Mitigation Specialist - Homicide Defense Team

Job Type

Full Time


Details: Depends on experience



Start Date


Application Deadline



317 Lenox Avenue, 10th Floor
New York
United States


THE NEIGHBORHOOD DEFENDER SERVICE OF HARLEM (NDS) is a community-based, client-centered, holistic public defense office located in Harlem, providing criminal, civil, and family representation. NDS Clients are represented by multidisciplinary teams. NDS is accepting applications for the position of Mitigation Specialist with the Homicide Defense Team.

The Homicide Defense Team at NDS represents residents of Northern Manhattan who are charged with homicide and who cannot afford to hire a lawyer. Clients are represented by a team comprised of a staff attorney, an investigator, a mitigation specialist, and a paralegal. NDS also provides pre-arrest representation to clients under threat of arrest. NDS adheres to a client-centered approach to representation that emphasizes a heightened responsiveness to clients’ needs prior to arrest, while a case is pending, and after the case concludes. NDS is committed to addressing the comprehensive legal and social service needs of clients. 


1.     Work closely with homicide defense team members to advocate for reduced sentences for clients. This advocacy includes:

·       Gathering factual mitigation through interviews and obtaining records;

·       Analyzing records;

·       Researching and recommending alternatives to incarceration;

·     Writing pre-pleading and pre-sentence memoranda to judges and prosecutors seeking more favorable outcomes.

2.     Work closely with clients to:

·       Make appropriate referrals to address clients’ social service needs (drug treatment, mental health treatment, housing and other benefits);

·       Assist clients and their families in navigating New York City Social Service Agencies;

·       Advocate on behalf of clients to social service agencies.


1.     Must possess a demonstrated commitment to criminal justice, indigent defense, social justice issues and/or the Harlem communities.

2.     Must possess strong organizational skills in order to manage a high caseload and multi-task in a very fast-paced environment;

3.     Must possess excellent interpersonal, analytical, writing, and communication skills;

4.     Must possess a high level of organization, unlimited energy and patience, and the ability to work on a team;

5.     Must have experience working with clients and attorneys in homicide or very serious violent felony cases, and the ability to understand the dynamics of cases with extremely high stakes where clients face the possibility of long prison sentences.

6.     An MSW degree is preferred;

7.     Bilingual applicants are encouraged to apply.


Compensation is commensurate with experience. 

The Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem is committed to creating a diverse environment that reflects the community we serve. NDS is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.


Full medical and dental benefits, as well as other benefits, are provided.

Level of Language Proficiency

Spanish language fluency is preferred.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

Master's degree

How To Apply

Interested applicants should email a cover letter and resume to with the subject line, “Mitigation Specialist, Homicide Defense Team.” Please send your application as one document, preferably PDF. For more information about NDS, please visit our website at