The Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo, Inc.
Staff Attorney - Appeals and Post-Conviction Unit
The Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo seeks to provide access to justice and due process to the most vulnerable individuals in the Western New York community through quality legal representation and assistance.
Definition: Under general direction, performs a variety of appellate activities in criminal appeals on behalf of indigent appellants, as assigned by the courts, convicted in various counties in Western New York. When necessary, may be called upon to also respond to People’s appeals or perfect appeals on behalf of parents seeking to appeal decisions of the Family Court; performs related duties as required.
Distinguishing Characteristics: Staff attorneys are responsible for handling every aspect of the appeals that are assigned to them, upon receipt of the file through the outcome of the case in the appellate court, and, as necessary, the outcome of any leave application filed with the Court of Appeals (the state's highest court). In the event that an application for leave is granted by the Court of Appeals, handling the appeal in the Court of Appeals. Staff Attorneys also investigate cases for potential post-conviction issues, and file such motions as are appropriate.
Examples of Duties:
1. Reads transcripts of case.
2. Takes notes from transcripts and prepares a transcript summary for use in drafting appeal.
3. Discerns legal issues from the transcript and/or client questionnaire and necessary researching of law.
4. Researches possible legal issues; chooses appropriate issues for brief and discards issues that are nonmeritorious or less than meritorious, keeping in mind the obligation to provide "meaningful representation" as that term has been defined by the Court of Appeals.
5. Drafts the necessary briefs, including but not limited to appellant's principal and reply briefs in criminal and Family Court appeals. Where the Bureau represents the defendant on a People’s appeal, drafts the responding brief.
6. Corresponds with the client, and where the client is incarcerated, either visits client at correctional facility or discusses case with client via confidential phone call with the facility. Out-of-custody consultation with some clients occurs as well.
7. Corresponds with the trial attorney, as necessary.
8. Where the Bureau represents the appellant, prepares stipulation to the record on appeal and submits to the relevant opposing parties; speaks with opposing counsel as necessary until an agreement on the contents of stipulation is reached.
9. Where the Bureau represents the appellant, gathers physical documents for appendix and submits to Appeals and Post-Conviction Unit investigator for numbering and copying.
10. Meets regularly with the Appeals and Post-Conviction Unit supervisor, in intervals determined by that supervisor, to discuss status of cases.
11. Keeps abreast of recent developments in criminal and Family law.
12. Disposes of a satisfactory number of cases per calendar year, the number to be determined by supervisor.
13. Performs other duties as assigned by Appeals and Post-Conviction Unit supervisor, including, but not limited to, participation in moot court sessions and arguing cases in court.
Employment Standards: Admitted to practice in New York State* and
1. Experience as an attorney in the practice of criminal or Family Court appeals preferred; or
2. A combination of training, education and experience that is equivalent to the above employment standard and that provides the required knowledge and abilities.
3. Computer proficiency, including, but not limited to, word processing skills and computerized legal research.
4. Reliable transportation and license to operate a motor vehicle in New York State.
Knowledge of: All statutory laws related to practicing criminal and Family law in New York State, including the Penal Law, Criminal Procedure Law, Corrections Law, and Judiciary Law and the Family Court Act; trial and appellate court procedures; legal research methods; rules of evidence; standard legal office practice and procedures; and ethical and professional rules of conduct.
Ability to: Effectively respond to or perfect appeals; work independently; perform legal research; analyze and apply legal principles, facts, evidence and precedents in legal problems; present statements of law, facts and arguments clearly, logically and forcefully; both in written and oral format; maintain confidentiality and objectivity; manage assigned caseload, including deadlines; operate personal computer and computer applications used by the units; establish and maintain effective working relationships with those encountered in the course of work; and interact well with the public.
This position is full-time.
Salary Range: $61,000 - $85,000, depending on experience.
Comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, and vision benefits is available to you and your dependents. In addition, we offer generous vacation, personal, and sick time. Other benefits available to you are long-term disability insurance, supplemental term life insurance, parking expense reimbursement plan, transit plan, a flexible spending account, and a 401(k) retirement plan.
Many of our attorneys apply for New York State Higher Education Services Corporation District Attorney and Indigent Legal Services Attorney Loan Forgiveness Program and the Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program
The Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo, Inc. values diversity and is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Minorities / Females / Disabled / Veterans / Sexual Orientation / Gender Identity
Please send your cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org or The Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo, Inc., Attention: Human Resources, 290 Main Street, Suite 400, Buffalo, NY 14202 by January 31, 2023.
Interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis.
* The Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo, Inc. will consider highly qualified 3L students and others pending NYS Bar admission.