LAC is a non-profit law and policy organization that specializes in fighting discrimination against and protecting the rights of people with substance use disorders, HIV/AIDS, or criminal records.

New York

The Legal Action Center (LAC) seeks a full-time Staff Attorney in its New York office to work on cutting edge issues related to substance use disorders and health care privacy.

About the Organization: LAC is a private, not-for-profit law and policy organization, with offices in New York City and Washington, D.C.  LAC is the only organization in the country whose sole mission is to fight discrimination against people with criminal records, substance use disorders, and/or HIV/AIDS.  For over 40 years, LAC has championed a public health approach to addiction and HIV/AIDS, fought mass incarceration, and challenged the myriad collateral consequences of a criminal record.  LAC uses a multi-faceted approach involving policy advocacy, education, direct legal services, and impact litigation.

About the issue:  LAC is a national expert on and leading advocate for the laws protecting the privacy of alcohol and drug treatment and HIV information.  LAC believes that heightened privacy protections are critical to encourage people to seek care and to minimize discrimination that can result from disclosing this sensitive information.  The Staff Attorney will join LAC at a time of significant debate over the viability of heightened privacy protections for substance use disorder (SUD) records.  The expansion of electronic health records, along with increasing integration of SUD and mental health care with other medical care, have raised new challenges for protecting privacy while also adjusting to a new health care environment.  LAC advocates for maintaining strong patient privacy protections for people with SUD while also ensuring that they can benefit from new health care models and technology.

Federal regulations governing the confidentiality of SUD patient records were recently amended for the first time in nearly 30 years in order to adapt to the changing health care environment. The Staff Attorney will play an instrumental role in helping LAC interpret the new rules, educate stakeholders (SUD treatment providers, other health care providers, and government agencies) about them, and respond to any new efforts to weaken privacy protections for SUD patients, who remain vulnerable to discrimination and criminal consequences related to their illness.  For more information about LAC’s health privacy work, see the SUD confidentiality page of LAC’s website.

Job Responsibilities: The Staff Attorney will work in LAC’s legal department (which includes five attorneys and four paralegals) and will:

  • Participate in, and eventually lead, LAC’s substance use disorder confidentiality work, including:
    • analyzing relevant statutes, regulations, and sub-regulatory guidance;
    • writing and editing LAC’s publications;
    • creating and conducting web-based and in-person trainings;
    • speaking at conferences and to the media;
    • providing legal counsel to treatment providers through LAC’s telephone hotline;
    • providing technical assistance to federal, state, and local government agencies; and
    • conducting public policy advocacy to ensure heightened confidentiality protections for substance use disorder records are retained.
  • Work on HIV privacy issues in New York, as needed, mainly through LAC’s telephone hotline and publication of educational materials, but potentially through legal services on behalf of individuals facing HIV privacy violations;
  • Direct LAC’s legal internship program;
  • Work on other LAC legal department issues as needed and as time permits, such as direct legal services and impact litigation; and
  • Collaborate with staff in the legal, policy, communications, and development departments on issues related to substance use, the criminal justice system, and HIV/AIDS.

The position will report to the Legal Director, but will work very closely with a Senior Staff Attorney.

Qualifications

  • Outstanding analytical skills and attention to detail. Experience interpreting statutes and regulations a plus.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, with proven ability to write and speak effectively to non-legal audiences. Experience translating complex legal concepts into plain English is preferred.
  • A passion for promoting a public health approach to addiction, securing and enforcing health privacy rights, ending mass incarceration, and seeking racial justice. Ideal candidate would have knowledge of health care and criminal justice issues.
  • Willingness to do limited travel in the United States.
  • J.D., admitted (or candidate for admission) in New York. Two to four years of legal or other relevant professional experience preferred.
  • Excellent advocacy skills and ability to think creatively.
  • High level of independence, initiative and creativity, demonstrated problem solving skills, and the ability to multi-task and work in teams.
  • Strong networking skills and the ability to develop and maintain relationships with individuals, organizations and government agencies and well as to work with diverse groups of people.
  • Responsibilities will be commensurate with experience and demonstrated skill level.

Salary

Salary is commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits, including medical insurance, 403(b) plan with employer contribution, and pre-tax flexible benefits.

