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4 Aug 2022

Operations / Administration Revised – Robin Hood Project – Staff Attorney

Advocates for Children of New York
 New York, New York County, New York, United States

Job Description

Advocates for Children of New York, Inc. (AFC) seeks a Staff Attorney to join AFC’s Robin Hood Project, which partners with organizations fighting poverty throughout New York City to provide education advocacy to low-income families.   The Staff Attorney will provide direct legal representation and advocacy to families, technical assistance to staff at partner organizations, and training for parents, students, and professionals to ensure meaningful access to educational services for children from low-income backgrounds in New York City’s schools. AFC’s Robin Hood Project partners with roughly 20 Robin Hood-funded organizations, such as domestic violence shelters, hospitals, tutoring agencies, and social service providers, to help their staff assist clients who encounter barriers to education, including problems relating to literacy, learning disabilities, emotional and behavioral needs, English-language learner (ELL) supports, and inappropriate school services, supports, and placements as well as barriers to accessing educational services for families in temporary housing. Currently, New York City families have a crucial need for legal assistance to navigate the education system as the pandemic has strained resources and disrupted learning, leaving the education of students in a precarious position.

AFC is a not-for-profit social justice organization that strives to ensure a high-quality education for New York students who face barriers to academic success, focusing on students from low-income backgrounds. AFC works on behalf of children and youth who are at greatest risk of encountering obstacles to accessing quality education due to poverty, race, ethnicity, disability, homelessness, immigration status/limited English proficiency, or involvement in the child welfare or juvenile/criminal justice systems. We use uniquely integrated strategies to advance systemic reform, empower families and communities, and advocate for the educational rights of individual students.

Responsibilities

Direct Representation:

The attorney will work alongside another staff attorney, advocate and project director to provide legal representation and advocacy to families served by partner organizations who are encountering school-related discrimination such as inappropriate special education placements and services, enrollment issues, or suspensions. As part of this advocacy, the attorney will conduct client interviews, advocate for families at special education meetings or suspension hearings, request and interpret evaluations, collaborate with agency staff, advocate with the New York City Department of Education to resolve problems, and represent clients at impartial administrative hearings related to special education under the IDEA and on appeals.  

Community Outreach and Training

The attorney will do outreach to, collaborate with, and provide capacity-building trainings and resources to professionals at partner organizations so they can better address and support the educational needs of their communities.  The attorney will conduct trainings for professionals, parents and students on subjects such as how to navigate special education in NYC and the rights of students in temporary housing.  The attorney will serve as a liaison to partner agencies to develop shared goals around capacity building as well as helpful tools for agency staff to use when addressing education matters for their clients.

 

Technical Assistance

In an effort to build capacity at partner agencies, the attorney will provide ongoing and in-depth technical assistance to agency staff on a variety of education-related issues such as transportation for students in temporary housing, appropriate school disciplinary practices, access to early childhood programs and special education. The attorney, along with project staff, will work to identify patterns in technical assistance requests from partner agencies to further develop outreach and training goals.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Commitment and ability to empower the families that are the focus of AFC’s mission.
  • D. degree required.
  • Fluency in Spanish is required.
  • Experience in education advocacy or a related field that can include a combination of employment, community organizing, internships, student leadership and/ or volunteer experience.
  • Experience working with communities with low income, communities of color, and/or

communities with disabilities.

  • Strong interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills.
  • Ability to identify, analyze and creatively resolve layered and complex problems.
  • Highly collaborative and willing to work as part of an interdisciplinary team
  • Ability to set priorities, meet deadlines, and work both independently and as a member of a team.
  • Ability to negotiate effectively in both adversarial and collaborative contexts.
  • Desire to learn, both as an individual and as part of an organization, and apply diversity, equity, inclusion, and/or anti-racism principles.
  • Basic data collection abilities
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office products, Zoom, and Adobe Acrobat and willingness to learn new technology and/or platforms

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of relevant education, disability or civil rights laws or practices
  • Experience in litigation that can include a combination of employment, internships and externships
  • Experience conducting trainings and engaging with a variety of audiences that include community partners and families
  • Experience managing partnerships and/or coordinating large groups
  • Experience or familiarity with Salesforce databases

How to apply:

Please send an email with “Robin Hood Staff Attorney” in the subject line with a resume and cover letter to rhstaffattorney@advocatesforchildren.org.  Candidates should highlight any personal or professional experience that demonstrates their connection to the populations that AFC serves. No phone calls, please. Only candidates being scheduled for interviews will be contacted. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. This position is available starting immediately, and candidates are encouraged to apply as quickly as possible.

Expected Start Date:

The position is available immediately, and resumes will be considered on a rolling basis.

Compensation and Benefits:

The salary range for this position is $73,000 – $81,000, depending on experience. AFC’s current compensation package includes full payment of medical plan premiums for a Platinum medical plan for staff and their qualified dependents; dental coverage; coverage of the premium cost of life insurance and long- and short-term disability insurance; a 403(b) plan with a fully vested employer match; 12 weeks of paid parental leave after one year of employment; and generous time-off policies, including 15 vacation days and an additional 15 paid time off days in the first year of employment.

AFC’s office is located by Penn Station in Manhattan, and we use a hybrid approach. Currently, this position is expected to work two days a week in the office and remotely on the remaining days, though may on occasion need to work in person on additional days if needed to perform the duties of their job.

COVID vaccination required.

AFC is an affirmative action employer that actively seeks to recruit and retain a diverse staff and especially encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, persons of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or gender expressions and persons of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. For more information on AFC, see www.advocatesforchildren.org.

AFC is committed to providing access, equal opportunity, and reasonable accommodation when requested by a qualified applicant or employee with a disability or other protected characteristic. The policy regarding requests for reasonable accommodation applies to all aspects of employment, including the application process. For more information and to request an accommodation, contact Human Resources at HR@advocatesforchildren.org For more information on AFC, see www.advocatesforchildren.org.

How to Apply

Please send an email with “Robin Hood Staff Attorney” in the subject line with a resume and cover letter to rhstaffattorney@advocatesforchildren.org.  Candidates should highlight any personal or professional experience that demonstrates their connection to the populations that AFC serves. No phone calls, please. Only candidates being scheduled for interviews will be contacted. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. This position is available starting immediately, and candidates are encouraged to apply as quickly as possible.

Bureaus: New York. Job Categories: Full-Time. Job Types: Operations / Administration. Salaries: 60,000 - 80,000.

Job expires in 20 days.