Training Team 2019: Criminal Defense, Family Defense, & Immigration Practices (Staff Attorney Position)

Job Type

Full Time



Application Deadline



360 East 161st Street
United States


The Bronx Defenders (BxD) – an innovative, progressive, holistic indigent defense office in the South Bronx – seeks energetic third-year (3L) law students and entry-level attorneys with a commitment to public defense to join our Criminal Defense, Family Defense, and Immigration Practices for Training Team 2019.


BxD is a public defender non-profit that is radically transforming how low-income people in the Bronx are represented in the justice 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 staff.

Our diverse staff of over 300 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, all of whom collaborate to provide holistic legal and social service advocacy. 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 27,000 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 level. 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.

The Training Team Program: Structure & Roles

The Training Team receives seven (7) weeks of intensive, interdisciplinary training on (among other topics): holistic representation, substantive law, legal advocacy, client and community engagement, and the interrelationships of race, class, and privilege with public defense work. Beyond this seven-week period, staff members receive continual and comprehensive training relevant both to their practices and to the representation of the Bronx community.


Criminal Defense Practice

Criminal Defense Attorneys zealously advocate for individuals charged with criminal offenses in the Bronx Criminal Courts. They appear in various proceedings, including, but not limited to: arraignments, hearings, and trials in criminal courts; as well as in concurrent proceedings, such as Superintendent’s suspension, or Department of Motor Vehicles refusal hearings. Criminal Defense Attorneys provide comprehensive representation in collaboration with attorneys and advocates in other practice areas to avoid or mitigate any enmeshed consequences that may arise out of our clients’ contact with the criminal court system. To that end, Criminal Defense Attorneys must consistently be prepared to litigate and confidently engage in skillful negotiations with judges, prosecutors, and other actors within the systems that our clients navigate.


Competitive candidates must demonstrate a commitment to defending individuals charged with criminal offenses, while collaborating on interdisciplinary teams.


Family Defense Practice

Family Defense Attorneys at BxD 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 those 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. Family Defense Attorneys provide comprehensive representation in collaboration with attorneys and advocates in other practice areas to avoid or mitigate any enmeshed consequences that may arise out of our clients’ contact with the family court system. To that end, Family Defense Attorneys must be consistently prepared to litigate and confidently engage in skillful negotiations with judges, representatives of the Administration for Children’s Services, and other actors within the systems that our clients navigate.


Competitive candidates must demonstrate a commitment to defending parents charged with abuse and neglect, while collaborating on interdisciplinary teams.

Immigration Practice

Over a decade ago, BxD 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-related 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-oriented litigation and advocacy that challenges 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.

Immigration Practice-Specific Responsibilities (not an exhaustive list)

  • Representing non-citizens in applications for immigration benefits, including: citizenship, adjustment of status, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, and remedies for victims of crimes
  • Representing both non-detained and detained non-citizens who face deportation in official removal proceedings
  • Representing 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)
  • Appealing to the Board of Immigration Appeals

Immigration Practice-Specific Requirements

  • A valid driver’s license, or the ability to obtain oneThe role sometimes requires travel to detention facilities outside of NYC where clients are held (vehicles are provided).
  • Spanish language fluency or high-level proficiency. The role requires the provision of extensive legal counseling and representation to Spanish-speaking clients.


All applicants, regardless of practice area, must be either:

  • A current third-year (3L) student or recent graduate of an American Bar Association-accredited law school, or
  • an attorney with fewer than three (3) years of relevant legal practice.

All applicants, regardless of practice area, must demonstrate:

  • A commitment to public service
  • Experience working with clients from low-income communities of color, like those we serve in the South Bronx
  • The ability to think critically and quickly under pressure
  • Excellent research, writing, and courtroom advocacy skills
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • A capacity and desire to work collaboratively in interdisciplinary teams


Applicants, if hired, must either:

  • Sit for the New York State Bar Examination, or
  • Submit the appropriate materials necessary for pro hac vice admission or waiver.

Professional Level

Entry level

Minimum Education Required


How To Apply

To apply, please visit our Career Portal at the link provided, select the position of interest, click APPLY TO THIS JOB ONLINE and upload both your resume and cover letter in a single document when prompted. In your cover letter, please specify for which practice(s) you wish to be considered. If you are applying in relation to a career fair or on-campus interviewing event, please also indicate that in your cover letter, along with the specific fair/event. Applications missing any components or not submitted in the requested manner will not be considered.

Applications will be accepted from 12:00 AM EST on Friday, August 17th, 2018 until 11:59 PM EST on Friday, October 12th, 2018.

Please contact Lecelott Rosario, Interim Recruiting & Hiring Coordinator, at with any questions regarding this position or the application process.

The Bronx Defenders is proud to be an equal opportunity employer, committed to inclusive hiring, and dedicated to diversity in our work and staff. We strongly encourage candidates of all identities, orientations, experiences, and communities to apply.