2021-2022 Erie County Bar Foundation Campaign

Staff Attorneys – Attorneys for Children Unit

The Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo, Inc.
November 18, 2021
Buffalo, NY
Job Type


The Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo is seeking Staff Attorneys in our Attorneys for Children Unit. 

Staff Attorneys are responsible for representing children in a broad variety of child welfare and juvenile justice matters, ensuring them a voice in proceedings that affect their lives and life outcomes. The scope of matters may include neglect and abuse, juvenile delinquency, persons in need of supervision, permanency hearings, termination of parental rights, voluntary placements, surrenders, child custody, and other related proceedings. The AFC Unit practice is conducted primarily in Erie County Family Court, but may also require appearances in related matters in other judicial or administrative forums, as directed by supervising attorneys.

Examples of Duties:             

  1. Interview clients on a routine basis in a variety of settings, which may include our offices, court, private and foster homes, schools, daycare facilities, and residential placements or through remote means.
  2. Advise, counsel and inform clients regarding the legal and life issues arising in their court proceedings, in a fashion appropriate to the child’s age and developmental status and in keeping with trauma-informed principles and contemporary developmental and adolescent brain science.
  3. Collaborate with Unit Social Workers, Child Advocates, Legal Assistants and our Education Advocacy Team to address the client’s legal status, as well as child safety, well-being, and permanency.
  4. Interview and/or gather information and records from collateral sources, such as caseworkers, educators, medical and mental health providers, attorneys for respondents and the County, foster parents, and family, as appropriate.
  5. Provide children with effective representation and advocacy in all Family Court or related proceedings, including arraignments, motion practice, hearings, trials, and court reviews.
  6. Prepare legal papers, including petitions, discovery demands and documents, motions, memoranda of law, briefs, orders and judgments, and notices of appeal.
  7. Participate in negotiations, settlement conferences and mediations.
  8. Draft necessary correspondence, file reports and file updates, and maintain detailed and accurate case file records.
  9. Preserve and identify legal issues for appeals and collaborate with the Unit’s appellate counsel on appeals in drafting briefs and appearing for oral argument.
  10. Collaborate with Unit attorneys and consult with supervising attorneys, as needed, regarding legal representation of clients.
  11. Attend formal and informal meetings held by community-based service providers, schools or facilities, as needed or appropriate.
  12. Understand and identify community resources that service clients and their families.
  13. Research, interpret and apply the law in individual matters. Remain current regarding child welfare and juvenile justice laws and regulations and case law.
  14. Respond promptly and professionally to telephone calls, emails and other communications.
  15. Participate in local and State committees, initiatives and/or trainings to address needs of client population.
  16. Attend continuing legal education programs as directed by supervising attorneys and maintain required CLE credits on a biannual basis.

Employment Standards: Active membership in the State Bar of New York; and,

  1. Experience as an attorney in the practice of child welfare, juvenile defense or family law preferred; or
  2. A combination of training, education and experience that is equivalent to the above employment standard and that provides the required knowledge and abilities
  3. Strong interpersonal and collaborative skills, and
  4. Computer proficiency, including, but not limited to, word processing skills and computerized legal research.               

Additional Requirements: Possession of a valid New York State Driver's License and access to a registered, insured vehicle available for use during working hours.

Knowledge of: Federal and state laws and regulations related to child welfare and juvenile justice practice; trial and court procedures; legal research methods; rules of evidence; standard legal office practice and procedures; ethical and professional rules of conduct; and negotiation techniques.

These positions are full-time.

The Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo, Inc. values diversity and is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Minorities / Females / Disabled/ Veterans/ Sexual Orientation/ Gender Identity

Please send your cover letter and resume to resume@legalaidbuffalo.org or The Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo, Inc., Attention: Human Resources, 290 Main Street, Suite 400, Buffalo, NY 14202 by December 3, 2021.

There are presently two Staff Attorney positions open, one with a primary focus on child welfare representation and the other, on juvenile defense.  Please specify, in your cover letter, which position or positions you are interested in applying for.