Social Security cases preferred.
To apply, please send both a resume and a cover letter, preferably in a single pdf. Incomplete applications will not be considered. We will ask for a writing sample and references prior to the interview. Language skills will be tested during the interview process.