Staff Attorney, SDNY Pro Se Clinic

Job Type

Full Time


Details: Salary is commensurate with experience.




7 Hanover Square
18th Floor
New York
United States



Founded in 1990, the New York Legal Assistance Group provides free civil legal services to low-income New Yorkers. The organization serves immigrants, seniors, the homebound, families facing foreclosure, renters facing eviction, low-income consumers, those in need of government assistance, children in need of special education, domestic violence victims, persons with disabilities, patients with chronic illness or disease, low-wage workers, low-income members of the LGBTQ community, Holocaust survivors, and others in need. The organization’s annual operating budget is over $27 million. Serving more than 75,000 New Yorkers annually, New York Legal Assistance Group maintains a paid staff of approximately 280, supported by 2,200 pro bono attorneys and other volunteers and interns. For more information, applicants are encouraged to visit


The New York Legal Assistance Group uses the power of the law to help New Yorkers in need combat social and economic injustice. We address emerging and urgent legal needs with comprehensive, free civil legal services, impact litigation, policy advocacy, and community education.

Values that guide us

·        We reduce the effects of poverty by providing high quality, effective civil legal services. 

·        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 achieve systemic change through class actions, impact litigation and by advocating for just laws and policies.

·        We work to create a welcoming and inclusive work environment that reflects the communities we serve.

·        We teach and train the next generation of legal service professionals.

Job Description:

NYLAG has an opening for a part-time (50%) attorney specializing in mediation at its Legal Clinic for Pro Se Litigants in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY). This Clinic provides free, individual legal assistance to non-prisoner, pro se litigants in the SDNY. This innovative clinic is among the first in the nation to provide pro se assistance in federal court, and has recently expanded to represent pro se litigants in connection with settlement.

The mediation attorney will be an integral part of a Clinic team consisting of one supervising attorney, one staff attorney, and two paralegals, with offices in the SDNY at 40 Foley Square in Manhattan. The mediation attorney will interview clients, perform legal research, assess the strengths and weaknesses of clients’ cases, draft mediation statements and settlement letters, in appropriate cases draft amended complaints, counsel clients about their cases, advocate for clients at mediation sessions and settlement conferences, draft and comment on settlement agreements, and assist with other Clinic legal matters. Most matters will entail representation of a pro se plaintiff in an employment discrimination cases, but some matters involve representing defendants in employment cases and other matters involve other areas of law. This is an excellent opportunity for a lawyer interested in strengthening the skills needed to facilitate favorable settlements.

Duties and Responsibilities:

·        Counseling clients about mediation and settlement;

·        Interviewing clients to understand the facts of their cases;

·        Performing legal research to allow assessment of the strengths and weaknesses in the clients’ cases;

·        Advising clients about the strengths and weaknesses of their cases;

·        Drafting mediation statements;

·        Drafting amended complaints in appropriate cases;

·        Advocating for clients at mediation sessions and settlement conferences;

·        Drafting and commenting on settlement agreements;

·        Explaining the terms of settlement agreements to clients; and

·        Assisting with other Clinic legal tasks, including intake, client interviews, legal research, drafting court documents and advising litigants on a variety of issues.


This is an ideal opportunity for a lawyer who is admitted to the bar of the SDNY and who has experience in counseling clients in connection with mediation and settlement. Preference will be given to those applicants with familiarity with employment law and/or civil rights law (particularly 42 U.S.C. s. 1983). Applicants must be prepared to interact with a diverse client population in a sensitive and professional manner. Applicants should demonstrate a strong commitment to public service and have excellent research, writing and analytic abilities. The successful candidate will work closely with the Clinic’s other staff.

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.


Excellent benefits.

Level of Language Proficiency


Professional Level


Minimum Education Required