2024 Summer Law Clerk Opportunities

LEGAL AID SOCIETY OF NORTHEASTERN NEW YORK

 

Summer Law Clerk Opportunities 2024

 

The Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York (LASNNY) provides effective, free civil legal services and education to and advocacy for people with low income or other barriers to accessing the legal system. We secure basic needs, protect and preserve legal rights, provide equal access to justice, and seek fairness and dignity for all our clients. We have offices in Albany, Amsterdam, Canton, Gloversville, Plattsburgh, and Saratoga Springs to serve low and moderate-income residents of Albany, Clinton, Columbia, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Hamilton, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, St. Lawrence, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren, and Washington Counties and the St. Regis Reservation.

 

Hiring Criteria:

Commitment to providing legal services to the poor. Excellent research and writing skills. Ability to work well under stress and time pressure. Prior relevant experience in legal services to the poor, especially law school clinical experience, and the ability to speak Spanish is a plus. Both unpaid and paid clerkships are available subject to grant funding. All work done with Legal Aid will count toward the 50-hour pro bono requirement for admission to the NYS Bar. Law Clerks must be willing to commit to a minimum of 10 hours per week. Our clerkships are available remotely or in person.

 

Dates of the internship: 06/01/2024-08/09/2024

 

APPLICATION DEADLINES:

Summer clerkships –  Accepting applications until March 1, 2024.

 

However, we will consider applications submitted after that date on a rolling basis until the positions are filled.

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED:  Cover Letter (cover letter should state what program(s) and LASNNY office(s) are of interest to applicant), Resume, and Writing Sample are required.

 

Please submit your materials to:

 

Human Resources
95 Central Avenue
Albany, NY 12206
[email protected]

 

If you prefer, you may complete the Application linked here, or use the mobile-friendly application linked here:

Complete the Application linked here, or 

the mobile-friendly application linked here 

Complete the Demographic Survey linked here 

 

LASNNY is committed to the creation of an inclusive and diverse workplace and providing Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action to all applicants. We strongly encourage applications from women, BIPOC, LGBTQ persons, protected veterans, applicants and recipients of public assistance, the elderly, and people with disabilities.

 

Program Descriptions

Below are descriptions of the various programs offered at LASNNY. Please specify which program(s) you are interested in working with and which office(s) you are interested in working with in your cover letter. Clerks generally gain experience interacting with clients; researching and writing both court documents and client correspondence; attending court appearances, administrative hearings, or other meetings, and exposure to a law firm environment.

 

Disability Advocacy Program – All Offices

  • DAP advocates represent clients with physical and mental impairments including, but not limited to clients suffering from intellectual limitations, anxiety, depression, HIV, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, musculoskeletal impairments, Crohn’s disease, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases. DAP advocates review medical, educational, and vocational records to argue if adults and children meet the rules for a finding of disability as defined by the Social Security Administration. DAP law clerks will have the opportunity to perform research and writing for federal court cases, administrative appeals, and administrative hearings. They will also call clients, observe meetings and hearings, and assist attorneys in preparation for hearings.

 

Domestic Violence Legal Assistance (DVLAP) – All Offices

  • DVLAP services include assistance with obtaining Orders of Protection, Child and Spousal Support, Custody and Visitation, and Divorce. We also assist survivors of domestic violence with their civil legal problems related to public assistance, food stamps, foreclosure, landlord/tenant, consumer, employment, and immigration issues. Clerks must have an understanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and/or experience with domestic violence or sexual assault work. This clerkship will provide the student with solid experience with client interviewing and counseling, petition and motion drafting, and family court practice. Students must be willing to occasionally travel for court appearances and client meetings.

 

Economic Justice – Albany, Amsterdam, and Saratoga Springs Offices

  • The goal of the Economic Justice staff attorneys is to ensure that low-income residents of our Capital Region community have sufficient income to maintain their housing and the essentials of daily living and that those in need are served by systems that are just, fair, and responsive. Through the legal work of the Economic Justice attorney, households will access and secure the financial support necessary to meet basic human needs (public assistance, including emergency assistance, SNAP, Medicaid, childcare assistance, unemployment insurance benefits, SSI). Through working with the individuals and families served by this project, the program also identifies and secures changes needed in the delivery of income supports and related human services so that the systems serving low-income residents of the Capital Region respond as the law requires and in a manner that supports and develops human potential.  The Economic Justice law clerk will have the opportunity to perform research and writing for fair hearings and administrative appeals as well as possibly assist the attorney with Article 78 appeals. They will also call clients, observe meetings and hearings, and assist the staff attorney in preparing evidence for hearings. Clerk responsibilities will also include but are not limited to calling medical/social services providers; document review and analysis; drafting legal documents and correspondence; and assisting staff attorneys in hearing/trial preparation.