Application

Please e-mail a resume and brief cover letter (no calls) to [email protected] and write Staff Attorney in the subject line. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, but please apply as soon as possible. Only candidates selected for interviews will be contacted. The Legal Action Center is an equal opportunity employer

The Legal Action Center (LAC) is seeking applications from second and third year law students for our part-time Semester Legal Internship program. LAC’s Legal Interns work with our attorneys and policy staff to assist with impact litigation, direct client services, and policy advocacy on behalf of individuals with substance use disorders, criminal records, and/or HIV/AIDS. Much of LAC’s work is undertaken in the areas of employment discrimination, health care access, health privacy, disability and other civil rights law, and the administration of the criminal justice system. Excellent research and writing skills are required.

ABOUT THE LEGAL ACTION CENTER: The Legal Action Center is the only non-profit law and policy organization in the United States whose sole mission is to fight discrimination against people with histories of addiction, HIV/AIDS, and/or criminal records, and to advocate for sound public policies in these areas. For four decades, LAC has worked to combat the stigma and prejudice that keep these individuals out of the mainstream of society. The Legal Action Center is committed to helping people reclaim their lives, maintain their dignity, and participate fully in society as productive, responsible citizens.

LAC works to reduce substance use disorders by conducting policy advocacy to expand and improve treatment and prevention, providing legal assistance to people in recovery or still suffering from addiction, and working with programs that serve them to fight discrimination and violations of privacy. LAC works to prevent HIV/AIDS and protect those living with HIV/AIDS by providing legal assistance to people with HIV/AIDS and programs that serve them, and advocating for expanded prevention, care and other services. LAC helps improve the criminal justice system by helping qualified people with criminal records to obtain employment and services needed to re-enter society successfully, assisting programs that work with them, and conducting public policy advocacy and research to reform sentencing laws, expand community corrections, and promote other sound policies.

JOB DESCRIPTION AND DUTIES: Working with staff at LAC’s New York City office, Legal Interns assist attorneys and policy staff with the broad array of work LAC performs, including:

  • legal research and writing for impact litigation and client advocacy;
  • research and writing for public policy advocacy;
  • working directly with clients and prospective clients by conducting intakes, providing information to individuals seeking to overcome barriers based on their criminal histories, and drafting client advocacy documents; and
  • drafting position papers, legislation, and other policy documents.

QUALIFICATIONS: Excellent analytic and writing skills required. The Legal Action Center is an equal opportunity employer.

TIME COMMITMENT: At least 10-15 hours per week for at least 10 weeks. Full-time positions are also available. If an intern is available to work more hours each week or for more than 10 weeks, there may be more opportunities to increase the level of responsibility and range of work.

SALARY: If a student will not be receiving external funding or course credit for the internship, the Legal Action Center will pay the student an hourly rate.

To apply, please send a cover letter, resume, and writing sample to the Legal Action Center, Attention: Legal Intern Coordinator, 225 Varick St., Suite 402, New York, NY 10014; fax: (212) 675-0286; email: [email protected], with subject line “Legal Internship.”

The Legal Action Center (LAC) seeks interns for its New York City headquarters to work on projects related to fighting discrimination against people with histories of addiction and/or criminal justice involvement and increasing access to services.

About the Organization: LAC is a private, not-for-profit law and policy organization, with offices in New York City and Washington, D.C.  LAC is the only organization in the country whose sole mission is to fight discrimination against people with criminal records, drug or alcohol histories, and/or HIV/AIDS. LAC is a national leader in fighting mass incarceration by expanding alternatives to incarceration, seeking to connect individuals in the criminal justice system to health care services and reducing barriers to reentry in employment, housing and higher education.

Job duties: Interns will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of public policy and client-related projects, which may include:

  • Researching and writing about policies and programs that impact people in the criminal justice system in New York City, New York State and federally;
  • Helping to build coalitions to maintain strong privacy protections for substance use disorder treatment records and to advocate for policies that reduce barriers to housing for people with criminal justice histories;
  • Helping to organize a conference about increasing access to medication-assisted treatment in jails and prisons;
  • Screening calls from clients who have faced discrimination;
  • Supporting the agency’s external communications efforts.

 Qualifications 

  • Current college student or equivalent experienced required;
  • Strong research, analytic, writing, and verbal communication skills;
  • Ability to attend meetings and take notes;
  • Experience designing websites a plus;
  • Bilingual ability in English and Spanish preferred.

Application

Please e-mail a resume and brief cover letter (no calls) to [email protected] and write “New York State Intern” in the subject line. The Legal Action Center is an equal opportunity employer. We encourage applications from our constituencies.

