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Posted by: SDNY Pro Se Clinic - 5/14/2024
Job Expires: 8/14/2024
Federal Legal Services Graduate Fellow

About NYLAG:

Founded in 1990, NYLAG is a leading civil legal services organization combating economic, racial, and social injustice by advocating for people experiencing poverty or in crisis. Our services include comprehensive, free civil legal services, financial empowerment, impact litigation, policy advocacy, and community partnerships. NYLAG exists because wealth should not determine who has access to justice. We aim to disrupt systemic racism by serving individuals and families whose legal and financial crises are often rooted in racial inequality. NYLAG goes to where the need is, providing services in more than 150 community sites (e.g. courts, hospitals, libraries) and on our Mobile Legal Help Center. During COVID-19, most of our services are virtual to keep our community safe. NYLAG’s staff of 370 impacted the lives of nearly 129,000 people last year.


Job description

NYLAG’s Legal Clinic for Pro Se Litigants in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (the “S.D.N.Y. Pro Se Clinic”) has an immediate opening for a Federal Legal Services Graduate Fellow from May – September 2024.


The S.D.N.Y. Pro Se Clinic provides free, limited-scope, individual legal assistance to pro se litigants at all stages of federal civil litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. This innovative clinic is among the first in the nation to provide pro se assistance in federal court, and has recently expanded to provide legal assistance to incarcerated litigants. The S.D.N.Y. Pro Se Clinic assists with most types of federal civil cases, including civil rights, employment discrimination, labor law, Section 1983 law enforcement misconduct, intellectual property, challenges to conditions of confinement, and violations of fair housing law. 


The law school graduate selected for this position must be prepared to interact with a diverse pro se litigant population from different backgrounds, cultures, and personal situations in a sensitive and professional manner. The successful candidate will be an integral part of the Clinic team consisting of the Clinic director, three staff attorneys, two law graduate fellows, and two paralegals. The Clinic’s primary office is at 40 Foley Square in Manhattan.


Duties and Responsibilities

The Federal Legal Services Graduate Fellow will develop lawyering skills, gain real world experience outside of law school, and develop a hands-on federal practice from the very beginning of their careers.


Under the supervision of an attorney, the Federal Legal Services Graduate Fellow will:

  • Staff the S.D.N.Y. Pro Se Clinic;
  • Screen pro se litigants for services and make referrals (internal and external), as appropriate;
  • Conduct pro se litigant interviews, factual investigation, analysis of legal issues, and legal research;
  • Provide direct legal assistance and advice to pro se litigants;
  • Review, edit, and draft legal documents, pleadings, motions, and briefs;
  • Develop resources and tools that will assist pro se litigants; and
  • Any other duties and responsibilities related to Clinic operations.


Required Qualifications

  • Juris Doctorate from an accredited law school.
  • Recent law school graduate seeking admission to the New York Bar.
  • Passionate about working in an organization that values and promotes diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism, and be able to cultivate and develop inclusive and equitable working relationships with staff, clients, and community members.


Additional Qualifications

  • Interest in improving access to the courts and judicial system for people who do not have a lawyer.
  • Interest in federal court practice and practicing law across a range of subject matter areas, particularly involving employment, civil rights or criminal matters.
  • Creative, proactive problem-solving skills and ability to pivot and reprioritize based on immediate need.
  • Demonstrated people and client counseling skills.
  • Demonstrated patience, empathy, persistence, and openness in delivering client services.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Highly organized and ability to juggle multiple priorities.


NYLAG’s Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

NYLAG is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. People of color, women, people with disabilities, immigrants, veterans, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people, and those with lived experiences in the communities we serve are strongly encouraged to apply.


Employment type:


Temporary (May 2024 – September 2024)


Professional Level:

Salary Range: NYLAG is a unionized workplace, and salaries are set pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement. The current annual salary for this position is $75,199.


Benefits: Medical, dental, vision, 401k, life insurance, long term disability, commuter benefits, flexible spending accounts (FSA) for Medical and Dependent care.


Application Instructions: Please save resume, cover letter, and law school transcript as one PDF document. Applicants without a cover letter will not be considered.


Covid Vaccination Policy:Please note, to safeguard the health and well-being of our employees and clients, NYLAG requires all employees to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, unless a medical or religious exemption is approved.


NYLAG is committed to a hybrid work policy for staff whose work does not require their full-time presence in the office. NYLAG’s current policy is that most staff are required to work in NYLAG’s offices or do other in-person work at least two days each week. This policy is subject to change.

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