General Counsel

Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York (PLS) is an independent, non-profit organization that provides legal assistance to incarcerated individuals in New York State’s prisons. Through its main office in Albany, and its four regional offices in the Bronx, Buffalo, Ithaca and Newburgh, PLS represents incarcerated clients in state and federal courts in both individual and class action litigation related to prison conditions, engages in administrative and legislative advocacy, and provides advice and information to incarcerated New Yorkers. PLS also operates a separately funded program focused on providing representation in immigration proceedings. PLS’s Pro Bono Project works with large law firms in major class action litigation and with individual practitioners in individual cases.

PLS invites applications for the position of General Counsel. The successful candidate will competently and comprehensively provide legal advice, assistance and suggested strategies to PLS Management and the PLS Board of Directors on contract, personnel, and compliance issues. This position will also represent and advise management on labor relations and employment/labor issues, including arbitrations and other administrative proceedings (Division of Human Rights, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, etc.), contract negotiations, interpretation and administration of collective bargaining agreements and other complex and emerging issues affecting PLS. The candidate will also review and write various internal legal contracts, negotiate and manage funding and vendor contracts, serve as an in-house resource for all staff on matters of professional legal ethics, work with the PLS Board on matters of nonprofit governance and ensure legal compliance regarding employee safety. The General Counsel will handle all legal matters involving PLS as a party including working with outside counsel when necessary.

The General Counsel reports directly to the Executive Director and is part of the organization’s management team.

The candidate must have a juris doctorate degree from an ABA accredited law school, be a member of the New York State bar or eligible to practice in New York State within six months of being hired, and have a minimum of five (5) years of legal experience in litigation/labor and employment. The preferred candidate will also have sound knowledge and understanding of applicable laws and regulations, and the ability to make prudent legal decisions. Top candidates will be team players with outstanding advocacy and people skills.

PLS offers a salary commensurate with experience and qualifications and competitive with other public interest law firms in upstate New York. PLS offers a comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, short and long-term disability, life insurance, and a 401(k)-retirement plan. All qualified applicants will be afforded equal employment opportunities without discrimination because of sex, race, color, age, national origin, religion, disability, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, citizenship, pregnancy or veteran status, or any other status protected by applicable law.

Please send a cover letter, resume, writing sample and at least three (3) references by email to: pkane@plsny.org. Due to the volume of applications expected, only people who are contacted for interviews will receive a response. The review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

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