Volunteer Opportunity

Spring 2021 Volunteer - New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG)

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New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG)

Published 20 days ago

January 19, 2021
9:00am EST
May 8, 2021
11:59pm EDT
Part time (10-30 hrs/wk)

Who We Are. Founded in 1990, the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) is a leading not-for-profit civil legal services organization advocating for adults, children, and families that are experiencing poverty or have low income. We tackle the legal challenges and systemic barriers that threaten our clients’ economic stability, well-being, and safety. We address emerging and urgent needs with comprehensive, free civil legal services, direct representation, impact litigation, policy advocacy, financial counseling, medical-legal partnerships, and community education and partnerships. Last year, we affected the lives of 90,800 people.  


Our Commitment to Race Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.  We are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion and strive to constantly improve how we respond to systemic racism affecting our clients in their pursuit of justice. Our client population is diverse with intersecting social identities, but largely people of color. Recognizing our clients deserve representation and other assistance that is both culturally sensitive and trauma informed, we are committed to using volunteer and internship opportunities to include the voices and ideas of those whose backgrounds and lived experiences are similar to those of our client population as well as those who have faced systemic barriers.  We encourage everyone who has a commitment to public interest law and connection to NYLAG’s mission and values to apply.   


About Recruitment.  NYLAG hosts volunteers across our practice areas in our Fall and Spring volunteer programs starting from late August to early December. Students typically work in our main office or offsite clinics, hospitals, and community-based organizations. Volunteers are either full-time or part-time, unpaid positions. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.   


Fall recruitment period: September 1st - January 31st


Qualifications. Applicants should have excellent research, writing, and analytical skills, and a strong commitment to public interest law. Applicants may be considered for more than one position but should indicate in a single cover letter which positions are of interest and order of preference.  

Consumer Protection Unit Volunteer

The Consumer Protection Unit supports unrepresented litigants in consumer debt cases in New York City's Civil Courts. Volunteers will have the opportunity to represent clients in court, negotiate with opposing counsel, and argue before a judge. The volunteer will appear in court in defense of debt collection actions (under attorney supervision), perform legal research, draft motion papers, create legal self-help and reference materials, work directly with clients, conduct client intakes, and more. Some light administrative work is expected, such as entering client data into our client database. 


Elder Law Practice Volunteer

Volunteers in the Elder Law Practice will work closely with attorneys to provide direct elder law services to seniors who are experiencing poverty or who have low-income. Elder Law’s primary focus is obtaining health care and ensuring that client’s wishes followed through advanced life planning. Volunteers will gain a familiarity with public health insurance options and appeals, long term care in the home, the use of Supplemental Needs Trusts for disabled individuals, and the many planning documents, including powers of attorney, health care proxies, living wills and last wills and testaments. 


Employment Law Project Volunteer

The Employment Law Project provides representation in cases involving wage and hour issues (including overtime, unpaid wages, and minimum wage claims), as well as a broad range of other employment law issues. Volunteer responsibilities will include client interviewing, legal research and writing, and drafting demand letters and complaints. Strong preference for fluent Spanish speakers. 


Evelyn Frank Legal Resources Program Volunteer

Volunteers will counsel and advocate for clients who are elderly or who have disabilities to secure Medicaid and Medicare eligibility and services. Priority is given to advocating for access to home care and other long-term care services to prevent placement in nursing homes, or to enable consumers who are already in nursing homes to return to the community. Responsibilities will include all aspects of client representation in disputes with the NYC agency administering the Medicaid program or with private insurance plans to which the State Medicaid agency delegates the power to approve or deny home care and other services. Volunteers will conduct intake and counsel consumers, investigate and research factual and legal issues, draft memoranda, medical affidavits and testimony, and represent clients in appeals and, in some cases, administrative hearings in front of an Administrative Law Judge. Volunteers may also have the opportunity to edit articles for publication on Strong preference for fluent Russian or Spanish speaker 


Domestic Violence Law Volunteer

Volunteers have extensive client contact, draft petitions and motions, attend court proceedings and trainings throughout the summer. Volunteers will assist petitioners with orders of protection through the Courtroom Advocates Project (CAP) in Family Court, and will work on a variety of matters on their supervising attorney(s) docket including contested and uncontested divorces, custody and visitation, spousal and child support and immigration matters under the Violence Against Women Act. Strong preference for fluent Arabic, Mandarin, Spanish, Urdu, or Bengali speakers. 


