Senior Staff Attorney Position New York Lawyers for the Public Interest

03 Jan 2017 4:27 PM | Anonymous

New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI) is seeking applications for a Senior Staff Attorney position. The Senior Staff Attorney will be dedicated to NYLPI’s mission of advancing civil rights and social justice, with a focus on disability, health, and immigrant justice.

Background on NYLPI, and its Disability and Health Justice Programs

Founded 40 years ago, NYLPI pursues equality and justice for all New Yorkers. NYLPI works towards a New York where all people can thrive in their urban communities, with quality healthcare, and housing open to all, safe jobs, equal schools, public places that all citizens can access, a criminal justice system that is open and fair to all, and healthy neighborhoods free from pollution. In our vision, all New Yorkers live with dignity and independence, with the access and resources they deserve. NYLPI’s community-driven approach powers its work in the areas of civil rights and health, disability, immigrant, and environmental justice.

The Disability Justice Program is founded on principles of equality of opportunity, self-determination, and independence for people with disabilities. In partnership with community organizations, we advocate for the rights of New Yorkers with disabilities to equal access to a variety of critical services, including education, health care, housing, public accommodations and government services. Our work includes advocacy on behalf of persons with mobility impairments, mental illness, developmental disabilities, communication impairments, and visual impairments, as well as advocacy on behalf of those within the disability community with limited English proficiency.

The Health Justice Program works to bring a racial justice and immigrant rights focus to health care advocacy in New York City and New York State. We work to: (1) challenge health disparities; (2) eliminate racial and ethnic discrimination and systemic and institutional barriers that limit universal access to health care; (3) promote immigrant and language access to health care, including representing undocumented and uninsured immigrants and people confined to immigration detention with serious health care needs; and (4) address the social determinants of health so that all New Yorkers can live healthy lives.

Senior Staff Attorney Position Description

The Senior Staff Attorney will have the exciting opportunity to work on existing projects in two programs, Disability Justice and Health Justice, while also developing additional work in those programs that fits within NYLPI’s mission. The Senior Staff Attorney will take substantial responsibility, in collaboration with the Disability and Health Justice Program Directors, for identifying, managing and advancing new campaign and litigation opportunities, particularly in this critical time when health, disability, and immigrant rights are under attack.   The urgency of the work in these areas has never been greater because of recent threats.

The Senior Staff Attorney’s projects may include:

  • Advocating for adequate healthcare for people who are confined in immigration detention facilities in the New York area. Such advocacy includes: working in close partnership with immigration legal service providers and community based advocates, conducting outreach and education, including developing a network of expert supporting doctors, and implementing systemic strategic solutions, including cutting-edge federal court litigation.
  • Spearheading a campaign to improve transportation for people with disabilities. This may include monitoring the resolution of our federal civil rights class action case addressing language access in the Access-a-Ride (AAR) program, and providing supervision and leadership to a new project seeking to address disability discrimination in transportation systems in NYC through organizing and legal efforts.
  • Leading a campaign to ensure that persons with developmental disabilities obtain residential placements that allow them to live independently with appropriate supports.
  • Advocating on behalf of persons with mental illness for appropriate treatment by police and other law enforcement agents.
  • Participating in current and anticipated policy campaigns at the national, State and City level seeking to keep New York as a leader in health coverage in light of challenges to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and eventually seeking expansion of coverage for all.
  • Joining the UndocuCare team to supervise health care advocacy and immigration representation to undocumented and uninsured immigrants with serious health conditions to connect them to State- funded Medicaid.
  • Developing a cross-programmatic campaign addressing the right to mental health parity in the provision of health care services and in insurance.

The Senior Staff Attorney will engage in legal, policy, and administrative advocacy, as well as community organizing and outreach, coalition-building, and media work.


  • Must be an attorney in good standing
  • Must either be licensed to practice law in the State of New York or be eligible for admission to the New York bar at the time of hiring and be admitted within one year of hire
  • 7-10 years of relevant litigation experience
  • Plus factors include: experience in immigration law and/or removal defense; experience advocating in institutional settings; experience in disability discrimination law; experience leading policy advocacy campaigns
  • Excellent writing, analytic, interpersonal, and public speaking skills
  • Ability to work independently, as well as part of a team in a fast-paced environment – including with non-lawyers
  • Excellent strategic judgment and the drive to originate and effectuate challenging campaigns
  • Commitment to community lawyering principles and health, disability, and immigrant justice
  • Fluency in a second language strongly preferred
  • Supervision experience strongly preferred

NYLPI offers a competitive salary and comprehensive employer-paid benefits, including health insurance, short and long term disability and life insurance, an outstanding retirement savings plan and fifteen (15) days of vacation during the first year of employment.

NYLPI is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer. We value the dynamism and perspective that staff diversity brings to the work and culture of the office. We actively recruit and seek to maintain a staff that is diverse along many axes, including but not limited to disability; race, ethnicity, and national origin; socioeconomic background; and sexual orientation and gender identity. NYLPI recognizes the ongoing need to foster and support diversity at all levels of the organization.

Please send cover letter, resume, brief writing sample (3-5 pages) and three references by January 24, 2017 to with the words: Attention: Senior Staff Attorney Position. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Please mention in your cover letter where you saw this advertisement. Visit us to learn more at