JOBS

SENIOR STAFF ATTORNEY

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:

  • Represents 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 people convicted of felonies in post-conviction matters in State court, 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;
  • Represent clients in hearings to determine classification level pursuant to the Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA);
  • Represent clients in federal habeas corpus challenges to state court convictions;
  • Advise clients as to all potential appellate options, including withdrawal of guilty pleas, where appropriate, as well as negotiating pleas or other remedies following reversal of convictions;
  • Assist clients with parole proceedings and reentry preparation;
  • 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;
  • Assist with the intake evaluation of cases.

Qualifications:

  • J.D. degree, with at least five years of relevant litigation experience, with at least 3 years 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 both collaboratively and independently.

Salary and Benefits:

Salary range: $83,000 - $96,000, commensurate with experience. OAD offers an excellent benefits package.

Application Process:

Application materials (including resume, cover letter, 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 Position."

The cover letter should address the following two questions:

1) Why the applicant is interested in working at OAD?

2) What skills or experiences make the applicant a strong candidate.

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. 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 is devoted to recruiting, hiring, and retaining staff from different cultures, races, educational backgrounds, life experiences, socio-economic classes, sexual orientations, ages, genders, and physical abilities, especially people from those groups who have historically been underrepresented in the legal profession and appellate practice. OAD recognizes that our clients are predominantly Black and Brown people who deserve unbiased, legal representation and to be seen as human beings beyond their criminal convictions 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.

OAD seeks a Client Services Coordinator to assist with OAD’s client intake process, including collecting, gathering and organizing documents; obtaining records from corrections facilities; 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:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Supporting attorneys in preparation for litigation:
    • Securing, copying and scanning court files, client records, files from trial attorneys;
    • Managing intake and record collection for SORA cases;
    • Creating and maintaining database entries for new cases;
    • Sending affidavits and drafting motions;
    • Corresponding with court and corrections staff;
    • Assisting with cataloguing and organizing office databases.

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.

Application Process:

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. Interested applicants should submit a resume, writing sample, and cover letter. The cover letter should address:

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

Application materials should be addressed to Reggie Miller, Client Services Director, and sent by email to jobs@oadnyc.org, with a subject line in the email stating: Client Services Coordinator. 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.