VOLS Microenterprise Project is Hiring

September 11, 2018

Job Title: Staff Attorney, Microenterprise Project


Volunteers of Legal Service (VOLS) seeks a full-time Staff Attorney for its Microenterprise Project.  A substantial portion of the attorney’s time will be dedicated to the Project’s Advocacy for Commercial Tenants (ACT) Program, the cornerstone of which is the City’s newly launched Commercial Lease Assistance (CLA) Program. We are looking for a staff attorney with legal experience in commercial leasing, enthusiasm for working with small businesses and entrepreneurs, and a commitment to helping New York City's neighborhoods thrive.


The Microenterprise Project Staff Attorney will have an exciting opportunity to work with our Microenterprise Project team at the unique intersection of public interest, commercial real estate, advocacy, outreach, and policy to strengthen New York City's neighborhoods and combat displacement.


VOLS’ Mission: VOLS' mission is to leverage the good will, talents, and resources of large law firms to provide pro bono assistance to low-income New Yorkers.  Our Microenterprise Project serves this mission by providing crucial legal assistance to low-income entrepreneurs in areas such as commercial leasing, intellectual property, contracts, and business formation.  Services are provided by VOLS staff as well as through a volunteer attorney network supported by VOLS. 


Project Responsibilities: 

• Assist the Microenterprise Project Director and Senior Staff Attorney with all aspects of ACT’s service to New York City's microentrepreneurs

• Provide excellent transactional legal assistance to microentrepreneurs, with an emphasis on commercial leasing issues

• Develop in-house contracts, forms, and educational materials for program use

• Support pro bono efforts by assisting with placing matters with volunteers and co-counseling matters with volunteer lawyers

• Collaborate with NYC Small Business Services, the contracting agency, and with two other legal services organizations on CLA Program functions

• Conduct outreach, including educational workshops, brief advice clinics, and intake screenings

• Work with small business and legal services coalitions on advocacy and policy efforts that support low-income small business owners and entrepreneurs

• The Staff Attorney may have the opportunity to assist with targeted and impact litigation related to small businesses and commercial leasing

• Using LegalServer, the VOLS database program, to maintain complete and current data on Microenterprise Project clients and activities

• Meet case and contract reporting deadlines

• Strengthen the Microenterprise Project's relationships with community organizations

• Work with the Microenterprise Project Director and Senior Staff Attorney to publicize the Project’s work and accomplishments through social media and the press 

• Support VOLS’ fundraising efforts by assisting with grant/contract reports and proposals and attending networking events. 



• J.D. and an attorney admitted and in good standing in New York State

• At least two (2) years of prior experience providing lease-related services to small businesses in New York City, including reviewing, drafting, and negotiating leases

• Demonstrated experience providing direct client legal representation

• Knowledge of the commercial leasing landscape for small businesses in New York City

• Experience working in fast-paced, high volume case setting with extensive client contact and experience handling cases from intake to closing

• Experience working with low- to moderate-income individuals and/or small business owners

• Excellent writing skills

• Experience litigating commercial landlord-tenant cases, a plus

• Fluency in Spanish preferred, but fluency in another non-English language, a plus



• Strong organization, documentation and recordkeeping skills

• Strong oral communication and interpersonal skills with persons of varying degrees of knowledge and understanding in leasing matters

• Demonstrated commitment to advocacy and quality client service

• Efficiency in time management and balancing competing priorities

• High skill and comfort level with basic Microsoft Office programs (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) and case management software

• Ability to work well under pressure with clients facing daunting time-sensitive situations

• Professionalism and collegiality

• Ability to work as a team with other Microenterprise Project staff and independently, as well



Salary will be competitive and will depend on experience.  The range for this position is $60,000-$70,000.

VOLS offers an excellent benefits package, including health, life, and disability insurance, a retirement plan to which VOLS contributes, and the option to contribute to a 403(b) plan.  We also provide 25 days of paid vacation and 12 days of paid sick leave annually.  


How to Apply:

To apply for the Staff Attorney positions, please email your cover letter and resume to apply@volsprobono.org with the subject “Application for Microenterprise Staff Attorney.”  Please visit our site www.volsprobono.org, and in your cover letter, provide a brief explanation of your personal or professional interest and/or experience as it relates to VOLS’ work.  Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.  No phone or email inquiries, please. VOLS is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, sex, religion, or any other prohibited category.