JOBS

President and Attorney-in-Charge

The President and Attorney-in-Charge of the Office of the Appellate Defender will serve as the executive director, overseeing the organization's programs and services, administrative operations, resource development, internal and external communications, and Board relations. Partnering with the staff and Board of Directors, the President and Attorney-in-Charge will maintain fidelity to OAD's mission while ensuring sound business principles and leading a vision for greater impact in the coming years.

Position Responsibilities

Ideal candidates for the President and Attorney-in-Charge will bring a passion for appellate representation of indigent defendants and leadership experience in legal organizations or offices. With comfort in fundraising and a love of relationship-building, top candidates will have experience mobilizing resources for an organization or cause and will be skilled as an external spokesperson. They will be naturally drawn to partnership and collaboration, with the ability to envision and leverage opportunities for learning and growth. As OAD continues its interest in building diversity and inclusion internally, top candidates will be committed to leading and growing these values.

This is a full-time role, based in New York City. At the time of this writing OAD's operations are remote due to the impact and policies of COVID-19. Leadership and organizational sustainability in the context of COVID-19 will be a core responsibility of the President and Attorney-in-Charge going forward.

Additional responsibilities of the President and Attorney-in-Charge include, but are not limited to:

External Relations

  • Serve as chief fundraiser and spokesperson for OAD, overseeing relationships with City and State government and corporate funders, as well as private donors, including foundations and high-net-worth individuals
  • Identify and diversify funding streams for OAD to leverage new opportunities and build on existing partnerships with law firms and other funders
  • Represent OAD in the media, increase public awareness, and broaden the organization's reputation with constituents
  • Build and strengthen relationships with partner organizations and other stakeholders to support criminal justice practice and reform
  • Establish and implement a vision for OAD's continued growth, while staying true to OAD's core mission.

General Management, Finance and Administration, and Progam

  • Apply effective management and leadership to ensure that day-to-day operations are professionally and efficiently organized and administered
  • Direct legal work and supervision, in partnership with current senior staff
  • Oversee the organization's financial operations, including the budgetary process, and ensure that sound financial security and controls are in place
  • Lead, coach, recruit, and retain a cohesive, diverse, and committed staff, ensuring strong internal communication and coordination within a supportive environment
  • Use and strengthen technology to facilitate organizational management, fundraising, and legal work

Board Relations

  • Actively engage and energize the Board around OAD programming and fundraising
  • Work with the Board to identify and help recruit new Board members who will add diversity of background and thought to further OAD's mission
  • Regularly brief the Board on the status of the organization
  • Engage the Board in meaningful participation to further the organization's goals

Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate will have the following professional skills, qualities, and competencies: 

  • Demonstrated commitment to and expertise in criminal justice and public defense; litigation and/or appellate experience and admittance in the New York Bar are required
  • Proven fundraising, managerial, and financial management experience in the private, not-for-profit, or public sectors
  • Experience connecting organizations to resources and external opportunities; a successful track record of raising funds from a variety of sources
  • Collaborative and transparent style of management
  • Exceptional communication skills; ability to rapidly build and maintain meaningful relationships with staff, partner organizations, donors, Board members, clients, and press
  • Ambitious, creative and visionary approach in all areas, from organizational goal-setting and planning to individual case management to organization infrastructure
  • A track record of commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, including race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, family status, and disability

Contact:

Koya Leadership partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Melissa Madzel and Molly Brennan are leading this search. To make recommendations or to express your interest in this role, please click here

All nominations, inquiries, and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

Client Services Director

OAD seeks a Client Services Director (CSD) to join its talented team. 

This position is designed to ensure that OAD’s attorneys and staff are able to effectively and compassionately respond to the unique circumstances confronting OAD’s clients, including, but not limited to, the effects of trauma; the mental, physical, social, economic and familial challenges arising from incarceration and solitary confinement; and the difficulties of post-incarceration community re-integration.  Thus, the CSD is an interdisciplinary position rooted in the intersecting fields of criminal law, social work, policy, administration and counseling.  Working hand-in-hand with the OAD attorneys, the CSD will support and advocate for clients while in prison, in parole proceedings, during re-entry, and in appellate and post-conviction litigation.

Responsibilities

  • Lead an early transition re-entry program, including a referral network of partnerships and memoranda of understanding with NYC social services, governmental and non-profit agencies;
  • Assist clients who are nearing the end of a term of incarceration, through the early days of re-entry, to address housing, government benefits, employment, mental health services and education needs;
  • Organize and lead client group meetings;
  • Foster relationships with, and conduct site-visits of, organizations/agencies who are, or will be, frequent service providers to OAD clients;
  • Coordinate with the Social Workers/Client Advocates/Mitigation Specialists at New York City’s other institutional public defender providers to stay abreast of the issues, resources and policies affecting people involved in the criminal justice system, and ensure that OAD clients have access to all necessary services;
  • Work closely with all OAD attorneys, especially those handling cases involving serious mental illness, sex offender registration, youth/adolescence, and other vulnerable populations;
  • As needed and when appropriate for the CSD responsibilities, assist OAD’s paralegals with the collection and analysis of medical, psychiatric, educational and institutional records;
  • Contribute to written submissions, including sentencing mitigation reports and parole advocacy petitions;
  • Participate in meetings with clients and their family members;
  • Assist attorneys with expert witnesses;
  • Appear in court when appropriate;
  • Lead trainings for attorneys and other social workers; and
  • Travel to New York State prisons to meet with clients and corrections agencies’ regional and central staff.

