Position: Staff Attorney: Civil Justice For Incarcerated Women Project
Reports to: Director, Family and Matrimonial Practice
Organization: Her Justice (www.herjustice.org)
Location: 100 Broadway, 10th floor, New York, NY 10005
Her Justice is a nonprofit organization that stands with women living in poverty in New York City by recruiting and mentoring volunteer lawyers to provide free legal help to address individual and systemic legal barriers. Her Justice is looking to add a self-motivated individual to our team who will further our organization’s goal of connecting women living in poverty with volunteer lawyers in the areas of family, matrimonial, and immigration law and supporting implementation of the organization’s policy strategic plan and the policy mission to reform the civil justice system such that it produces the most favorable outcomes for women like our clients, through processes that are as equitable, empowering, and as efficient as possible. Visit our website for more information: www.herjustice.org.
Please Note: Our physical office is currently open. Staff are given an option to work from home, work from the office, or a combination of both, depending on their needs and the requirements of their job. All Her Justice staff are provided with a business laptop computer. This position is based in our New York City office and the hire must be based in New York City.
Her Justice has received funding from the Eugene M. Lang Foundation to support our Civil Justice For Incarcerated Women Project. The Incarcerated Women Project aims to support incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women in achieving personal freedom and stability by providing free civil legal services in the areas of family and matrimonial law, helping them to lead healthy and productive lives after their release. With this funding we seek a Staff Attorney whose primary goal is providing legal information and direct services in the areas of matrimonial and family law to women who are currently incarcerated, facing incarceration, and/or recently released. The Attorney will also enhance Her Justice’s partnerships with community based organizations to ensure we are providing holistic and culturally competent services to this marginalized and underserved population.
From 1980 to 2019, the number of incarcerated women in the United States increased by over 700%. Women of color are disproportionately represented in this number, as Black women are almost twice as likely to be incarcerated as white women, and Hispanic women are 1.3 times as likely to be incarcerated as white women. People living in poverty are three times more likely to be arrested than those who aren’t, and 72% of incarcerated women were in poverty prior to being arrested. Because many incarcerated women were living in poverty, it’s common for them to have unmet civil legal needs unrelated to and in addition to the reason for their incarceration. They are both uniquely isolated from resources and have unique legal needs, usually related to children and marriage. For incarcerated individuals, access to the civil court system is significantly limited, and yet, these civil legal issues have a dramatic impact on the lives of women as they prepare for reentry.
Duties include but are not limited to the following:
Family/Matrimonial Law Practice
Perform client intake and legal screening of clients
Assess clients for pro bono placement
Provide advice and brief services to women in family law and matrimonial law matters
Work with the Family and Matrimonial team to develop and strengthen the Her Justice Family and Matrimonial practice
Assist in recruiting, training and supervising in-house volunteers and law students
Civil Justice For Incarcerated Women Project
Conduct outreach and build partnerships with the Department of Corrections, women’s prisons, and relevant community based organizations to enhance the services of the Incarcerated Women Project
Maintain a small caseload of family court and uncontested divorce cases for clients of the Incarcerated Women Project
Mentor and support volunteer attorneys who are handling uncontested divorces for the Incarcerated Women Project
Recruit volunteer attorneys from large law firms to provide pro bono representation to Her Justice referred clients by conducting CLE trainings, and presenting on issues of Family and Matrimonial law with a focus on the needs of clients in the Incarcerated Women Project
Develop educational materials for clients and advocates served by the Incarcerated Women Project
Assist with preparing funding reports for the Incarcerated Women Project
Participate in community outreach, media relations and other forms of marketing and public education for the Incarcerated Women Project
Serve on committees and panels relating to policy issues and/or reform efforts relevant to the Incarcerated Women Project
We seek a self-motivated and self-directed team-player who possesses outstanding organizational, interpersonal, communication, writing, and computer skills. We value experience representing indigent clients, survivors of domestic violence, and clients from diverse backgrounds and communities. We value demonstrated ability to effectively communicate with clients who have experienced trauma. We also value experience in policy/advocacy work, and a demonstrated commitment to systems reform on issues affecting women living in poverty or incarcerated women.
A Juris Doctor Degree and bar admission in New York State is required. Candidates who are not licensed to practice law in New York will be required to obtain a New York license within their first year of employment.
Fluency in Spanish, written and oral, is required. Candidates who are not fluent in Spanish will not be considered.
Computer proficiency, including knowledge of the Microsoft Suite, is required.
Experience in family and matrimonial law in New York State is a plus, as well as experience working with incarcerated or formerly incarcerated persons.
The salary for this position is in the range of $77K to $83K, dependent on experience. Her Justice also offers excellent benefits, including 26 days of PTO, a 401k plan, commuter benefits, half-day summer Fridays, and employer-sponsored medical, dental, and vision benefits.
Please Note: Our office is currently open. Staff is given the option to work from home, work from the office, or a combination of both, in whatever way enables them to fulfill their role. However, this position is based in our New York City office and the candidate must be based in New York City. All Her Justice staff is provided with a business laptop computer.