JOBS

SENIOR STAFF ATTORNEY, REINVESTIGATION PROJECT

The Office of the Appellate Defender (OAD) is one of New York City’s oldest providers of legal representation to people who cannot afford to pay an attorney for the appeal of a felony conviction. OAD’s core mission is to ensure full and equal access to justice by providing high-quality and client-centered representation throughout the appellate process. OAD is committed to developing and litigating innovative legal theories that most effectively demonstrate the injustices that our clients have experienced.

OAD handles post-conviction cases from the Bronx and Manhattan, including direct appeals before the Appellate Division, First Department, and the New York Court of Appeals. OAD also litigates motions to overturn wrongful convictions (including claims based on new or undisclosed evidence, prosecutorial misconduct, and ineffective assistance of counsel), sex offender registration level hearings, and resentencings. OAD additionally advocates for improved prison and parole conditions, and provides reentry assistance.

Since 2007, OAD’s Reinvestigation Project has reviewed every case assigned to OAD by the Appellate Division, First Department, for potential wrongful convictions. The Project aims to identify potential wrongful convictions as soon as possible and, where appropriate, reinvestigate before the appeal is perfected, and, as a result, drastically reduce human and financial costs. The Project also reviews claims of wrongful conviction from clients whose cases have long since become final, undertaking difficult and time-consuming investigations of very old cases.

OAD seeks a Senior Staff Attorney to join its talented staff. This hybrid role covers both OAD’s appellate practice and post-conviction work with its Reinvestigation Project. The ideal candidate will be well-versed in wrongful conviction issues; will have experience in case investigation; will have significant experience in criminal defense trial, appellate, and/or post-conviction litigation; and will possess strong written and oral advocacy skills.

OAD is devoted to maintaining a staff of lawyers with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We seek a team member who is committed to public service and criminal justice reform, and who possesses an understanding of pervasive racial and economic issues embedded in the administration of criminal justice.

Responsibilities:

  • Advise clients as to all potential appellate options, and represent clients on direct appeal in the Appellate Division and the New York Court of Appeals, including case conferencing and strategy development, client communication and legal visits, brief drafting, oral argument, and leave applications;
  • Represent clients in post-conviction matters in Bronx and New York County Supreme Courts, including researching, writing, and filing post-conviction motions, and litigating evidentiary hearings challenging the lawfulness of convictions and sentences, pursuant to Article 440 of the New York Criminal Procedure Law;
  • Reinvestigate and evaluate felony convictions by, inter alia, reviewing trial discovery, interviewing trial attorneys, conducting field investigation, supervising investigators and interns, consulting with experts, and coordinating with other OAD attorneys on case reinvestigations;
  • Negotiate pleas or other dispositions following reversal or vacatur of convictions;
  • Litigate evidentiary hearings ordered on remand from the Appellate Division, First Department, including suppression hearings and reconstruction hearings;
  • Represent clients in other proceedings in Bronx and New York County Supreme Courts, including re-sentencings, hearings to determine classification level, pursuant to the Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA), and bail applications;
  • Develop and conduct training programs for incoming staff attorneys and pro bono attorneys, as well as CLE and training programs for outside defender organizations and assigned counsel, on substantive, procedural, and practice oriented criminal law topics.

Qualifications:

  • J.D. degree, with a strong preference for at least five years of relevant experience, which could include trial court, appellate court, and/or postconviction litigation experience;
  • Admission to the New York Bar, or ability to secure immediate admission to the New York Bar, pursuant to 22 NYCRR § 520.10;
  • Significant experience in case investigation and familiarity with wrongful conviction issues, such as eyewitness identification and false confessions;
  • Significant experience with New York City criminal defense practice is preferred, and experience as a defense attorney collaborating with conviction integrity units in prosecutorial offices is a plus;
  • Ability to work both collaboratively and independently and to litigate cases with minimal supervision;
  • Ability to occasionally supervise staff attorneys, pro bono attorneys, and law students in the litigation of direct appeals, post-conviction motions, or SORA hearings;
  • Commitment to public defense and holistic representation of indigent clients;
  • Excellent written and oral advocacy skills;
  • Spanish language fluency is a plus.

Salary:

Competitive salary with excellent benefits.

To Apply:

Application materials, including substantive cover letter, resume, and writing sample should be addressed to Margaret Knight, Recruitment Director, and sent by email to jobs@oadnyc.org. The subject line in the email should state: Senior Staff Attorney, Reinvestigation 2021. If necessary, questions may be directed to the same email address, with Question in the subject line.

The Office of the Appellate Defender is committed to providing equal employment opportunities without regard to race, creed, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marital status, age, veteran status, disability or genetic information.

Senior Staff Attorney, Non-Citizen Client Project

The Office of the Appellate Defender (OAD) is one of New York City’s oldest providers of legal representation to people who cannot afford to pay an attorney for the appeal of a felony conviction. OAD’s core mission is to ensure full and equal access to justice by providing high-quality and client-centered representation throughout the appellate process. This approach enables our attorneys to hone in on the best issues for appeal, to tell our clients’ stories effectively, and to identify and pursue other forms of advocacy that are most effective for each client’s unique circumstances.  OAD is committed to developing and litigating innovative legal theories that most effectively demonstrate the injustices that our clients have experienced.

