Policy Attorney

Job Type

Full Time



Application Deadline



177 Livingston Street
United States


Brooklyn Defender Services (BDS) represents approximately 35,000 clients per year in a variety of legal proceedings in New York City, primarily indigent criminal, family, and immigration defense. We are one of the largest public defense providers in New York and the United States; representing people who have diverse, complex, and multi-faceted needs in a high volume and fast-paced setting.

 Brief Description of Job

BDS seeks to hire a Policy Attorney to work with the Policy and Advocacy Team covering a range of issues across all of BDS’ practice areas. The Policy Attorney position will report to the Director of Policy and Advocacy and work closely with the Executive Director.


  • Cultivate, expand and manage relationships with New York City and State elected government officials and their staff.
  • Coordinate BDS’ annual legislative agenda in conjunction with the Executive Director and the policy team. Monitor and identify New York City and State legislation and policies, both substantive and fiscal, related to BDS’ practice areas. Identify gaps in the current law and draft new legislation.
  • Draft testimony for public hearings with policymakers, memos, one-pagers, op-eds, reports and other advocacy materials based on analysis and synthesis of BDS client and staff experiences, research, internal and external data and other information.
  • Coordinate campaign partnerships with community and government partners, including by attending meetings, rallies, and other events on evenings and weekends.
  • Travel to Albany as required.


  • Experience as a public defender or public interest attorney in the fields of criminal defense, family defense, immigration or civil justice OR relevant prior policy advocacy or lobbying experience.
  • Excellent research, writing, and editing skills and an analytical mind.
  • Attention to detail and emphasis on accuracy.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including an ability to work independently and in a team setting.
  • Efficient, organized work style and an ability to prioritize quickly and confidently and manage multiple deadlines.
  • Strong oral communication skills, including the ability to effectively distill and present complex information in a concise way.
  • Passion for Brooklyn Defender Services’ mission with a demonstrated commitment to social justice, especially criminal justice reform.
  • Be willing to register as a lobbyist.


Salary will be commensurate with experience and within the parameters of BDS’ compensation scale.



BDS is an equal opportunity employer which supports a policy of non-discrimination in all employment practices including, but not limited to, hiring, transfer, promotions, training,

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required


How To Apply


How to Apply: To apply send cover letter explaining your qualifications for the position and your personal or professional interest and commitment to BDS’ advocacy issues, a resume, and two writing samples to opportunities@bds.org  with the subject line: Policy Attorney.


Deadline: Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. However, submission by November 21st is highly encouraged.