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

Legal Action Center seeks a full-time Grants Manager. Working closely with a small team of policy experts, attorneys and development staff, the Grants Manager will participate in all aspects of institutional fundraising, including researching prospective funders, developing proposals and tracking and reporting on deliverables.  This position will report to the Director of Program Support.

ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION: LAC 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 substance use, HIV/AIDS, and criminal records, and to advocate for sound public policies in these areas. For over 45 years, LAC has championed public health approaches to substance use disorder and HIV/AIDS, fought mass incarceration, and challenged the myriad collateral consequences of a criminal record. LAC uses a multi-faceted approach to create change, including direct legal services, impact litigation, education, and policy advocacy at the local, state, and federal levels.

Legal Action Center is an equal opportunity employer. Individuals with diverse backgrounds and/or those with lived experience in our work areas are strongly encouraged to apply.

Grants Manager Responsibilities:

  • Fundraising
    • Conduct background research on proposal topics and potential donors.
    • Manage prospect tracking.
    • Interact with board of directors about new prospects.
    • Write short proposals and assist Director of Program Support to write and submit larger and/or more complex funding requests.
  • Deliverables Management and Reporting
    • Help to pilot and maintain a project management system (using SalesForce) to track progress, provide regular feedback and ensure timely completion of grant-funded project deliverables.
    • Produce internal deliverables and data summaries and reports for organizational departments, e.g. legal, policy, finance, development and communications.
    • Write or help to create reports and updates for institutional donors.
  • Institutional donor relations
    • Write and send donor acknowledgements and other routine correspondence.
    • Assist with site-visit preparation.
    • Help plan and execute fundraising and stewardship events.

Qualifications

  • Commitment to helping individuals with criminal records, substance use disorders and/or HIV overcome stigma and discrimination and lead lives of dignity;
  • Excellent writing and communication skills;
  • At least 2 years of non-profit experience;
  • Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or equivalent experience;
  • Excellent research, analytical, organizational, and project management skills;
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite; knowledge of SalesForce preferred;
  • Inclination and ability to work independently;
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously and follow-up with short and long-term objectives;
  • Ability to work well with a diverse set of colleagues and find humor in life.

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

To apply
Please send cover letter, resume and 1-3 page writing sample to [email protected].  Please put “Your Name – Grants Manager” in the subject line of the e-mail. Applications that are missing a cover letter or writing sample will NOT be reviewed.  Complete applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and qualified candidates will be contacted by phone to schedule an interview.

About the Organization

The Legal Action Center (LAC) is a national non-profit law and advocacy organization founded in 1973, with offices in New York City and Washington, D.C.  LAC is the only non-profit law and policy organization in the country whose sole mission is to fight discrimination against and protect the privacy of people with criminal records, substance use disorders, and/or HIV/AIDS.  With offices in New York City and Washington, D.C., LAC uses a multi-faceted approach to carry out its mission and create systemic change, including impact litigation, legal services, education, and policy advocacy. For over 40 years, LAC has championed public health approaches to substance use disorder and HIV/AIDS, fought mass incarceration, and challenged the myriad collateral consequences of a criminal record.

LAC has been at the core of New York’s City and State Alternative to Incarceration (ATI) and Reentry policy advocacy and programming for over 35 years. In that time, the organization has developed and advanced countless New York legislative, regulatory or program policy initiatives to combat discrimination and improve opportunities for people and communities at the intersection of the health care and criminal justice systems. Legal Action Center’s advocacy has contributed to a growing transformation in federal and state laws, policies and regulations that have set the stage for vastly increased access to substance use disorder treatment. Major improvements have included: 1) federal and state insurance and Medicaid laws that mandate access to substance use disorder (SUD) treatment that is no less comprehensive than that offered to people with other chronic conditions, 2) changes in New York laws that increase access to addiction medications and inpatient treatment, and 3) a concerted effort in the state and City to link the 60-80% of individuals in the criminal justice system with SUDs and mental health conditions to insurance and health care.

Position Overview

LAC seeks a Policy Associate to support its New York policy advocacy and community mobilization efforts, including city and state strategic campaigns, legislative advocacy, and coalition-building in support of our core constituency: individuals with criminal records, substance use disorders, and/or HIV/AIDS. The Policy Associate will report directly to the Vice President of Policy and Advocacy ad work with a team of four LAC staff. Applicants impacted by LAC’s core issues are especially encouraged to apply.