OAD handles post-conviction cases from the Bronx and Manhattan, including direct appeals, sex offender registration level hearings, drug law and domestic violence survivor re-sentencings, and motions to overturn wrongful convictions (including claims based on new or undisclosed evidence, prosecutorial misconduct and ineffective assistance of counsel).  OAD also advocates for improved prison and parole conditions, and provides parole advocacy and reentry assistance.

OAD seeks a project attorney with a demonstrated commitment to advocating for and protecting immigrants’ rights to assist with our representation of non-citizen clients in New York criminal and appellate courts. The ideal candidate will have a background in immigration law, preferably where it intersects with New York criminal law, and possess strong writing skills. Appellate litigation experience is not required, and training will be provided as necessary. Further, the ideal candidate is a team player who will be willing to help out in other aspects of our holistic practice as needed.

OAD is devoted to maintaining a staff of lawyers with diverse backgrounds and experiences.  Every OAD staff member shares a profound commitment to public service and to defending the disadvantaged.

Responsibilities:

  • Reviewing pertinent criminal and immigration court client records to assess the immigration consequences of client convictions;
  • Establishing and improving internal protocols for the office’s holistic representation of non-citizen clients;
  • Providing support for and advice to other attorneys regarding the immigration consequences of criminal convictions and the general needs of our non-citizen clients;
  • Working with support staff, clients, and court personnel to collect documents and records necessary to perform analysis regarding client criminal history on immigration status;
  • Representing non-citizen clients in direct appeals, state post-conviction relief, and other advocacy through motion practice and negotiation of immigration-safer dispositions.

Qualifications:

  • Juris Doctorate;
  • Must be admitted to practice in New York courts;
  • Commitment to public defense and holistic representation of indigent clients;
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills;
  • Post-law school experience in removal defense and/or in immigration court is strongly preferred;
  • Fluency in languages other than English is also strongly preferred.

Salary:
Competitive salary with excellent benefits.

To Apply:

Application materials, including substantive cover letter, resume, and writing sample should be addressed to Margaret Knight, Recruitment Director, and sent by email to jobs@oadnyc.org. The subject line in the email should state: Non-Citizen Project Attorney 2021.  If necessary, questions may be directed to the same email address, with Question in the subject line.

Client Services Coordinator

The Office of the Appellate Defender (OAD) is New York City’s oldest provider of appellate representation to people convicted of felonies who cannot afford a lawyer, and the City’s second oldest institutional indigent defense office.  Since its founding in 1988, OAD has maintained a national reputation for superb appellate advocacy and innovation, as well as a holistic approach to representation.  OAD has been repeatedly recognized by the New York State Bar Association, and the appellate courts, for excellent representation.  OAD’s core mission is to ensure full and equal access to justice by providing high-quality and client-centered representation throughout the appellate process.

OAD handles post-conviction cases from the Bronx and Manhattan, including direct appeals, sex offender registration level hearings, drug law and domestic violence survivor re-sentencings, and motions to overturn wrongful convictions (including claims based on new or undisclosed evidence, prosecutorial misconduct and ineffective assistance of counsel).  OAD also advocates for improved prison and parole conditions, and provides parole advocacy and reentry assistance.

OAD seeks a Client Services Coordinator to assist with OAD’s client intake process, including collecting, gathering and organizing documents; drafting correspondence; and maintaining contact with clients and their family members.  The ideal candidate will have a commitment to social and criminal justice, an understanding of the trauma endured by our clients, including issues pertaining to race, poverty, gender, class, and ethnicity, will be able to work effectively in a diverse and progressive office environment.  They will share OAD’s core belief in the value and importance of communication with and respect for people with felony convictions (both inside of prison and out).  They will be a flexible self-starter who is willing to tackle new projects and take on additional work, as necessitated by the evolving needs of our clients and practice.

Responsibilities

  • Supporting attorneys in preparation for litigation:
    • Securing, copying and scanning court files, files from trial attorneys, and files from immigration counsel;
    • Creating and maintaining database entries for new cases;
    • Sending affidavits and drafting motions;
    • Corresponding with court staff;
    • Assisting with cataloguing and organizing office databases including discovery, grants, etc.
  • Supporting clients during and after their incarceration:
    • Responding to calls from clients and their family members;
    • Working with clients and prisons to address conditions of confinement issues;
    • Digitizing, filing, and responding to client letters, questionnaires and releases;
    • Scheduling legal calls and visits with clients, including those incarcerated in prison facilities throughout New York State
  • Advocating for clients through OAD’s Parole Advocacy Project:
    • Collecting background records, and securing letters of support and letters of reasonable assurance;
    • Creating parole advocacy letters and packets;
    • Preparing clients for parole interview hearings
    • Managing and updating database of parole-eligible clients.

Qualifications

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills;
  • Talent for managing multiple tasks simultaneously and efficiently;
  • Ability to work on a team and independently;
  • Spanish fluency is highly preferred;
  • Experience working with city and state corrections is also a plus.

* Applications from people who were formerly incarcerated are strongly encouraged.

Salary

Competitive salary with excellent benefits.

To Apply

Please send substantive cover letter and resume by email to jobs@oadnyc.org, with a subject line in the email stating: Client Services Coordinator.  Application materials should be addressed to David Bernstein, Managing Attorney.  If necessary, questions may be directed to the same email address, with "Question" in the subject line.

OAD is an Equal Opportunity Employer

We provide equal employment opportunities without regard to race, creed, color religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marital status, age, veteran status, disability or genetic information.