Criminal Defense Practice Forensic Social Worker (Brooklyn)

Job Type

Full Time



Start Date


Application Deadline



New York
New York
United States


The Criminal Defense Practice is seeking a Forensic Social Worker to provide client services in its Brooklyn office. While working closely with the Criminal Defense Staff Attorneys, the Forensic Social Worker's primary role is to interview clients and any collateral contacts with the goal of gathering a life history to highlight mitigating circumstances such as mental illness, drug addiction, trauma, and/or chronic poverty which may have led to a client's involvement in the criminal justice system. The Forensic Social Worker advocates for alternatives to detention or incarceration or for lesser sentences, based on mitigating factors, as well as evaluates clients and recommends necessary treatment options.


* Interview the client, performing a thorough bio-psycho-social assessment. During this process, crisis intervention, brief treatment, or short-term counseling may also be performed, as well as education about treatment options.

* Identify and interview collateral sources of information. Collateral interviews are done with family members, friends, teachers, social workers, community members, and others connected to the client. 

* Request, review, and analyze life history records (i.e. school, medical, psychiatric) in order to document specific arguments within written reports.

* Develop casework plans in conjunction with the attorneys, develop alternative sentencing plans, and provide advocacy in court.

* Assess a client's readiness for treatment, organize necessary paperwork and supporting documentation, and make referrals to substance abuse treatment, domestic violence services, mental health counseling, shelters, etc.


* Other duties as assigned


Brooklyn - Criminal Defense Practice Office


* MSW degree and NYS certification in social work (LMSW)

* Strong diagnostic skills with a background emphasis in working with clients with the following special needs: MICA, physical illnesses and disabilities, mental illness, intellectual disabilities and developmental delays, and histories of substance abuse

* Ability to interface with Judges, District Attorneys, and Correctional Personnel

* Ability to negotiate with community-based treatment centers

* Excellent persuasive writing skills

* Excellent oral communication skills 

* Excellent organizational skills

* Strong computer skills

* Ability to work within a team model

Only PDF documents will be accepted. If your document is not a PDF, your application will not be processed. Applications submitted without all the required materials will not be processed.

The Legal Aid Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer -- Women, People of Color, Members of the LGBTQ+ communities, Veterans, and People with Disabilities are encouraged to apply.

For technical difficulties or questions regarding this posting, please email

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

Master's degree