Staff Attorney – Civil Legal Services for People with Mental Illness

Job Type

Full Time


Details: Salary is pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement.



Application Deadline



New York
New York
United States


Mobilization for Justice (formerly MFY Legal Services), a non-profit legal services organization that provides a wide range of free civil legal services to low-income New Yorkers, is seeking a staff attorney to represent people with mental illness in civil legal matters. The staff attorney will work in MFJ’s Mental Health Law Project where the primary emphasis is on eviction prevention, ensuring income stability (including obtaining and maintaining government benefits and addressing barriers to employment), and access to healthcare. Affirmative outreach, advocacy, and litigation are encouraged to address problems affecting people with mental illness. The Mental Health Law Project works in collaboration with mental health providers and social workers in inpatient and outpatient settings using a medical-legal partnership model. 

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Conducting client intakes in person, on the telephone, or at off-site clinics, including clubhouses, outpatient clinics and hospitals.
  • Conducting factual investigations, including site visits.
  • Providing clients with advice, brief service and direct representation.
  • Researching, writing, and litigating all phases of cases including pleadings, motions, discovery, briefs, hearings, trials and appeals. 
  • Appearing for clients in Housing Court, Supreme Court, Civil Court, Federal Court and administrative agencies, including NYCHA, HPD, DHCR, HRA, OTDA and Social Security.
  • Conducting community outreach and trainings.
  • Training mental health providers on substantive law and the rights of people with disabilities.
  • Identifying, developing, and commencing impact litigation or policy initiatives to address problems affecting people with mental illness.
  • Administrative and legislative advocacy and lobbying on issues of importance to people with mental illness.
  • Working in coalition with advocacy groups on policy issues.
  • Providing testimony on proposed legislation or other legislative body topics.
  • Communicating with elected officials and the media.
  • Inputting and maintaining records in our case management system.
  • Fluency in Spanish sufficient to conduct an intake interview is strongly preferred.



  1. Admission to NYS Bar. 
  2. Well-organized and capable of managing a diverse caseload.
  3. Experience or demonstrated interest in working with people with mental illness, people with disabilities, veterans, seniors, people with substance use disorder, or people who are homeless.
  4. Ability to balance individual casework with impact litigation or advocacy initiatives.
  5. Two years of experience in housing court or working on government benefits issues preferred.

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required


How To Apply

Applicants should submit a cover letter, resume and writing sample addressed to Kevin M. Cremin, Director of Litigation for Disability and Aging Rights, and transmitted by e-mail to with “Mental Health Law Project Fall 2018” in the subject line. We encourage all applicants to include in their cover letter a statement about how your background or experience might contribute to the diversity and perspective of our office. Please indicate where you saw this ad. Applications must be received by Monday, November 26, 2018. Early applications encouraged. No telephone calls please.

For further information about MFJ, please go to

MFJ IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER. People of color, women, people with disabilities, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are welcome and encouraged to apply.