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 developed a groundbreaking, nationally recognized model of representation called holistic defense that achieves better outcomes for the people we represent.
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 transformation at the local, state, and national levels. We take what we learn from the clients and communities that we work with and launch innovative initiatives designed to bring about real and lasting change.
Entry-level attorneys will receive several weeks of intensive, interdisciplinary training on holistic representation, substantive relevant law, research and writing, litigation skills, client and community engagement, analysis of oppressive systems, and their impact on the marginalized communities we work with. Beyond this training period, staff will participate in both practice and non-practice-specific training to sharpen their advocacy skills, raise their cultural 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 the 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.
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 whose parental rights are in peril in Bronx County Family Court 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.
Over a decade ago, The Bronx Defenders initiated 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. Immigration attorneys represent clients in deportation proceedings in both detained and non-detained settings, provide affirmative immigration services, and pursue community-based systemic litigation and advocacy challenging unforgiving federal immigration laws. Since November 2013, our Immigration Attorneys have also worked 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.
Additional qualifications specific to the Immigration Practice:
Civil Action Practice (CAP)
Our Civil Action Practice provides comprehensive legal services to our clients and their families by fully integrating civil representation with our Criminal, Family, Immigration Practices. Our goal is to minimize the severe and often unforeseen fallout from Criminal and Family Court proceedings while facilitating the reintegration of our clients into their communities. Our Civil Action Practice attorneys and legal advocates represent our clients in every forum in New York City—administrative, state, and federal—to address these problems. Civil attorneys and advocates assist our clients in overcoming civil legal barriers to housing, eviction, employment, and public benefits, as well as address instances of police misconduct, criminal record errors, and civil forfeiture.
To be eligible, applicants must be:
Applicants must demonstrate:
If hired, applicants must:
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.
The application deadline is October 15th, 2021, but applications will be considered on a rolling basis and decisions will be made as soon as an appropriate candidate is identified. Please contact Thanisha Pariage, Recruiting and Hiring Manager, via email at Thanishap@bronxdefenders.org with any questions regarding the position.
The Bronx Defenders is an equal opportunity employer and is cultivating an anti-oppressive workplace that embraces staff with a diversity of backgrounds, identities, and experiences. We acknowledge the ways in which systemic oppression and injustice can undermine access to professional opportunities and are committed to conducting hiring and promotion processes that are equitable and accessible to those commonly excluded from the workforce. We do not discriminate against and in fact specifically encourage applicants from marginalized communities to apply, including those who identify as Black, Indigenous, people of color, queer, transgender, gender non-conforming, disabled, neurodivergent, and those directly impacted by criminal, civil, family and immigration legal systems. We value lived as well as professional experience and particularly welcome applications from the Bronx community that we work with.
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…