Disability Rights - Staff Attorney

Posted: 10/25/17 | SHARE:


About the Organization:  Disability Rights New York (DRNY), the Protection and Advocacy System for New York State, is seeking an experienced individual with a passion for achieving justice for individuals with disabilities. This is an opportunity to join a statewide organization advancing the legal rights of people with disabilities. DRNY challenges systemic abuse, neglect, discrimination, and legal rights violations through legal case-handling, individual and systemic reform litigation, public investigations, advocacy, and collaboration with stakeholders. Justice for individuals with disabilities is DRNY’s focus.


The Staff Attorney will serve in DRNY's program for Protection & Advocacy for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (PADD). The Staff Attorney will provide legal services and engage in individual and systemic representation and litigation. This position reports to the Program Director.

The Staff Attorney:

  • Provides individual and systemic legal representation to ensure protection of the rights of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities;
  • Analyzes existing cases as well as other matters to determine if they present systemic issues which may be appropriate for DRNY to address, and, with the Program Director, formulate strategies for their prevention, reduction or elimination;
  • Investigates allegations of abuse and neglect;
  • Monitors state and private facilities and service providers for abuse, neglect and compliance with federal and state laws;
  • Drafts investigative and monitoring reports;
  • Consults with professionals such as attorneys, physicians, psychologists, therapists, educators, and others to identify options and barriers for individuals and groups;
  • Assists people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in advocacy and systems change efforts including law reform litigation;
  • Supports DRNY projects and initiatives that foster self-advocacy and coalition building; and
  • Participates on task forces, coalitions, and committees, and conduct training and outreach activities.


  • Recent Law Graduate or member in good standing of the New York State Baror eligible to waive in from another jurisdiction (and maintain such standing throughout employment with DRNY)
  • Demonstrated interest and commitment to public interest law;
  • Experience with law reform or other complex litigation a plus;
  • Excellent communication skills; and
  • Ability to work efficiently, independently and collaboratively as part of a team.

Preferred Skills

  • Public interest, civil rights, or disability law experience;
  • Experience working with diverse populations;
  • Systemic litigation experience - in state and/or federal court;
  • Knowledge of the Protection & Advocacy system.

Working Conditions

A Staff Attorney usually performs work in an office environment, but the mission of the organization may sometimes take a Staff Attorney to non-standard workplaces. This position is based in Albany, NY. A Staff Attorney will be expected to travel within and outside the state as necessary.

Internal Scope

Schedule: 9am-5pm Reports to: Program Director Travel: 10%>

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