Job Responsibilities

The Policy Associate will participate in criminal justice and health related public policy and advocacy activities that align LAC’s NYS and NYC advocacy strategies with its racial justice and equity priorities, legal services, litigation, educational work, technical assistance and community engagement.  Responsibilities will include but not be limited to:

  •  Support our NYS and NYC advocacy strategies: work with the VP of Policy Advocacy to design, oversee and implement advocacy and policy activities including, crafting policy positions and working with communications staff to develop messaging that advances our goals and mobilizes our allies to take action and some direct lobbying
  • Cultivate relationships with key partners and stakeholders by playing a key role in creating and sustaining strong partnerships with individuals, organizations and allies that share our values and align with and/or support our mission.
  • Identify opportunities for supporting people with lived experience, specifically, supporting their policy advocacy capacity and leadership.
  • Advance LAC’s expertise, analyses and policy positions to elected, appointed and other City and State policymakers and affiliated entities.
  • Represent LAC by participating in coalitions and working groups, meetings with policymakers and public officials, and conferences and events.
  • Research and analyze New York State and City’s budget, legislative and policy proposals in areas that impact the constituency of LAC.
  • Write clear and cogent memos, reports and position papers and other educational materials that are tailored to City and State policymakers, their staff and diverse audiences.
  • Organize and prepare briefing materials for meetings with key officials, partner organizations and others and when appropriate.
  • Help organize, track, and report relevant NYS and NYC policies for internal and external distribution.
  • Engage media by working with communications staff to present agency issues to media and to lay audiences, including through press releases, and LAC’s website, blog and social media.

Job Qualifications and Preferred Strengths:

An ideal candidate for this position should possess:

  • At least five years’ experience in policy advocacy and/or community organizing and/or grassroots campaigns and/or bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience.
  • Strong research, analytic and writing skills. Proven ability to present complex information to various audiences, both in writing and orally and the ability to balance multiple assignments.
  • Eagerness to continually learn and an ability to problem solve and think creatively and strategically.
  • A passion for advocacy to address issues that create barriers for individuals and communities impacted by the criminal justice system, drug policy and/or HIV, addiction and/or mental illness.
  • Networking skills and the ability to engage with a wide range of audiences, including the ability to develop and maintain relationships with individuals, organizations and government agencies; and the facility to work as a team player, both within the office and through coalitions.
  • Familiarity with the funding and policy arena of the criminal justice system, HIV/AIDS, addiction services and/or the workings of the public health system. Some knowledge regarding the functioning of the New York State and/or City government system.
  • Spanish language fluency is a plus.

Compensation and Benefits:

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

Application Instructions:  Please email a PDF cover letter and résumé (no calls) to [email protected].  Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled, but please apply as soon as possible. Incomplete applications will not be considered. 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 encouraged to apply.

The Legal Action Center (LAC) seeks a full time Litigation Director in its New York office to lead its impact litigation and direct legal services program. This new position will grow LAC’s impact litigation docket while working to ensure its integration with LAC’s policy, legal services, and other work in furtherance of LAC’s strategic objectives.

About the Organization:  LAC is the only non-profit law and policy organization in the country whose sole mission is to fight discrimination against and protect the privacy of people with criminal records, substance use disorders, and/or HIV/AIDS. With offices in New York City and Washington, D.C., LAC uses a multi-faceted approach to effectuate its mission and create systemic change, including through impact litigation, legal services, education, and policy advocacy.

For over 45 years, our litigation and legal services program has created cutting edge legal precedents and helped tens of thousands of individuals with criminal records, substance use disorders, and/or HIV/AIDS overcome employment, housing, and other forms of discrimination and vindicate their privacy rights.  In recent years, we have brought individual and class action lawsuits to challenge employment discrimination, violation of background screening laws, massive HIV privacy breaches, and denied access to addiction treatment in the criminal justice system.  (Read about our leading cases.) Our litigation and legal service team of seven attorneys, three paralegals, and administrative staff serves close to 2,000 New Yorkers annually, most of whom are working to overcome barriers related to their criminal record. Many also seek to overcome discrimination based on their HIV status or substance use disorder and the violation of their privacy rights. We leverage our resources through pro bono partnerships and collaborations with plaintiff-side law firms, including civil rights, employment and consumer protection law firms.

LAC also runs a robust training, education, and technical assistance program to educate and support legal, health care, and social services providers, government agencies, and employers. Our web- and print-based “know your rights” educational materials are widely used, and our reports on cutting edge issues inform the national discussion.

