Jobs & Volunteering

General Legal Services Attorney
Volunteer: Pro Bono opportunities
Internships

General Civil Legal Services Attorney

The Veteran Advocacy Project (VAP) seeks applicants for a general legal services attorney for short-term contract work.

The Veteran Advocacy Project (VAP) seeks applicants for a general legal services attorney. The position will focus on litigation and advocacy on behalf of low-income veterans and their families. This is a temporary contract position for four months, with possibility for extension.
VAP provides free civil legal services to low-income veterans and their families, with a focus on those living with Post Traumatic Stress, Traumatic Brain Injury, and substance use problems. Most of our nation’s veterans make a successful transition back to civilian life, but it is not always easy. The VA’s records indicate that 20 veterans die by suicide each day. An estimated 30 percent of our troops come home with Post Traumatic Stress and countless veterans struggle with Traumatic Brain Injuries, depression, and substance dependency. VAP is partnered with VA hospitals, mental health clinics, and local veterans’ groups to reach veterans where they are. With a dedicated team of attorneys and advocates, VAP works tirelessly to tackle veterans’ legal challenges and connect clients to appropriate programs. Through these services, veterans achieve the stability needed to regain their health and rebuild their lives.

The attorney will be responsible for providing direct legal assistance to veterans in the Supportive Services for Veterans Families (SSVF) programs that VAP works with. Work will include outreach at those organizations’
offices, representation for veterans in Housing Court, at NYCHA hearings, and in advocacy involving HUD-VASH vouchers, benefits, and more. The ideal candidate also has general knowledge in the areas of consumer finance, child support, and government benefits. While the goal of these partnerships is removing barriers to housing stability, the attorney will be able to work in any number of areas, so we encourage those without a housing focus to apply.

Military experience or prior work with veterans is a plus.

Responsibilities

  • Independently manage a large caseload of full representation cases;
  • Represent clients in housing court and administrative hearings;
  • Provide ongoing telephone and/or written advice to clients not actively facing eviction;
  • Collaborate with other staff on case strategies and integration of services to meet clients’ needs holistically,
    including identifying issues for referral to other services;
  • Conduct intake, outreach, and training at partner organizations’ sites;
  • Research legal issues, with a focus on housing law, public benefits, and VA benefits;
  • Track client information in our database, prepare reports for grants/funding sources, attend meetings, perform
    administrative tasks related to the work.

Responsibilities

  • JD and current membership in good standing of the New York State Bar;
  • Two years of legal services experience;
  • Demonstrated proficiency in legal research; excellent analytical and critical thinking skills;
  • Efficient and meticulous attention to detail;
  • Strong communication skills, including the ability to work with people living with mental illness, substance use
    disorders, and traumatic brain injury;
  • Ability to work independently with strong motivation, to manage a high client load, to meet deadlines, and to be
    flexible.

 

To apply, please send an email with the subject “Contract Attorney” to veterans@urbanjustice.org with a cover letter,
resume, and writing sample.

The Urban Justice Center is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will be afforded equal
employment opportunities without discrimination because of race, religion/creed, color, national origin, sex, age,
disability, sexual orientation, military status, predisposing genetic characteristics, victim of domestic violence status
or marital status.

 

Pro Bono

VAP welcomes attorneys who would like to take on pro bono cases. There is a great need for family law services, representation in housing court, and assistance with military discharge upgrades. To learn more about volunteering with VAP please email veterans@urbanjustice.org.

Discharge Upgrade Clinic: When servicemembers leave the military their discharge status determines what benefits, if any, they will eligible to receive. A bad discharge can be a barrier to employment, benefits, and health care. Many of our servicemembers are given less than honorable discharges due to misconduct connected to mis- or undiagnosed Post Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injury. From 2011-2015, of the servicemembers who had been diagnosed with these conditions during service, only4 percent received an Honorable discharge.  We are not only punishing injury, we are cutting them of from the very care they need to heal.

VAP is fighting to get these veterans the help they deserve. For firms who would like to take on cases, we have a “hands-on” approach that includes ongoing guidance, editing briefs, and coordinating moot hearings; we also have an online resource center with videos, sample applications, and more!

 

INTERNSHIPS

Legal

The Veteran Advocacy Project provides legal representation to low-income veterans and their families, with a focus on those living with Post Traumatic Stress, Traumatic Brain Injury, substance use disorders, and other mental health issues. When these veterans face legal challenges, such as eviction or an improper denial of benefits, it dramatically increases the risk that they will spiral further into illness, become homeless, or die by suicide. The Veteran Advocacy Project intervenes before veterans reach the breaking point by connecting them with resources and ensuring their access to housing, health care, and income.

Our practice covers Housing Court, VA claims, public benefits, military discharge upgrades, and more. We are seeking 2Ls and 3Ls with excellent analytical and critical thinking skills, demonstrated proficiency in legal research, and the ability to communicate well with others, including those living with mental illness. Interns will participate in outreach and client interviews, represent veterans in administrative hearings, write legal memos, or assist in discharge upgrades or VA claims cases. They will be provided with training and supervision. The summer program at the Urban Justice Center also includes weekly sessions on other practice areas, as each of the twelve projects present on some aspect of their legal work.

Please send a resume and cover letter to veterans@urbanjustice.org with the subject: “[Fall/Spring/Summer YYYY] Internship.”  Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.

The Urban Justice Center is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will be afforded equal employment opportunities without discrimination because of race, religion/creed, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, military status, predisposing genetic characteristics, victim of domestic violence status or marital status.

Undergrad

The Veteran Advocacy Project at the Urban Justice Center seeks an intern to assist with legal services in Summer 2018. Responsibilities will range from direct client interaction to administrative work. The internship can be full- or part-time, and weekly hours are negotiable. The internship is unpaid so interns are encouraged to obtain funding from outside sources.

INTERNSHIP DUTIES/RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Interact with clients: intake, follow up interviews, assistance with paperwork (forms, releases, etc.);
  • Write letters to government agencies and clients;
  • Obtain and copy court files;
  • Provide thorough referrals to connect clients with other services;
  • Perform administrative tasks, including: covering the intake phone line, entering client information into multiple databases, copying, faxing, etc.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Excellent analytical and critical thinking skills;
  • Meticulous attention to detail;
  • Communication skills, including the ability to maintain confidentiality and to work with people living with mental illness;
  • Ability to work independently, to meet deadlines, and to be flexible.

A resume and cover letter may be submitted to veterans@urbanjustice.org with “Undergrad Intern 2018″ in the subject line. No calls, please.

The Urban Justice Center is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will be afforded equal employment opportunities without discrimination because of race, religion/creed, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, military status, predisposing genetic characteristics, victim of domestic violence status or marital status.