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Staff Attorney - PAIMI 

EOE Statement We are an equal employment opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.  
About the Organization Disability Rights New York (DRNY), the Protection and Advocacy System for New York State, is seeking an experienced individual with a passion for achieving justice for individuals with disabilities. This is an opportunity to join a statewide organization advancing the civil rights and legal rights of people with disabilities. DRNY challenges systemic abuse, neglect, discrimination, and legal rights violations through legal case-handling, individual and systemic reform litigation, public investigations, advocacy, and collaboration with stakeholders. Justice for individuals with disabilities is DRNY's focus.


The Staff Attorney is a legal advocate for individuals with disabilities. The Staff Attorney will provide legal services and engage in individual and systemic advocacy on behalf of individuals with disabilities. This position reports to the Program Director.

Essential Functions

  • Investigate allegations or complaints of abuse and neglect or requests for advocacy from people with disabilities, family members, friends, or other concerned parties;
  • Provide individual advocacy or legal representation to people with disabilities, including conducting client and other interviews, identifying issues, determining a course of action, developing and implementing appropriate advocacy strategies, negotiating solutions to problems, and/or encouraging self-advocacy, when appropriate;
  • Analyze existing cases as well as other matters to determine if they present systemic issues which may be appropriate for DRNY to address, and, with the Program Director, formulate strategies for their prevention, reduction or elimination;
  • Provide legal, administrative and other appropriate means of representation to ensure protection of the rights of eligible individuals;
  • Act in accordance with identified Priorities and Goals of the Program;
  • Consult with professionals such as attorneys, physicians, psychologists, therapists, educators, and others to identify options and barriers for individuals and groups;
  • Monitor state and private facilities such as hospitals, nursing homes, Intermediate Care Facilities, community facilities for individuals with disabilities, board and care homes, homeless shelters, jails, and prisons for abuse, neglect and compliance with federal and state laws protecting the rights of individuals with disabilities;
  • Assist people with disabilities in advocacy and systems change efforts;
  • Support DRNY projects and initiatives that foster self-determination and self-advocacy, and coalition building;
  • Participate on task forces, coalitions, and committees as assigned, as well as conduct training and outreach activities;
  • Maintain accurate, confidential files which document advocacy services provided;
  • Assist in preparing reports to funding sources;
  • Maintain accurate time records and client records, including accurate use of the Disability Advocacy Database (DAD), which is necessary for DRNY to meet its programmatic and fiscal responsibilities, and to obtain prevailing party attorney fees when appropriate;
  • Timely open and close case files regarding client matters;
  • Perform related tasks consistent with skills, abilities, and general responsibilities as required to support DRNY;
  • Travel throughout New York State and outside of New York State as necessary to perform assigned job tasks.


  • Be a member in good standing of the New York State Bar or be eligible to become a member within a reasonable time after beginning employment, and maintain such standing throughout employment with DRNY;
  • Knowledge of the P&A system highly desired;
  • Excellent communication skills;
  • Ability to work efficiently, independently and collaboratively;
  • Demonstrated interest and commitment to public interest law;
  • Experience in working with and for people with disabilities;
  • Administrative hearing and litigation experience a plus;
  • Experience with law reform or other complex litigation;
  • Individual advocacy experience.

The Staff Attorney should also demonstrate competence in the following:

  • Behave Ethically: Understand ethical behavior and business practices, and ensure that own behavior and the behavior of others is consistent with these standards and aligns with the values of the organization.
  • Support Diversity: Treat all people with respect; value diverse perspectives; treat others fairly without regard to disability, race, sex, color, religion, or sexual orientation; recognize differences as opportunities to learn and gain by working together.
  • Build Relationships: Establish and maintain positive working relationships with others, both internally and externally, to achieve the goals of the organization.
  • Communicate Effectively: Communicate in a clear, thorough and timely manner using appropriate and effective communication tools and techniques.
  • Focus on Client Needs: Anticipate, understand, and respond to the needs of internal and external clients to meet or exceed their expectations within the organizational parameters.
  • Demonstrate Professionalism: Complete work in a timely, consistent manner; work hours necessary to complete assigned work; is regularly present and punctual; arrive prepared for work; devote energy to do the best job possible; keep commitments.
  • Make Decisions: Assess situations to determine the importance, urgency, and risks, and make clear decisions which are timely and in the best interests of the organization.
  • Organize: Set priorities, develop a work schedule, monitor progress towards goals, and track details, data, information and activities.
  • Work Collaboratively: Work harmoniously with others; respond positively to instructions and procedures, work well with staff, co-workers, peers and managers; work effectively on projects that cross functional lines.
  • Solve Problems: Assess problem situations to identify causes, gather and process relevant information, generate possible solutions, and make recommendations and/or resolve the problem.

Working Conditions

A Staff Attorney usually performs work in an office environment, but the mission of the organization may sometimes take a Staff Attorney to non-standard workplaces. This position is based in Rochester, NY. A Staff Attorney will be expected to travel within and outside the state as necessary.

Salary: DOE, with excellent benefits.

DRNY is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages individuals with disabilities and veterans to apply

Exempt/Non-Exempt Exempt  
Full-Time/Part-Time Full-Time  
Location Disability Rights New York - Rochester  
Position Staff Attorney  
Position Requirements  
Number of Openings 1  

This position is currently not accepting applications.

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