LawNY® seeks to fill an opening for a Supervising Attorney to oversee a new Law Student Corps project in which law students will provide direct representation to tenants in housing cases, beginning in Rochester City Court, with the possibility of expansion across our 14-county service area as the program grows. This is a new project that seeks to expand LawNY’s capacity to provide tenant representation and to build a pipeline of dedicated advocates who are trained in public service law and knowledgeable about the challenges low-income individuals and families face in the legal system.
Students in the program will participate for at least one summer and one semester. Each student will be expected to provide complete representation to at least 15 households over this time, under the direct supervision of the Supervising Attorney. The first cycle of the program will begin in summer 2024, with placement of no more than six students. To allow time for the new Supervising Attorney to complete onboarding and project planning before students arrive in the summer, we need a start date no later than April 30, 2024.
The Supervising attorney will work with Rochester’s Tenant Defense Project, and the courts, to accept and assign cases to students for full-scope representation. We anticipate that the students will be present in court one to two days a week, and will have the option to work remotely for the remaining days. The supervising attorney will be located at LawNY’s Rochester office.
The Supervising attorney will be responsible for training law students and directly overseeing all aspects of their in-court representation, provision of legal advice and drafting and filing of pleadings under a practice order. While the Supervising Attorney will not usually have a regular individual caseload, the Supervising attorney will be responsible for providing representation when students are unavailable, and handling a limited case load if student participation is insufficient to meet program goals
The supervising attorney will be afforded significant discretion in developing the project, including establishing student schedules, organizing the workload, and providing feedback, and will work closely with the housing project managing attorney to create a sustainable model for law student training and development.
The supervising attorney must demonstrate an understanding of the teaching and mentoring process to build student confidence and competence. They must also show an understanding of the ethical rules governing student representation and of the requirements for earning academic credit for externship work.
The Supervising Attorney provides leadership and supervision in supplying comprehensive legal services to eligible clients and the ideal candidate should have a strong understanding of how civil legal issues affecting low-income communities intersect with social and economic justice. Supervisors play a critical role in realizing LawNY®’s vision of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Every supervisor is expected to actively engage in learning and becoming increasingly skilled in supervision that supports this vision.
QUALIFICATIONS 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 qualities listed, the ideal candidate will have many of these qualities. LawNY® encourages each candidate to think about their own personal knowledge, skills, and experience, as well as professional skills and experience in relation to this list.
- (Required) Admitted to practice and in good standing in New York State
- (Required) Three (3) or more years of experience providing legal services.
- (Required) Demonstrated skill in mentoring and training less-experienced staff in their pursuit of career advancement.
- Experience supervising staff legal work, including attorneys, paralegals, or law students, is strongly preferred.
- Ability to work under deadlines and manage multiple tasks.
- Demonstrated commitment of service to low-income people.
- Demonstrated leadership in critical issues facing low-income people.
- Commitment to engaging in learning and developing supervision skills that support diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Experience incorporating an anti-racist and anti-oppressive lens into legal practice.
- An understanding of the concepts of structural and institutional racism and their impact on underserved and underrepresented communities.
- Strong interpersonal and communication skills, including a commitment to providing trauma-informed services.
- Lived experience with our client communities.
- True fluency in a language other than English that is spoken by our clients.
RESPONSIBILITIES These are the most significant responsibilities and primary functions of the position.
- Provide training on housing law, including defenses and benefits available to prevent eviction.
- Assign cases to students, supervise workflow, case handling and completion.
- Provide direct supervision of all aspects of tenant representation by students in the Law Student Corps, including training, mentoring, revision and signing of all pleadings, and presence in court at all student appearances.
- Ensure that law students comply with the ethical requirements of practice under a practice order.
- Ensure that law students engage in full scope representation and litigation with a goal of preventing eviction, stabilizing housing and securing assistance with arrears.
- Coordinate with law schools in the placement of students and securing of practice orders.
- Provide direct representation as needed to meet program requirements.
- Engage in collaborations with other community agencies, organizations and bar associations, both locally and statewide, to spot common issues and patterns and discuss strategies for targeting systemic issues.
- Work to be aware of and to mitigate the ways that power dynamics and implicit bias, including job title, race, gender, and other factors may affect their relationships with supervisees, colleagues, and clients.
- Maintain a high level of professional competence through attendance at training sessions, seminars and conferences and individual efforts to keep abreast of current developments in housing law as well as issues affecting low-income people.
Salary is dependent on years of experience and based on a standardized pay scale with annual increments. The beginning salary for a Supervising Attorney with three years of experience is $68,000, and the salary for a Supervising Attorney with eight years of experience is $75,500. LawNY® staff may also qualify for public interest law school loan forgiveness programs.
LawNY® provides an excellent package of fringe benefits including 94% employer paid health insurance with significant HSA contributions, 100% employer paid dental and disability insurance, vision coverage, and $50,000 automatic life insurance as well as generous leave provisions including, in the first year of employment, 20 days of vacation plus 13.5 holidays and two floating holidays. Employees also receive 12 sick days and five personal days per year. New parents receive 20 days of paid new parent leave.
LawNY® is committed to providing a work-life balance to their employees. We encourage and support a 35 hour work week to ensure our employees have this balance. We also offer a remote work policy where new staff are able to work from home up to 3 days per week during their 6 month probationary period with manager approval, as their case load permits. This increases to 5 days per week once successfully finished with a probationary period with manager approval, as their case load permits.
START DATE AND APPLICATION PROCESS
Applications for this position will close February 9, 2024. Please apply before then for full consideration. You will receive a confirmation email when your application has been received on our HR platform. LawNY® will contact you to inform you whether you have been offered an interview.
This position starts as soon as possible after offers are made, with a target start date of April 2024. The job will remain posted until filled. If not filled by this date, applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.
To apply, submit your cover letter and resume through LawNY®’s BambooHR platform, found here and at www.lawny.org/Employment. When outlining work experience on a resume, candidates are requested to label each position as full-time or part-time and describe unpaid volunteer/internships as such.
To promote social justice and achieve our mission, LawNY® is committed to maintaining a diverse staff and creating an inclusive and respectful workplace.
In your cover letter, please discuss your approach to involving students in the practice of law and developing them into practitioners who will promote a diverse and equitable workplace while providing outstanding representation to underrepresented populations.
Questions or Accommodations? Contact Sandy Coyne at email@example.com
Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc. (LawNY®) is a not-for-profit law firm that provides free civil legal services to low-income clients in a 14 county area of Western New York, the Finger Lakes, and the Southern Tier. LawNY® has seven fully staffed field offices in Bath, Elmira, Geneva, Ithaca, Jamestown, Olean and Rochester, satellite offices in Lakeville and Lyons, and a business office in Rochester.
LawNY® has been providing high quality legal representation for 54 years, and today has over 180 employees, including attorneys, paralegals, and a legal support team who work closely across areas of specialization to bring a holistic approach to addressing legal issues affecting our clients and community.
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
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.
This position is considered Exempt pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act.