Microenterprise Project Staff Attorney

September 5th, 2023
Microenterprise Project Staff Attorney

Microenterprise Project Staff Attorney

  • Full Time
  • Mid-Level
Job Category: Legal
Location: Manhattan
Job Sectors: Legal
Salary Range: $66,300 - $79,050

Volunteers of Legal Services Microenterprise Project Staff Attorney  

Volunteers of Legal Service (VOLS) seeks a full-time Staff Attorney to work in our Microenterprise Project. The ideal candidate is a highly motivated attorney who is passionate about providing legal support to small business owners, microentrepreneurs, and nonprofits in New York City on a wide range of transactional legal issues.  


About VOLS 

For nearly 40 years, VOLS has partnered with New York City’s leading law firms and companies as well as community-based organizations to help close the access to justice gap for low-income New Yorkers. VOLS provides free, civil legal services to New Yorkers with limited resources, including seniors, veterans, unemployed workers, immigrant youth, children and their families, mothers in prison or jail, and small business owners. In 2022, VOLS assisted clients on more than 3,000 legal matters and our services benefited nearly 4,000 individual New Yorkers. VOLS’ staff of 22, including 14 attorneys and law graduates, works with volunteer lawyers from over 80 law firms/companies to exponentially increase our impact. We partner with 150+ community groups to ensure that our services are accessible and address local needs. 


VOLS Microenterprise Project: 

The VOLS Microenterprise Project helps existing and aspiring small business owners and microentrepreneurs access high-quality free legal services from our dedicated staff and our network of pro bono lawyers. For many New Yorkers, owning a small business is an effective path out of poverty and into financial stability and independence. VOLS provides assistance with drafting contracts, reviewing corporate governance documents, entity selection and formation, protecting intellectual property, and advising on commercial leases. We partner with community and economic development organizations to connect with clients who would benefit from our legal assistance, focusing on BIPOC, women, immigrant, and veteran-owned businessesWe then help them identify their legal needs and create an action plan to address them. By providing our clients access to high caliber pro bono attorneys at our partner law firms/companies, we strive to level the playing field for small business owners who are otherwise unable to pay the high cost of hiring a lawyer. 



  • Client Engagement and Intake:  
    • Conducting screenings of applicants for service, including obtaining necessary demographic data, determination of eligibility, and scope of the client’s request for assistance. This includes hotline callbacks, in-person clinics, and other sources of intake
  • Pro Bono Support:  
    • Provide substantive and logistical support to volunteer attorneys with whom VOLS matters are placed. 
    • Creating and conducting substantive trainings and training materials for current and potential volunteers.   
    • Conducting and coordinating pro bono clinics. 
  • Direct client representation: 
    • In addition to providing pro bono support, the Staff Attorney will also carry their own caseload of direct representation matters for small business and microentrepreneur clients. These cases may include the following legal matters: entity selection and formation, contracts, intellectual property, cooperate governance, legal compliance, commercial leasing, non-profit law, and other issues  
  • Community engagement: 
    • Attending community group meetings and strengthening VOLS’ relationships with community organizations.  
    • Engaging in community outreach, including workshops and presentations. 
    • Creating and maintaining accurate and up-to-date resource materials. 
    • Engage in advocacy and policy efforts to support low-income small business owners and microentrepreneurs. 
  • Use LegalServer, our web-based case management system, to maintain data on clients, services, and impact. 
  •  Participate in committees and collaborative efforts to benefit the office, as appropriate.  
  •  Performing other duties as assigned by the Microenterprise Project Director, Legal Director, and/or Executive Director. 

Minimum Qualifications: 

  • Attorney admitted and in good standing in New York State with up to 5 years of experience or a law graduate who is eligible to be admitted to the New York State Bar.  
  • Experience and/or demonstrated interest in serving low-income individuals. 
  • Experience or interest in providing business related legal services including in the areas of entity selection and formation, cooperate governance, intellectual property, legal compliance, commercial leasing, non-profit law, and other legal matters relevant to small business owners and microentrepreneurs.  
  •  Excellent writing and oral communication skills 
  •  Professional fluency in Spanish, Mandarin, or another non-English language a plus

The position will be hybrid after the first six months. The position will be fully in person during the six-month probationary period. After, employees may work remotely up to eight days per month. Local travel to meetings, clinics, and other events are required


All candidates must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 including all up to date booster shots, unless provided a reasonable accommodation pursuant to applicable federal, state and local statutes.  



Compensation and benefits:  

The annual salary range for this position is $66,300 – $79,050 which will be determined by our collective bargaining agreement and be commensurate with experience. VOLS offers an excellent benefits package, including health, life and disability insurance, a retirement plan to which VOLS contributes and the option to contribute to a 403(b) plan. We provide 25 days of paid vacation, 12 days of paid sick leave, and 3 personal days annually.   


How to Apply: 
To apply for the Staff Attorney position, please email your cover letter, resume, and writing sample to [email protected] with the subject “Microenterprise Project Staff Attorney.” Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basisNo phone or email inquiries, please. 


VOLS strives to build and maintain a diverse staff, and we encourage candidates of all backgrounds/identities to apply for this position.  


VOLS is an equal opportunity employer, and does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, nationality, creed, age, disability, sexual orientation, biological sex, gender identity/expression, family status, military service or any other basis prohibited by law. 

Volunteers of Legal Service

  • 40 Worth Street
  • Suite 829, New York 10013
  • United States
  • Phone: 212-966-4400

To apply for this job email your details to apply@volsprobono.org

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