Community Lawyering in New York City

New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI), a community-driven nonprofit civil rights organization, is accepting applications for a distinguished fellowship sponsored by Schulte Roth & Zabel. The Fellow will contribute to social justice work at NYLPI during the 2020-2021 school year.

About NYLPI: NYLPI pioneered the practice of community lawyering in New York City, based on the premise that every New Yorker has the basic civil right to thrive. With every case and campaign, we partner with members of communities fighting marginalization, advancing advocacy that is ambitious, participatory, and dynamic.

The Schulte Fellow will be placed in NYLPI’s Environmental Justice Program. Through our Environmental Justice work, NYLPI seeks to eliminate the unfair burdens of environmental hazards borne by communities with low incomes and by Black, Latinx, and other communities fighting marginalization — and to dismantle structural racism to create a more equitable and sustainable city, state and society. In partnership with community-based organizations, advocacy groups, pro bono law firms, and individual New Yorkers, our Environmental Justice team builds coalitions, devises and executes campaigns, launches strategic litigation, and shapes policy. We support grassroots organizing and leadership and strengthen communities’ ability to assert their right to a healthy and sustainable environment. We are creative and determined in our legal and policy approach, whether we are eliminating toxins and environmental dangers from schools and homes or working to restructure the waste system to protect neighborhoods from being used as garbage dumping grounds.

The Schulte Fellow will perform legal research and writing related to advocacy campaigns and participate in developing strategies to combat systemic problems. The Schulte Fellow will work closely with all members of the Environmental Justice team and will participate in collaborations with our Health Justice and Disability Justice teams on interrelated issues (for example, addressing air pollution that triggers asthma and contributes to more deadly effects of COVID-19).

About the Fellowship and the Application Process: NYLPI seeks a highly accomplished, progressive, community-minded law student with excellent legal research and writing skills to advance the goals of our programs. Fluency in a second language, particularly Spanish, strongly preferred.

The Fellow will be required to dedicate a minimum of 15 hours per week for the 2020-2021 school year and will receive a stipend of $2,000 per semester. The position is open to both 2Ls and 3Ls. Applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and three references with daytime telephone numbers to fellowships@nylpi.org by September 5, 2020 with “Schulte Roth & Zabel Fellow” in the subject line.

We strongly encourage candidates fluent in multiple languages and candidates from historically oppressed groups to apply. We are committed to advancing social justice and civil rights in our advocacy, and we value the dynamism and perspective that staff diversity, equity, and inclusion bring to the work and culture of our organization. We strive to promote behaviors, attitudes and policies that enable us to work inclusively and effectively in cross-cultural situations with clients, co-workers, and community partners. We actively recruit and seek to grow and maintain a staff that is diverse along many axes, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, and national origin; disability; socioeconomic background; and sexual orientation and gender identity.

About NYLPI

For more than 40 years, NYLPI has been a leading civil rights advocate for New Yorkers opposing marginalization on the basis of race, immigration status, poverty, neighborhood pollution, and disabilities. NYLPI pioneered the practice of community lawyering in the five boroughs of New York City. These communities shape our priorities, and their struggles for justice demand innovative solutions. Our interdisciplinary teams of advocates use every tool available – community organizing, impact litigation and individual representation, policy advocacy, media, pro bono partnerships, and public education – to solve seemingly intractable problems, develop leaders, and build collective power to achieve justice. We strive to create equal access to health care, achieve equality of opportunity and self-determination for people with disabilities, ensure immigrant opportunity, strengthen local nonprofits, and secure environmental justice for low-income communities of color. To learn more about NYLPI, visit www.nylpi.org.

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