Hope Jay is a Western New York native and proud to call the city of Buffalo her home. As the daughter of renowned criminal defense and civil rights attorney David Jay, she was raised with a deep respect for the legal system and instilled with her father’s unwavering sense of duty and principle to serving his clients.
Hope’s original calling to serve others came prior to becoming a lawyer. After pursing a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and English, and a master’s degree in Social Work from the State University of New York at Buffalo, she went on to begin her clinical practice in Social Work at Baker Victory Services. In this capacity, she demonstrated a strong empathy for the disadvantaged and a steadfast commitment to human dignity.
Sensing she could do more, however, Hope returned to school to earn her Law degree from the University at Buffalo in 2004, where she was a Buffalo Law Review editor and recipient of the Delores Denman Award. Hope was admitted to the New York State Bar and the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York in 2005.
Hope began her career as an attorney in private practice at Cantor, Lukasik, Dolce & Panepinto, P.C., a Plaintiff’s law firm devoted to helping injured people. It was as a Plaintiff’s attorney that she first began representing victims of negligence and medical malpractice, and the seeds of zealous advocacy on behalf of her clients were planted.
Hope joined the Erie County District Attorney’s office in 2006. During her four years as an assistant district attorney, she was assigned to both the Domestic Violence Bureau and the Felony Trial Bureau. She prosecuted a wide range of cases from minor to major felonies, including rape, burglary, grand larceny, arson and attempted homicide.
In 2011 Hope started her own firm, the Law Office of Hope R. Jay, PLLC. She concentrates her practice in the areas of criminal, family and matrimonial law.
Hope is a member of the Erie County Bar Association, the Western New York Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York, Women Lawyers of Western New York (Board member from 2011-2015), the Erie County Bar Association Matrimonial and Family Committee, the Erie County Family Court Practice and Procedure Committee, and currently serves on the panel of the Assigned Counsel program of Erie County and the New York State Attorneys for Children program.
Hope is a former member of the Erie County Bar Association’s Board of Directors (2102-2013), and also served as a representative on the Erie County Bar Association’s Judiciary Committee.
Hope currently serves as the North District Representative on the Buffalo Board of Education, and has served on the Board of Directors of Women Elect since 2013. She has frequently volunteered her time to work with the Family Justice Center in fundraising activities, as well as devoting time to the Law School as a judge and evaluator for mock trials and competitions. Hope lives in Buffalo with her two daughters, one who attends the University of Rochester, and one who attends City Honors School.