Every year, thousands of people in Central New York need help with a legal problem, but cannot afford to hire a lawyer. This is where the Legal Aid Society of Mid-New York (“LASMNY”) comes in.
by Tara Capponi
LASMNY is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit law office that provides free counsel, advice, and legal representation in civil matters. LASMNY serves 13 counties across Central New York, and its Farmworker Law Project covers the entire state. LASMNY’s mission is to provide free legal assistance to low-income people facing civil legal problems that impact the basic needs of life. Through legal advice, emergency legal services and legal representation, it helps low-income people stabilize their finances, protect themselves and their children from domestic violence, obtain access to healthcare, avoid homelessness as a result of wrongful evictions, protect the family home from foreclosure, increase household income and assert their rights as workers. LASMNY also targets specific vulnerable populations with their services, such as senior citizens, victims of domestic violence, people with disabilities, refugees, immigrants, veterans and farmworkers.
LASMNY’s primary goal is to fill the “justice gap” experienced by thousands in Central New York. In 2022, LASMNY staff were actively involved with 7,400 legal cases. A total of 5,686 cases were closed that year, which benefitted 11,848 people (many cases such as those involving domestic violence involve multiple individuals). In addition, its Farmworker Law Project, which covers the entire state, impacted 8,773 farmworkers via outreach and know-your-rights materials. LASMNY’s farmworker program represents farmworkers, nursery workers, packinghouse workers, and food processing workers across New York State in a variety of matters including employment issues, wage theft, housing conditions, unlawful evictions, workplace health and safety problems, discrimination, civil rights, and labor trafficking.
LASMNY’s practice areas include:
• Disability Advocacy (SSI/SSDI)
• Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault
• Elder Law & Estate Planning
• Eviction Defense Program
• Farmworker and Employment Law
• Immigration Law
LASMNY is always interested in hiring passionate, dedicated advocates to work as paralegals or attorneys, and is especially interested in Spanish speakers. The ideal candidates for LASMNY are independent, can think on their feet, and want to play a leading role in providing services to Central New Yorkers. LASMNY has several open positions currently, including one for a Bilingual Outreach Paralegal for its farmworker program, as the majority of farmworkers are Spanish-speaking. That paralegal would travel to labor camps across New York and provide support for the unit’s litigation needs.
LASMNY is committed to a diverse, equal and inclusive (DEI) workforce. LASMNY strives to be thought and servant leaders dedicated to advocating for the underserved with the utmost respect, dignity and pride. They strongly encourage and welcome applicants from all backgrounds to apply for open positions. LASMNY encourages women, people of color, LGBTQ, veterans, people with disabilities, people from all religious backgrounds and people from any socioeconomic class(es) to apply. LASMNY knows that people are stronger together. If you are a visionary, thought leader, or servant leader and are resilient, tenacious and have the knowledge and education qualifications for their positions, they welcome you to apply to join the LASMNY team!
If you are interested in working at LASMNY, please reach out to LASMNY’s Senior Legal Recruiter, Tara Capponi, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (315) 793-7037, for official job postings.
Photos by Mikhail Nilov and August de Richelieu from pexels.com