JOBS

STAFF ATTORNEY
(September 2023)

The Office of the Appellate Defender (OAD) seeks a Staff Attorney, for a three-year position, to join its outstanding team.

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.

Additionally, OAD strives to improve the quality of indigent defense through our intensive training program for new Staff Attorneys. Each OAD Staff Attorney is closely supervised through a process called “double-teaming.” Under the “double-teaming” method, the Supervisor assigned to the case reads the appellate record and works closely with the Staff Attorney to identify issues and develop a theory of the case. The Supervisor also edits drafts of the briefs and helps to prepare the Staff Attorney for oral argument. Each oral argument is mooted by the Supervisor and a team of colleagues. This model provides comprehensive training to Staff Attorneys, while ensuring that OAD clients receive exceptional advocacy. After three years of this intensive, hands-on training, OAD alumni depart prepared to provide zealous representation to clients at all stages of the criminal process. Based upon established criteria, a staff attorney may be granted a one- or two-year extension.

OAD is devoted to recruiting, hiring, and retaining a workforce comprised of individuals from different cultures, races, educational backgrounds, life experiences, socio-economic classes, sexual orientations, ages, genders, and physical abilities.  OAD recognizes that our clients are predominantly Black and Brown people and firmly believes that a diverse staff is important to providing this standard of representation. Every OAD staff member shares a profound commitment to public service and to defending people who have been disadvantaged by legal and economic systems. 

Responsibilities:

  • Representing people who cannot afford legal representation convicted of felonies in Manhattan and the Bronx on direct appeal in the Appellate Division and the New York Court of Appeals; in post-conviction motions and hearings; in hearings to determine classification level pursuant to the Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA); and in federal habeas corpus challenges to state court convictions;
  • Extensive researching and writing of appellate briefs;
  • Case conferencing, strategy development, client communication, and legal visits;
  • Advising clients of potential appellate options, including withdrawal of appeals where appropriate, and negotiating pleas or other remedies following reversal of conviction;
  • Collaborating with the Client Services Director and Client Services Coordinators to address prison condition issues and to assist clients with parole proceedings and re-entry preparation

Qualifications:

  • J.D. degree;
  • Admission to the New York Bar, ability to promptly secure such admission, or registration for July 2023 New York Bar Examination;
  • Outstanding legal research, writing, and oral advocacy skills;
  • Demonstrated commitment to representing people experiencing poverty who were convicted of crimes;
  • Strong belief in the value and importance of communication with and respect for clients;
  • Ability to work collaboratively and independently;
  • Prior criminal defense experience, including participation in law school clinics and internships, particularly at the appellate level, is highly preferred.

Salary and Benefits:

  • Salary for OAD staff attorneys is based on years of experience, and currently starts at $72,933 for law graduates. OAD offers an excellent benefits package.

Applications will be considered and interviews will be scheduled on a rolling basis.  Interested applicants should submit a resume, writing sample, and cover letter by email to:jobs@oadnyc.org, with a subject line in the email stating: Staff Attorney 2023 Position. The cover letter should address:

  1. Why the applicant is interested in working at OAD; and
  2. What skills or experiences make the applicant a strong candidate.

SENIOR STAFF ATTORNEY
(Immediate)

The Office of the Appellate Defender (OAD) seeks a Senior Staff Attorney, for a permanent position, to join its outstanding team.

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 is devoted to recruiting, hiring, and retaining a workforce comprised of individuals from different cultures, races, educational backgrounds, life experiences, socio-economic classes, sexual orientations, ages, genders, and physical abilities.  OAD recognizes that our clients are predominantly Black and Brown people and firmly believes that a diverse staff is important to providing this standard of representation. Every OAD staff member shares a profound commitment to public service and to defending people who have been disadvantaged by legal and economic systems. 

Responsibilities:

  • Representing people who cannot afford legal representation convicted of felonies in Manhattan and the Bronx on direct appeal in the Appellate Division and the New York Court of Appeals; in post-conviction motions and hearings; in hearings to determine classification level pursuant to the Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA); and in federal habeas corpus challenges to state court convictions;
  • Extensive researching and writing of appellate briefs;
  • Case conferencing, strategy development, client communication, and legal visits;
  • Advising clients of potential appellate options, including withdrawal of appeals where appropriate, and negotiating pleas or other remedies following reversal of conviction;
  • Collaborating with the Client Services Director and Client Services Coordinators to address prison condition issues and to assist clients with parole proceedings and re-entry preparation;
  • Developing and conducting 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;
  • Assisting with the intake evaluation of cases;
  • Supervising legal interns.

Qualifications:

  • J.D. degree graduation years 2014-17, with at least five years of relevant litigation experience and at least four years of experience in appellate practice;
  • Admission to the New York Bar, or ability to secure immediate admission to the New York Bar pursuant to 22 NYCRR § 520.10;
  • Outstanding legal research, writing, and oral advocacy skills;
  • Ability to manage large case files (>1,500 pages) with complex legal issues;
  • Ability to litigate cases with minimal supervision;
  • Experience in trial court, particularly in post-conviction proceedings, is a plus;
  • Ability to occasionally supervise staff attorneys, pro bono attorneys and law students in litigating direct appeals, post-conviction motions, or sex offender registration hearings;
  • Demonstrated commitment to the representation of people who are indigent and convicted of crimes; understanding of the racial and economic issues underlying the administration of criminal justice; and a strong belief in the value and importance of communication with and respect for all people;
  • Ability to work collaboratively and independently.

Salary and Benefits:

  • Salary Range: $93,800 - $102,200, commensurate with experience. OAD offers an excellent benefits package.

Applications will be considered and interviews will be scheduled on a rolling basis.

Interested applicants should submit a resume, writing sample, and cover letter by email to:jobs@oadnyc.org, with a subject line in the email stating: Senior Staff Attorney Fall 2022 Position. The cover letter should address:

  1. Why the applicant is interested in working at OAD; and
  2. What skills or experiences make the applicant a strong candidate.

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.