JOBS

MANAGING ATTORNEY

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. 

Reporting to the President and Attorney in charge, the Managing Attorney centralizes all administrative management responsibilities. The Director of Client Services, Office Manager, and Paralegal staff are direct reports to the Managing Attorney.

The Managing Attorney coordinates intra-office practice (intake, case flow, case assignments), and serves as OAD’s liaison to the courts, offices and agencies that impact case management. The Managing Attorney also oversees all non-legal staff functions. The Managing Attorney may supervise a small caseload and/or engage in parole and clemency advocacy. 

Responsibilities:

Supervision

  • Provide oversight for the non-legal support staff, including but not limited to working with the office manager to develop practices and protocols surrounding reception, facilities management, office supplies, and information technology;
  • Collaborate on office-wide legal policies and best practices, in light of the needs of the clients and the impact of racial and class disparities in the criminal legal system;
  • Oversee the work of the client services team– conditions, reentry, parole – in collaboration with Director of Client Services;
  • Provide training, supervision, and feedback to paralegal staff, including intake and record collection, and other substantive case support;
  • Supervise AmeriCorps NLADA VISTA program and fellow(s);
  • Assist in the recruitment and selection of staff;
  • Support the development of an inclusive office culture that centers racial equity.

Leadership of intra-office practice

  • Gather data and prepare required reports for funders;
  • Develop and maintain case filing practices and protocols;
  • Field questions from staff and troubleshoot with specific case filing problems and inquiries;
  • Direct support staff on hard copy filings where appropriate and necessary, such as for New York Court of Appeals cases;
  • Oversee case and record intake processes;
  • Lead team tasked with the assignment of cases;
  • Develop and maintain case closure practices and protocols, including digitization of physical files, followed by archival, storage, and/or disposal of such files;
  • Facilitate updates to OAD’s electronic resource portal and client management system.

External Relationships and Advocacy

  • Liaise with other institutional appellate providers to develop coordinated strategies for the work we do in New York City and New York State;
  • Liaise with clerks in the trial and appellate courts, for general purposes and to initiate specific case inquiries;
  • Liaise with contemporaries in local District Attorneys’ offices and ensure consistent compliance with agreed-upon protocols.

Qualifications:

  • J.D. degree, with at least 7 years of litigation experience and a preference for at least 4 years of appellate criminal litigation.
  • Admission to the New York Bar, or ability to secure immediate admission to the New York Bar pursuant to 22 NYCRR § 520.10.
  • A minimum of 3 years’ supervisory and case management experience, with an interest in and commitment to the professional development, training and support of attorneys, paralegals, client service coordinators, legal interns, and administrative staff.
  • Demonstrated commitment to representing poor people convicted of crimes, and a strong belief in the value of communication with clients.
  • Legal research, writing, and oral advocacy skills.
  • Ability to work both collaboratively and independently.

Salary Range: $115,000 - $125,000, commensurate with experience.

Please submit your resume, cover letter, and writing sample by email to:jobs@oadnyc.org, with a subject line in the email stating: Managing Attorney 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.

Supervising Attorney, Director of Reinvestigation Project

The Office of the Appellate Defender 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.

Since 2007, OAD’s Reinvestigation Project has reviewed every case assigned to OAD by the Appellate Division, First Department in which a conviction was secured after trial in search of potential wrongful convictions. The Project looks for faulty eyewitness identification(s), false confessions or false witness statements, and questionable forensic science, as well as convictions that may be unreliable because of prosecutorial misconduct or ineffective assistance of counsel. 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 Supervising Attorney to serve as Director of its Reinvestigation Project. The ideal candidate will be well-versed in wrongful conviction issues; will have significant experience in case investigation and in criminal defense trial, appellate, and/or post-conviction litigation work; and will possess strong written and oral advocacy and leadership skills.

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:

