360 East 161st Street
The Bronx Defenders (BxD)—an innovative, progressive, holistic indigent defense office in the South Bronx—seeks energetic second-year (2L) law students committed to public defense to join our Criminal Defense, Family Defense, Civil Action, Immigration, and Impact Litigation Practices for our 2019 Summer Internship Program.
BxD is a public defender non-profit that is radically transforming how low-income people in the Bronx are represented in the justice system, and, in doing so, is transforming the system itself. BxD seeks thoughtful, creative, energetic individuals with a strong commitment to social justice to join our dynamic staff.
Our diverse staff of over 350 includes interdisciplinary teams made up of criminal, civil, immigration, and family defense attorneys, as well as social workers, benefits specialists, legal advocates, parent advocates, investigators, and team administrators, all of whom collaborate to provide holistic legal and social service advocacy. Through this integrated team-based structure, we have pioneered a groundbreaking, nationally-recognized model of representation called holistic defense that achieves better outcomes for our clients.
Each year, we defend 27,000 low-income Bronx residents in criminal, civil, child welfare, and immigration cases, and reach thousands more through our community intake, youth mentoring, and outreach programs. Through impact litigation, policy advocacy, and community organizing, we push for systemic reform at the local, state, and national level. We take what we learn from the clients and communities that we serve, and launch innovative initiatives designed to bring about real and lasting change.
Role & Responsibilities
Over a period of 10 weeks, The Bronx Defenders Summer Internship Program provides a unique opportunity for interns to receive extensive training in various legal disciplines and play an integral role in holistic defense. Legal interns gain invaluable client interaction experience, participate in a summer-long intensive trial training series, and have the opportunity to advocate for clients in court.
Summer internships will begin on Tuesday, May 28th and end Friday, August 2nd, 2019.
Responsibilities & Duties
Legal interns assist attorneys in every aspect of client representation. Their responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
- preparing for hearings and trials
- interviewing clients and witnesses
- conducting legal research
- writing legal motions
- connecting clients with key services and resources, and
- representing clients in court, pursuant to the Student Practice Order.
Legal interns also have opportunities to observe or serve as co-counsel on cases in a variety of judicial venues (i.e., Criminal Court, Civil Court, Family Court, Immigration Court, at administrative hearings, etc.), when needed or desired.
Notably, all summer legal interns experience extensive client interaction, especially through participation in our Community Intake. BxD is one of the only public defender offices in New York City that allows any Bronx resident to walk into the office and proactively seek assistance with legal issues. Interns will engage with these residents and help connect them to the appropriate services or advocates to address their issues.
Each legal intern works alongside attorneys in our Immigration, Civil Action, Criminal Defense, Family Defense, or Impact Litigation Practices.
Immigration Practice (IMM)
Over a decade ago, BxD pioneered the model of integrated criminal defense and immigration representation. Our Immigration attorneys work closely with our clients and their advocates throughout the pendencies of their cases in both the criminal and family courts to avoid or mitigate negative immigration-related consequences. Additionally, Immigration attorneys represent clients in deportation proceedings in both detained and non-detained settings, provide affirmative immigration services, and pursue community-based systemic reform-oriented litigation and advocacy to challenge unforgiving federal immigration laws. Since November 2013, our Immigration attorneys have also served as assigned counsel at the Varick Street Immigration Court under the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP), the first-ever universal representation project in immigration court. Legal interns in IMM must be prepared to assist their attorney supervisors in all aspects of their work, as needed.
Competitive candidates must demonstrate a commitment to defending all noncitizens in immigration proceedings.
Civil Action Practice (CAP)
Our Civil Action Practice provides comprehensive legal services to our clients and their families by fully integrating civil representation with our Criminal and Family Defense Practices. Our goal is to minimize the severe and often unforeseen fallout from Criminal and Family Court proceedings, while facilitating the reintegration of our clients into their community. Our Civil Action Practice attorneys and legal advocates represent our clients in every forum in New York City—administrative, state, and federal—to address these problems. Civil attorneys and advocates provide comprehensive advocacy to help our clients resolve civil legal problems related to barriers to access to employment, public benefits, and housing (including eviction efforts); police misconduct and criminal record errors; and civil forfeiture. Legal interns in CAP must be prepared to assist their attorney supervisors in all aspects of their work, as needed.
