Details: Salary Commensurate with Experience
360 East 161st Street
The Bronx Defenders (BxD)—an innovative, progressive, holistic indigent defense office in the South Bronx—seeks an energetic individual with a commitment to social justice to serve as a paralegal in our Civil Action Practice (CAP).
BxD is a public defender non-profit that is radically transforming how low-income people in the Bronx are represented in the justice system, and, in doing so, is transforming the system itself. BxD seeks thoughtful, creative, energetic individuals with a strong commitment to social justice to join our dynamic and diverse staff. Our staff of over 350 includes interdisciplinary teams made up of criminal, civil, immigration, and family defense attorneys, as well as social workers, benefits specialists, legal advocates, parent advocates, investigators, and team administrators, all of whom collaborate to provide holistic legal and social service advocacy. Through this integrated team-based structure, we have pioneered a groundbreaking, nationally-recognized model of representation called holistic defense that achieves better outcomes for our clients.
Our Civil Action Practice provides comprehensive legal services to our clients and their families by integrating civil representation with our criminal, family, and immigration defense practices. Our goal is to minimize the severe and often unforeseen fallout from justice involvement, and to facilitate the seamless reintegration of our clients into the community. Current CAP staff members represent clients in every judicial 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, employment, and public benefits, as well as in addressing instances of police misconduct, criminal record errors, and civil forfeiture.
Role & Responsibilities
CAP seeks a paralegal to support a team of advocates who are working to advance the Right to Counsel in housing-related cases. The paralegal will work with CAP attorneys to support their Right to Counsel work in Housing Court, as well as assist CAP housing attorneys in aiding clients and community members that are experiencing evictions and housing displacement.
Duties & Responsibilities
- Assisting with client interviews, entering case data (including case notes and status updates), and collecting client documents during Housing Court intake
- Supporting attorneys in housing-related representation by filing motions and other pleadings in Housing Court
- Assisting with compiling and filing Orders to Show Cause, and other motions and pleadings
- Preparing government housing subsidy applications and advocating for public benefits to resolve eviction proceedings, as directed by attorneys
- Organizing and maintain client case files, in compliance with grant requirements
- Serving process papers and completing Affidavits of Service when our in-house Process Server is indisposed
- Following up with clients, government agencies, and opposing counsel, as needed, to support CAP attorneys in the course of client representation
- Requesting and securing in-county copies of Housing Court files/records when our administrative staff are indisposed
- Assisting housing attorneys with community intake referrals and walk-in inquiries regarding housing-related issues
- Drafting closing letters to clients upon the completion of cases
- Assuming additional responsibilities, as needed/assigned by supervisory/managerial staff
- Fluency or high-level proficiency in Spanish
- Excellent organizational, planning, time management, and problem-solving skills
- Strong attention to detail, and the ability to think quickly on one’s feet
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- The ability to multitask, meet competing deadlines, and thrive in a fast-paced legal environment
- The capacity to work well both independently and as part of a team
- Technological aptitude, especially experience with Gmail, Google Calendar, Microsoft Office, and other IT/information management tools
- An interest in social justice work, specifically on issues affecting low-income individuals impacted by the Criminal, Civil, and Family Court systems
Applicants must possess one of the following:
- A Bachelor’s Degree (preferred)
- An Associate’s Degree or a Paralegal Certificate plus a minimum of two (2) years of relevant work experience
Highly Desirable Qualifications:
- Experience with case management systems
- Experience working in and with low-income communities of color, like the one we serve in the South Bronx
- Professional experience in a legal setting
Preference will be given to applicants with experience in housing law and/or advocacy.
Level of Language Proficiency
Fluency or high-level proficiency in Spanish is required.
Minimum Education Required
How To Apply
To apply, please visit our Career Portal at the link provided, select the position of interest, click APPLY FOR THIS JOB ONLINE and upload both your resume and cover letter as a single document when prompted. Applications missing any components or not submitted in the requested manner will not be considered.
The application deadline is Friday, August 24, 2018, but applications will be considered on a rolling basis and decisions will be made as soon as an appropriate candidate is identified. Please contact Runa Rajagopal, Managing Director, Civil Action Practice, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions regarding the position. No phone calls, please.
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, orientations, experiences, and communities to apply.