Federal Legal Clinic Volunteer (SDNY) 

The Federal Legal Clinic (SDNY) helps at all stages of federal litigation to persons representing themselves in an incredibly diverse range of cases including, civil rights, labor and employment, intellectual property, and securities law. This diversity of cases and litigants provides volunteers with a unique opportunity to gain practical experience “thinking like a lawyer” and solving a variety of legal and non-legal issues while working directly with litigants. Volunteers have extensive contact with litigants by conducting initial intake interviews, providing legal consultations to clients under the supervision of an attorney, and interviewing clients to gather facts for written submissions to the federal court. Volunteers also write for a range of audiences including briefs for court, other litigation documents, and guides, templates, and fact sheets for litigants. This is a great opportunity for volunteers who are interested in federal litigation, direct legal services, or policy work. 

Foreclosure Prevention Project Volunteer  

The Foreclosure Prevention Project provides legal representation for homeowners facing foreclosure. The project also includes community education and financial counseling. Volunteer responsibilities include: client intakes and interviews at the Foreclosure Clinics in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Nassau or Suffolk, attending settlement conferences and court appearances, conducting legal research, submitting mortgage modification and short sale applications to lenders, assisting clients with residential real estate contracts and closings and all other aspects of foreclosure defense. Strong preference for fluent Spanish speakers. 


Health Law Volunteer 

The Health Law Practice provides advice and representation to individuals throughout New York City related to Medicare, Medicaid and other public health insurance programs and serves as the principal public health insurance resource for the Public Benefit Unit’s broader benefits work. A volunteer in the Health Law Practice will conduct phone intakes, advocate with government agencies to assist clients secure health insurance related benefits/services, conduct legal research, and support attorneys/paralegals in the Health Law practice.   

Immigrant Protection Unit Volunteer 

Volunteers provide direct client services, including application assistance for naturalization, self-petitions for domestic violence victims, T visas for victims of human trafficking, U visas for victims of crimes, other affirmative and humanitarian-based applications, and in some instances, applications for asylum. Volunteers conduct extensive legal research as well as draft comprehensive legal memoranda. Finally, students also could be involved in community outreach and other project-based initiatives. Strong preference for fluent Spanish speakers.  


LegalHealth Volunteer

Volunteers will help patients secure benefits, address housing issues, handle immigration matters, access special education services, solve insurance disputes, resolve family law matters and negotiate workplace accommodations. Volunteer responsibilities will include client interviewing, maintaining client files, legal writing and research. Strong preference for fluent Spanish speakers. 


LGBTQ Law Project Volunteer

The LGBTQ Law Project serves New York City’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer communities by providing free representation and advice on a wide array of civil legal matters and offering group trainings on legal issues affecting the LGBTQ communities. The LGBTQ Law Project provides free representation in the following areas: housing and family law matters, including orders of protection, second parent adoptions, custody and visitation, divorces, legal name changes, immigration issues, orders of protection, public benefits, estate matters, advance directives, housing and employment discrimination and more. Volunteer responsibilities will include working directly with clients, intake, client interviews, maintaining and updating client files, legal research, drafting and filing court and client documents. Strong preference for fluent Spanish speakers. 


Mediation Project Volunteer

Volunteers will interview potential clients about issues to be resolved, screen out domestic violence cases through clients' interviews, observe, take notes and write a summary of mediation sessions and conduct outreach to community-based organizations about the project. In addition, students assist clients prepare statements of net worth and gather financial information, draft agreements mediated by the parties at NYLAG, work on an uncontested divorce for a party who mediated their agreement at NYLAG, as well as research and write a guide on issues such as equitable distribution, support, custody/visitation and domestic violence to be used by consulting attorneys. 


