SORA Senior Staff 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 Senior Staff 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.


·        Represent clients in most of the office’s SORA hearings, appeals of SORA hearings, and hearings to modify SORA risk-level designations. Representation includes communicating with clients, drafting written court submissions, negotiating with prosecutors, engaging in oral argument, and, when appropriate, consulting with experts.

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

·        Assist clients with parole proceedings and reentry preparation.

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

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

·        Handle (under supervision) a limited number of direct appeals of criminal convictions, post-conviction challenges to the lawfulness of convictions and sentences pursuant to Article 440 of New York Criminal Procedure Law, and reinvestigation of possible wrongful convictions as necessary in the Supreme Court, Appellate Division, and New York Court of Appeals.


·        A J.D. degree, with at least 3 years of criminal defense litigation experience. Experience in trial court 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.

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 Senior Staff Attorney” in the subject line.