Criminal Defense Practice Forensic Social Worker (Queens)

Job Type

Full Time



Start Date


Application Deadline



Headquarters: 199 Water Street
New York
United States


The Criminal Defense Practice is seeking a Forensic Social Worker (FSW) to provide client services in its Queens office. While working closely with the Criminal Defense attorneys, the Forensic Social Worker's primary role is to interview clients and any collateral contacts with the goal of gathering a life history to highlight mitigating circumstances such as mental illness, drug addiction, trauma and/or chronic poverty leading to a client's involvement in the criminal justice system. The FSW then advocates for an alternative to detention, an alternative to incarceration, or a lesser sentence, based on mitigating factors. The FSW evaluates clients and recommends a treatment program. The FSW fills out necessary paperwork and provides supporting documents to facilitate a client's interview with a program and/or to assure a client's acceptance into a program. The FSW educates the client about treatment options, offers crisis intervention, and provides short term counseling. The FSW provides essential information to attorneys about clients.


* Interview clients, performing thorough bio-psycho-social assessments; crisis intervention, brief treatment, or short term counseling may also be performed

* Identify and interview collateral sources of information such as family members, friends, teachers, social workers, community members, and others connected to the client

* Request, review, and analyze life history records (school, medical, psychiatric) in order to document specific arguments within written reports

* Develop casework plans in conjunction with the attorneys, develop alternative sentencing plans, and provide advocacy in court

* Assess a client's readiness for treatment and make referrals to substance abuse treatment, domestic violence services, mental health counseling, etc.


* Other duties as assigned


Queens - Criminal Defense Practice Office


* Candidates must have an MSW degree and New York State certification in social work (LMSW)

* Strong diagnostic skills and experience working with individuals with the following special needs: MICA, physical illness and disabilities, mental illness, intellectual disabilities, developmental delays, and histories of substance abuse

* Ability to interact professionally with judges, district attorneys, and correctional personnel

* Ability to negotiate with community-based treatment centers

* Excellent writing, verbal, organization, and computer skills

* Ability to work within a team model


The leadership of The Legal Aid Society is committed to a work culture of zealous advocacy, respect, diversity and inclusion, client-oriented defense, access to justice and excellent representation. We are dedicated to building a strong professional relationship with each of our clients, to understanding their diverse circumstances, and to meeting their needs. Our ability to achieve these goals depends on the efforts of all of us.


You must apply online at the LAS Recruitment Portal. The Legal Aid Society is reducing its carbon footprint and therefore paper applications are not accepted. Only PDF documents will be accepted. If your document is not a PDF, your application will not be processed. Applications submitted without all the required materials will not be processed.

The Legal Aid Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer -- Women, People of Color, Members of the LGBTQ+ communities, Veterans, and People with Disabilities are encouraged to apply.

For technical difficulties or questions regarding this posting, please email

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

Master's degree