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Program Assistant- Lawyers for Reporters (Non-Profit)

NYC Bar Association
New York, New York, United States
Program Assistant, Lawyers for Reporters
The Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice/City Bar Fund 

Position Reports to: Managing Attorney, Lawyers for Reporters/Vance Center 
FLSA Status: Non-exempt
Location:  New York City

The Vance Center advances global justice by engaging lawyers across borders to support civil society and an ethically active legal profession.  The Vance Center is a unique collaboration of international lawyers catalyzing public interest innovation.  A non-profit program of the New York City Bar Association, we bring together leading law firms and other partners worldwide to pioneer international justice initiatives and provide pro bono legal representation to social justice NGOs.   

Program Description 
The Vance Center launched Lawyers for Reporters in March 2020 to provide pro bono legal representation to early-stage local journalism and other reporting organizations in the United States.  Since its launch, it has represented more than 220 clients in 38 states and the District of Columbia. 

Lawyers for Reporters clients include creators and publishers of local and public interest reporting in many media formats, as well as investigative, advocacy, and academic publishers of public interest content. Lawyers for Reporters provides a broad range of advice and representation that news and public interest reporting entities need -- from inception through establishment as functioning reporting entities. Services include corporate, transactional, employment, and taxation advice, as well as newsroom-related advice. Lawyers for Reporters also advises clients regarding obtaining tax-exempt nonprofit status and in establishing and managing subscriber/membership programs.  

Based on the successful model of the Vance Center, Lawyers for Reporters works in tandem with lawyers at dozens of law firms around the country in various areas of expertise, all engaged on a pro bono basis. Since its launch, 290 lawyers from 36 law firms have co-counseled with Lawyers for Reporters to serve clients. 

Among its other activities, Lawyers for Reporters serves as the US/Canada coordinator for Reporters Shield, an international membership program established in 2023 that protects participating investigative reporting organizations from SLAPPs (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation). In this role, working closely with Reporters Shield staff, Lawyers for Reporters coordinates the engagement, monitoring and compensation of paid legal counsel to represent Reporters Shield members in the United States and Canada against libel and related legal threats and claims.    

The Position
The Program Assistant, reporting to the Managing Attorney, will collaborate with a team of five professionals and help manage their workflow through:
  • Communicating with potential clients and assisting with client intake meetings and communications;
  • Helping schedule meetings, drafting/circulating agendas and supporting materials;
  • Compiling, organizing, and creating electronic client files; compiling data about program activities
  • Preparing and sending engagement letters to clients and project descriptions to potential co-counsel
  • Assisting in planning and executing programs and events
  • Assisting with updating website content and other communications
  • Other general administrative assistant work
  • Handling additional responsibilities/special projects as needed
  • Bachelor’s degree, or equivalent experience
  • Minimum 2 years directly relevant experience, preferably in a professional setting/office environment
  • The ability to work independently with minimal supervision, as well as collaboratively with a team
  • Strong organizational and project management skills, attention to detail, time-management and demonstrated ability to anticipate needs and efficiently multi-task and prioritize workload
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including the ability to maintain a courteous and professional demeanor with a diverse range of clients, co-workers, volunteers, and other stakeholders
  • Strong computer skills, including intermediate knowledge of Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and website management software
  • Authorization to work in the United States
Additional Experience Preferred
  • Experience and/or general knowledge of journalism, nonprofit/public interest legal work.
  • Experience with the U.S. legal market, including pro bono legal services.
  • Ability to develop and/or work with legal professionals
Candidates for this position must be available for in-person work at our Midtown Manhattan office on a hybrid schedule generally requiring 2-3 days of scheduled in-office work per week, with the balance of time being work-from-home. The hybrid schedule is subject to review and revision based on the departmental needs.

Starting salary will be $55,000- $60,000 (based on experience), for a 35 hour workweek.

We provide a competitive benefits package including generous paid time off (vacation, personal, sick time, holidays including closing between Christmas and New Year’s day this year, day off each year for volunteer work, extra time off in the summer if start date is no later than June), choice of medical plans (some offered at almost no charge to employee), dental, vision, 401K, life insurance, commuter benefits program, Employee Assistance Program, short-term/long-term disability insurance, employee discounts, and more!

It is suggested that qualified applicants include a cover letter, to explain why you are interested in the position, but it is not required to apply. Applications will be considered when received, until a qualified candidate is hired. References will be required and checked before an offer will be provided.

No phone calls please.

We actively seek a diverse applicant pool and encourage candidates of all backgrounds and unique experiences to apply, especially those candidates belonging to historically under-represented communities. We welcome diversity of all kinds. It is the policy of the Organization to ensure equal employment opportunity without discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, creed, age, national origin, alienage or citizenship status, gender (including gender identity), sexual orientation, disability, arrest or conviction record, pregnancy, credit history, salary history, caregiver status, marital status, partnership status, or status as a victim of domestic violence, stalking and sex offenses, religion, sex, genetic information, military status, unemployment status or any other characteristic as protected by law. With regard to the Americans with Disabilities Act and other related laws, the organization will endeavor to make reasonable accommodations for persons due to their religious beliefs, disability, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical condition or because the individual was a victim of domestic violence, sexual violence or stalking.