Empire Justice Center, a highly-respected, statewide legal services organization, is seeking an experienced senior attorney to join our growing Language Justice advocacy team under the Civil Rights, Education and Employment (CREE) Practice Group.
Empire Justice hires dedicated, determined, and passionate advocates to make a significant impact on the lives of low-income New Yorkers. Our success is driven and delivered through our 360-degree approach. The approach is a combination of direct legal representation, high-impact litigation, legislative and administrative advocacy, and by providing training and technical assistance to other advocates who are working towards the same goals.
With offices in Rochester, Albany, Westchester County, and Long Island, our organization offers staff an exciting and dynamic working environment and a strong commitment to diversity, teamwork, and personal/professional development.
We are looking for a dynamic Language Justice Attorney ideally with civil rights experience for its civil rights practice in Rochester, New York. Empire Justice Center’s systems change approach focuses on achieving high impact, lasting improvements by examining client and community experience with the law to identify systemic barriers and then pursuing solutions through training and technical assistance, impact litigation and policy change. This is an opportunity to join an organization that is focused on getting to the root causes of racial and economic injustice.
This position will work to ensure meaningful access to services as required under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as well as other federal, state, and local statutes including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
What is Language Justice?
Language Justice, as defined by American Bar Association, is “an evolving framework based on the notion of respecting every individual’s fundamental language right—to be able to communicate, understand, and be understood in the language each individual prefers and feels most articulate and powerful. Rejecting the notion of the supremacy of one language, it recognizes that language can be a tool of oppression, and as well as an important part of exercising autonomy and of advancing racial and social justice.”
The person who fills this position will have an opportunity to:
• Develop, manage, and litigate a broad array of Language Justice cases, (Title VI and ADA), from
inception through final disposition.
• Working with the Language Justice Team, develop a model intake system that is linguistically diverse
• Educate the community and legal advocates on the linguistic diversity in Monroe County, the legal
requirements under Title VI and the ADA and the importance of qualified interpreters and translators
to support effective communication.
• Advocate for our clients’ language rights as they access the justice system, including participation in
the 7th Judicial District’s Community Justice Council.
• Advocate for systems change by working to change the rules and policies of government agencies,
health care systems and courts.
• Advocate for meaningful access to law enforcement, legal services, courts, health services, and other
• Advocate at the local and state level for policy initiatives and collaborate with community
organizations to support the low-income and marginalized communities that we serve.
• Provide technical assistance on Language Access Plans.
• Assist/coordinate CLE trainings on Language Justice work.
• 8-14 years of relevant legal experience, including litigation experience.
• Bilingual in (1) Spanish & English or (2) ASL & English (with strong ties to Deaf culture).
• Admission to the New York State Bar, passed the NY bar and awaiting admission, or out of state admission with eligibility for pro hac vice status.
• Experience in Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and/or other federal, state, and local statutes including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
• A fearless desire to work on challenging language justice matters by representing low-income families and individuals.
• Unafraid to learn and practice new and changing areas of law.
• Experience representing clients in federal court proceedings.
• Excellent writing, research, and communication skills.
• Ability to work successfully with individuals from diverse backgrounds and treat clients with consideration and respect.
• Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
• Demonstrated leadership.
• Proven interest in and commitment to advocacy for language justice for the LEP and/or Deaf and hard of hearing community.
• Supervisory experience
• Experience working with low-income families and communities.
• Experience in outreach, community education, organizing, or coalition-building.
Salary and Benefits
The top salary for this position is 82k annually. Salary is commensurate with experience and based on our salary scale. Empire Justice Center offers a generous benefit package, including health insurance, life insurance, vacation, holiday, and sick time. We are an organization that supports and encourages a work/life balance.
Empire Justice Center is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and desires a diverse and inclusive work force. People of color, women, persons with disabilities, the elderly, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender are welcomed and encouraged to apply.
This position is available immediately. Applications will be accepted until position is filled. To apply, please email a cover letter, resume, and writing sample to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please add Senior Language Justice – Civil Rights Attorney, First/Last Name to the subject line. No phone calls or hard copies please.