Short Term Staff Attorney-Unemployed Workers Project

May 19th, 2020
Short Term Staff Attorney-Unemployed Workers Project

Short Term Staff Attorney-Unemployed Workers Project

  • Full Time
  • Entry Level
Job Category: Other
Location: Manhattan
Job Sectors: Other

Volunteers of Legal Services (VOLS) Unemployed Workers Project (UWP) seeks a short-term, full time staff attorney. The position is available immediately, is grant funded and for three months, with possibility for extension beyond the three months

Job Title: Short Term Staff Attorney (admission not required)

Volunteers of Legal Services (VOLS), seeks a Short Term Staff Attorney to support the Project Director and our team with daily tasks for UWP.

The project is dedicated to representing unemployed workers who are inquiring about their unemployment benefit rights and those who have wrongfully been denied benefits.

Unemployed Workers Project: We screen potential clients who contact us through a message hotline and online inquiry form. The project determines eligibility for services which include but are not limited to advising callers of their rights with respect to unemployment benefits as affected by the new CARES Act and matching clients with pro bono advocates for limited scope advice. We recruit, train and mentor pro bono lawyers to enable them to represent claimants in limited scope clinics and at administrative hearings. The Staff Attorney should be passionate about access to justice for workers and capable of representing clients themselves.

Volunteers of Legal Services (VOLS) Mission: The mission of VOLS is to leverage the good will, resources and talents of New York City’s leading law firms and in-house legal departments to provide pro bono Legal assistance to low income New Yorkers through projects that focus on immigrants, children, the elderly, veterans, incarcerated mothers, the unemployed and small business owners. VOLS was founded almost 35 years ago, when leaders of the NYC Bar were concerned about cuts to legal services, and the resulting loss of legal assistance to low-income individuals and communities. The many law firms represented on our board agreed to help bridge the gap by providing their services pro bono. We have played a vital role in providing access to justice.

Staff Attorney Responsibilities: 

        • Monitor VOLS’ unemployment benefits hotline and online inquiries by conducting intake and screening
        • Provide guidance to applicants with benefits questions 
        • Summarize pro bono attorney feedback and assist the Project Director to evaluate matters for more comprehensive representation
        • Prepare claimants for hearings by reviewing administrative hearing procedures and processes prior to appearances
        • Assist with document preparation and legal research for administrative hearings
        • Assemble and prepare evidence materials such as statements, affidavits, records and transcripts for hearings and appeals
        • Possibility to represent clients in administrative hearings 
        • Engage in community outreach including preparing project specific materials for community based organizations, state and local elected officials, and bar associations
        • Work with the project’s team to communicate about the project through traditional and social media


        • Excellent writing and analytical skills
        • Excellent public speaking skills
        • Creative and have a passion for social justice
        • Experienced in working with community organizations and coalitions
        • Proficiency in Microsoft Office and familiarity with case management software/databases
        • Relevant unemployment experience is preferred
        • Fluency in languages other than English, especially Spanish, is preferred

Compensation: Salary commensurate with legal services organizations and will depend on experience. How to Apply: After reviewing, please email a cover letter and resume to [email protected] with the subject line “Unemployed Workers Project Short Term, Full Time Staff Attorney Application.”

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. No phone or email inquiries, please. 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, or any other basis prohibited by law. We strive to build and maintain a diverse staff, and we encourage candidates of all backgrounds/identities to apply for this position.

Deadline: May 29, 2020

Volunteers of Legal Service

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