Qualifications

  • M.S.W. preferred;
  • Experience working with at-risk client populations (preferably with criminal justice involvement);
  • Advanced writing skills;
  • Knowledge of criminal procedure, government administration, social service, and forensic approaches is desired; and
  • Fluency in Spanish is a plus.  

Salary:

Competitive salary with excellent benefits.

To Apply:

Please send substantive cover letter and resume by email to jobs@appellatedefender.org, with “Client Services Director” in the subject line.

VISTA Member - Community Partnerships

OAD seeks a one-year VISTA member to strengthen OAD’s partnerships with community stakeholders in New York City. 

The VISTA member will work to ensure that the office has a meaningful understanding of the ways in which criminal laws and policies impact its individual clients, their families and their communities.  The VISTA member will also build OAD’s capacity to share critical and current information that will ease the trying process of navigating the criminal legal system.  Thus, the VISTA member will improve OAD’s ability to provide truly holistic appellate defense representation  -- not only by identifying resources relevant to our clients’ most basic but as yet unmet needs during and after incarceration, but also by creating and cementing connections between OAD and impacted communities.

Responsibilities

  • Maintain a community map of partners, peers, and stakeholder groups who are invested in OAD’s mission to provide high-quality, client-centered representation for poor people convicted of felonies.
  • Identify and cultivate relationships with local grassroots and grasstops organizations, with an emphasis on creating effective and meaningful dialogue with communities directly impacted by New York’s criminal justice system and mass incarceration.
  • Work with Client Service Director to assist clients during the reentry process by conducting site visits and meetings with key partnership organizations.
  • Assist with creating informational and substantive materials that will be useful for sharing with clients and their communities, with partner agencies, and on social media.
  • Plan and develop training events and guides for OAD staff to effectively integrate community resources and partnerships in the appellate defense docket.
  • Attend trainings sponsored by the National Legal Aid & Defender Association.

Qualifications

  • Demonstrated commitment to issues of racial and social justice that affect people who are or have been incarcerated and their connected communities.
  • Outstanding communication and listening skills, in both one-on-one and group settings, with people who have diverse backgrounds and experiences.
  • Strong belief in the value and importance of communication with and respect for clients.
  • Ability to work and write both collaboratively and independently.
  • Familiarity with neighborhoods in the counties of New York and the Bronx.
  • Experience with organizing and empowering marginalized communities preferred.  

Salary:

For information about the NLADA/VISTA stipend, please visit the following CNCS Vista websites:

CNCS/AmeriCorps VISTA website: https://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/americorps/americorpsvista

AmeriCorps VISTA stipends: approximately $1800/month: https://www.vistacampus.gov/sites/vistacampus/files/living_allowance_rates.pdf

To Apply:

Please submit an application on the AmeriCorps website by August 17, 2020, for the listing “NLADA Community Public Defense VISTA - NYC, OAD” at:

https://my.americorps.gov/mp/listing/viewListing.do?fromSearch=true&id=97550

 

VISTA Member - Data Systems & Operations

OAD seeks a one-year VISTA member to bolster OAD’s ability to manage and distill information from our cases, court decisions, and overall practice. 

Increasing OAD’s capacity to synthesize this data, and preserve institutional knowledge, will improve our individual case litigation, foster a greater understanding of broader patterns – particularly those impacting race and poverty – and demonstrate whether and to what extent the law is fairly applied by prosecutors, police officers, defense attorneys, and judges.  The VISTA member will help develop processes and database tools that our attorneys can implement to increase the efficiency and efficacy of our practice.

Responsibilities

  • Complete a site assessment of OAD’s current data collection processes and analytical tools to determine their effectiveness in advancing OAD’s mission to provide high-quality, client-centered representation for poor people convicted of felonies.
  • Organize electronic and legal resources in a logical and easily accessible format for attorneys and program staff.
  • Develop database or informational tools and procedures that complement the duties of legal staff, while increasing OAD’s capacity to track information relevant to clients and cases and OAD’s overall legal representation in a variety of proceedings.
  • Assist in interpreting the data and presenting the results in formats that can enhance policy reports, amicus briefs, social media campaigns and proposed legislation.
  • Work with our Operations Team to identify ways that our office and our staff can operate more efficiently.
  • Plan and develop training events and guides for OAD staff to effectively integrate data systems and databases in the appellate defense docket.
  • Attend trainings sponsored by the National Legal Aid & Defender Association..

Qualifications

  • Demonstrated commitment to issues of racial, criminal and social justice.
  • Outstanding communication and listening skills, in both one-on-one and group settings, with people who have diverse backgrounds and experiences.
  • Strong belief in the value and importance of communication with and respect for clients.
  • Ability to work and problem-solve both collaboratively and independently.
  • Expertise with database and spreadsheet software.
  • Experience with information systems and/or programming preferred.  

Salary:

For information about the NLADA/VISTA stipend, please visit the following CNCS Vista websites:

CNCS/AmeriCorps VISTA website: https://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/americorps/americorpsvista

AmeriCorps VISTA stipends: approximately $1800/month: https://www.vistacampus.gov/sites/vistacampus/files/living_allowance_rates.pdf

To Apply:

Please submit an application on the AmeriCorps website by August 17, 2020, for the listing “NLADA Data Public Defense VISTA - NYC, OAD” at:

https://my.americorps.gov/mp/listing/viewListing.do?fromSearch=true&id=97551

 

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.