Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps VISTA Fellowship

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Job location
361 South Main Street
Geneva, NY 14456
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc.®
Street address: 
361 South Main Street
New York
Job type: 
Legal - Civil
Position Description: 

Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc.® (LawNY®) is a not-for-profit law firm providing free legal services to eligible clients in civil cases through seven regional offices covering a fourteen county area in Western New York. LawNY® receives funding from the Legal Services Corporation, New York State Office of Court Administration, Interest on Lawyer Account (IOLA) Fund of the State of New York, AmeriCorps, Equal Justice Works and numerous municipalities, foundations and donors. Our workforce includes approximately 145 attorneys, paralegals and support staff.

Equal Justice Works recently announced the launch of the Tenant Engagement and Community Development (TECDev) VISTA Fellowship Project, and LawNY® has been selected as a host site. The VISTA Legal Fellows will work with tenants in certain HUD-financed properties in Rochester and the surrounding area to increase educational and economic opportunities for residents, and engage residents in anti-poverty and quality of life programming. They will equip tenants to advocate for themselves regarding housing conditions, educational opportunities, economic opportunity, crime prevention, public health, youth development, and other areas. They also will work to develop LawNY®’s capacity to assist, inform, educate, and engage tenants of these properties regarding their rights, responsibilities, and options.

One Fellowship is available in LawNY®’s Rochester, NY office, and one Fellowship is available in LawNY®’s Geneva, NY office. Based on Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps guidelines, the 12 month term of service will begin in August of 2016, with the possibility of a second year.

• The VISTA Legal Fellows will provide legal and programmatic information to tenants on topics including (1) increasing educational opportunities for adults and children; (2) expanding access to economic opportunities through job training, job placement, and the removal of legal barriers to employment; (3) increasing resources to reduce and prevent crime, including elder abuse; (4) expanding access and resources to improve public health and healthcare, including securing public benefits; (5) expanding access to resources for residents with disabilities and senior citizens seeking an improved quality of life and greater integration in their communities; and (6) increasing resources for youth development.
• Through capacity building, the VISTA Legal Fellows will (1) help LawNY® expand the scale, reach and effectiveness of its services; (2) help build infrastructure, expand community partnerships, coordinate training, and secure long-term resources as determined by local needs; and (3) help create systems that remain in place after their VISTA term of service is complete.
• The VISTA Legal Fellows will assist LawNY® in the provision of legal services to community based organizations being created by tenants in local HUD-RAD properties.

● VISTA Legal Fellows make a commitment to live among and at the economic level of the people served.
● AmeriCorps VISTA provides a living allowance of $11,880, paid out in $455.70 biweekly amounts.
● LawNY® will provide supplemental financial support, up to a maximum of $11,880 per year, for living expenses such as housing, food, student loan repayment and transportation.
Other benefits:
● $5,775 Segal AmeriCorps Education Award or $1,500 end-of-service cash stipend upon successful completion of service
● An AmeriCorps VISTA Healthcare Allowance of up to $6,600 to cover annual deductible, coinsurance, copayments, and other charges for qualified medical expenses.
● Student loan forbearance and interest accrual payment for eligible loans upon successful completion of service
● Participation in Equal Justice Works training opportunities and conferences, as applicable


Applicants should be admitted to practice law in New York or recent law school graduates who are sitting for the July 2016 NYS bar examination. The Fellow will be required to have excellent oral and written communication skills, as well as interpersonal, organizational and negotiation skills and the ability to work as a team member. Diverse economic, social and cultural experiences and a second language are preferred. The Fellow must be a graduate of an Equal Justice Works member law school.

To apply: 

TO APPLY: Please send a letter of interest, resume, list of 3 references with email addresses and telephone numbers, law school transcript and legal writing sample to Administrator Kaitlin Tharp at [email protected]. Applications will be accepted until the positions are filled.

Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc.® is an equal opportunity employer. Minorities, women, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.