LAC’s state and national policy work complements its legal and educational strategies by addressing discrimination in public and private health insurance, protecting health privacy rights, improving access to health care for justice-involved individuals, and removing barriers to re-entry. LAC’s client work directly informs our policy development and advocacy, enabling LAC to take a multi-dimensional approach to achieving system-wide change. LAC is currently pursuing even more effective integration of its client-based and policy work and expansion of directly impacted people’s voices in all aspects of LAC’s work.

LAC is experiencing an exciting time of organizational growth, the beginning of a three-to-five-year strategic planning process, and greater application of a racial justice and equity lens to all aspects of the organization and our work.

Position Overview: The Litigation Director will lead LAC’s litigation and legal services program. Reporting to the Vice President of Legal Advocacy, the Litigation Director will play a critical role in developing and implementing LAC’s impact litigation strategy to effectively integrate with LAC’s racial justice and equity priorities, legal services, education, community engagement and policy work.

Job Responsibilities:

  1. Developing, conducting, and leading cutting edge individual and class action litigation in federal and state courts and administrative agencies and engaging in pre-litigation negotiations. Includes developing and maintaining relationships with pro bono and other co-counsel (e.g., private plaintiff-side firms and public interest group).
  1. Supervising LAC’s direct legal services program, which includes provision of legal counsel and advice, informal advocacy, representation in administrative proceedings and education.
  1. Helping to develop the strategic vision for litigation and legal services, in coordination with Vice President of Legal Advocacy, and directing its implementation.
  1. Supervising both the Senior Attorney for Legal Services (who supervises a team of three paralegals) and a Staff Attorney. The position also will oversee the cases conducted by three other attorneys who participate to a limited degree in LAC’s litigation and legal services.
  1. Supervising and participating in the “attorney on call” rotation, through which six attorneys alternate providing paralegals with guidance about serving clients and identifying cases to litigate.
  1. Collaborating with other legal services providers, plaintiffs’ attorneys, and advocacy groups by participating in task forces and coalitions, making presentations, and attending conferences.
  1. Managing the updating and implementation of litigation policies and procedures.
  1. Providing training to health and social service providers, lawyers, and others working in the re-entry, substance use disorder, and HIV fields.
  1. Engaging in the broader advocacy work of the legal department by working with the policy and communications departments to: participate in policy discussions and shape LAC’s policy agenda; conduct limited policy advocacy; cultivate and respond to media opportunities on issues relevant to LAC’s litigation agenda.
  1. Actively participating on LAC’s management team.
  1. Strategizing with the Vice President of Legal Advocacy, the development department and other managers on funding for litigation and legal services, including through attorneys’ fee awards, cy pres awards, and institutional sources.

Job Qualifications and Requirements:

  • 10+ years of experience conducting all aspects of civil trial and appellate litigation, including case development and filing, discovery, evidentiary proceedings, appeals, and settlements, with a strong background in civil rights, public interest law, and impact litigation.
  • Strong legal skills and ability to analyze systems-level problems and develop creative solutions using legal, policy, educational, and media strategies.
  • Demonstrated ability to inspire, lead and support the growth and development of a team of attorneys, paralegals and administrative staff.
  • Proven ability to engage in strategic planning and implementation.
  • Excellent written and oral communication and advocacy skills, including the ability to relate and communicate effectively with a diverse group of clients, community partners, and legal, non-profit, and government stakeholders.
  • Experience in program management.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to work cooperatively within LAC and to network effectively with external stakeholders, including government officials, service providers, advocates, and directly impacted individuals.
  • Proven ability to creatively problem-solve while maintaining a sense of humor.
  • Experience speaking publicly and to the media.
  • Experience in a high-volume direct legal services practice preferred.
  • Prior work with underrepresented communities, preferably people living with chronic health conditions such as HIV and substance use disorders and with criminal justice involvement.
  • Knowledge of employment, disability rights, and/or criminal justice law and issues strongly preferred. Familiarity with insurance, substance use- and HIV-related issues a plus.
  • Demonstrated commitment to racial justice and equity.
  • Passion for dismantling barriers to re-entry, ending mass incarceration, promoting a public health approach to addiction, securing and enforcing privacy rights, and promoting racial and economic justice.
  • Spanish language fluency preferred.
  • J.D. and admission to New York State Bar.

