Bilingual Staff Attorneys, Tenants’ Rights Unit - New York Legal Assistance Group
Founded in 1990, the New York Legal Assistance Group provides free civil legal services to low-income New Yorkers. The organization serves immigrants, seniors, the homebound, families facing foreclosure, renters facing eviction, low-income consumers, those in need of government assistance, children in need of special education, domestic violence victims, persons with disabilities, patients with chronic illness or disease, low-wage workers, low-income members of the LGBTQ community, Holocaust survivors, and others in need. The organization’s annual operating budget is over $30 million. Serving more than 87,000 New Yorkers annually, New York Legal Assistance Group maintains a paid staff of approximately 290, supported by 2,200 pro bono attorneys and other volunteers and interns. For more information, applicants are encouraged to visit www.nylag.org.
The New York Legal Assistance Group uses the power of the law to help New Yorkers in need combat social and economic injustice. We address emerging and urgent legal needs with comprehensive, free civil legal services, impact litigation, policy advocacy, and community education.
Values that guide us
- We reduce the effects of poverty by providing high quality, effective civil legal services.
- We partner with our clients to help them transform their lives and strengthen their communities.
- We address our clients’ multiple legal needs by collaborating across our practice areas.
- We are at the forefront of identifying and understanding New Yorkers’ most pressing legal needs, rapidly adapting to meet these needs with innovative programs and partnerships.
- We assess need broadly, recognizing that need is not a function of income alone.
- We collaborate with community organizations and engage pro bono attorneys and volunteers to serve a greater number of people with unmet civil legal needs.
- We achieve systemic change through class actions, impact litigation and by advocating for just laws and policies.
- We work to create a welcoming and inclusive work environment that reflects the communities we serve.
- We teach and train the next generation of legal service professionals.
As NYC’s Universal Access initiative fully expands the right to counsel to all New Yorkers facing eviction in communities burdened by systemic socioeconomic barriers, NYLAG’s Tenants’ Rights Unit (“TRU”) has multiple Staff Attorney positions available for bilingual attorneys who speak Spanish and/or another prevalent language. There are available positions on each of TRU’s Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens teams for either a July 2021 or September 2021 start date.
About a third of TRU’s clients citywide are Spanish-speaking, so we are looking for attorneys who speak Spanish fluently to provide language-accessible legal services. Other common languages spoken by our clients include: Bengali, Russian, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, Mandarin, and Cantonese, so speakers of these languages are also strongly encouraged to apply.
TRU is an integral part of NYC’s Right to Counsel Coalition to ensure New Yorkers in under-resourced communities who are at risk of eviction have a right to an attorney to represent them in Housing Court and certain administrative proceedings. TRU is looking for admitted attorneys or recent bar-exam takers who are passionate about public interest law and social justice and want to work closely with communities burdened by systemic socioeconomic barriers to prevent eviction and homelessness. Because the COVID-19 pandemic has disparately impacted the communities we represent, eviction prevention legal services are more critical now than ever. Through virtual proceedings that put tenants’ apartments in jeopardy, NYC Housing Court is reopening at an increasing clip. TRU, which has an extremely committed, collegial, and hard-working team of about four dozen staff attorneys, 12 paralegals, and 10 supervisors, is a great place to start or build your legal career and gain valuable litigation skills while combatting the threat of eviction and homelessness.
Duties and Responsibilities:
- Handle a full caseload of full representation non-payment and holdover proceedings in Housing Court (virtually for now), which involves extensive communication with clients, intense negotiations with opposing counsel, frequent motion practice, discovery and depositions, and significant advocacy with outside agencies on behalf of clients.
- Handle litigation before administrative agencies as necessary, including NYCHA termination of tenancy proceedings, DHCR matters, and proceedings where clients’ Section 8 vouchers are being terminated.
- Participate in court-based intake (which occurs by phone and/or Microsoft Teams during the pandemic) and client and community outreach initiatives.
- Admission to New York Bar or passage of a recent NY Bar Exam or its equivalent. May 2021 law school graduates who will sit for the July 2021 remote NY Bar Exam or its equivalent will also be considered for the cohort starting in September 2021.
- Demonstrated commitment to public interest law and social justice.
- Excellent legal research and writing skills.
- The ability to speak, read, and write Spanish, Bengali, Russian, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, Mandarin, and/or Cantonese fluently.
- Litigation experience, including experience gained in law school clinics, internships, and externships.
- At least one year of experience representing tenants in NYC Housing Court.
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.
☐ Entry Level
$70,000 - $78,419, commensurate with experience, pursuant to collective bargaining agreement.
Benefits: Excellent benefits.
How to Apply: Please attach your cover letter and resume as a single PDF and name the file “Your Last Name, Your First Name NYLAG TRU Staff Attorney.” Please indicate in the first sentence of your cover letter whether you would like to start in July 2021 or September 2021.