 

Housing – All Offices

  • Housing attorneys represent low-income clients who are facing eviction in both city and town/village courts, termination or denial of housing vouchers (Section 8) and denial of emergency assistance by the Department of Social Services. Housing attorneys also occasionally initiate affirmative litigation to force landlords to reverse illegal evictions and/or make necessary repairs. The housing practice also includes representation in public and subsidized housing evictions requesting and pursuing reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities under the Fair Housing Act and enforcing the rights of tenants under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The clerk will be involved in drafting pleadings and correspondence, conducting client interviews, and contacting clients, case development and investigation, research and legal assessment, trial and hearing preparation, and accompanying attorneys to court and administrative hearings.

 

Kaianerenhsera Aorihwa:ke Shakotihshienons – Canton Office/ St. Regis Mohawk Reservation

  • The law clerk will work with the Kaianerenhsera Aorihwa:ke Shakotihshienons (meaning: law or legal matters which people help with) which is a civil legal services project between LASNNY and the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe (SRMT). In addition to the LASNNY menu of services delivered on the Reservation, law clerks will also work on two ongoing projects.  First is the issue of cross-border recognition of orders of protection.  Second, a LASNNY project designed to try and assist SRMT members and residents of the reserve to access home mortgages.

 

Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) – Albany Office

  • The Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) offers free tax advice and representation to low-income New Yorkers living in sixteen counties. The law clerk will assist the LITC Staff Attorneys and Clinic Director with preparing forms, interviewing clients, researching areas of tax law, preparing tax returns, collecting financial information from clients, and other tasks as assigned.  The LITC assists taxpayers with federal tax issues, including innocent spouse relief requests, injured spouse claims, audits/examinations, earned income tax credit appeals, deficiency notices, liens and levies, alternative collection methods, settlement of tax debts, and identity theft issues, among others.  The LITC can also help with New York State tax disputes where the client also has a dispute with the IRS.  Most taxpayers assisted by the LITC have incomes at or below 250% of the federal poverty level.

 

Private Attorney Involvement (PAI) – Albany Office

  • The Private Attorney Involvement department provides legal advice and representation to low-income New Yorkers living within LASNNY’s sixteen county service area. Clients are assisted through the PAI department by private attorneys, who provide their services on a pro bono basis, with various civil legal needs, including: Chapter 7 Bankruptcy; Consumer Law; Trusts & Estates; Advance Directives; Matrimonial Law; Unemployment Law; Housing Law (Landlord-Tenant, foreclosure); and Name Changes. The law clerk will assist the PAI department with interviewing clients, drafting pleadings in divorce and consumer debt cases, facilitate with the operation of divorce clinics, facilitate with the operation of the Attorney for the Day Program in housing court, researching legal issues, and providing advice. Additionally, the law clerk will have the chance to work with our experienced volunteer attorneys to assist clients.

 

Rural Summer Legal Corps:

  • The Rural Summer Legal Corps Fellow will work directly with experienced Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York (LASNNY) attorneys on the Kaianerenhsera Aorihwa:ke Shakotihshienons (law or legal matters which people help with) project located on the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe (SMRT) Reservation in rural St. Lawrence County. This project is the first of its type in New York. It is an innovative and collaborative project to help low-income tribal families facing legal problems with accessing civil legal services. The Fellow will work with an attorney on various types of cases, including but not limited to, eviction, divorce, custody, child support, family offenses, and matters related to vulnerable families (consumer, housing, landlord/tenant, foreclosures, Social Security, Medicaid/Health Insurance, family, public benefits, and other income maintenance matters).
  • The Fellow will gain experience in family court, supreme court as well as city and town courts. The Fellow will be assigned to an attorney in LASNNY’s Canton offices, and may perform all duties virtually, if and where necessary. The Fellow’s specific responsibilities will vary according to the attorney they are assigned to as well as the Fellow’s aptitude. LASNNY may assign specific aspects of a case, such as researching and drafting legal memoranda and pleadings, participating in client interviews, investigating and preparing the case, and representing clients in court under attorney supervision.  The Fellow will be paid a $7,000 stipend.

Please visit the Equal Justice Works website for more information on how to apply:

 

https://www.equaljusticeworks.org/law-students/part-time-summer/rural-summer-legal-corps/

 

Senior Legal Services (SLS) – Albany Office

  • The Senior Legal Services Program provides legal advice and assistance to people aged 60 years or older residing in Albany, Rensselaer, and Schenectady Counties. We primarily advise people with estate planning issues, but also assist in other practice areas such as housing, benefits counseling, consumer debt, among others.  The law clerk will assist the Senior Legal Services attorneys with interviewing clients, researching legal issues, and providing advice.  There may be additional opportunities for the law clerk in preparing wills through our Albany City Simple Wills Program.

 

Senior Legal Services (SLS) – Amsterdam/Saratoga Offices

  • The Senior Legal Services Program provides legal advice and assistance to people aged 60 years or older residing in Fulton, Hamilton, Montgomery, Warren, and Washington Counties. We primarily advise people with estate planning issues, but also assist in other practice areas such as housing, benefits counseling, consumer debt, among others.  The law clerk will assist the Senior Legal Services attorneys with interviewing clients, researching legal issues, and providing advice.