Trial Attorney

Job Type

Full Time


Details: Salary commensurate with experience.




360 East 161st Street
United States


The Bronx Defenders (BxD) – an innovative, progressive, holistic indigent defense office in the South Bronx – seeks an experienced trial attorney with at least six years of criminal defense experience and who satisfy the First Department requirements to represent people charged with homicide offenses (Click here for the First Department Homicide Panel requirements.) for our new Homicide Practice Group (HPG).


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

Experienced homicide attorneys will work collaboratively with other attorneys and advocates at BxD to establish and expand the HPG.

  • Represent clients charged with homicide and serious felony offenses, from arraignment through deposition or trial
  • Provide comprehensive, team-based representation collaborating with an interdisciplinary team of attorneys and advocates to avoid or mitigate any legal system involvement
  • Effectively litigate, confidently negotiate and skillfully advocate with judges, prosecutors, and other actors in all fora
  • Co-counsel cases with other attorneys within and beyond the criminal defense practice when appropriate
  • Serve as a resource for case conferencing with other attorneys and advocates on the HPG
  • Based on interest and experience, other responsibilities might include: supervising and mentoring attorneys and non-attorney advocates, training, researching and developing knowledge of new trends and developments in the law, collaborating with practitioners outside of BxD to develop best practices in the representation of clients charged with homicides


Applicants must have:

  • J.D. from an American Bar Association accredited law school
  • Six years of experience as a criminal defense trial attorney (preferably as a public defender in New York State)
  • Membership in good standing to the New York Bar or eligibility for immediate admission to the New York Bar
  • Represented clients in over sixty felony cases, from arraignment to resolution and resolved at least ten criminal cases post-indictment with negotiated pleas, dismissals, or other non-trial dispositions
  • Conducted at least ten preliminary hearings or fifteen post-indictment hearings in which an oral testimony was taken and a decision was rendered
  • Conducted at least five post-indictment jury trials that proceeded to verdict in which you served as lead or sole counsel, and eight post-indictment jury trials that proceeded to verdicts as co-counsel
  • Cross-examined at trial at least four of the following types of expert witnesses: medical, ballistics, fingerprint, DNA, psychiatric, identification, etc.
  • The ability to advocate and persuade effectively in court appearances and interactions with adversaries, judges, and juries
  • The ability to effectively analyze legal issues, draft motions and memoranda, and orally argue for relief
  • A collaborative approach to working on a team of social workers, investigators, and advocates from other practice areas on behalf of clients
  • Demonstrated interest, skill, and experience working with and challenging experts, particularly in the area of forensic science
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • The ability to effectively collaborate with lawyers and other staff members from various backgrounds and levels of experience
  • Experience working with and in low-income communities of color, like the one we serve in the South Bronx


Excellent benefits.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required


How To Apply

To apply, please visit our Career Portal at the link provided, select the position of interest,please click APPLY FOR THIS JOB ONLINE and upload both a cover letter and resume as a single document when prompted. Your cover letter should include the number of trials conducted to verdicts, specifying whether the matter was a felony or a misdemeanor, whether you were sole or lead counsel (or second seat), the number homicide matters handled and the number of homicide trials conducted to verdicts. Applications missing any components or not submitted in the requested manner will not be considered.

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis and decisions will be made as soon as appropriate candidates are identified. Interviews will commence the week of September 24, 2018. Please contact Karen Smolar, Trial Chief, via email at 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, orientations, experiences, and communities to apply.