The Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer. People of color, women, persons with disabilities, persons with diverse gender and sexual identities, immigrants, and people fluent in more than one language are strongly encouraged to apply.
Staff Attorney – Appeals and Post-Conviction Unit
Definition: Under general direction, performs a variety of appellate activities in the area of criminal law, predominantly the perfection of indigent criminal appeals on behalf of individuals who were convicted in Erie, Genesee, Orleans and Cattaraugus County courts; performs related duties as required.
Distinguishing Characteristics: Staff attorneys are responsible for handling every aspect of the appeals that are assigned to them, from the communication with the client upon receipt of the file through the communication with the client upon the outcome of the case in the Appellate Division and, as necessary, the outcome of any leave application filed with the Court of Appeals (the state’s highest court). In the event that an application for leave is granted by the Court of Appeals, perfecting the appeal in the Court of Appeals. Staff Attorney also investigates cases for potential post-conviction issues, and files such motions as are appropriate.
Examples of Duties:
1. Reads transcripts of case, which is taken from the master list.
2. Takes notes from transcripts and prepares a transcript summary for use in drafting appeal.
3. Discerns legal issues from the transcript and/or client questionnaire and necessary researching of law.
4. Researches possible legal issues; chooses appropriate issues for brief and discards issues that are non-meritorious or less than meritorious, keeping in mind the obligation to provide “meaningful representation” as that term has been defined by the Court of Appeals in People v Clayton Stultz, decided May 4, 2004.
5. Drafts appellant’s principal and reply briefs; submits completed draft of brief to Appeals and Post-Conviction Unit supervisor for review; incorporates supervisor’s suggestions, and as necessary prepares a redraft of brief.
6. Corresponds with client, and either visits client at correctional facility or discusses case with client via confidential phone call with the facility. Out-of-custody consultation with some clients occurs as well.
7. Corresponds with trial attorney, as necessary.
8. Prepares stipulation to the record on appeal and submits to District Attorney’s Offices; speaks with assistant district attorney as necessary until an agreement on the contents of stipulation is reached.
9. Gathers physical documents for appendix and submits to Appeals and Post-Conviction Unit investigator for numbering and copying.
10. Meets on a weekly basis with Appeals and Post-Conviction Unit supervisor to discuss status of cases.
11. Keeps abreast of recent developments in criminal law.
12. Disposes of a satisfactory number of cases per calendar year, number to be determined by supervisor.
13. Performs other duties as assigned by Appeals and Post-Conviction Unit supervisor, including, but not limited to, participation in moot court sessions and arguing cases in court.
Employment Standards: Active membership in the New York State Bar; and
1. Experience as an attorney in the practice of criminal appeals preferred; or
2. A combination of training, education and experience that is equivalent to the above employment standard and that provides the required knowledge and abilities.
3. Computer proficiency, including, but not limited to, word processing skills and computerized legal research.
4. Reliable transportation and license to operate a motor vehicle in New York State.
Knowledge of: all statutory laws related to practicing criminal law in New York State, including the Penal Law, Criminal Procedure Law, Corrections Law, and Judiciary Law; trial and appellate court procedures; legal research methods; rules of evidence; standard legal office practice and procedures; and ethical and professional rules of conduct.
Ability to: effectively perfect criminal appeals; work independently; perform legal research; analyze and apply legal principles, facts, evidence and precedents in legal problems; present statements of law, facts and arguments clearly, logically and forcefully; both in written and oral format; maintain confidentiality and objectivity; manage assigned caseload; operate personal computer and computer applications used by the units; establish and maintain effective working relationships with those encountered in the course of work; and interact well with the public.
This position is full-time; at least 35 hours per week.
The Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo, Inc. values diversity and is an equal opportunity employer. EOE/M/F/D/V
Please send your cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org or The Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo, Inc., Attention: Human Resources, 290 Main Street, Suite 400, Buffalo, NY 14202 by October 11, 2017.