Supervising Attorney for Government Benefits - Volunteers of Legal Service
Volunteers of Legal Service (VOLS) seeks an experienced and motivated attorney to supervise
our government benefits practice and take a leading role for our Unemployed Workers Project.
This leadership opportunity will provide an opportunity to help design a program and build a
team as we respond to the immense need created by the COVID-19 crisis. The Supervising
Attorney will work across VOLS projects to address the benefits needs of our clients and will
also be encouraged to develop and engage in impact litigation regarding the legal rights of New
Yorkers seeking to access government benefits.
Organization: Volunteers of Legal Service (VOLS)
For over 35 years, the nonprofit Volunteers of Legal Service (VOLS) has provided free, civil
legal services to low-income New Yorkers including seniors, veterans, unemployed workers,
immigrant youth, children and their families, mothers in prison or jail, small business owners,
and now COVID-19 frontline and healthcare workers. VOLS’ staff of 23, including 12 attorneys,
works with volunteer lawyers from over 70 law firms/ companies to multiply impact, and we
partner with 210 community groups to ensure that our services are accessible and address local
VOLS’ clients are at the forefront of those impacted by COVID-19 and its aftermath. Health
vulnerable seniors and older veterans are restricted by social distancing guidelines; we advise
them remotely on life planning and essential-of-life matters. Immigrant youth face a barrage of
economic hardships amidst hostile federal policy; they seek our confidential and trusted advice
to engage with public and private institutions. Small business owners require ongoing advice as
they struggle to rebuild. Women in prison rely on VOLS to help maintain critical family ties. An
unprecedented number of low-wage workers face the prospect of massive unemployment,
uncertain government stimulus, and continued economic aftershocks, and they seek clear
guidance and assistance to access government benefits.
When the pandemic hit, VOLS re-tooled all legal programs to continue and strengthen service
remotely. We created hotlines that are accessible to clients and volunteers. We launched new
initiatives to address urgent concerns facing unemployed workers, frontline and healthcare
workers, and small business owners. Our track record and trusted partnerships position VOLS to
ably stand by vulnerable New Yorkers during the COVID-19 crisis and its aftermath in the
months and years ahead.
• Work across VOLS Project on the government benefits needs of our clients.
• Oversee the Unemployed Workers Project’s daily activities
• Monitor intakes, screen matters for pro bono placement and in-house advice and
• Carry a small caseload of advice and full representation matters
• Supervise staff attorneys
• Recruit, train and mentor volunteer lawyers and law students
• Cultivate pro bono opportunities with partner law firms and corporations
• Identify and establish relationships with community partners
• Review data reports and manage case-management system protocols for data
collection and grant reporting
• Support organizational and project fundraising campaigns to support both ongoing
work and fund new programs
• Collaborate with local, regional and national coalitions and legal service providers on
policies affecting clients
• Serve on bar association committees and promote pro bono best practices
• Conduct trainings for community partners and speak on legal panels
• Contribute to communications efforts by writing legal advisories for email lists, social
media, the VOLS website and interviewing with journalists for print, television and
social media forums
• Participate in management team meetings and in projects to enhance infrastructure
and cross-collaboration for the organization as a whole
Minimum: Juris Doctor, Admission in good standing to the New York Bar. 5+ years’ experience
working on public benefits matters and a familiarity with Unemployment Insurance benefits.
Demonstrated commitment to social justice.
Desired: Previous supervisory and project management experience. Experience working on pro
bono projects. Public speaking experience.
Compensation and benefits:
VOLS offers a competitive legal services salary. VOLS offers an excellent benefits package,
including health, life and disability insurance, a retirement plan to which VOLS contributes and
the option to contribute to a 403(b) plan. We provide 25 days of paid vacation and 12 days of
paid sick leave annually.
How to apply:
Please email a cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line
"Supervising Attorney for Government Benefits." Applications will be reviewed on a rolling
basis. No phone or email inquiries, please. VOLS is an equal opportunity employer, and does not
discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, nationality, creed, age, disability, sexual orientation,
biological sex, gender identity/expression, family status, military service or any other basis
prohibited by law. We strive to build and maintain a diverse staff, and we encourage candidates
of all backgrounds/identities to apply for this position.