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

Application Instructions:  Please email a cover letter, résumé, and writing sample (no calls) to [email protected] and write “Litigation Director” in the subject line.  Please submit your resume and cover letter as one PDF document. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled.  Incomplete applications will not be considered.  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 encouraged to apply.

 

Posted:  August 6, 2019

 

Legal Internships

The Legal Action Center (LAC) hires law student interns for the summer and Spring/Fall semester in our New York City office. LAC offers an hourly salary to interns who do not receive course credit or outside funding for their work.

ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION: LAC 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 criminal records, and to advocate for sound public policies in these areas. For over 40 years, LAC has championed public health approaches to substance use disorder and HIV/AIDS, fought mass incarceration, and challenged the myriad collateral consequences of a criminal record. LAC uses a multi-faceted approach to effect change, including direct legal services, impact litigation, education, and policy advocacy at the local, state, and federal levels.

JOB DESCRIPTION AND DUTIES: Working in the New York City office, legal interns work directly with our attorneys and policy staff to further LAC’s work as needed, which may include:

  • Providing direct legal services to individuals with criminal justice involvement, including conducting intakes, drafting client advocacy documents, and preparing motions to seal eligible criminal records under New York’s new sealing law, CPL 160.59.
  • Conducting legal research for LAC’s cutting-edge impact litigation in privacy rights and anti-discrimination protections for individuals with criminal records, substance use disorder, and/or living with HIV/AIDS;
  • Conducting legal research for LAC’s policy advocacy at the federal, state, and local level; and
  • Drafting position papers, model legislation, and other policy documents in support of LAC’s core mission.

LAC encourages our legal interns to join our meetings with partner organizations, conferences, public hearings, and trainings with LAC attorneys and policy staff, depending on programming and interns’ interests.

Legal interns may also develop a substantial writing sample or law review-style article about novel legal issues that arise in our work. We encourage legal interns to develop projects and apply for post-graduate fellowships at LAC.

For more information about LAC’s current litigation and policy work, see our recent Highlights.

QUALIFICATIONS: Applicants must be students who have completed their first or second year of law school. Strong analytic and communication skills required. Experience with and/or demonstrated commitment to the issues facing the communities served by LAC preferred. Proficiency in a second language welcomed. The Legal Action Center is proud to be an equal opportunity employer.

TIME COMMITMENT: Summer interns are expected to work at least 35-40 hours per week, for at least 10 weeks. Semester interns are expected to work at least 10 hours per week, for at least 10 weeks.

COMPENSATION: LAC pays an hourly rate to legal interns if they do not receive external funding or course credit for the internship.

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS: Please read carefully. To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to the Legal Action Center at [email protected], with the subject line “Legal Internship.” Cover letters should include a statement of interest in LAC’s work and clearly indicate whether the applicant is applying for a Spring, Summer, or Fall internship.

We will review applications on a rolling basis. The application deadline is August 15 for the fall term, December 1 for the spring term, and February 15 for the summer. First-year law student applications for the summer internship will not be accepted before December 1, in accordance with the NALP Principles and Standards. Interested applicants are encouraged to apply early.

Washington, D.C.

Legal Internship – Spring 2020

The Legal Action Center (LAC) is hiring a law student for the spring 2020 semester in our Washington, D.C. office.  The internship would be for the full semester.  Applicants may elect to receive a salary ($15.00/hour) or academic credit for their work.

LAC’s D.C. office advocates with Congress, federal administrative agencies and state policy-makers to end discrimination against people with histories of addiction; to expand funding and coverage for substance use disorder treatment, prevention, and research through all forms of health care financing; and to eliminate barriers to re-entry for people with criminal records.  LAC’s DC office collaborates with organizations around the country and national coalitions to achieve its goals.

JOB DESCRIPTION AND DUTIES:  The legal intern will research, track, and analyze federal and state legislation, laws, regulations, and policies related to private and public health insurance and criminal justice initiatives affecting persons with addiction histories; attend Congressional hearings and briefings; conduct legal research on health care coverage and insurance discrimination; and assist in other ongoing projects related to both state and federal advocacy work.  Excellent research and writing skills are required.  Past interns have included law students interested in policy development and advocacy and the substantive issues at the core of LAC’s 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, https://www.lac.org and www.hirenetwork.org, or by contacting  [email protected].

To apply, please send your resume and a cover letter explaining your interest in LAC’s work and relevant experience to  [email protected].

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