Managing Attorney: Civil Rights
Employment Status: Full-Time FLSA Status: Exempt
Practice Group: Civil Rights
I. ORGANIZATION INFORMATION
Empire Justice Center, a highly respected, statewide legal services organization, is seeking a Managing Attorney to join our firm. This is an opportunity to join one of the most effective organizations serving low-income individuals and families in New York State. Empire Justice Center attracts and employs dedicated, determined, and passionate advocates who, together, make a significant impact on the lives of low-income New Yorkers. We achieve our successes through direct legal representation and high-impact litigation, legislative and administrative advocacy, and by providing training and technical assistance to other advocates who are working towards the same goals. With offices in Rochester, Albany, Westchester County, and Long Island, our organization offers staff an exciting and dynamic working environment and a strong commitment to teamwork, diversity, and personal/professional development.
II. POSITION SUMMARY
The Empire Justice Center is pleased to announce an opening for a full-time Managing Attorney for our Civil Rights Practice Group. The Managing Attorney’s role is to oversee all work in the Civil Rights Practice Group and to ensure effective implementation of the 360-degree approach, working with Practice Group staff and Leadership Team members. They will supervise the staff within the practice group and maintain a client caseload and/or other deliverables. They are responsible for overseeing all work, including the legal work of the practice group. This encompasses staffing patterns, financial and other resources, grant deliverables, and long-term planning.
The Managing Attorney will communicate both the broader needs of Empire Justice Center to the Civil Rights Practice Group as well as the needs of the practice group to Empire Justice Leadership and the broader organization. The Managing Attorney also takes the lead in implementing Empire Justice Center’s 360-degree approach within the practice group, by identifying emerging issues and opportunities derived from direct services work with client communities and developing effective strategies to effect systems change using the practice, teach, change model.
The Managing Attorney also plays an external role by identifying and forming relationships with external organizations and agencies that enhance and uplift the practice group’s work and ensuring members of the Practice Group do the same.
III. ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
• Ensure adequate quality control of all deliverables.
• Staff, coordinate, and supervise legal clinics and training as appropriate.
• Oversee case referrals and provide support to volunteer attorneys and law students.
• Manage and supervise staff and ensure compliance with program policies and grant requirements.
• Support practice group efforts around staff recruitment and retention and promote professional development opportunities.
• Independently managing and supervising attorneys handling a broad array of civil rights cases from inception through final disposition.
• Collaborate extensively with stakeholders including local, state, and national advocates, government agencies, and industry leaders.
• Supervises attorneys and staff working on current practice group focus areas: language justice, police reform, LGBTQ+ rights, and discrimination in schools.
• Work collaboratively with other Empire Justice Center substantive Practice Groups, as well as other legal services providers, community groups, and government officials.
• Maintain regular communication with the advocacy and operations directors, including consultation on personnel, financial, administrative, and advocacy-related matters.
• Proactively participate and encourage others to participate in the state or local bar association and in other Empire Justice-related associations or organizational boards that collaborate with the organization.
• Provide leadership, mentoring, co-counseling, lead counseling, technical assistance, and expertise, including support for impact advocacy efforts to attorneys, paralegals, and all other staff in the Practice Group.
• A part of the attorney’s work also includes advocacy through local and state-level policy initiatives, and collaboration with community organizations supporting the low-income and marginalized communities we serve.
• Develop and implement the vision and goals of a legal practice area within the practice group using the 360-degree model which includes– direct services, training and technical assistance, impact litigation, and policy advocacy.
• Maintain and develop relationships and collaborative efforts with current funders, community leaders, not-for-profit agencies, grassroots organizations, other public interest offices, and governmental and elected officials as appropriate.
• Establish and implement Practice Group procedures for supervision, intake, workload, case distribution, meeting deliverables, communication, and collaboration with other teams, including Leadership, Marketing, and other operations.
• Managing the practice group’s school discrimination helpline, including taking calls to provide advice and counsel, supervising attorneys and paralegals providing advice and counsel, reviewing facts to bring potential cases before the New York State Division of Human Rights.
IV. MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS (Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities)
• Demonstrated leadership.
• Excellent writing, research, and communication skills.
• Unafraid to learn and practice new and changing areas of law.
• 7+ years of relevant legal experience, including litigation experience.
• Ability to balance client advocacy and management responsibilities.
• Experience representing clients in state court, federal court, or administrative agency proceedings.
• A fearless desire to work on challenging civil rights matters in representing low-income families and individuals.
• Proven interest in and commitment to advocacy for the legal rights of low-income and/or other vulnerable populations.
• Demonstrated understanding of the importance of DEIA within the Practice Group, at Empire Justice Center, and in client work.
• Self-starter, able to work independently, and entrepreneurial; enjoys creating and implementing new initiatives, highly organized.
• Admission to the New York State Bar passed the NY bar and awaiting admission, or out-of-state admission with eligibility for pro hac vice status (with the expectation of New York admission within two years).
V. PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS
• Supervisory experience.
• Experience in civil rights law.
• Bilingual (English & Spanish or English & ASL).
• Experience working with low-income families and communities.
• Experience in outreach, community education, organizing, or coalition-building.
Salary is dependent on years of experience and based on the organizational pay scale. The beginning salary for this position, with a minimum of 7 years of experience, is $68,000 and the salary for this position, with 21 years of experience, is $99,080.
We are an organization that supports and encourages a work/life balance. Empire Justice Center offers a generous benefit package including:
❖ Health insurance (employer contribution toward health insurance premiums up to 100%)
❖ Generous vacation, sick, personal and, holiday time.
❖ Bilingual compensation for qualifying employees.
❖ 403(b) eligibility with 1% employer match.
❖ Loan Repayment Assistance Program.
❖ Dental Insurance (employee paid).
❖ Vision Insurance (employee paid).
❖ Generous Bereavement leave.
❖ 35-hour full-time work week.
❖ FSA Eligibility.
Empire Justice Center is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and desires a diverse and inclusive workforce. Empire Justice Center provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age (40 or older), sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local laws.
TO APPLY: Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. If interested e-mail a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and contact information for three professional references aware of this application to email@example.com.
Please include Managing Attorney: Civil Rights, First/Last Name in the subject line of the email. No phone calls or hard copies please.