Access to Justice and Structural Reform Fellow

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) was founded in 1990 as a pioneer office modeling a new, collaborative way of providing legal services to those who could otherwise not afford counsel. For 28 years NDS has remained committed to its core values of client-centered, community-based, holistic, early-entry, multi-forum, team defense. Additionally, a central part of the mission of NDS is to work to reform the criminal justice system through advocacy and to help bring NDS’ core values and commitment to excellence to defender systems throughout the U.S. and around the world. As such, NDS has been in the forefront of ongoing efforts to reform specialty courts, end over-criminalization, abolish the collateral damage of collateral consequences and eradicate structural racism from our U.S. system of justice; similarly, NDS has been increasingly called to work with jurisdictions throughout New York State, the United States and around the world on enhancing access to justice, skills training and building the defense function into both emerging constitutional frameworks and inchoate governmental financing mechanisms.

NDS seeks to hire a recent law school or public policy graduate, clerk or professional to work with the executive director and his team on structural reform and access to justice issues in the U.S. and globally. The position will be available beginning Fall 2019 and will continue through Fall 2021. Applicants who have not yet graduated from school will be considered and should apply if interested. The selected candidate will transition the current fellow who, among other things, has published monthly policy reviews and represented the office in industry conferences and meetings in the U.S. and abroad.

NDS seeks a candidate with demonstrated commitment to criminal justice and/or social justice issues. In addition, the job requires energy, enthusiasm, a commitment to excellence and an unwavering commitment to fairness and equality. Applicants must possess a demonstrated ability to communicate clearly and effectively both orally and through writing, and must have a high level of organizational skill in order to manage a diverse and evolving workload. Prior policy analysis and/or international experience is a plus, as is skill with presentation software. Statistical analysis and/or experience in empirical research and economic analysis is helpful. 

Neighborhood Defender Service, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


NDS is prepared to offer a generous compensation package, including a competitive base salary as well as health, dental and life plans, 403(b) and vacation benefits.

Professional Level

Entry level

Minimum Education Required


How To Apply

Interested applicants should email a letter of interest, resume, and writing sample to Tony Acosta at with the subject line, “NDS A2J Fellow Fall 2019.” Please send your application as one document, preferably PDF. Applications are due no later than Friday, December 28, 2018 and will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled. For more information about NDS, please visit our website at