Mobile Legal Help Center (MLHC) 

The Mobile Legal Help Center (MLHC) is an innovative joint project of NYLAG and the New York State Courts Access to Justice Program that travels directly to underserved communities to bring free, civil legal services to individuals in New York City and Long Island. The Mobile Legal Help Center is the country’s first-ever legal services office on wheels. Attorneys provide counseling, advice, and direct representation without leaving the vehicle. The MLHC contains two private meeting areas for attorneys and clients and is equipped with high-speed Internet and state-of-the-art technology. It travels throughout the five boroughs and parts of Long Island, focusing on areas with limited public transportation options. Through the MLHC, New Yorkers in need of legal help can overcome obstacles such as geographic isolation, health and mobility issues, and childcare concerns. Volunteers staff the van 1-2 times per week and conduct intakes in all areas of law that NYLAG practices. Volunteers also assist MLHC attorneys who practice in Housing and Employment law with drafting documents, conducting research, advocacy with administrative agencies, and shadowing at court appearances. 

Special Education Volunteer 

Special Education volunteers will address such matters as the adequacy of child’s Individual Education Plan (IEP), the appropriateness of child’s school placement, and a child’s need for related services, such as speech and language therapy. Volunteer responsibilities will include client interviewing, maintaining client files, legal writing and research.  


Special Litigation Volunteer (Writing Sample Required) 

SLU seeks law students with a demonstrated commitment to public interest work and service to populations experiencing poverty. Volunteers will provide substantive contributions to all phases of complex impact litigations that advance social and economic justice, addressing the full range of legal areas in which NYLAG serves clients. Among other things, volunteers will conduct in-depth legal research, investigate the factual bases for proposed and ongoing impact litigation, draft comprehensive legal memoranda and court documents, participate in litigation and settlement strategy discussions, assist with motion practice and discovery, and attend court proceedings and case meetings. A WRITING SAMPLE IS REQUIRED.   

Tenants’ Rights Volunteer

Volunteers will get hands-on experience conducting every aspect of eviction defense litigation, including client intake interviews, engaging in deadline-sensitive research to support Housing Court motion practice, and drafting Housing Court motions. Volunteers will accompany attorneys to Housing Court appearances on a regular basis and participate in negotiations with opposing counsel to settle cases. Volunteers will also engage in affirmative litigation to assert tenants’ rights under rent stabilization laws and to ensure tenants’ apartments are safe and habitable. Finally, volunteers will work on administrative law matters to help clients resolve issues with public housing, help seniors and/or disabled tenants freeze their rent, and resolve problems with housing subsidies. Volunteers should be available to travel to courthouses in different boroughs, especially Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan. Preference will be given to candidates who are bilingual in Spanish, Russian or another prevalent language. 

Total Life Choices Program Volunteers

TLC volunteers will have extensive client contact and will assist with drafting Last Wills and Testaments, preparing Powers of Attorney and Advance Directives, as well as all other facets encompassing TLC’s work. Fluency in Spanish and/or Haitian Creole appreciated.  


Veterans Practice 

Volunteers in the Veterans Practice will work closely with NYLAG staff to provide direct legal services to United States military veterans. The Veterans Practice is focused on helping veterans secure the compensation and benefits they earned through their dedicated service to our country. Volunteers will become familiar with the eligibility, procedural, and evidentiary requirements for VA disability benefit claims and DOD discharge upgrades. Volunteers will have the opportunity to work on applications and appeals by gathering and reviewing evidence, drafting legal briefs and memoranda, and communicating directly with veteran clients. The Veterans Practice provides an opportunity to learn about legal protections for veterans, federal and state veterans’ benefits, and the landscape of social service providers in NYC. 


Who We Are. Founded in 1990, the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) is a leading not-for-profit civil legal services organization advocating for adults, children, and families that are experiencing poverty or have low income. We tackle…

Details at a glance

  • On-site Location


7 Hanover Square, 18th Floor, New York, NY 10004

How to Apply

Submit a cover letter AND resume to   Your cover letter MUST clearly state the specific position for which you are applying and describe relevant experience.  Please review the job description for which unit(s) require a writing sample. The subject line of the email MUST read: SPRING VOLUNTEER 2021.   


Submit a cover letter AND resume to   Your cover letter MUST clearly state the specific position for which you are applying and describe relevant experience…

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