Staff Attorney

Job Type

Full Time




New York
New York
United States


The Legal Action Center (LAC) seeks a full time Staff Attorney in its New York office to conduct cutting-edge litigation, direct legal services, and education in furtherance of LAC’s mission.

About the Organization: LAC is a private, not-for-profit law and policy organization, with offices in New York City and Washington, D.C. LAC is the only organization in the country whose sole mission is to fight discrimination against and protect the privacy of people with criminal records, substance use disorders, and/or HIV/AIDS. LAC uses a multi-faceted approach to effectuate its mission and create systemic change, including impact litigation, legal services, and policy advocacy. 

For over 40 years, our legal services and litigation program has helped tens of thousands of individuals with criminal records, substance use disorders, and/or HIV/AIDS overcome employment, housing, and other forms of discrimination and vindicate their privacy rights. We leverage our resources through pro bono partnerships and collaborations with plaintiff-side law firms, including civil rights, employment and consumer protection law firms, and other legal organizations who share our goals.

LAC also provides training and technical assistance to legal services providers, social services providers, government agencies, and health care agencies serving our constituencies on a myriad of issues, including: New York State’s HIV privacy law; the laws that prohibit employment, housing, and other forms of discrimination based on criminal records, substance use disorders, and HIV/AIDS in New York; and the federal laws governing the confidentiality of substance use disorder patient records (including HIPAA). We also create web- and print-based “know your rights” educational materials. 

Job Responsibilities: The Staff Attorney will work in LAC’s legal department and will:

  • Participate in impact litigation and direct legal services across all of LAC’s areas, with an initial focus on re-entry work, including: working with others to devise litigation strategies; conducting extensive legal research and drafting legal memoranda; engaging in informal advocacy and pre-litigation negotiations and settlements; assisting in each stage of litigation in federal and state courts; collaborating and working with co-counsel, other legal organizations, community based organizations, and those directly impacted; representing individuals in administrative proceedings; evaluating requests for legal assistance and investigating and developing potential cases; and participating in related communications activities;
  • Conduct trainings and provide legal counsel to health and social service providers, government agencies, lawyers, and others working in the re-entry, HIV fields, and addiction fields;
  • Develop print and web-based educational materials;
  • Collaborate with other legal providers, advocacy groups, and directly impacted individuals by participating in task forces, coalitions, and committees, making presentations, and attending conferences, etc.;
  • Oversee paralegals’, law students’, and support staff’s work on specified matters, including through “attorney on-call” duties;
  • Participate in policy discussions to help shape LAC’s policy agenda and limited policy advocacy related to LAC’s litigation and legal services work; and
  • Collaborate with staff in the legal, policy, communications, and development departments on issues related to LAC’s mission.


The position will report to the Deputy Director of Litigation, but will work closely with other members of the Legal Department.

Job Qualifications and Requirements:

  • J.D. and admission to New York State Bar or willingness to immediately apply for admission. 0-3 years of legal experience preferred;
  • Familiarity with and passion for promoting re-entry and dismantling barriers to re-entry, seeking equitable practices for LAC’s constituencies, ending mass arrest and incarceration policies, promoting a public health approach to addiction, securing and enforcing privacy rights, and interest in the broader aspects of systemic reform and its policy implications; 
  • Excellent legal research and analytical skills;
  • Excellent written and oral communication and advocacy skills, including the ability to relate and communicate effectively with a diverse group of clients, community partners, and staff, as well as legal, judicial, non-profit, government, and business communities;
  • Excellent time-management skills and attention to detail. Must be flexible and able to prioritize work given needs and demands of the organization;
  • Strong networking skills and the ability to develop and maintain professional relationships with organizations, individuals, and government;
  • Ability to work independently as well as collaboratively, to take initiative and think creatively, and solve problems;
  • Willingness to do limited travel in the United States; and
  • Spanish language skills are preferred.

Compensation and Benefits: Salary is commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits, including medical insurance, 403(b) plan with employer contribution, and pre-tax flexible benefits.

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

No requirement

How To Apply

Application Instructions: Please email a cover letter, résumé, and writing sample (no calls) to and write “Staff Attorney” in the subject line. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled, but please apply as soon as possible. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Only candidates selected for interviews will be contacted.

The Legal Action Center is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Members of LAC’s stakeholder populations are strongly encouraged to apply.