Staff Attorney
Legal Department

 

Program Description:

The Community Service Society (CSS) is an independent, not-for-profit organization that draws on a 175-year history of excellence in addressing the root causes of economic disparity through research, advocacy, litigation and innovative program models that strengthen and benefit all New Yorkers.  Since 2006 CSS’s  Legal Department has focused on ending discrimination faced by individuals with criminal conviction histories through a variety of approaches, including administrative and legislative advocacy, litigation, and direct services provided through its Next Door Project (NDP). 

The CSS Legal Department is undertaking an important new partnership with a New York City-based college program that encourages and supports enrollment and success in higher education by people with past criminal systems involvement. We seek an attorney to work on with students in the program to help in obtaining, reviewing, correcting mistakes in and, where possible, applying to seal their criminal records, and related matters.  Our “Records Clearance Attorney” will work primarily at the program site, located in midtown Manhattan, as well at CSS’s offices.  Work will also include engaging in trainings and presentations to clients, staff, attorneys and advocates, assisting with applications for Certificates of Relief from Disabilities and Good Conduct, establishing relationships with and making referrals to appropriate legal services programs and defender agencies, keeping on top of developments in laws concerning criminal records sealing, and helping clients create portfolios of proof of positive change, among other matters.  The attorney will also work with CSS NDP clients on sealing motions and related criminal record clearance matters and may work with law firm attorneys engaged in this work as part of a pro bono project.  The position involves a large amount of client contact and interfacing with courts, agencies and the college program staff.

 Job Description:

The Staff Attorney will work under supervision of the General Counsel and in consultation with Legal Department staff to do the following:

  • provide legal assistance and representation to college program and NDP clients, particularly concerning criminal record sealing and error correction and Certificates of Relief from Disabilities and Certificates of Good Conduct
  • provide counsel and advice to clients on matters relating to past criminal systems involvement, including answering higher education-related and other questions pertaining to that past involvement
  • engage in research and outreach concerning sealing laws
  • make presentations about criminal records sealing and related topics to clients, staff, attorneys and advocates
  • maintain accurate accounts of all client work, which will eventually include inputting data in Salesforce platform
  • engage in administrative advocacy as required, and 
  • perform other duties as assigned

 Job Requirements:

  • Law degree and admission to the New York State Bar or eligibility for waiver on motion
  • At least one year of legal practice desired but not required
  • Prior experience in reentry policy or litigation, or criminal or civil rights desired
  • Ability to work independently
  • Facility with computer databases and willingness to input data
  • Fluency in Spanish desired but not required
  • Relevant life experience a plus

Submit resume and cover letter to:
Community Service Society of New York
Human Resources Department
633 3rd ave, 10th floor
New York, NY  10017
Fax 212-614-5336 or email cssemployment@cssny.org

EOE

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Community Service Society of New York is a registered 501(c)3.  EIN: 13-5562202