Legal Coordinator

Job Type

Part Time




New York
New York
United States


Organization Description

Friends of Island Academy (Friends) was founded in 1990 to anchor, support and develop capacity among young people newly released from jail in New York City. A pioneer in adolescent reentry services, Friends builds on connections developed with young people while in custody, and leverages those relationships to provide post-release, neighborhood-based supportive services. Young people become members of Friends and develop personal milestones and goals in the arenas of health and well-being, education, employment, youth leadership and community participation. 

Position Background and Description

Through a combination of legislative and policy reforms taking root in New York, youth ages 16 and 17, otherwise held at Riker’s Island, are expected to be transferred as of October 1, 2018 to facilities operated by the City’s Division of Youth and Family Justice (DYFJ). Under the umbrella of the Administration for Children’s Services, DYFJ operates two detention facilities in New York City. Horizon Juvenile Center will hold 16 and 17 year olds whose cases were initiated before the Raise the Age legislation went into affect and Crossroads holds youth charged as Juvenile Delinquents, Juvenile Offenders and Adolescent Offenders (as of 10/1/18). Working in partnership with DYFJ, Friends will offer a network of advocacy and programming services through our model of pre and post-release services for youth who will be held in detention at the Horizon Juvenile Center. Through this partnership with DYFJ, Friends will provide 20 hours per week of paralegal/law library-based services on behalf of young people detained at the Horizon Juvenile Center in the Bronx.

Essential Responsibilities

Engage with youth and provide legal support assistance in housing units in a secure juvenile detention setting:

·     Direct youth to appropriate electronic source materials and assist them to conduct their own research, and read laws and cases appropriate to their individual situation;

·     Provide youth with information regarding current State and Federal statutes and case law;

·     Provide youth with one on one assistance geared to supporting them in understanding and preparing for their court cases, without providing legal advice;

Develop and provide creative approaches to facilitate youth’s understanding of the case process and clarity about their role in that process;

·     Facilitate workshops/classes in legal research and methodology, understanding and orientation to language of the court system, train youth in research methodology;

·     Provide an overview of the criminal and juvenile justice system and an understanding of current changing legislation and policy as it relates to youth in secure detention;

·     Provide on-going overview and explanation as necessary of the newly established laws (age jurisdiction) and local justice system policies, relevant and current;

·     Review (and ensure electronic access to) law journals and other publications/periodicals for information on current and relevant developments in youth justice generally and to individual youth specifically;

·     Support and teach youth to navigate the online legal resources available to ensure access to updated legal research materials within the electronic library collection;

·     Collaborate and connect with Network partners and subcontracted legal services related to the collateral consequences to youth of arrest and conviction;

Notarize documentation requested by youthful detainees



·     Bachelor’s degree;

·     Certified Notary Public with current active credentials;

·     Two years of paralegal experience/training;

·     Understanding of relevant law and justice system process in New York;

·     Integrity, flexibility and a profound commitment to the youth we serve;

·     Experience providing services within a youth development framework and/or working with high risk youth in a justice system setting;

·     Strong oral and facilitation skills;

·     Ability to engage and teach young people under difficult circumstances;

·     Creativity, passion, flexibility in solving problems and meeting challenges;

·     Skilled at working effectively with electronic research, including Lexis Nexis, and in the use of tablets;


·     Juris Doctor Degree

·     Experience in education, conflict resolution, and/or counseling;

·     Experience with or understanding of trauma-informed practices;

·     Bilingual or multilingual;

·     Experience working in a secure/custodial setting strongly preferred.

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

No requirement

How To Apply

To apply please send thoughtful cover letter and resume (in Microsoft Word or PDF format) as two separate attachments in an email to Gina Lee at