Staff Attorney - Homicide Defense Team

Job Type

Full Time


Details: Depends on experience.



Start Date


Application Deadline



317 Lenox Avenue, 10th Floor
New York
United States


THE NEIGHBORHOOD DEFENDER SERVICE OF HARLEM (NDS) is a community-based, client-centered, holistic public defense office located in Harlem, providing criminal, civil, and family representation.  NDS Clients are represented by multidisciplinary teams.  NDS is accepting applications for the position of Staff Attorney with the Homicide Defense Team.

The Homicide Defense Team at NDS represents residents of Northern Manhattan who are charged with homicide and who cannot afford to hire a lawyer.  Clients are represented by a team comprised of a staff attorney, an investigator, a mitigation specialist, and a paralegal. NDS also provides pre-arrest representation to clients under threat of arrest. NDS adheres to a client-centered approach to representation that emphasizes a heightened responsiveness to clients’ needs prior to arrest, while a case is pending, and after the case concludes. NDS is committed to addressing the comprehensive legal and social service needs of clients. 


1.     Provide vigorous representation with energy and enthusiasm to residents of Northern Manhattan in Manhattan’s criminal courts.

2.     Engage in frequent court appearances and litigation, including arraignments, grand jury presentations, legal arguments, hearings and trials.

3.     Interview clients and their families in the office or local jails, conduct legal research and write pre-pleading letters, motions and pre-sentencing memoranda on behalf of clients.

4.     Coordinate work performed by team members (investigator, mitigation specialist and paralegal).

5.     Work with cross-practice colleagues (family defense, immigration defense, housing defense and other civil defense) to obtain comprehensive legal outcomes for clients.

6.     File motions, briefs and other related documents on a frequent, timely basis.

7.     Provide effective oral advocacy in negotiations and arguments in homicide cases.

8.     Flexibility as it relates to work location—attorneys will be expected to split their time between Manhattan’s downtown courts and the main office in Central Harlem.


1.     Ability to collaborate with and provide mentorship to less experienced staff and train within NDS on emerging issues in homicide defense.

2.     Responsiveness and ability to communicate clearly with clients who are often under great stress.


1.     Must possess a demonstrated commitment to criminal justice, indigent defense, social justice issues and/or the Harlem communities.

2.     Must have at least 7 years of experience representing clients in criminal cases, and significant homicide and serious violent felony criminal defense litigation experience including: preliminary hearings; post-indictment jury trials; cross-examination during trial of: laboratory technicians, undercover agents, psychiatrists or psychologists, ballistics experts, fingerprint experts, DNA experts, sexual abuse experts, child abuse experts, identification experts, false confession experts, any other comparable experts.

3.     The ability and dedication to work with experts in technical areas like DNA, fingerprint, hair analysis, cell phone triangulation, etc.

4.     Must possess the high level of organizational and administrative skills required to handle a high caseload.

5.     Must possess strong writing skills.

6.     Preference is given to attorneys admitted to the New York State Bar or who are awaiting admission.

7.     Bi-lingual (Spanish) attorneys are encouraged to apply.


Compensation is commensurate with experience. 

The Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem is committed to creating a diverse environment that reflects the community we serve. NDS is proud to be an equal opportunity employer.  All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.


Full medical and dental benefits, as well as other benefits, are provided.

Level of Language Proficiency

Bi-lingual (Spanish) attorneys are encouraged to apply.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required


How To Apply

Interested applicants should email a cover letter and resume to with the subject line, “Staff Attorney, Homicide Defense Team.” Please send your application as one document, preferably PDF.  For more information about NDS, please visit our website at