Time Commitment

Minimum 10 hours per week for 8 weeks, but up to full-time for the entire summer.  The greater the time commitment, the more responsibility the intern can take on.

Washington, D.C.

Position Announcement: Policy Associate 

The Legal Action Center (LAC) seeks a Policy Associate in its Washington, D.C. office to work on a variety of projects primarily related to criminal justice reform. This position will focus on eliminating discriminatory federal and state policies facing people who have been involved in the criminal justice system.

About the Organization 

LAC is a private, not-for-profit law and policy organization with offices in New York City and Washington, D.C. LAC is the only organization in the country whose sole mission is to fight discrimination against and protect the privacy of people living with criminal records, drug or alcohol histories, and/or HIV/AIDS. LAC’s multi-faceted approach involves direct legal services and impact litigation, technical assistance and training to agencies that serve our constituencies, and national, federal and state policy advocacy to create systemic changes. The Center’s National Helping Individuals with criminal records Reenter through Employment (HIRE) Network project was established in 2001 to increase the number and quality of job opportunities available to people with criminal records by improving employment policies and practices and changing public opinion. HIRE accomplishes these goals by: serving as a clearinghouse for information, providing leadership on public policy and advocacy, providing technical assistance and training on overcoming employment barriers based on a criminal record, and promoting collaboration between the workforce development, business, and criminal justice communities across the nation.

Job Responsibilities: 

The Policy Associate will focus primarily on federal policy advocacy and analysis of issues related to ending discrimination against people with criminal records and people with substance use disorder histories. Responsibilities will include:

  • Helping to develop and implement advocacy strategies with Congress and the Administration to eliminate legal and policy barriers against people with criminal histories.
  • Conducting policy research and analysis of federal and state laws and regulations.
  • Writing policy materials for Congress and advocates.
  • Participating in a number of coalitions on behalf of the Center.
  • Conducting educational presentations and trainings on various criminal justice reform issues; and
  • Serving as a liaison between state and federal criminal justice reform advocates.

Qualifications:

  • Public policy experience (minimum 2 years), preferably in the area of criminal justice.  Graduate degrees in law or public policy preferred. A passion for advocacy to eliminate discriminatory policies facing people who have been involved in the criminal justice system is essential.
  • Excellent written and oral communication, advocacy, and analytic skills, including the ability to explain complex issues in clear, persuasive terms.
  • High level of organizational skills and ability to multi-task.
  • Strong networking skills and the ability to develop and maintain relationships with individuals, organizations and government agencies and well as to work with diverse groups of people.
  • Desire and ability to work both independently and collaboratively in a small (5-6 people), busy office.
  • Willingness to travel.

Salary: 

Salary is commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits, including medical insurance, 403(b) plan with employer contribution, and pre-tax flexible benefits. 

Application: 

Please e-mail a resume and brief cover letter (no calls) to [email protected] and write Policy Associate in the subject line.  Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, but please apply as soon as possible.  Only candidates selected for interviews will be contacted. The Legal Action Center is an equal opportunity employer. Members of LAC’s stakeholder populations are strongly urged to apply.

October 19, 2016

Legal Internships

If you are interested in Interning in our Washington, D.C. office, we periodically have positions available. Through our Washington office, LAC advocates with Congress and agencies within the administration to improve our federal laws and policies to end discrimination against people in recovery or still suffering from addiction; to expand funding and coverage for life-saving alcohol and drug treatment, prevention, and research; and to eliminate barriers that people with criminal records face when reentering the community from incarceration.

JOB DESCRIPTION AND DUTIES: LAC interns research, track, and analyze federal legislation and policy, attend Congressional hearings and briefings, and assist in other ongoing projects related to the federal advocacy work. Excellent research and writing skills are required. Past interns have included law school and other graduate students interested in policy advocacy; some LAC interns have elected to continue their internship beyond the summer semester. While this has traditionally been a paid internship, individuals could instead elect to receive credit for their work. The Legal Action Center is an equal opportunity employer. Members of LAC’s stakeholder populations are strongly urged to apply.

More information about LAC and our National HIRE Network, which focuses on expanding employment opportunities for people with criminal records, can be found on our websites, http://www.lac.org and www.hirenetwork.org, or by contacting Sherie V. Boyd, Office Manager, at [email protected].

To apply for this internship, please send a cover letter and resume to Ms. Boyd at [email protected].

 

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