Volunteer Appellate Defender Program

The Volunteer Appellate Defender Program (VAD) offers associates at New York’s top law firms an opportunity to represent indigent defendants in felony criminal appeals in the Appellate Division, First Department under the intensive supervision of experienced OAD attorneys. 

The VAD program includes formal training opportunities in brief writing and substantive criminal law, as well as one-to-one supervision in every case in all aspects of the litigation by an OAD senior attorney.  All VADs prepare for oral argument with rigorous moot courts and the experienced OAD supervisors guide volunteers in everything from client communications, to reading and reviewing the record, to editing of all written submissions. The VAD program is a rare opportunity to argue a case before a panel of the Appellate Division, First Department and is a truly unique pro bono litigation experience where the volunteer gets to serve as lead counsel in a high-stakes case.

The VAD Program is limited to associates at participating firms only.

For more information please contact Alexandra Keeling, Deputy Attorney-in-Charge and VAD Director, at akeeling@appellatedefender.org