Competitive candidates must demonstrate a commitment to defending individuals in civil legal proceedings.
Criminal Defense Practice (CDP)
Our Criminal Defense attorneys zealously advocate for individuals charged with criminal offenses in the Bronx Criminal Courts. They appear in various proceedings, including, but not limited to: arraignments, hearings, and trials in criminal courts, as well as concurrent proceedings, such as Superintendent’s suspension hearings, and Department of Motor Vehicle refusal hearings. Criminal Defense attorneys provide comprehensive representation in collaboration with attorneys and advocates in other practice areas to avoid or mitigate the many enmeshed consequences that may arise from our clients’ contact with the criminal court system. To that end, Criminal Defense attorneys must be consistently prepared to litigate, and to confidently engage in skillful negotiations with judges, prosecutors, and other actors throughout the systems our clients must navigate. Legal interns in CDP must be prepared to assist their attorney supervisors in all aspects of their work, as needed.
Competitive candidates must demonstrate a commitment to defending individuals charged with criminal offenses.
Family Defense Practice (FDP)
Our Family Defense attorneys are at the forefront of a movement to provide holistic, institutional representation to parents in the Bronx County Family Court who are fighting allegations of child abuse and/or neglect. They are dedicated to fighting on behalf of clients whose parental rights are in peril, while fostering long-term solutions to promote the reunification and stability of families. Family Defense attorneys provide comprehensive representation in collaboration with attorneys and advocates in other practice areas to avoid or mitigate the many enmeshed consequences that may arise from our clients’ contact with the family court system. To that end, Family Defense attorneys must be consistently prepared to litigate, and to confidently engage in skillful negotiations with judges, representatives of the Administration for Children’s Services, and other actors throughout the systems our clients must navigate. Legal interns in FDP must be prepared to assist their attorney supervisors in all aspects of their work, as needed.
Competitive candidates must demonstrate a commitment to defending parents charged with abuse and/or neglect.
Impact Litigation Practice (ILP)
Interns in our Impact Litigation Practice support attorneys in collaborating with all other practice areas to identify, develop, and formally litigate challenges to various systemic violations and injustices that affect our clients, including: racially/ethnically discriminatory policing practices, unequal access to housing and employment, government seizure of property, curtailments of parental rights in family court proceedings, immigration-related abuses, and other forms of governmental misconduct.
Competitive candidates must demonstrate a commitment to social justice and exceptional research, writing, and data collection skills.
For all practice areas, applicants must demonstrate:
- Experience or passionate interest in working in and with low-income communities of color, like the one we serve in the South Bronx
- Strong research, writing, and oral advocacy skills
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
- The ability to think critically and quickly on their feet
- The capacity and desire to work collaboratively in interdisciplinary teams
Applicants must be second-year (2L) law students currently enrolled at an American Bar Association-accredited law school.
Minimum Education Required
How To Apply
To apply, please visit our Career Portal at the link provided, select the position of interest, click APPLY FOR THIS JOB ONLINE and upload both a cover letter and a resume as a single document when prompted. In your cover letter, please specify for which practice area(s) you wish to be considered. If you are applying in relation to a career fair or on-campus interviewing event, please also indicate that in your cover letter, along with the specific fair/event. Applications missing any components or not submitted in the requested manner will not be considered.
Applications will be accepted from 12 AM EST on Friday, August 17th until 11:59 PM EST on Friday, October 12, 2018.
Interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis through Friday, November 2nd, 2018.
For local candidates, interviews will take place at our Justice Campus, located at 360 East 161st Street, Bronx, NY 10451. Otherwise, interviews will be conducted via telephone or Skype.
If you have any further questions, please email Shannon Cumberbatch, Director of Hiring, Diversity, and Community Engagement, at firstname.lastname@example.org. No phone calls, please.
The Bronx Defenders is proud to be an equal opportunity employer,committed to inclusive hiring, and dedicated to diversity in our work and staff. We strongly encourage candidates of all identities, orientations, experiences, and communities to apply.