Staff Attorney – Criminal Defense Unit


The Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo, Inc. seeks applicants for a Staff Attorney to work in its Criminal Defense Unit.  The Attorney shall be responsible for the representation of indigent clients in criminal matters.  The assigned work will primarily involve cases in Buffalo City Court.  NYS Bar Admittance and at least 1 year of criminal defense experience are required. Candidates must have a demonstrated commitment to indigent defense.  Salary is based on experience.  Legal Aid offers a competitive benefits package.  Reliable transportation required.   Interested applicants should forward a cover letter and resume to The Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo, Inc. 290 Main Street, Suite 400, Buffalo, New York 14202 Attn: Human Resources or via e-mail to by March 23, 2017. The Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo, Inc. values diversity and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.



The Office of the General Counsel (OGC) is a very active global group with staff in New York, Budapest and London. OGC focuses in the short term on transactional legal advice and compliance; in the medium term on policy making and good governance; and in the long term on helping make OSF an enduring philanthropy.  OGC serves as a resource for informed decision-making providing independent, timely and thoughtful advice on the broad range of legal issues that our programs, departments, boards and legal entities face as they pursue their visions of change. It looks to prevent legal problems and solve those that occur, to facilitate transactions, and to build structures that consider the longer-term impacts of a transaction, litigation, governance issue or other corporate matter.

Job Profile

The Associate General Counsel is a full time position based in New York that works on matters that include advising staff and senior management on contracts, grants, business operations, organizational policies, governance, and regulatory compliance, as well as providing staff training with respect to these areas.  Work is carried out both independently and in teams.

Essential duties and responsibilities will include:

  • advising on exempt organizations law, including compliance with US tax laws and regulations applicable to private foundations;
  • advising with respect to domestic and international grant making;
  • advising on basic corporate transactions including service agreements, consultancies, commercial contracts such as software agreements, leases and vendor agreements, and financial transactions;
  • advising on the development and implementation of organizational policies;
  • providing general nonprofit corporate advice, including creation, governance, and administration of legal entities in the US and abroad;
  • providing training on legal issues and compliance to staff at all levels;
  • travel may be required.

Candidate Profile

The Associate General Counsel will have at least six years of US law firm and/or in-house experience (or equivalent) with general corporate or exempt organization experience, who is interested in becoming an all-purpose generalist in our in-house legal department. Experience with defamation law, software licenses, and/or OFAC issues is also a plus.

The ideal candidate will also need to meet the following requirements:

  • advanced degree (J.D.) from an accredited law school;
  • must be admitted to practice in New York State or must be willing to be admitted;
  • must be a team player with a practical, business-oriented approach to problem-solving, tempered by an appreciation for legal complexity and risk;
  • experience working in the exempt organizations field strongly preferred;
  • familiarity with grant making, defamation, software licenses, and/or OFAC issues a plus;
  • excellent contract drafting and negotiating skills detail oriented with excellent follow-through;
  • excellent communication (verbal and written), including in a virtual environment;
  • superior organizational and strong interpersonal skills with the ability to listen effectively;
  • expert in identifying and resolving complex issues;
  • integrity, professional discretion and ability to handle sensitive/confidential matters;
  • extraordinary initiative, creative thinker with strong judgment and analytical skills;
  • strong relationship builder and communicator with experience building partnerships;
  • experience managing inter and intra organizational relationships in complex organizational environments;
  • the ability to work under pressure, manage workload, prioritize, manage simultaneous tasks, and meet deadlines, and maintain a sense of humor within a changing fast-paced environment.

Work Environment and Physical Demands: Essential functions are typically performed in an office setting with a low level of noise.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

We are strengthened by the diversity of our colleagues across the Open Society Foundations, and we welcome and actively seek applications from people of all cultures, backgrounds, and experiences.




Please note that position is in our Saratoga Springs office until September 2017 when it will move to our Albany office

The Private Attorney Involvement Program: The Legal Aid Society is a not-for-profit law firm for poor people that covers 16 counties in northeastern New York. We have a full-time legal staff that handles civil cases in certain areas of the law, but the demand for our services is heavy, and exceeds the assistance which our in-house staff is able to provide. Therefore, the PAI Program is an essential component of the Legal Aid Society. Through this program, several hundred volunteer private attorneys take case referrals without charge to eligible clients. The types of cases we refer include housing, bankruptcy, divorce, custody and support, SSI, unemployment insurance benefits, transgender name changes, wills, healthcare proxies, and powers of attorney, among others.

Responsibilities: Ensure that the PAI program operates in a productive and efficient manner to best meet the needs of our clients and attorney volunteers. Make case referrals to private attorneys who are on the volunteer panel. Maintain regular contact with PAI attorneys and their referred clients to ensure that the case is moving forward and also to obtain necessary information at the case’s completion. Substantial administrative responsibilities to support the program, including maintaining statistical records for purposes of CLE and grant reporting; preparing data for grant reporting; obtain feedback from clients and volunteers in order to improve operations. Lead in the recruitment of new panelists and expansion of the PAI program, as well as cultivate and maintain relationships with existing volunteers. Supervise the PAI Coordinators and part-time PAI paralegal in all administrative aspects of his or her work, and assist in their evaluations. Work with LASNNY staff regarding program collaborations and referrals. Teach a monthly clinic to clients. Nurture relationships with local bar associations, other pro bono providers, and judicial personnel. Must participate in evening bar association and pro bono activities, the frequency of which varies depending on the season. Promote PAI and LASNNY as a whole, which requires occasional public speaking. Write column in LASNNY publications as well as outside publications tailored to pro bono and civil legal services delivery. Prepare nomination packages for outstanding volunteers for local, statewide, and national pro bono awards. Attend statewide and national conferences in order to adapt the PAI program to the ever-evolving needs of clients and volunteers alike.

Qualifications for Attorneys: Minimum 4 years’ relevant experience. Must have demonstrated commitment to public interest law, and be passionate about providing pro bono services to low-income clients. Experience must include two years’ experience in a relevant area of law, e.g., family law and matrimonial, bankruptcy, or housing. Must be able to work independently and as part of a team, as well as build a strong PAI team. Ability to speak Spanish is a plus. Qualifications for Non-Attorneys: Minimum 6 years’ relevant experience. Must have an Associate’s degree, but a Bachelor’s degree is a plus. Prior experience as a paralegal is a plus. Must have demonstrated commitment to public interest law, and be passionate about providing pro bono services to low-income clients. Experience must include two years’ experience in a relevant area of law, e.g., family law and matrimonial, bankruptcy, or housing. Must be able to work independently and as part of a team, as well as build a strong PAI team. Ability to speak Spanish is a plus.

Salary: $50,184 - $66,016 for attorneys, depending on experience. $36,682 - $44,389, for non-attorneys, depending on experience. We are a unionized program and our fringe benefits are excellent. APPLICATION DEADLINE: March 20, 2017 No application will be accepted without a cover letter and resume. To apply, please go to or 1) Complete the Application linked here, or the mobile-friendly application linked here 2) Complete the Demographic Survey linked here We are an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. Minorities, women, the elderly, applicants and recipients of public assistance, LGBT persons and people with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.