Criminal Defense Practice Mitigation Specialist

Job Type

Full Time



Start Date


Application Deadline



New York
United States


The Legal Aid Society has an immediate opening for a Mitigation Specialist in its Queens County office for a unique pilot project working with mentally ill clients who are subject to 730 hearings and/or have been placed in regional mental health facilities by the court. This is a one year pilot program contingent upon funding from MOCJ.

While working closely with criminal defense attorneys specializing in mental health law, the Mitigation Specialist is responsible for providing case management (assessment, treatment planning, referral) and in-court advocacy for clients facing 730 exams; developing dispositional and re-entry plans for clients being released from state mental health facilities; establishing and participating in collaborative alliances with various institutional, judicial and governmental entities; and providing transitional and crisis counseling to pilot program clients. The Mitigation Specialist is responsible for maintaining paper and computerized records documenting clients' progress, some of which will be used to prepare reports for the funding agency.


* Interview and assess clients within the court system, performing a thorough bio-psycho-social assessment. During this process, crisis intervention, brief treatment, or short term counseling may also be performed.

* Identify and interview collateral sources of information including family members, friends, teachers, social workers, community members, and others.

* Excellent writing, assessment, and organizational skills and a strong interest in working with clients with severe mental illness.

* Request, review, and analyze client records (i.e. educational, medical, psychiatric) in order to document specific arguments within written reports.

* Develop casework plans in conjunction with attorneys, develop alternative sentencing plans, and provide advocacy in court. 

* Assess a client's readiness for treatment, make referrals to supportive housing services, mental health counseling, medication management services, educational and vocational programs, and any other supports to maintain stability in the community. 

* Provide verbal advocacy in open court on behalf of clients to Judges and court personnel.


* Other duties as assigned


Queens - Criminal Defense Practice Office


* Candidates must have an MSW degree and NYS certification in social work (LMSW/LCSW preferred)

* Strong diagnostic skills and experience working with the following client populations: MICA, physical illnesses and physical disabilities, mental illness, intellectual and developmental delays, and clients with histories of substance use.

* Ability to interface with Judges, District Attorneys, and Correctional Personnel

* Ability to work collaboratively with attorneys and other social work professionals

* Ability to negotiate with community based treatment centers

* Ability to write persuasively

* Strong organizational skills

* Strong computer skills

* Ability to work within a team model

Only PDF documents will be accepted. If your document is not a PDF, your application will not be processed. Applications submitted without all the required materials will not be processed.


The leadership of The Legal Aid Society is committed to a work culture of zealous advocacy, respect, diversity and inclusion, client-oriented defense, access to justice and excellent representation. We are dedicated to building a strong professional relationship with each of our clients, to understanding their diverse circumstances, and to meeting their needs. Our ability to achieve these goals depends on the efforts of all of us.

The Legal Aid Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer -- women, people of color, members of the LGBTQ+ communities, veterans, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

For technical difficulties or questions regarding this posting, please email

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

No requirement