Business/Transactional Law Externally-Funded Fellowship Fall 2020
Founded in 1969, Lawyers Alliance for New York is the leading provider of business and transactional legal services for nonprofits that are improving the quality of life in New York City neighborhoods. By connecting lawyers, nonprofits, and communities, Lawyers Alliance for New York helps organizations to develop and provide housing, stimulate economic opportunity, improve urban health and education, promote community arts, and operate and advocate for vital programs that benefit low-income New Yorkers of all ages. Each year, Lawyers Alliance represents more than 700 nonprofits on more than 1,300 legal projects and assists hundreds more through educational programs. The staff of 22, including 12 attorneys, works with 2,000 pro bono attorneys from law firms and corporations to deliver these services.
Lawyers Alliance has five program priorities: community arts, economic opportunity, housing and shelter, quality education, and urban health. In addition, Lawyers Alliance has developed four special initiatives to address emerging legal needs of the nonprofit sector: advocacy, national leadership, risk management, and disaster relief.
Lawyers Alliance is specifically seeking fellowship applicants for Skadden, Equal Justice Works, Kirkland & Ellis, and other externally-funded fellowships for the following program areas:
Our Community Arts program priority helps organizations to provide artistic outlets and use the arts to foster education, social supports and services, and urban development. Clients are engaged in enrichment activities for children and the elderly, in-school and after-school programs, music and dance performances, therapeutic arts programs, and other community-based arts activities.
Through our Economic Opportunity program priority, Lawyers Alliance helps to train and place people in jobs, increase financial literacy and economic independence, attract lending and investment, and promote community vitality and stability in all five boroughs. Clients include community loan funds, low-income federal credit unions, community development corporations, workforce development groups, business improvement districts and community revitalization organizations, faith-based groups, nonprofits involved in for-profit business ventures, and other economic opportunity organizations.
Our Housing and Shelter program priority helps to create thousands of units of affordable and special needs housing, while working to increase services for homeless families and adults. Clients include nonprofit affordable housing developers, housing development fund corporations, providers of neighborhood housing services, and supportive housing organizations serving special needs populations such as domestic violence survivors or the disabled. We also represent nonprofits that provide or advocate for food, shelter, and other social services.
Our Quality Education project priority helps nonprofit organizations that address educational needs from early childhood to adulthood. Clients include organizations that offer and support in-school and after-school educational enrichment, early learning and Head Start, public school improvement, charter schools and alternative public education programs, mentoring and tutoring, educational scholarships, college readiness and sustainability, occupational education, adult literacy, continuing education, English language learning, and STEM education.
Through our Urban Health program priority, Lawyers Alliance helps to promote preventative health, food security, healthy aging, and making New York City a greener place. Lawyers Alliance also supports the efforts of community-based organizations addressing social determinants of health in navigating New York State’s Medicaid Redesign. Clients include senior centers, afterschool programs, food and agricultural programs, parks and green spaces, educational organizations, mental health and behavioral health agencies, community health centers, nutrition and exercise programs, and nonprofits advocating for legislation and policies that eliminate health disparities and improve New Yorkers' lives.
The Advocacy Initiative strengthens the public policy impact of the nonprofit sector, by helping advocacy organizations with business and transactional law matters, understanding laws on lobbying and political activity, and legislation, as well as engaging in advocacy at the city, state, and federal levels on core issues affecting the nonprofit sector and in our five program priority areas.
Lawyers Alliance welcomes the opportunity to expose fellows to legal work and practical skills that address the legal needs of community-based and other nonprofit organizations focused on the above program priorities. Legal fellows work at Lawyers Alliance as a full-time staff attorney for one or two years and provide invaluable legal assistance to nonprofits and social enterprises that are serving low-income and disadvantaged New Yorkers. Our clients need help navigating a wide range of business law and issues, including nonprofit governance, structuring, contract, real estate, tax, regulatory and other concerns. Many seek legal advice on legal transactions with other parties.
Lawyers Alliance will work with qualified fellowship candidates who are applying for third-party funding to help them assess whether a public interest fellowship at Lawyers Alliance is a good fit. Many of our past fellows have worked on a wide range of business law and transactional issues across program priority areas, while others have developed or focused on one or more specific program priorities. Fellows develop professional skills and strengthen nonprofits by working on legal representation projects, teaching workshops and webinars on nonprofit legal issues, and assisting with client outreach, client screenings, legal research, pro bono clinics, volunteer attorney support, legal alerts and publications, and resource calls.
Lawyers Alliance is currently hosting a fellow through the National Center on Philanthropy and the Law (NCPL) Fellowship in Nonprofit Law, and also has a positive record of hosting public interest law fellows sponsored through the Skadden Foundation, Equal Justice Works, Harvard Law School, and Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.
Lawyers Alliance is seeking a May 2020 JD graduate, recent graduate, or an experienced attorney looking to transition to public interest work. Experience working with low-income clients and/or with nonprofit organizations on transactional legal issues is preferred.
For further information, please contact [email protected] with a resume and a brief project proposal/cover letter. Please confirm in your cover letter that you are applying for an externally-funded fellowship position and identify the fellowship that you are applying for or have received. Lawyers Alliance for New York is an equal opportunity employer. People of color, women, people with disabilities, veterans, people over 40, and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are welcome and encouraged to apply.
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