Nonprofit

Attorney, Civil Justice Practice

Hybrid
Work must be performed in or near Brooklyn, NY
New
|
Published 9 days ago

Details at a Glance

Job Type
Full Time
Salary
USD $79,000 - $154,040 / year

Description

Brooklyn Defender Services (BDS) is seeking attorneys to join our Civil Justice Practice (CJP) to provide comprehensive civil legal representation to clients with criminal, family, and immigration system involvement.

BDS is a public defense office representing low-income New Yorkers in criminal, family, immigration, and civil legal matters. Our work with clients is focused on the intersection of the legal systems that disproportionately impact Black and Brown people living below the poverty level in Brooklyn.

BDS represents thousands of people each year who have diverse, complex, and multi-faceted legal needs. In addition to a zealous legal defense, our interdisciplinary teams of attorneys, social workers, and advocates provide a wide range of legal and advocacy services, including housing, public benefits, education, and employment issues. 

BDS’ Civil Justice Practice aims to reduce civil collateral and direct consequences from legal system involvement and provides representation in Housing and Benefits, Education, Employment, and other matters. CJP represents BDS clients in administrative and civil court proceedings and offers legal advocacy with various agencies to help clients remain in their homes, maintain their public benefits, protect their consumer rights, and reclaim their NYPD-seized property, navigate school bureaucracies regarding disability rights for students, transfers and other school issues and assist people in their employment by communicating with employers and attending hearings and arbitrations.  CJP also serves as a resource to BDS’ other practice areas, advising attorneys, clients, and other staff of potential ramifications of criminal and family court involvement, as well as accepting cases and community cases through our community office.  

An applicant should be prepared to work with clients across a range of substantive areas—with support from colleagues, team leaders, and supervisors across these teams, but we are especially interested in applicants with experience in employment matters, landlord tenant/eviction prevention work, and education advocacy. 

Our employment practice works directly with BDS clients facing employment-related collateral consequences due to an arrest or prior conviction to determine employment-safe plea arrangements and engage in direct employer advocacy. Attorneys represent workers in hearings to lift license suspensions and revocations, file affirmative discrimination complaints, and assist with applications for post-conviction relief (i.e., sealing a prior conviction) to limit the lasting harm that comes from current and past involvement in court systems. We address workers’ rights issues, including filing complaints about wage theft and demanding back wages, asserting rights to paid leave and workplace accommodations, and assisting with unemployment insurance claims and other employment benefits. Because stable employment and financial security are so closely tied to positive outcomes in other court proceedings, our employment attorneys contribute significantly to our core work of avoiding harsh sentences, keeping families together, and avoiding immigration consequences. 

Our housing cases range from brief advice and plea consults for clients facing collateral consequences of arrest and conviction, working to return home after an order of protection has temporarily barred their access, and includes full representation assistance in housing court and administrative hearings for clients facing eviction, seeking essential repairs, or combatting landlord harassment. Clients who are facing criminal, family or immigration system involvement are often unable to maintain stability while dealing with the demands of those proceedings, and may be facing rental arrears, eviction based on allegations related to their arrests, or other collateral consequences that impact their housing; our holistic advocacy can produce positive outcomes in both proceedings. 

Our education team works to remove education barriers and ensure that our clients and their children receive access to appropriate educational services. Attorneys help clients navigate the special education process, attain appropriate special education plans, and initiate due process proceedings to secure appropriate prospective and compensatory relief. We also represent clients in suspension hearings to limit unjust school removals. For our clients living in shelters or with children in the foster system, we advocate for school enrollment and transportation accommodations to achieve school stability and work to ensure that school districts and foster agencies respect our clients’ right to make educational decisions while separated from their children.  We extend this range of advocacy to our school-age clients in juvenile detention and adult jail facilities to ensure they receive appropriate services while incarcerated and to facilitate reentry to the community. We strive to ensure immigrant populations can access education, including appropriate language access for parents and students.  


Responsibilities

• Conduct intake and work on cases either in one or more of the above core practice areas, depending on the experience and preference of the applicant.

• Maintain a caseload of individual and group representation matters in multiple civil and administrative forums. Some examples: Attorneys may advocate for clients and/or their children in school meetings, suspension hearings, and impartial hearings; advocate with employers of clients who facing termination, participate in license revocation hearings, and address other workers’ rights issues; or represent clients facing barriers accessing benefits and shelter, facing eviction proceedings or in need of assistance addressing unsafe housing conditions. 

• Provide advice and counsel to criminal, family, and immigration defense colleagues and clients during ongoing proceedings.

• Serve as a resource for colleagues in other practice areas to facilitate internal referrals, assist with intake, and consult on plea agreements in criminal cases of BDS clients, Family Court settlements, and other proceedings to ensure an outcome that is coordinated and addresses the civil implications to the extent possible. 

• Conduct consultations with clients and develop KYR resources in collaboration with BDS’ Community Office in East New York.

• Additional responsibilities as assigned.   


Qualifications

· Juris Doctor (JD) degree.

· Admission to the New York Bar, or ability to become admitted in New York. 

· 1 to 5 years of direct representation experience.  

· Experience with administrative hearings and/or housing court litigation or exposure to criminal defense, family defense, or immigrant rights work or direct civil legal services work is a plus.

· Interest in strategizing in cases where clients face multiple interrelated issues.

· Excellent interpersonal skills, including an ability to work across practices with colleagues concurrently representing clients. 

· Efficient, organized work style and an ability to prioritize quickly and manage multiple deadlines and emergencies. 

· Spanish language proficiency is a plus. 


Position Information  

This is an exempt, salaried position. The normal schedule is Monday to Friday 9am-5pm. The position is based at BDS’s offices, and the courts located in Downtown Brooklyn. BDS has an in-person requirement for this position which will be three-days per week, in addition to appearing in court or meeting clients in person when needed.  


BDS determines salary on a pay scale based on education and experience. For this position, there is a base salary range of $79,000-$154,040 depending on the applicant’s education and experience. BDS offers comprehensive benefits including health insurance and a 403(b) retirement plan. In order to support work/life balance and family-friendly policies, BDS has generous vacation, sick, holiday, family, and medical leave policies.  

  

Application Instructions     

 Click HERE to submit a cover letter and resume on our online application portal. Applications will be reviewed until the position is filled.   We recommend you submit your application by July 8, 2024.

Brooklyn Defender Services is a proud equal opportunity employer committed to celebrating diversity and maintaining an equitable and inclusive work environment. We strongly encourage candidates of all identities, expressions, orientations, disabilities, and experiences to apply. If you require an accommodation due to a disability or another reason, please contact the Managing Director, HR, Christina Wallace at cwallace@bds.org.

Brooklyn Defender Services (BDS) is seeking attorneys to join our Civil Justice Practice (CJP) to provide comprehensive civil legal representation to clients with criminal, family, and immigration system involvement.

BDS is a public…

Benefits

BDS offers comprehensive benefits including health insurance and a 403(b) retirement plan. In order to support work/life balance and family-friendly policies, BDS has generous vacation, sick, holiday, family, and medical leave policies.  

BDS offers comprehensive benefits including health insurance and a 403(b) retirement plan. In order to support work/life balance and family-friendly policies, BDS has generous…

Location

Hybrid
Work must be performed in or near Brooklyn, NY
Brooklyn, NY, USA

How to Apply

Click HERE to submit a cover letter and resume on our online application portal. Applications will be reviewed until the position is filled.   We recommend you submit your application by July 8, 2024.

Click HERE to submit a cover letter and resume on our online application portal. Applications will be reviewed until the position is filled.   We recommend you submit your…

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