Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc.® (LawNY®) is a not-for-profit law firm providing free civil legal services to low-income clients in a 14-county area of Western New York State, an area abounding with recreational and cultural activities. LawNY® staff members work out of seven local offices and across numerous regional projects based in Bath, Elmira Geneva, Ithaca, Jamestown, Olean and Rochester. Our local offices have long-standing close relationships to the communities they serve, and our advocates vigorously represent low-income clients. LawNY® has been providing high quality legal representation for 53 years. While our services are always expanding, our core priorities remain focused.
In 2020, LawNY® advocates closed 4,881 cases, benefiting 10,532 New Yorkers. Cases were closed in these practice areas: housing (26.8%); income maintenance (26%); family law (22.4%); health law (13%); miscellaneous benefits (including Wills, advanced care documents and filing waivers) (4.8%); consumer law (3.4%); employment (2.6%); individual rights (0.8%); and education (0.3%).
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 increasingly committed to creating a law firm where race equity, diversity and cultural competency are integral components of our work, from client advocacy to internal operations. We actively seek applicants whose work incorporates this perspective, and whose lived and professional experience contributes to sustaining an environment that enables staff and clients to feel empowered, valued, respected, and safe.
LawNY® is seeking two (2) law students for a new paid fellowship program that aims to attract qualified first-year law students from under-represented groups within the legal profession to work in paid fellowship positions at rural LawNY® offices. LawNY® strongly encourages applications from Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, women, LGBTQIA+ individuals, people with disabilities, and persons from other underrepresented groups whose background may contribute to working in and sustaining an environment that enables staff and clients to feel empowered, valued, respected and safe.
The Fellows will provide eviction defense assistance under the supervision of LawNY® attorneys during consecutive summers in 2023 and 2024. The Fellowship positions will be housed in the LawNY® office in Geneva, Olean, and/or Bath (the Fellow can indicate a preference of office location). A housing stipend may be available for summer fellowship participants. The Fellows will be expected to complete 300 hours of service during each summer.
Upon the successful completion of their fellowship, each Fellow will be given the opportunity to apply for a LawNY® staff attorney position. More information about LawNY® staff attorney positions can be found here: LawNY® Employment Opportunities.
These are the most significant responsibilities and primary functions of the position:
- Under supervision, provide direct legal representation primarily in landlord-tenant matters involving residents of underserved rural communities.
- Assist low-income people in maintaining their housing, housing subsidies, and income supports.
- Provide in-person and remote supervised representation in administrative hearing forums and the court system to challenge evictions, public housing, and housing subsidy terminations, wrongful public benefit determinations, and illegal housing practices.
- Conduct client interviews and investigation.
- Participate in outreach activities, including connecting with and providing client groups with legal information and resources.
- Fellowship applicants must be first-year law students.
- They must also be willing to apply to practice pursuant to a LawNY® practice order.
- The Fellowships are in-person positions, and successful candidates are expected to live and work in the LawNY® service area of the host office during the 2023 and 2024 summer terms.
These are the traits, attributes, attitudes, and skills that speak to the candidate’s ability to succeed in the position. While no one candidate will possess all of the requirements listed, the ideal candidate will have many of the following qualifications. LawNY® encourages each candidate to think about their own personal knowledge, skills, and experience, as well professional skills and experience, in relation to the list of qualifications.
- Interview/interpersonal skills
- Diversity Statement
- Connection to and/or interest in practicing in Western New York State after law school graduation
- Relevant professional, personal, and community-related experiences, and
- Commitment to the mission of LawNY®
Each Fellow will receive a $7500 living stipend during each summer. A housing stipend is also available if needed. Reimbursement will be provided for required work-related mileage and other expenses.
HOW TO APPLY:
Complete the online application found here: https://lawny.bamboohr.com/careers/120
In your application, please indicate your office location preference.
Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc.® (LawNY®) is an equal opportunity employer. LawNY® strongly encourages applications from Black, Indigenous and People of Color, women, LGBTQIA+ individuals, people with disabilities, and persons from other underrepresented groups whose background may contribute to working in and sustaining an environment that enables staff and clients to feel empowered, valued, respected, and safe. 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.