360 East 161st Street
The Bronx Defenders (BxD) – an innovative, progressive, community-oriented indigent defense office in the South Bronx – seeks an Staff Attorney to join our vibrant Immigration Practice’s community intake sector.
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 300 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.
The Immigration Practice
BxD pioneered the model of integrated criminal defense and immigration representation over a decade ago. Immigration attorneys work closely with clients and their advocates throughout the pendency of their cases in both Criminal and Family Court to avoid or mitigate negative immigration consequences. Additionally, immigration attorneys at BxD represent clients in deportation proceedings in both detained and non-detained settings, provide affirmative immigration services, and pursue community-based systemic reform litigation and advocacy aimed at reforming 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, the first-ever universal representation project in immigration court. Finally, our Immigration Practice is represented on our community intake team and provides advice, counsel, and direct representation to Bronx community members who have had contact with the criminal justice system and have immigration-related legal services needs.
The practice consists of 29 attorneys (including the Managing Director, Legal Director, and four supervisors), three social workers, and four legal advocates.
Role & Responsibilities
This is an staff attorney position in the community intake sector of the Immigration Practice. The attorney will complete initial screenings of immigration clients referred by the community intake team and prioritize those referrals for either: internal advice only, internal advice and external referral for full representation, or internal advice and full representation. For cases prioritized for internal advice only, the attorney will directly advise clients. For cases prioritized for internal direct representation, the attorney will directly represent the majority of the clients.
The attorney’s docket will mostly comprise defending clients in non-detained removal cases before the Immigration Court and the Board of Immigration Appeals. There will be opportunities for affirmative representation before United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). As a member of the community intake team, the attorney will also engage with community partners and serve as a resource to other service providers in the Bronx.
- Be graduates of an A.B.A.-accredited law school
- Be admitted to a state bar
- Have prior experience in representing non-citizens in removal proceedings and affirmative matters, and in advising non-citizens about the impact of criminal justice involvement
- Be fluent or highly proficient in Spanish, as the role requires extensive legal counseling and representation in the Spanish language
Applicants must demonstrate:
- A commitment to public service, to the defense of non-citizens who have been accused or convicted of crimes, and to working with clients from marginalized communities
- High levels of motivation, creativity, and flexibility
- Excellent research, writing, and courtroom advocacy skills
- Excellent organizational skills
- Strong communication and interpersonal skills
- The ability and desire to work collaboratively in interdisciplinary teams of advocates
- The capacity to work and solve problems under pressure
Applicant, if hired, must:
- Sit for the very next administration of the New York State Bar Examination (if not already admitted and ineligible for admission via waiver)
Starting salary is commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits.
Level of Language Proficiency
Minimum Education Required
How To Apply
To apply, please visit our Career Portal at the link provided, select the position of interest, click APPLY TO THIS JOB ONLINE and upload both your resume and cover letter in a single document when prompted. Applications missing any components or not submitted in the requested manner will not be considered.
The application deadline is Friday, August 10th, 2018, but applications will be considered on a rolling basis and decisions will be made as soon as an appropriate candidate is identified. Please contact Sarah Deri Oshiro, Managing Director, Immigration Practice, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions regarding the position.
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, experiences, and communities to apply.