    • Supervising staff attorneys, pro bono attorneys, and law student interns on all aspects of client representation through OAD’s “double-teaming” model, including but not limited to:
      • Overseeing and performing case reinvestigations by, among other things, reviewing trial discovery, interviewing trial attorneys, conducting field investigations, and supervising investigators and interns;
      • Developing case theory: demonstrating familiarity with case records, issue conferencing, and strategy development;
      • Drafting of pleadings: editing and framing of briefs, leave applications, post-conviction motions;
      • Preparing for oral argument: mooting and selecting issues; and
      • Building and maintaining an effective attorney-client relationship: client communication, legal visits, and issues of race, gender, mental health, and the trauma of incarceration.
    • Providing holistic post-conviction representation to indigent persons convicted of felonies in Manhattan and the Bronx, including but not limited to:
      • Perfecting and supervising direct appeals in the Appellate Division and the New York Court of Appeals, including assisting with intake evaluation of cases;
      • Litigating and supervising post-conviction motions and hearings challenging the lawfulness of convictions and sentences pursuant to Article 440 of the New York Criminal Procedure Law;
      • Pursuing federal habeas corpus challenges to state court convictions;
      • Presenting to and working on reinvestigations with Conviction Integrity Units in cases involving red flags of wrongful conviction;
      • Developing and maintaining strong working relationships with Innocence Network-affiliated staff members and effectively utilizing Network resources to advocate in individual wrongful conviction cases and to help redress the causes of wrongful conviction; and
      • Advising clients as to all potential appellate options, including withdrawal of appeals, where appropriate, as well as negotiating pleas or other remedies following reversal of conviction.
    • Training attorneys on staff and outside the organization, including but not limited to:
      • Annual training programs for incoming staff attorneys and pro bono attorneys on substantive, procedural, and practice-oriented criminal law topics;
      • CLE and training programs for outside defender organizations and assigned counsel;
      • Mentorship of staff attorneys in one-on-one and group settings; and
      • Providing feedback and evaluations for staff attorneys.
    • Participating in office leadership and decision-making, including but not limited to:
      • Giving advice on office-wide legal policies and best practices, in light of the needs of the clients and the impact of racial and class disparities in the criminal legal system;
      • Participating in recruitment and selection of staff;
      • Supervising and managing caseloads for staff attorneys; and
      • Supporting the development of an inclusive office culture that centers racial equity.

Qualifications:

      • J.D. degree, with at least 7 years of litigation experience and a preference for at least 4 years of appellate criminal litigation. Experience with New York criminal and post-conviction appellate litigation is strongly preferred;
      • Admission to the New York Bar, or ability to secure immediate admission to the New York Bar pursuant to 22 NYCRR § 520.10;
      • Supervisory and case management experience strongly preferred, with an interest in and commitment to the professional development, training and support of attorneys, legal interns, and administrative staff;
      • Experience with trial court, particularly in post-conviction proceedings, is strongly preferred;
      • Demonstrated commitment to representing poor people convicted of crimes, and a strong belief in the value of communication with clients;
      • Outstanding legal research, writing, and oral advocacy skills;
      • Ability to work both collaboratively and independently.

Salary and Benefits:

Salary range is $100,880-115,000, with excellent benefits. The salary for more experienced applicants will be commensurate with experience.

  • All newly hired employees must be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, unless they have been granted a reasonable accommodation for religion or disability. This requirement must be met by the date of hire, unless a reasonable accommodation for exemption is received and approved at the time of the onboarding process.

Application Process:

Please submit substantive cover letter, resume, and writing sample by email to jobs@oadnyc.org. The subject line in the email should state: "Reinvestigation Supervising 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.

 

Director, People & Culture and Equity & Inclusion

The Office of the Appellate Defender 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.

Job Description:

Reporting to the President and Attorney-in-Charge, the Director of People & Culture and Equity & Inclusion is responsible for leading all aspects of Human Resources including, but not limited to, recruiting/retention, hiring/onboarding, performance management, compliance, training and development, labor relations, and all other human resources strategy and operations. The Director of People & Culture and Equity & Inclusion oversees the development and implementation of processes that promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging at OAD. 

Duties and Responsibilities:

People & Culture

The Director will bring deep HR experience and a passion for people. Responsibilities include: 

    • Oversee all of the People functions of this small organization comprised of approximately 30 employees, in accordance with internal policies and practices, state and federal laws, regulations and administrative rulings, and the CBA with our unionized staff;
    • Lead and promote and organizational culture that embraces OAD's mission values and works with staff to create and maintain a workplace reflective of those values;
    • Collaborate with senior leadership to understand and implement the organization's goals and strategy related to staffing, recruiting, on-boarding and training, and retention;
    • Participate in the development of the organization's plans and programs as a strategic partner but particularly from the perspective of the impact on people;
    • Implement ongoing assessment of OAD's recruitment and retention efforts, report findings, and develop action plans that foster maintaining dedicated, high quality, and diverse staff throughout the organization;
    • Enhance/develop, implement, and administer human resources policies and procedures of the organization by way of systems that will improve its overall operations and effectiveness;
    • Facilitate organizational change management and help leaders align goals with communication strategies to support desired changes;
    • Develop recommendations for implementation and use of metrics and analytics to assess current processes and add areas for improvement across all human resource functions;
    • Assist supervisors by providing guidance, counsel, and training for their responsibilities on personnel matters such as work performance challenges, policy interpretation and compliance;
    • Lead work with carriers to design benefit plans, all aspects of the open enrollment process, ensuring filings and other legally required reports are submitted by deadlines; 
    • Assess, develop, and oversee policies relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, including ensuring compliance with federal, state, and local health departments and monitoring utility and compliance with such policies. 

