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Posted by: Nikki Smith - 6/8/2022
Job Expires: 7/7/2022
Staff Attorny - Juvenile Justice

The Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo, Inc.

Staff Attorney – Attorneys for Children Unit


The Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo is seeking a Staff Attorney to represent children and youth in its juvenile defense practice within the Attorneys for Children (AFC) Unit.


The Attorneys for Children Unit operates both a juvenile defense and child welfare practice, representing children and youth in juvenile justice, child welfare and related proceedings in Erie County Family Court. Staff Attorneys within the juvenile defense practice predominantly represent children in juvenile delinquency and persons in need of supervision proceedings, as well as other related proceedings within the Family Court (or, as directed, in other judicial or administrative tribunals).


Examples of Duties include:  


  1. Provide children and youth with effective representation and advocacy in all Family Court or related proceedings, including arraignments, motion practice, hearings, trials, post-dispositional proceedings, permanency hearings and court reviews.
  2. Represent children and youth who are the subject of juvenile justice matters (JDs and PINS) in “cross-over” matters in Family Court, including neglect and abuse, termination of parental rights, custody and access, family offense and other related proceedings.  
  3. Interview clients on a routine basis in a variety of settings, such as our offices, court, private and foster homes, schools, juvenile detention facilities or residential placements or through remote means.
  4. Using a client-directed model of representation, advise, counsel and inform clients regarding legal matters in Family Court and related matters affecting their life needs and outcomes.
  5. Collaborate with AFC Unit Social Workers, Child Advocates, Legal Assistants, Investigators and our Education Advocacy Team to effectively represent clients and address their life needs.
  6. Collaborate with assigned counsel attorneys who represent AFC clients charged as adolescent offenders in Youth Part and coordinate representation efforts, as appropriate.
  7. Interview and/or gather information and records from collateral sources, such as probation personnel, juvenile justice counselors, caseworkers, schools/educators, medical and mental health providers, and parents/caretakers, as appropriate.
  8. Provide client representation using trauma-informed principles and strategies and in keeping with current science on infant, child and adolescent brain development. 
  9. Prepare legal papers, including petitions, discovery demands and documents, motions, memoranda of law, briefs, orders and judgments, and notices of appeal.
  10. Participate in negotiations, settlement conferences, mediations and other conflict resolution processes, as appropriate.
  11. Draft necessary correspondence, file reports and file updates, and maintain detailed and accurate case file records.
  12. Preserve and identify legal issues for appeals, participate in drafting appellate briefs and appear on behalf of clients for appellate oral arguments.
  13. Collaborate and consult with fellow staff attorneys to ensure coverage of client matters and to promote high quality representation for all AFC Unit clients. Consult with supervising attorneys regarding substantive and strategic planning in client representation, as needed.
  14. Attend formal and informal meetings held by community-based service providers, schools or facilities, as needed or appropriate.
  15. Understand and identify community resources that service clients and their families.
  16. Research, interpret and apply the law in individual matters. Remain current regarding child welfare and juvenile justice laws and regulations and case law. 
  17. Respond promptly and professionally to telephone calls, emails and other communications.
  18. Participate in local and State committees, initiatives and/or trainings to address the needs of the client population.
  19. Attend continuing legal education programs as directed by supervising attorneys and maintain required CLE credits on a biannual basis.


Employment Standards: Active membership in the State Bar of New York*; and,


            1.  Experience as an attorney in a juvenile defense practice 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. Strong interpersonal and collaborative skills, and


            4. Computer proficiency, including, but not limited to, word processing skills and computerized legal research.


Additional Requirements:Possession of a valid New York State Driver's License and access to a registered, insured vehicle available for use during working hours.


Knowledge of: Federal and state laws and regulations related to juvenile justice and child welfare practice; trial and court procedures; legal research methods; rules of evidence; standard legal office practice and procedures; ethical and professional rules of conduct; and negotiation skills and techniques.


This position is full-time with flexible hours. 


Salary Range: $61,000 - $76,000 depending on date of admittance in NY and relevant 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, Equity and Inclusion and is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Minorities / Females / Disabled/ Veterans/ Sexual Orientation/ Gender Identity


Please send your cover letter and resume to or The Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo, Inc., Attention: Human Resources, 290 Main Street, Suite 400, Buffalo, NY 14202 by July 7, 2022.


* The Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo, Inc. will consider highly qualified 3L students and others pending NYS Bar admission.





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