Search

Job

Criminal Defense, Family Defense, Immigration, and Civil Action Practice Attorneys

Posted by
New
|
Published 29 days ago

The Bronx Defenders (BxD) – an innovative, progressive, holistic indigent defense office in the South Bronx – seeks passionate new and experienced attorneys with a commitment to social justice to join our Family Defense, Immigration Defense Criminal Defense, and Civil Action Practice beginning February 2022.

The Bronx Defenders is a public defender non-profit that is radically transforming how low-income people in the Bronx are represented in the legal 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 400 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, who collaborate to provide holistic advocacy to address the causes and consequences of legal system involvement. 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. 

Each year, we defend more than 20,000 low-income Bronx residents in criminal, civil, child welfare, and immigration cases, and reach thousands more through our community intake, youth mentoring, and outreach programs. Through impact litigation, policy advocacy, and community organizing, we push for systemic reform at the local, state, and national levels. We take what we learn from the clients and communities that we serve and launch innovative initiatives designed to bring about real and lasting change.

 All attorneys will receive several weeks of intensive, interdisciplinary training on holistic representation, research and writing, litigation skills, client and community engagement, and analysis of oppressive systems on the marginalized communities we work with. Beyond this training period, throughout their time at BxD, staff will participate in practice-specific and anti-oppression training to sharpen their advocacy skills, raise their overall consciousness, and enhance their collaboration with clients and colleagues. 

Criminal Defense Practice

The Criminal Defense Practice (CDP) at The Bronx Defenders is composed of over 150 attorneys, investigators, social workers, practice associates, and administrators who provide comprehensive criminal defense representation to people in the Bronx facing police and criminal legal system involvement. They appear in various proceedings including but not limited to arraignments, hearings, and trials in criminal courts, as well as concurrent proceedings such as Superintendent’s suspension and Department of Motor Vehicle refusal hearings. CDP attorneys collaborate with advocates and administrators on interdisciplinary holistic teams to identify and address issues that contribute to our client’s ensnarement in the criminal legal system and the enmeshed consequences that arise out of their contact with the system. Through a client-centered approach, our CDP attorneys strive to gain a deeper understanding of our clients’ circumstances and priorities. Armed with that understanding, they fight for our client’s desired outcomes by strategically raising personalized, persuasive arguments in mitigation, negotiations, and litigation. 

Responsibilities

  • Engage in intensive client interviewing, counseling, research, writing, oral advocacy, and negotiations as part of legal representation
  • Zealously advocate for individuals charged with misdemeanor and felony offenses in Bronx Criminal Court from the time of arraignment through disposition or trial, as well as concurrent proceedings such as Department of Motor Vehicle refusal hearings
  • Provide comprehensive, team-based representation collaborating with an interdisciplinary team of attorneys and advocates to avoid or mitigate any further legal system involvement or civil consequences that may arise out of clients’ contact with the criminal court system
  • Effectively litigate, confidently negotiate and skillfully advocate with judges, prosecutors, and other actors within the systems our clients navigate, including having the opportunity to co-counsel cases in other venues (e.g. Family Court, Civil Court, Administrative Hearings) as necessary
  • Participate in holistic advocacy within the practice and in the office
  • Maintain client case files and data in BxD’s case management system

 Family Defense Practice

The Bronx Defenders’ Family Defense Practice (“FDP”) provides legal representation and social work support to parents charged with child abuse and neglect, and who are at risk of losing custody of their children. Family Defense Attorneys at The Bronx Defenders are at the forefront of a movement to provide holistic, institutional representation to parents in Bronx County Family Court who are fighting allegations of child abuse and/or neglect. They are dedicated to fighting on behalf of parents whose parental rights are in peril while creating long-term solutions for the reunification and stability of families. Family Defense Attorneys will primarily litigate abuse and neglect cases, but will occasionally appear in concurrent matters including custody, visitation, and termination of parental rights cases.

Responsibilities

  • Zealously represent parents in child protective proceedings in Bronx Family Court and any concurrent matters including custody, visitation, and termination of parental rights cases
  • Collaborate with social workers and parent advocates, and advocates in other practice areas such as criminal defense, civil action and immigration, on the enmeshed issues that may arise in a client’s case
  • Effectively communicate and negotiate with judges, caseworkers, child attorneys, and representatives of the Administration for Children’s Services on behalf of parents
  • Litigate legal matters in abuse and neglect proceedings in hearings and trials in family court - orally and in writing
  • Assist parents in accessing appropriate resources and services to restore full parental rights
  • Collaborate to provide coverage for cases to ensure that all client needs are met
  • Maintain client case files and data in BxD’s case management system

Civil Action Practice

Our Civil Action Practice provides comprehensive legal services to our clients and their families by fully integrating civil representation with our criminal and family defense practices. Our goal is to minimize the severe and often unforeseen fallout from criminal and family court proceedings and facilitate the seamless reintegration of our clients into the community. Our current Civil Action Practice attorneys and legal advocates represent clients in every forum in New York City – administrative, state, and federal – to address these problems. Our advocates provide comprehensive representation to assist our clients in overcoming civil legal barriers to housing, eviction, employment, and public benefits, as well as addressing instances of police misconduct, criminal record errors, and civil forfeiture. 

