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Posted by: Mercedece Love - 5/16/2024
Job Expires: 11/8/2024
Staff Attorney or Supervising Senior Attorney, Civil Rights

Staff Attorney, Senior Attorney, or Supervising Senior Attorney
Civil Rights
Employment Status: Full-time
FLSA Status: Exempt
Practice Group: Civil Rights

I. Organization Information
Empire Justice Center, a diverse and highly respected, statewide legal services organization, seeks a Staff Attorney, Senior Attorney, or a Supervising Senior Attorney for our Civil Rights Practice Group. This is an opportunity to join and grow in one of the most influential organizations serving marginalized low-income individuals and families in New York State.
Empire Justice Center attracts and employs a diverse team of dedicated, determined, and passionate advocates who significantly impact the lives of low-income New Yorkers. We succeed through direct legal representation high-impact litigation, and legislative and administrative advocacy. Additionally, the organization provides top-notch training and technical assistance to other advocates to ensure fairness and justice for New Yorkers. The organization thrives on our commitment to supporting justice for populations historically and currently experiencing high levels of oppression. These populations include racially diverse individuals and families experiencing poverty, housing insecurity, immigration issues, and domestic violence. Additionally, the organization advocates for people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ community and school-age children facing discrimination and violations of their civil rights in schools.

With offices in Rochester, Albany, Westchester County, and Long Island, our organization offers staff an exciting and dynamic inclusive working environment with a strong commitment to work/life balance, teamwork, diversity, wellness, and personal/professional development.

II.Position Summary
The Empire Justice Center is pleased to announce an opening for a full-time Staff Attorney, Senior Attorney, or Supervising Senior Attorney for our Civil Rights Practice Group. The Attorney will be responsible for supporting attorneys in the Civil Rights Practice Group in handling individual cases and systemic change litigation, with the opportunity to carry an independent caseload depending on experience. Current practice group focus areas include language justice, police reform, LGBTQ+ rights, school discrimination, and special education.

III. Essential Duties and Responsibilities
• Document review;
• Meeting with clients;
• Managing cases and case files;
• Evaluating new cases for acceptance by the practice group;
• Taking calls, conducting intakes, and providing advice and counsel to clients;
• Advocacy through local and state level policy initiatives;
• Delivering accurate and quality work product;
• Working collaboratively as part of a litigation team and practice group;
• Developing and conducting trainings and legal clinics as appropriate;
• Pre-litigation case work-up, including investigation and settlement negotiations;
• Conducting legal research and drafting memoranda, pleadings, briefs and/or discovery;
• Providing technical assistance to other Empire Justice Center Practice Groups and outside organizations;
• Providing support and oversight or supervision to the work of other attorneys, interns, law students, paralegals, and support staff;
• Representing clients before state and federal administrative agencies, or state and federal courts at all stages of litigation from investigation through trial, settlement, and appeals;
• Level of experience and demonstrated responsibility and independence in the above-stated job duties will determine whether the position is filled as a Staff Attorney, Senior Attorney, or Supervising Senior Attorney.
• Collaborating with other Empire Justice Center Practice Groups and other legal services providers, community organizations, and government agencies and officials supporting the low-income and marginalized communities we serve;
• Effective use of and keeping up to date with technology, including cybersecurity, time entry, case reporting, and use of internal software programs including Office applications and Legal Server; and
• Other duties as assigned by your supervisor and/or to meet the organization’s needs. Please note that because Empire Justice Center is a nonprofit legal services organization, our resources are limited. All staff are expected to perform administrative and other support-related duties as needed to serve our clients and fulfill our mission.

IV. Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities)
• Demonstrates strong writing skills.
• Excellent research and communication skills.
• Excellent organization and ability to meet deadlines.
• Unafraid to learn and practice new and changing areas of law.
• Minimum 1 year of legal practice experience for Staff Attorney position.
• Juris Doctorate Degree from an accredited US law school or international equivalent.
• Minimum of 7 years of legal practice experience for Senior Attorney or Supervising Senior Attorney position.
• Proven interest in and commitment to advocacy for the legal rights of low-income and other vulnerable populations
• Demonstrated understanding of the importance of DEIA within the Practice Group, at Empire Justice Center, and in client work.
• Admission to the New York State Bar, passed the New York 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
• Experience in civil rights law.
• Bilingual (English & Spanish or English & ASL) Preferred.
• Experience working with low-income families and communities.
• Experience in outreach, community education, organizing, or coalition-building.
• Experience representing clients in state or federal court and/or administrative agency proceedings.

VI. Salary
Salary is dependent on years of relevant experience and based on the organizational pay scale. The beginning salary for a Staff Attorney with 1 year of relevant experience is $54,580. The beginning salary for this position with 10 years of relevant experience is 72,580.

The beginning salary for a Senior Attorney or Supervising Senior Attorney with 7 years of relevant experience is $68,000. The beginning salary for this position with 21 years of relevant experience is $96,080.

VII. Benefits
We are an organization that supports and encourages a work/life balance. Empire Justice Center offers a generous benefit package including:
• Health insurance (employer pays 100% premium for a high quality, co-pay insurance plan).
• 403(b) eligibility with 1% employer match and additional employer contribution.
• 3% Non-Elective Annual Contribution made by Empire Justice Center.
o Benefit eligible after 12 months of employment.
• Generous vacation, sick, personal, and holiday time
o 14 Paid Holidays
o Vacation PTO: 10.5 Hours/Month; Sick PTO: 7 Hours/Month; Personal PTO: 5 Days/Year
• Bilingual salary enhancement for qualifying employees.
• Loan Repayment Assistance Program.
• Voluntary Supplemental Disability.
• Dental Insurance (employee paid).
• Vision Insurance (employee paid).
• $150K Group Term Life Insurance.
• Generous Bereavement Leave.
• 35-hour full-time work week.
• NYS Short-Term Disability.
• FSA Eligibility.

Empire Justice Center is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and strongly desires a diverse and inclusive workforce. Empire Justice Center provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants. It prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type, specifically - race, color, religion, age (40 or older), sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, disability status, genetics, neurodiversity, 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 resume, writing sample, and contact information for three professional references aware of this application to Please include “Staff Attorney, Civil Rights, First/Last Name” or “Senior/Supervising Attorney, Civil Rights” in the subject line of the email. No phone calls or hard copies, please.

If reasonable accommodations are needed, please contact Mercedece Love, Human Resources and Compliance Coordinator at Empire Justice Center is committed to the full inclusion of all qualified individuals. As part of this commitment, Empire Justice Center ensures that persons with disabilities and/or communication barriers are provided with reasonable accommodations.

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