Staff Attorney, Full Time- Buffalo, NY

Reports to: Director of Legal Services

Job purpose

Are you an attorney who’s looking to make a significant difference in peoples’ lives and promote social justice for our community? Are you looking for a change of work environment? We are looking for passionate individuals who want to help others to join our legal team! MHA is dedicated to building an inclusive, diverse, equitable, and accessible workplace that fosters a sense of belonging – so if you are excited about this role or working at MHA – but your experience does not align perfectly with every qualification in the job description, we encourage you to still consider submitting an application. You may be just the right candidate for this role or another one of our openings. The mission of Mental Health Advocates (MHA) is to promote mental health and wellness in the community and support individuals and families who are living with mental illness. MHA is hiring an attorney who is dedicated to the rights of individuals living with mental illness. As an attorney at MHA, you will have the opportunity to use your Law degree to provide high quality civil legal assistance to vulnerable individuals with a mental health diagnosis. You will have the chance to assist clients with essential areas such as housing, public benefits, unemployment insurance, employment, education, consumer, and/or other civil matters. If you are mission-driven, live with mental illness or support a family member with mental illness, and truly care about justice, you are the right person for this position.

Duties and responsibilities

  • Maintain a caseload of clients: representing them in court and before administrative and governmental agencies.
  • Provide consultation, advice and referrals to mental health consumers, their families and mental health professionals.
  • Carry out administrative policies of MHA.
  • Maintain accurate, comprehensive case notes and time records for each client.
  • Provide case support to Legal Services Program Director when requested.
  • Provide statistical data necessary for reporting to funder on a regular and timely basis.
  • Handle Information and Referral calls and make proper entries concerning these calls.
  • Participate in staff meetings and staff trainings.
  • Participate in Continuous Quality Improvement efforts for the program and for the agency.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.


  • Juris Doctor Degree from an accredited law school
  • Be a member in good standing of the New York State Bar or eligible to become a member within reasonable time after beginning employment and maintain such standing through employment with the MHA.
  • 1 year experience in poverty law or mental health law or interest in learning more.
  • Ability to read and interpret government regulations.
  • Thorough knowledge of legal research and ability to make independent legal judgments.
  • Ability to do outreach to community groups to promote public awareness of Legal Services Program.
  • Determine and understand the legal needs of mental health consumers in Erie and the surrounding Counties.
  • Ability to demonstrate sensitivity, supportive and respectful approach to the needs of others.
  • Evidence of the practice of high level of confidentiality.
  • Above average oral and written communication skills.
  • Sound, independent decision-making ability.
  • Demonstrated ability to serve as a successful participant on the team under leadership and direction.
  • Proficient computer skills in a Microsoft office environment (Word, Access, PowerPoint, etc.) or other current technology. Must include Excel and skills in database management and recordkeeping.
  • Team-first attitude and a positive demeanor.

Travel Requirements

Incumbents must possess a valid Driver License and reliable transportation with the ability to travel within New York State, as well as nationally, if required




Indicate percent or (ü) as appropriate.

A. What are the physical mobility requirements of this job?

Never (0% of time)

Occasional (up to 25% of time)

Routinely (up to 50% of time)

Frequent (up to 75% of time)

Continuously (up to 100% of time)

1. Climbing NEVER

2. Balancing NEVER

3. Stooping/Bending NEVER

4. Kneeling, Crouching, Crawling NEVER

5. Reaching NEVER

6. Handling, Fingering, Feeling NEVER

7. Talking FREQUENT

8. Hearing FREQUENT

9. Standing NEVER

10. Walking NEVER

B. What are the physical effort requirements of this job?

Lifting – Number of pounds lifted…

Waist high 0lbs

Shoulder high 0lbs

Above head 0lbs

Carry – Percent of time pounds are….

Carried alone 0lbs

Carried w/someone 0lbs

Pushed 0lbs

Pulled 0lbs

Held 0lbs

The above job description is not a contractual or binding document; it is provided as a guide to the types of duties required to be undertaken. Duties may vary from time to time, and this description is subject to review. Modifications will be made as needed to support changes in the business climate and requirements.

How to Apply

Please send resume and cover letter to Ed Martnshin at You can also apply on Indeed here:*q39uez*_gcl_au*MTkwMzYxMjc1Ny4xNjgxMjQyNTYy

The Mental Health Advocates of WNY is an equal employment opportunity employer. Employment decisions are based on merit and business needs, and not on race, color, citizenship status, national origin, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, age, weight, religion, creed, physical or mental disability, marital status, veteran status, political affiliation, or any other factor protected by law.



Do You Need Help?

Information & referral specialists are available M-F, 8:30am-4:30pm to help link you to community resources, providers, or treatment services.

Call (716) 886-1242.

Test Your Mental Health

We offer a free, anonymous online mental health screening.