Labor Relations

The Director has direct experience managing labor relations. Responsibilities include: 

    • Lead relations with our staff union, Association of Legal Aid Attorneys (ALAA), UAW Local 2325, which represents our staff attorneys, paralegals, client services coordinators, and administrative staff;
    • Work to enhance the relationship between managers and employees by providing direction and guidance on unions, policies, agreements, and more;
    • Advise managers and supervisors on sensitive labor and employee relations matters;
    • Oversee processes for review and resolution of employee grievances
    • Coordinate union-management committees and ensure compliance with all initiatives laid out in the CBA;
    • Participate in periodic union bargaining activities, including setting strategies/making recommendations.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

The Director brings a passion and knowledge of diversity, equity, and inclusion best practices and methodologies and is excited to lead the diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts at OAD. Responsibilities include: 

    • Provide strategic leadership in the development and implementation of race equity, diversity, and inclusion strategies to enhance recruitment, hiring, retention, and overall office culture;
    • Serve as a champion and driver of diversity, equity, and inclusion best practice in words and action;
    • Develop a strategy to build awareness and engagement of diversity, equity, and inclusion goals;
    • Develop, implement, and manage programs to enhance diversity and diversity initiatives, including working groups, affinity groups, and other resource groups;
    • Act as an internal resource for executives, directors, supervisors, and staff on complex diversity, equity, and inclusion issues, helping to find solutions that benefit teams and OAD as a whole;
    • Represent OAD on diversity-related topics at conferences, professional associations, and other stakeholder meetings. 

Qualifications:

      • Bachelor's Degree required. Master's Degree or J.D. a plus;
      • Professional certification (SHRM-CP or PHR) desirable;
      • Experience working in the non-profit sector and/or legal office preferred;
      • Proven ability to build consensus, influence change, and build strong relationship at all levels across the organization;
      • Demonstrated experience and knowledge of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging;
      • Strong track record in challenging and influencing peers to approach all work with an equity lens;
      • Exceptional listening, reasoning, and strategic skills with proven ability influence, execute, and direct a wide range of diverse stakeholders;
      • Experience with labor relations programs, including union negotiations and collective bargaining agreements;
      • Demonstrated project management and implementation skills;
      • Strong knowledge of federal, state and local employment laws and ability to interpret policy;
      • Excellent verbal and written communication skills;
      • Talent for managing multiple tasks simultaneously and effectively;
      • A commitment to public service strongly preferred. 

Salary and Benefits:

Starting salary is $90,000, with excellent benefits. 

  • All newly hired employees must be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, unless they have been granted a reasonable accommodation for religion or disability. This requirement must be met by the date of hire, unless a reasonable accommodation for exemption is received and approved at the time of the onboarding process.

Application Process:

Please submit substantive cover letter and resume to the attention of Caprice R. Jenerson, President and Attorney-in-Charge, by email to jobs@oadnyc.org. The subject line in the email should state: "Director, People & Culture and Equity & Inclusion 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.

 

Office Manager

The Office of the Appellate Defender 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.

Job Description:

The Office Manager is responsible for administrative operations, manages the office and facilities, and assists with operations projects and coordination of meetings/trainings. The ideal candidate is capable of interacting with all staff and volunteers, exercising independent judgment, managing multiple tasks, and demonstrates effective time management skills.

Responsibilities:

    • Supervise administrative and operations staff including, but not limited to, administrative assistant/translator, clerks, and other administrative personnel;
    • Partner with internal and external IT professionals to maintain and improve office technology and strategic priorities;
    • Oversee and support all administrative duties in the office and ensure smooth operation of all systems;
    • Serve as the point person for all facilities/office maintenance and all building-related issues:
    • Supervise incoming and outgoing mail processes and procedures, as well as reception;
    • Build and manage relationships with a variety of vendors;
    • Oversee scanning of closed or old files;
    • Draft, circulate, and ensure compliance with standard operating procedures and office-wide policies relating to operation of office;
    • Identify opportunities for process and office management improvements;
    • Coordinate insurance compliance for the organization – certificates of insurance, worker’s compensation, liability, etc.;
    • Organize and manage interpretation/translation services for all staff;
    • Plan and implement office meetings and events;
    • Liaise with OAD’s external event planner to manage, coordinate, and execute the administrative aspects of First Monday in October (fundraiser);
    • May serve as the secretary for all board meetings;
    • Collaborate with others internally to effectuate new hire orientation.

Qualifications:

      • At least 5 years’ experience in office management and/or operations role, preferably in a non-profit setting or legal office;
      • Demonstrated leadership and supervision of others;
      • Strong problem-solving skills and analytical abilities;
      • Highly organized with ability to keep track of and prioritize among multiple competing demands;
      • Impeccable attention to detail;
      • Must be a self-starter and driven;
      • Experience in the non-profit sector preferred;
      • Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills;
      • Solution-oriented mindset;
      • