Benefits Adviser

Job Type

Full Time



Application Deadline:



360 East 161st Street
New York
United States



The Bronx Defenders – an innovative, progressive, holistic indigent defense office in the South Bronx – seeks an energetic advocate with a commitment to social justice to serve as a Benefits Adviser in its Civil Action Practice.

Since opening our doors in 1997, The Bronx Defenders has served over 300,000 clients in Bronx County. The Bronx Defenders pioneered a model of legal representation called holistic defense, designed to fight both the causes and consequences of court-involvement. Our staff of over 300 lawyers and advocates work on interdisciplinary teams made up of criminal defense, civil, immigration, and family defense attorneys, as well as social workers, legal advocates, parent advocates, investigators, and team administrators, all of whom work to provide holistic legal and social service advocacy to our clients. The Bronx Defenders also houses a community organizing and an impact litigation team, serving as a community resource and force for systemic change. We engage with clients, community residents, and policymakers as we seek ways to better serve the Bronx community and enhance access to justice for all.

Our Civil Action Practice provides comprehensive legal services to our clients and their families by fully integrating civil representation with our Criminal and Family Defense Practices. Our goal is to minimize the severe and often unforeseen fallout from criminal and family court proceedings and facilitate the seamless reintegration of our clients into the community. Our Civil Action Practice attorneys and legal advocates represent clients in every forum in New York City – administrative, state, and federal – to address these problems. Our civil staff attorneys and advocates provide comprehensive representation to assist our clients in overcoming civil legal barriers to housing, eviction, employment, and public benefits, as well as addressing instances of police misconduct, criminal record errors, and civil forfeiture.


The Civil Action Practice seeks a Benefits Adviser to work in its Single Stop program, assisting clients in obtaining a wide range of public benefits. The Benefits Adviser will screen and refer clients for eligibility and interest in public benefits, including application completion and planning successful re-entry into the community. This is a fast-paced and exciting position requiring very strong organizational skills, as well as the ability to market the program and work collaboratively with other service providers. Applicants must be flexible, independent, and highly motivated to interface with a high volume of community members. Experience in and working knowledge of specific public benefits, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, preferred.


  • Bachelor’s Degree preferred
  • Bilingual/Fluency in Spanish required  
  • Strong administrative skills; ability to multi-task and organize disparate matters effectively
  • Exceptional attention to detail
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills with individuals from diverse backgrounds
  • Ability to work and think independently and with limited supervision
  • Ability to find creative and efficient solutions to unusual or unique obstacles
  • Ability to thoroughly complete tasks and anticipate future complications
  • Demonstrated experience in and/or with civil legal services or the reentry community
  • Demonstrated commitment to public interest, human services, and/or civil rights

Salary commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits.

Level of Language Proficiency

Spanish fluency

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

No requirement

How To Apply

The application deadline is May 31, 2018, but applications will be considered on a rolling basis and decisions will be made as soon as an appropriate candidate is identified. To apply, please visit our career portal at the link above, select the position of interest, click APPLY TO THIS JOB ONLINE and upload your resume and cover letter in one document when prompted. Applications without cover letters will NOT be considered.

Please contact Runa Rajagopal, Managing Director, Civil Action Practice, 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, experiences, orientations and communities to apply.