Founded in 1990, New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) is a leading civil legal services organization combating economic, racial, and social injustice by advocating for people experiencing poverty or in crisis. Our services include comprehensive, free civil legal services, financial empowerment, impact litigation, policy advocacy, and community partnerships. NYLAG exists because wealth should not determine who has access to justice. We aim to disrupt systemic racism by serving individuals and families whose legal and financial crises are often rooted in racial inequality. NYLAG goes to where the need is, providing services in more than 150 community sites (e.g. courts, hospitals, libraries) and on our Mobile Legal Help Center. During COVID-19, most of our services are virtual to keep our community safe. NYLAG’s staff of 320 impacted the lives of nearly 90,000 people last year.
New York Legal Assistance Group uses the power of the law to help New Yorkers experiencing poverty or in crisis combat economic, racial, and social injustice. We address emerging and urgent needs with comprehensive, free civil legal services, financial empowerment, impact litigation, policy advocacy, and community partnerships. We aim to disrupt systemic racism by serving clients, whose legal and financial crises are often rooted in racial inequality.
Values that guide us
- We reduce the effects of poverty by providing high quality, effective civil legal services.
- We strive to serve individuals and communities through a race equity lens to counteract systemic racism.
- We work to create a welcoming and inclusive work environment that reflects the communities we serve.
- We achieve systemic change through class actions, impact litigation and by advocating for just laws and policies.
- We partner with our clients to help them transform their lives and strengthen their communities.
- We address our clients ’multiple legal needs by collaborating across our practice areas.
- We are at the forefront of identifying and understanding New Yorkers’ most pressing legal needs, rapidly adapting to meet these needs with innovative programs and partnerships.
- We assess need broadly, recognizing that need is not a function of income alone.
- We collaborate with community organizations and engage pro bono attorneys and volunteers to serve a greater number of people with unmet civil legal needs.
- We teach and train the next generation of legal service professionals.
Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer, this position will create and execute an integrated vision for external affairs and directly manage our government relations, communications, media engagement, and marketing. This is an exciting opportunity to bring NYLAG’s access to justice mission to life, amplify NYLAG’s message externally, and push forward NYLAG’s legislative and other agendas.
You must possess a deep understanding of New York City and State government and legislative bodies, a passion for social and racial justice, and you must be a skilled writer and story teller who is able to compellingly describe our work across multiple channels.
This position is part of NYLAG’s leadership team and works closely with NYLAG’s President & Attorney-in-Charge and Managing Attorney.
Duties and Responsibilities:
Government Relations & Legislative Affairs
- Lead government relations strategy for discretionary funding, advance legislation and advocacy goals.
- Research, interpret, and analyze legislation, laws, and policies that impact NYLAG, our clients, and civil legal services.
- Manage NYLAG’s legislative agenda process and ensure that policy agenda items are moving forward beyond the legislative agenda season; maintain the information and materials needed for this work.
- Draft persuasive testimony that advances NYLAG’s legislative and advocacy priorities.
- Track all lobbying activity and expenses and maintain appropriate documentation.
- Liaise with the offices of elected officials, managing legal services inquiries on behalf of their constituents.
- Coordinate with Development team on government agency contracting relationships.
Marketing & Communications
- Lead marketing and communications strategy, including digital marketing (e-mail marketing, website, social media), brand awareness and thought leadership, and campaign development.
- Collaborate with the Director of Development to set a communications agenda that supports NYLAG’s overall fundraising strategy.
- Develop timely and effective tools for communicating information to various audiences, including clients, partners, elected officials, and the general public.
- Support internal communications, working closely with key stakeholders to effectively communicate timely and important messages to staff.
- Draft and/or edit the communications material needed to support the organization’s goals and priorities (e.g. statements, promotional materials etc.)
- Manage crisis communications and rapid response.
- Promote consistency of branding across NYLAG.
- Manage relationships with members of the press, pitch stories, maximize media coverage, and enhance visibility of the NYLAG’s programs.
- ·Train and prepare NYLAG staff to optimize their communications skills and ensure consistency of message and quality of presentation across platforms.
- Create and manage NYLAG’s external relations plans and policies.
- Manage external relations team, including budget, consultants, and one full time staff.
- Participate in organization-wide management discussion, which includes weekly management meetings.
- Passion for NYLAG’s mission
- 5-7 years of professional experience in advocacy, policy, marketing, and communications, preferably in a non-profit setting
- Exceptional storytelling skills: ability to communicate NYLAG’s mission, values, and goals with enthusiasm, making arguments/statements in a compelling, nuanced and concise manner
- Experience successfully building and working in coalitions and building relationships with stakeholders
- Demonstrated knowledge of New York City and State government and policy
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills
- Committed to race equity, diversity, and inclusion by incorporating an equity framework through your work.
- Ability to analyze program, policy, and advocacy issues and communicate findings and recommendations to a variety of audiences
- Strong organizational skills, collaborative and kind attitude, and attention to detail in a rapid response environment.
NYLAG’s Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion
NYLAG is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. People of color, women, people with disabilities, immigrants, veterans, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people, and those with lived experiences in the communities we serve are strongly encouraged to apply.
☐ Entry Level
Salary is commensurate with experience.
Benefits: Excellent benefits.