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Generalist Attorney – Civil Unit

The Erie County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP)
September 16, 2022
Buffalo, NY
Job Type


The Erie County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP) is seeking a full-time staff attorney for our general civil legal services program. This attorney will carry a caseload comprised of cases from a variety of civil practice areas which may include, but is not limited to unemployment insurance benefits, property tax foreclosure, divorce, end of life planning, and consumer debt. This attorney will also assist in developing cases to refer to pro bono attorneys and will re-launch and oversee VLP’s Native American Legal Assistance Clinic.

VLP is a mixed model civil legal services program that coordinates services by pro bono attorneys and provides direct representation by our staff. The Buffalo office handles a wide variety of civil legal services, with a focus on involving pro bono lawyers in the delivery of our services to clients. We have two offices, one in Buffalo, NY and the other in Batavia, NY.

This position will work out of our Buffalo, NY office with the ability to work a hybrid remote/in-office schedule after the successful completion of the 3-month probationary period. Office culture values work/life balance with reasonable working hours and discourages weekend work. Generous PTO and benefits. Buffalo, NY has a very reasonable cost of living and was rated 17th for Best Affordable places to live by US News and World Report 2021-2022.


  • Provide counsel and advice to clients on unemployment insurance benefit denials and provide full representation to clients at hearings before the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board
  • Provide counsel and advice as well as full representation to clients facing property tax foreclosure
  • Conduct orientation and intake for clients seeking pro bono attorney assistance
  • Prepare cases for referral and work with Program Paralegals and Pro Bono Program Administrator to refer cases to pro bono attorneys and provide follow up on cases as needed
  • Provide counsel and advice to clients and handle full representation cases and/or portions of VLP cases with a particular emphasis on handling cases that are difficult to refer to volunteers or are returned partially completed by volunteers
  • Compile data for grant reporting
  • Participate in outreach events educating the community on VLP’s services
  • Provide training and mentorship to Volunteer Attorneys
  • May require some local travel
  • Other tasks may be assigned

Requirements/Skills - Required:

  • Must be an attorney admitted to practice in New York and be in good standing
  • 1-5 years of experience in civil matters
  • Strong written and oral advocacy skills
  • A willingness to work independently while also taking direction and operating as part of a team
  • The ability to juggle many tasks efficiently
  • The means and willingness to travel locally (a driver’s license and regular access to a vehicle is required)
  • Comfortable with public speaking

Requirements/Skills Preferred:

  • 2 or more years of experience
  • Experience in 1-2 substantive areas of law (ideally unemployment, divorce, and/or drafting end of life planning documents (Will, Health Care Proxies, etc.)

TO APPLY: Please send a resume and a cover letter clearly explaining your interest and qualifications. Include contact information for 3 references and send your materials to: Sara Stoessel, Deputy Supervising Attorney, ECBA Volunteer Lawyers Project, Inc. at We will be accepting applications until the position is filled.

BENEFITS: Salary depends upon experience. VLP provides excellent benefits including fully paid health insurance, long term disability insurance, life insurance, a Simple Employee Pension Plan, and generous leave time. Dental insurance, FSA, Dependent Care FSA, and 403b plans are also available through employee contributions. The work atmosphere is congenial, respectful, and flexible.

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required unless the individual qualifies for a reasonable accommodation as required under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the New York State Human Rights Law and/or guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. VLP may grant requests for reasonable accommodations to this requirement on the basis of disability or sincerely held religious beliefs.