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Family Defense Practice Entry-Level Staff Attorney

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The Bronx Defenders


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Published 29 days ago

January 8, 2021

The Bronx Defenders (BxD) – an innovative, progressive, holistic indigent defense office in the South Bronx – seeks passionate law graduates and entry-level attorneys with a commitment to public defense to join our Family Defense Practice beginning Fall 2021.

Overview

The Bronx Defenders is a public defender non-profit that is radically transforming how low-income people in the Bronx are represented in the legal 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 and diverse staff. Our 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, who collaborate to provide holistic advocacy to address the causes and consequences of legal system involvement. 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 more than 20,000 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 levels. 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.

 

Entry-level attorneys will receive several weeks of intensive, interdisciplinary training on holistic representation, substantive relevant law, research and writing, litigation skills, client and community engagement, analysis of oppressive systems and their impact on the marginalized communities we serve. Beyond this training period, staff will participate in inconsistent and comprehensive training to sharpen their advocacy skills, raise their overall consciousness, and enhance their collaboration with clients and colleagues. 


Family Defense Practice:

The Bronx Defenders’ Family Defense Practice (“FDP”) provides legal representation and social work support to parents charged with child abuse and neglect, and who are at risk of losing custody of their children. Family Defense Attorneys at The Bronx Defenders are at the forefront of a movement to provide holistic, institutional representation to parents in Bronx County Family Court who are fighting allegations of child abuse and/or neglect. They are dedicated to fighting on behalf of parents whose parental rights are in peril while creating long-term solutions for the reunification and stability of families. Family Defense Attorneys will primarily litigate abuse and neglect cases, but will occasionally appear in concurrent matters including custody, visitation, and termination of parental rights cases.

Role & Responsibilities

Responsibilities (including, but not limited to)

  • Zealously represent parents in child protective proceedings in Bronx Family Court and any concurrent matters including custody, visitation, and termination of parental rights cases
  • Work closely with social workers and parent advocates as part of their representation, as well as collaborate with criminal defense, civil and immigration attorneys, and advocates on enmeshed issues that arise in other venues
  • Effectively communicate and negotiate with judges, caseworkers, child attorneys, and representatives of the Administration for Children’s Services on behalf of parents
  • Litigate legal matters in abuse and neglect proceedings in hearings and trials in family court - orally and in writing
  • Assist parents in accessing appropriate resources and services to restore full parental rights
  • Collaborate as necessary to provide coverage for cases to ensure that all client needs are met
  • Maintain client case files and data in BxD’s case management system

Qualifications

All applicants must be:

  • A third-year (3L) student or recent graduate of an American Bar Association-accredited law school

 

All applicants must demonstrate:

  • Excellent research, writing, and courtroom advocacy skills
  • Ability to think critically and creatively in fast-paced settings
  • Excellent judgment in zealous advocacy and willingness to strategically challenge authority in defense of clients
  • Strong legal analytical skills 
  • Thoughtfulness in engaging non-legal resources to support clients
  • Excellent communication and active listening skills
  • Ability to work independently as well as collaboratively with lawyers and non-lawyers alike from various practice areas in an interdisciplinary team-based environment
  • The ability to effectively multitask in a fast-paced environment 
  • Meticulous attention to detail
  • Experience working in and with racially and ethnically marginalized communities of color targeted by systemic injustice
  • Ability to communicate effectively and respectfully with people from various backgrounds and experiences
  • Excellent time management and organization skills
  • Ability to receive feedback constructively, reflect and shift behavior accordingly
  • Ability to exercise excellent judgment, discretion, and confidentiality around sensitive issues
  • Commitment to raising one’s cultural consciousness and challenging oppressive practices on an interpersonal and institutional level

Applicants, if hired, must:

  • Sit for the New York State Bar Examination (if applicable at the time) or
  • Submit the alternative appropriate materials necessary for admission or waiver 

We value both lived and professional experience in meeting the above qualifications. 

 


The Bronx Defenders (BxD) – an innovative, progressive, holistic indigent defense office in the South Bronx – seeks passionate law graduates and entry-level attorneys with a commitment to public defense to join our Family Defense Practice…

Details at a glance

  • On-site Location
  • Full Time Schedule
  • Entry level

Location

360 East 161st Street, Bronx, NY 10451

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.

Applications will be accepted from December 11th, 2020 to January 8th, 2021. Interviews will be conducted virtually in early 2021. Please contact Thanisha Pariage, Recruiting and Hiring Manager via email at Thanishap@bronxdefenders.org with any questions. No phone calls, please.


The Bronx Defenders is an equal opportunity employer and is cultivating an anti-oppressive workplace that embraces staff with a diversity of backgrounds, identities, and experiences. We acknowledge the ways in which systemic oppression and injustice can undermine access to professional opportunities and are committed to conducting hiring and promotion processes that are equitable and accessible to those commonly excluded from the workforce. We do not discriminate against and in fact specifically encourage applicants from marginalized communities to apply, including those who identify as Black, Indigenous, people of color, queer, transgender, gender non-conforming, disabled, neurodivergent, and those directly impacted by criminal, civil, family and immigration legal systems. We value lived as well as professional experience and particularly welcome applications from the Bronx community that we serve. 

 

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…

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