Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA) Supervising Attorney

Job Type

Full Time


Details: Competitive




11 Park Place
Suite 1601
New York
United States


The Office of the Appellate Defender (OAD) is New York’s oldest provider of appellate representation to poor people convicted of felonies, and the City’s second oldest institutional indigent defense offense. Since its founding in 1988, OAD has maintained a national reputation for superb appellate advocacy and innovation, as well as a holistic, client-centered, approach to representation. OAD has repeatedly been recognized by the New York State Bar Association, and the appellate courts, for excellent representation.

OAD handles post-conviction cases from the Bronx and Manhattan, including direct appeals before the Appellate Division, First Department, and the New York Court of Appeals. OAD also litigates sex offender registration level hearings, drug law resentencings, and motions to overturn wrongful convictions (including claims based on new or undisclosed evidence, prosecutorial misconduct and ineffective assistance of counsel). OAD additionally advocates for improved prison and parole conditions, and provides reentry assistance.

OAD seeks a Supervising Attorney to oversee its work on behalf of individuals subject to New York’s Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA). Each year, OAD serves as assigned counsel in SORA hearings in New York County and Bronx Supreme Courts, at which judges determine our clients’ risk-level designations. In addition to engaging in zealous, creative, and client-centered advocacy at these hearings, we also assist our clients as they face the tremendous hurdles that can result from a sex-offense conviction. OAD is committed to improving the lives of our clients subject to SORA through individual representation, public education, impact litigation, and legislative reform.

The Supervising Attorney will also handle a limited docket of direct appeals.


·        Represent clients and supervise staff attorneys in SORA hearings as well as in hearings to modify clients’ risk-level designations under SORA. Representation includes communicating with clients, drafting written court submissions, negotiating with prosecutors, engaging in oral argument, and, when appropriate, consulting with experts.

·        Represent clients and supervise staff attorneys in appeals of SORA determinations in the Appellate Division and New York Court of Appeals.

·        Challenge restrictions imposed on SORA clients by filing Article 78 petitions or 42 U.S.C. § 1983 actions.

·        Stay abreast of developments in the law and social science regarding people convicted of sex crimes.

·        Develop and conduct training programs for OAD staff, pro bono attorneys, other institutional defender organizations, and assigned counsel on SORA and related issues.

·        Represent clients and supervise staff attorneys, pro bono attorneys, and law student interns on all aspects of client representation on (non-SORA) direct appeals, state court post-conviction matters (including post-conviction motions, hearings challenging the lawfulness of convictions and sentences pursuant to Article 440 of the New York Criminal Procedure Law, and reinvestigation of possible wrongful convictions), and federal habeas corpus challenges in the Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Court of Appeals, and federal courts, including case conferencing and strategy development, client communication and legal visits, brief drafting, oral argument, and leave applications.

·        Advise clients as to all potential appellate options, including withdrawal of guilty pleas, where appropriate, as well as negotiating pleas or other remedies following reversal of conviction.

·        Assist clients with parole proceedings and reentry preparation.

·        Assist in supervision and management of staff attorney caseloads.

·        Assist with intake evaluation of cases.

·        Participate in administrative and office policy development, including staff evaluation and recruitment.


·        A J.D. degree, with at least 5 years of criminal defense litigation experience. Experience in trial court, and particularly with SORA, is highly desired.

·        Admission to the New York Bar, or ability to secure immediate admission to the New York Bar pursuant to 22 NYCRR § 520.10.

·        Outstanding legal research, writing, and oral advocacy skills.

·        Demonstrated commitment to representing poor people convicted of crimes.

·        Strong belief in the value and importance of communication with and respect for clients.

·        Ability to work both collaboratively and independently.

·        Supervisory and case management experience strongly preferred, with an interest in and commitment to the professional development, training and support of attorneys, legal interns, and administrative staff.

Level of Language Proficiency


Spanish is a Plus

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required


How To Apply

Please send substantive cover letter, and resume by email to, with “SORA Supervising Attorney” in the subject line.