Staff Attorney – Housing Unit, Niagara Falls Office

Neighborhood Legal Services, Inc.
Published
July 21, 2021
Location
Niagara Falls, NY
Category
Legal  
Job Type

Description

Classification: Exempt, eligible for Collective Bargaining Unit membership
Reports to: Unit Supervising Attorney
Supervises: Paralegals, law clerks and volunteers

Summary of Responsibilities:

Maintains a caseload relating housing law and landlord/tenant law including evictions, unsafe housing conditions, public and subsidized housing related issues, and housing discrimination. Handles all aspects of legal representation including client contact, pleading preparation, research, file maintenance, working with support staff, and hearing and trial work. Implements grant and contract requirements through casework and fosters pro bono involvement with the private bar.

Essential Responsibilities / Functions:

  • Provide a spectrum of legal assistance from advice/counsel by phone to affirmative litigations in a wide range of issues;
  • Identify systemic problems that affect our clients’ rights:
  • Collaborate and coordinate with other NLS staff and community partners to assure effective referrals and holistic service delivery;
  • Conduct community outreach, education and training;
  • Ensure that all written work product is grammatically correct, carefully edited, well written, and appropriate for its audience;
  • Develop relationships and engage in collaborations with a range of public and private community partners, including governmental agencies, courts, and community based organizations, to ensure integrative services and address systemic barriers facing our client community;
  • Demonstrate cultural competency to work with clients challenged by poverty across the spectrum of diversity, including race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio‐economic status, age, immigrant status, religious identity, physical and mental disabilities, and limited English proficiency;
  • Develop a substantive knowledge of all areas of law that impact our clients;
  • Maintain a current knowledge of developments in law, civil procedure, and civil litigation law and strategies; and
  • Develop a substantive knowledge of the social and economic forces that create poverty and inequality in the United States.

Consistent demonstration of proficient skills, including the following:

  • Communicate with clients (including groups of clients), co-workers, community partners, opposing counsel, judges and court staff effectively;
  • Analyze applicable legal issues, perform legal research skills, plan case strategy;
  • Gather facts, give appropriate advice and referral, draft all necessary documents, negotiate settlements if appropriate;
  • Try cases effectively in city, county, state and/or federal court and administrative hearings;
  • Address issues in a timely manner;
  • Organize and maintain appropriate documentation of activities;
  • Show commitment to bringing justice to WNY residents challenged by poverty;
  • Use computers as needed, including word processing and email;
  • Demonstrate good judgment, ability to handle stress, and initiative on a consistent basis,
  • Demonstrate a willingness to work as a team, and an overall positive attitude;
  • Engage in progressively more complex litigation and show creativity in advocacy;
  • Maintain contacts with community agencies and local client groups;
  • Speak to community groups and others and prepare materials for presentation;
  • Prioritize and implement NLS policies and procedures appropriately;
  • Follow instructions from a supervisor; and
  • Other appropriate functions when necessary.

Core Competencies

  • Strong personal work ethic and ability to organize time, manage diverse activities, and meet critical deadlines with minimal supervision;
  • Excellent writing, editing, and proof‐reading skills, with ability to be detail‐oriented;
  • Strong interpersonal skills and an ability to work collaboratively with a dynamic and multi‐sector team;
  • Curious and self‐directed with an ability to anticipate client and healthcare partner needs;
  • Cultural humility in working with clients across the spectrum of diversity, including race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio‐economic status, immigrant status, religious identity, physical and mental disabilities, and limited English proficiency; and
  • Familiarity with the diverse communities is a plus. 

Qualifications

  • D. and New York State Bar Membership (may be pending)
  • Previous experience working with low-income and/or underserved communities preferred
  • Second language fluency preferred
  • Legal services background, or knowledge of general civil legal work; 

NLS is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and welcomes all to apply.  Employer recruits without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national or ethnic origin, citizenship, ancestry, sex, gender (including identity or expression), sexual orientation, marital status, age, disability, or protected veteran status and any such candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

To apply, please send cover letter, resume, writing sample and at least 3 references to HR@nls.org.  Application will be reviewed on a rolling basis until an applicant is selected.  No phone calls please.