The Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York (LASNNY), a regional non-profit law firm that provides high quality legal assistance in civil matters to low income individuals and groups. LASNNY fights for fairness, dignity, and justice for those living in poverty and for a society which is inclusive and equitable for all. We transform lives, build community, and empower people by using the law to address individual and systemic wrongs and inequities. LASNNY seeks a creative, energetic and outstanding lawyer to serve as Advocacy Director. Assist LASNNY in achieving its priority to obtain equitable service, treatment, and outcomes for people of color.
The position is located in Albany, New York, the state capital, which is a lively, family friendly city with a reasonable cost of living, excellent quality of life, and easy access to major metropolitan areas as well as year-round outdoor opportunities. Our office is a collegial and supportive workplace, encouraging and supporting staff development.
The Advocacy Director oversees the systemic advocacy of 51 attorneys and 19 paralegals in six offices and works in collaboration with advocates throughout the region and state on cases and projects addressing the critical legal needs of low income people, including legal issues that significantly affect our clients and other impact work. The Advocacy Director has major responsibilities within LASNNY and works closely with individuals and groups in providing legal assistance to our client communities. The Advocacy Director is responsible for the professional and skill development of all casehandlers, as well as various administrative tasks. The position is based in Albany or Saratoga Springs and the Advocacy Director is a member of the Executive Management Team (EMT).
Accountable for: LASNNY’s Systemic Advocacy
Accountable to: Executive Director
- Working with Deputy Directors and the Chief Diversity/Race Equity Director, lead and co-counsel systemic advocacy efforts throughout the 16 county service areas, including affirmative litigation.
- Provide agency-wide leadership, working closely with the Executive Director, Deputy Directors and internal work groups, to implement impact advocacy work.
- Develop collaborations with community-based organizations and local coalitions, especially those serving people of color.
- Assist in the preparation of appellate papers.
- Create and pursue strategic opportunities for collaboration with other not-for-profit legal providers and for-profit law offices.
- Participate in development of and oversight of staff training, skill development, and the establishment of performance goals and standards designed to achieve high quality representation and lasting results for low income communities.
- Participate in development and implementation of LASNNY’s leadership activities.
- Provide and respond to requests for technical assistance, coaching or consultation on strategic, procedural and substantive law issues throughout the program. Provide necessary support for impact advocacy work by working collaboratively with staff and managers.
- Provide leadership and encourage and empower staff to engage in systemic advocacy, including participation in identification of trends and issues, systems analysis, strategy development and followthrough, resource and support development, participation in select advocacy/case planning meetings, and measuring, documenting and celebrating successes.
- Update, coordinate, maintain, develop, implement, and review a systemic advocacy work plan collaboratively with substantive law work groups, offices, individual or teams of attorneys/managers.
- Review all major advocacy in the program on an ongoing basis, including impact litigation and major written documents and pleadings (complaints, discovery, briefs and motions, etc).
- Identify advocate training needs and develop strategies to address those needs.
- As appropriate, participate in LASNNY evaluation system and individual advocate work plan development to identify strengths and weaknesses of individual advocates and to assist in developing skills which will strengthen each advocate’s ability to deliver impactful, high quality legal services.
- Work with each regional office to identify its strengths and limitations with respect to impact and to develop strategies to strengthen the office’s ability to deliver impactful, high quality legal services.
- Work with the Executive Director, Deputy Directors, CDO/RED, middle managers and other advocates in each office to ensure ongoing leadership and professional development, resource development, priority setting and review, and program and office planning to enable advocates to undertake activities which achieve lasting results for low income individuals and communities.
- Work with the Executive Director, Deputy Directors, CDO/RED, middle managers and other advocates to address and reduce internal and external barriers to systemic advocacy, such as resources, staffing, supports, policies, grant requirements and compliance issues.
- Work collaboratively with Deputy Directors, CDO/RED, middle managers and other advocacy staff to identify and to address short- and long-term community needs, support and strengthen community initiatives and focus LASNNY resources and strategies to achieve long lasting systemic results for the low income community.
- Participate in PAI and DEI projects and resource development in order to augment LASNNY’s capacity to provide high quality legal services and systemic advocacy.
- Maintain communication with other directors of advocacy, co-counsel or participate in activities outside of the program (state and nation wide) which contribute to lasting results for the client community and communicate and connect LASNNY advocates to legal developments, information, trends, issues, strategies, alternate sources of legal assistance, experts and external leaders.
- Participate in community legal education projects conducted by the program.
- Work with the program in the ongoing determination and implementation of your professional development plan including, e.g., mentoring by more experienced staff, formal training, on-the-job training and personal study.
- Participate in development and improvement of LAS through staff task forces, committees, meetings and other means. Cooperate with other members of the unit, office and program to develop effective teamwork and make LAS institutionally strong.
- Share with LAS relevant information within your knowledge about a given applicant or client and about client community needs.
- Perform your designated responsibilities as prescribed by unit, office and LAS policies and systems.
- Participate in or be responsible for special projects or special functions which may be undertaken by the program to enhance either client service or program development.
- Perform related responsibilities as requested by your immediate supervisor, the person in charge of the office, or Executive Director.
- Admitted to the NYS Bar or ability to be admitted upon motion.
- At least 10 years of litigation and trial experience, including successful impact litigation.
- Excellent legal advocacy, communication and administrative skills.
- Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging as well as legal services advocacy.
- Experience in federal and/or appellate litigation, work with community groups and ability to speak Spanish is preferred.
- Excellent oral presentation, writing, analytical, interpersonal skills and knowledge of law in legal services practice areas are required.
- Must have at least 10 years of legal experience, including at least five years in legal services as an attorney.
- Additional experience in working with non-profit organizations and low income communities, especially communities of color is preferred.
Salary: $90,000 – 120,000, DOE. Excellent fringe benefits. Relocation expenses negotiable.
Application Deadline: December 2, 2022
To apply, send cover letter, resume, three professional references and a recent systemic advocacy writing sample to: Marshall Coulter at [email protected]
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.