Responsibilities

  • Defend individuals navigating proceedings related to barriers to obtaining housing, eviction from housing, loss of employment licenses, correcting criminal record errors, loss of public and disability benefits, forfeiture of property, and government misconduct
  • Collaborate with immigration, criminal and family defense attorneys, advocates, and social workers to assess and address client needs
  • Represent individuals in negotiations, administrative and judicial proceedings, and trials, with a particular concentration in housing, employment, public benefits, and forfeiture proceedings
  • Participate in community trainings and public education

Immigration Practice

Over a decade ago, The Bronx Defenders pioneered the model of integrated criminal defense and immigration representation. Our attorneys work closely with clients and their advocates throughout the pendency of their cases in both criminal and family court to avoid or mitigate negative immigration consequences. Additionally, Immigration attorneys represent clients in deportation proceedings in both detained and non-detained settings, provide affirmative immigration services, and pursue community-based systemic reform litigation and advocacy challenging unforgiving federal immigration laws. Since November 2013, our Immigration Attorneys have also served as assigned counsel at the Varick Street Immigration Court under the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP), the first-ever universal representation project in immigration court.

Responsibilities

  • Advise non-citizens accused of crimes on the immigration consequences of contemplated dispositions and mitigating the impact of their involvement with the legal system
  • Advise non-citizens accused of crimes on the immigration consequences of contemplated dispositions and mitigating the impact of their involvement with the legal system
  • Advise non-citizens accused of crimes on the immigration consequences of contemplated dispositions and mitigating the impact of their involvement with the legal system
  • Represent non-citizens in applications for immigration benefits, including: citizenship, adjustment of status, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, and remedies for “victims of crimes”
  • Represent both non-detained and detained non-citizens who face deportation in official removal proceedings
  • Represent clients before the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) Immigration Court on the full scope of matters relating to removal cases, such as: bond hearings, challenges to removability, applications for relief (including, but not limited to requests for: Asylum, Withholding of Removal, Deferral of Removal under the Convention Against Torture Protection, Adjustment of Status with Waivers of Unadmissibility, Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) and Non-LPR Cancellation of Removal, Special Immigration Juvenile Status, and U & T visas)
  • Appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals

Additional qualifications specific to the Immigration Practice:

  • A valid driver’s license--or the ability to obtain one--is required. The role sometimes requires travel to detention facilities outside of NYC where clients are held (vehicles are provided)
  • We are specifically seeking applications from candidates with Spanish language skills and/or those from racially and ethnically marginalized communities disproportionately impacted by the immigration system, whose lived experiences contribute to more culturally conscious client representation

Qualifications

All applicants, regardless of practice area, must be:

  • Recent graduates of an American Bar Association-accredited law school, or 
  • Barred attorney with the ability to practice in New York or able to do so upon hiring

All applicants, regardless of practice area, must demonstrate:

  • Experience working in and with racially and ethnically marginalized communities of color targeted by systemic injustice
  • Dedicated to directly defending people ensnared in family, criminal, civil and immigration legal systems
  • Ability to communicate effectively and respectfully with people from various backgrounds and experiences
  • Ability to work independently as well as collaboratively with lawyers and non-lawyers from various practice areas in an interdisciplinary team-based environment
  • Effective research, writing, and courtroom advocacy skills
  • Ability to think critically and creatively in fast-paced settings
  • Commitment to fierce advocacy, and willingness to strategically challenge authority in defense of clients
  • Strong legal analytical skills 
  • Thoughtfulness in engaging non-legal resources to support clients
  • Strong communication and active listening skills
  • Ability to multitask, maintain order and meet deadlines in a fast-paced, high-stakes environment 
  • Meticulous attention to detail
  • Ability to receive feedback constructively, reflect and shift behavior accordingly
  • Ability to exercise excellent judgment, discretion, and confidentiality around sensitive issues
  • Commitment to raising one’s cultural consciousness and challenging oppressive practices on an interpersonal and institutional level

If hired, applicants must:

  • Sit for the New York State Bar Examination, or 
  • Submit the appropriate materials necessary for Pro Hac Vice admission or waiver

The Bronx Defenders (BxD) – an innovative, progressive, holistic indigent defense office in the South Bronx – seeks passionate new and experienced attorneys with a commitment to social justice to join our Family Defense, Immigration Defense…

Details at a Glance

  • Time Commitment
    Full Time Schedule
  • Application Deadline
    November 1, 2021
  • Education
    J.D. Required

Compensation

At least USD 71,436

Benefits

Excellent benefits

Excellent benefits

Location

Temporarily Remote
Work must be performed in or near Bronx, NY
Associated Location
360 East 161st Street, Bronx, NY 10451, United States

How to Apply

To apply, please visit our Career Portal at the link provided, select the position of interest and upload your resume and a cover letter in one document when prompted. If writing a cover letter is not accessible to you, you may upload your resume as a document and separately upload a video or audio statement instead of a cover letter if that is more accessible to you. Your cover letter or video/audio statement should share why you want to do this work at our office, some key lived and/or professional experiences that have prepared you for this position, and any additional information you would like for us to consider. This information allows us to understand your distinct perspective, experience, and potential beyond the work history summarized on your resume. Your cover letter may be up to one page if written or up to 3 minutes if an audio/video statement. Please remember that you may submit a written cover letter or an audio/video, but not both, and applications without either will not be considered. The start date for this position is immediate or as soon as possible.

To apply, please visit our Career Portal at the link provided, select the position of interest and upload your resume and a cover letter in one document when prompted. If writing a…

Join Idealist

Sign up today to save your favorite jobs and get email alerts when new ones are posted.