Staff Attorney, Civil Rights


Employment Status: Full-time
FLSA Status: Exempt
Practice Group: Civil Rights

I. Organization Information

Empire Justice Center, a diverse and highly respected, statewide legal services
organization, seeks a Staff Attorney for our Civil Rights Practice Group. This is an
opportunity to join and grow in one of the most influential organizations serving
marginalized low-income individuals and families in New York State.
Empire Justice Center attracts and employs a diverse team of dedicated,
determined, and passionate advocates who significantly impact the lives of lowincome New Yorkers. We succeed through direct legal representation high-impact
litigation, and legislative and administrative advocacy. Additionally, the organization
provides top-notch training and technical assistance to other advocates to ensure
fairness and justice for New Yorkers. The organization thrives on our commitment to
supporting justice for populations historically and currently experiencing high levels
of oppression. These populations include racially diverse individuals and families
experiencing poverty, housing insecurity, immigration issues, and domestic violence.
Additionally, the organization advocates for people with disabilities, members of the
LGBTQ community and school-age children facing discrimination and violations of
their civil rights in schools.
With offices in Rochester, Albany, Westchester County, and Long Island, our
organization offers staff an exciting and dynamic inclusive working environment with
a strong commitment to work/life balance, teamwork, diversity, wellness, and
personal/professional development.

II. Position Summary

The Empire Justice Center is pleased to announce an opening for a full-time Staff
Attorney for our Civil Rights Practice Group. The Staff Attorney will be responsible for
supporting attorneys in the Civil Rights Practice Group in handling individual cases
and systemic change litigation, with the opportunity to carry an independent
caseload depending on experience. Current practice group focus areas
include language justice, police reform, LGBTQ+ rights, discrimination in schools, and
special education.

III. Essential Duties and Responsibilities

• Taking calls, conducting intakes, and providing advice and counsel to clients;
• Meeting with clients;
• Evaluating new cases for acceptance by the practice group;
• Managing cases and case files;
• Pre-litigation case work-up, including investigation and settlement
• Conducting legal research and drafting memoranda, pleadings, briefs and/or
• Document review;
• Representing clients before state and federal administrative agencies, or state
and federal courts at all stages of litigation from investigation through trial,
settlement, and appeals;
• Advocacy through local and state level policy initiatives;
• Delivering accurate and quality work product;
• Working collaboratively as part of a litigation team and practice group;
• Developing and conducting trainings and legal clinics as appropriate;
• Providing support and oversight or supervision to the work of other attorneys,
interns, law students, paralegals, and support staff;
• Collaborating with other Empire Justice Center Practice Groups and other
legal services providers, community organizations, and government agencies and
officials supporting the low-income and marginalized communities we serve;
• Providing technical assistance to other Empire Justice Center Practice Groups
and outside organizations;
• Effective use of and keeping up to date with technology, including
cybersecurity, time entry, case reporting, and use of internal software programs
including Office applications and Legal Server; and
• Other duties as assigned by your supervisor and/or to meet the organization’s
needs. Please note that because Empire Justice Center is a nonprofit legal services
organization, our resources are limited. All staff are expected to perform
administrative and other support-related duties as needed to serve our clients and
fulfill our mission.

IV. Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities)

• Demonstrates strong writing skills.
• Minimum 1 year of legal practice experience.
• Excellent research and communication skills.
• Excellent organization and ability to meet deadlines.
• Proven interest in and commitment to advocacy for the legal rights of low-income
and other vulnerable populations
• Unafraid to learn and practice new and changing areas of law
• Demonstrated understanding of the importance of DEIA within the Practice Group, at
Empire Justice Center, and in client work.
• Juris Doctorate Degree from an accredited US law school or international equivalent
• Admission to the New York State Bar passed the NY bar and awaiting admission, or
out-of-state admission with eligibility for pro hac vice status (with the expectation of New
York admission within two years).

V. Preferred Qualifications

• Experience in civil rights law.
• Bilingual (English & Spanish or English & ASL) Preferred.
• Experience working with low-income families and communities.
• Experience in outreach, community education, organizing, or coalition-building.
• Experience representing clients in state or federal court and/or administrative
agency proceedings.
VI. Salary
Salary is dependent on years of experience and based on the organizational pay scale. The
beginning salary for this position, with a minimum of 1 year of experience, is $54,580 and the
salary for this position, with 21 years of experience, is $94,580.
VII. Benefits
We are an organization that supports and encourages a work/life balance. Empire Justice
Center offers a generous benefit package including:
• Health insurance (employer pays 100% premium for a high quality, co-pay insurance plan).
• 403(b) eligibility with 1% employer match and additional employer contribution.
• 3% Non-Elective Annual Contribution made by Empire Justice Center.
o Benefit eligible after 12 months of employment.
• Generous vacation, sick, personal, and holiday time
o 14 Paid Holidays
o Vacation PTO: 10.5 Hours/Month; Sick PTO: 7 Hours/Month; Personal PTO: 5 Days/Year
• Bilingual salary enhancement for qualifying employees.
• Loan Repayment Assistance Program.
• Voluntary Supplemental Disability.
• Dental Insurance (employee paid).
• Vision Insurance (employee paid).
• $150K Group Term Life Insurance.
• Generous Bereavement Leave.
• 35-hour full-time work week.
• NYS Short-Term Disability.
• FSA Eligibility.

Empire Justice Center is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and strongly
desires a diverse and inclusive workforce. Empire Justice Center provides equal
employment opportunities to all employees and applicants. It prohibits discrimination and
harassment of any type, specifically – race, color, religion, age (40 or older), sex (including
pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, disability status, genetics, neurodiversity,
protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other
characteristic protected by federal, state, or local laws.

TO APPLY: Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. If interested, e-mail a
resume, writing sample and contact information for three professional references aware of
this application to Please include “Staff Attorney, Civil
Rights, First/Last Name” in the subject line of the email. No phone calls or hard copies,
If reasonable accommodations are needed, please contact Mercedece Love, Human
Resources and Compliance Coordinator at Empire Justice
Center is committed to the full inclusion of all qualified individuals. As part of this
commitment, Empire Justice Center ensures that persons with disabilities and/or
communication barriers are provided with reasonable accommodations.