BROOKLYN LAW SCHOOL is seeking seeking applications for a Staff Attorney/Clinical Instructor in the Disability and Civil Rights Clinic: Advocating for Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. The Clinic launched in 2015 and is an “in-house” clinic that functions as a small pro bono law firm representing low-income New Yorkers and their families in a variety of civil legal matters, including housing, public benefits, access to health care, immigration, special education, parental rights, alternatives to guardianship and discrimination in access to programs and services.
The Clinic is committed to providing legal representation to underserved communities, and conducts outreach and education efforts to achieve this end. Through direct legal services, affirmative litigation, public policy reform, community education and coalition building, the Disability and Civil Rights Clinic engages in various forms of advocacy to make the greatest impact on the community.
The mission of the Clinic is based on the principles of social justice and client-centered lawyering. With this in mind, the Clinic seeks a candidate with an awareness of how intersectional identities such as disability, race, ethnicity, religion, immigration status, class, gender identity, sexual orientation, and sex impact the lives of the clients that we serve.
Staff Attorney/Clinical Instructor Responsibilities
The Staff Attorney/Clinical Instructor (SA/CI) will work together with the Faculty Director of the Clinic to build and foster partnerships with community organizations, government entities and local partners; conduct community outreach and education efforts; supervise clinic students’ work on client matters and policy projects; plan simulation exercises and teach classes covering substantive areas of disability and poverty law, basic lawyering skills and professional ethics; and plan Clinic conferences and events. The SA/CI will also help cover the Clinic docket during the summer session, which may include supervising summer legal interns, acting as lead counsel on cases that did not conclude during the semester, engaging in community education efforts and pursuing public policy initiatives. The SA/CI is also responsible for working together with the Faculty Director to ensure the effective management of the Clinic.
Examples of cases/projects undertaken by the Clinic include guardian ad litem appointments for
17-A guardianship proceedings; filing Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) motions in appellate court on behalf of parents with intellectual disabilities; filing administrative appeals before the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities; asserting ADA and Section 504 claims in requests for reasonable accommodations to private entities in federal court and to government agencies; representing a nonverbal immigrant in his application for asylum; representing clients in housing court; testifying before administrative agencies in response to proposed rulemaking; presenting to community groups on issues of disability rights; and preparing “Know Your Rights” materials and trainings.
The candidate should ideally possess the following: a JD and at least five years of civil legal services experience, including litigation and administrative hearings, or the equivalent; experience advocating for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and in providing direct legal services in areas that include supported decision making, guardianship, family law, immigration, housing, public benefits, Medicaid, Social Security and/or related advocacy; familiarity with programs that assist persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities; desire to mentor, supervise and teach law students in an “in-house” clinical program; excellent research, writing, communication and organizational skills; and the ability to work effectively within diverse stakeholder communities.
We seek a candidate who is creative, curious and self-motivated with an ability to anticipate issues and follow-up independently; is an exceptional strategist who can thrive in an academic environment and enjoys thinking through complex legal issues; exhibits professionalism, drive and tenacity; and has a demonstrated passion for social justice advocacy and a commitment to working with low-income communities.
Clinical teaching experience and/or experience supervising law students and entry level lawyers is a plus.
Admission to the NY State Bar required.
The position is funded by a generous multi-year grant from the Taft Foundation. The position is for a 12-month renewable contract; salary will be commensurate with experience within the budget of the grant. Please send a cover letter, resume and writing sample to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject: “Staff Attorney/Clinical Instructor Position.” Preferred start date is December 3, 2018 and no later than January 3, 2019. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
Brooklyn Law School (BLS) is an equal opportunity institution that operates in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. BLS does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, marital status, personal appearance, income, veteran status, an individual’s genetic information or any other bases under federal or local laws in its programs and activities.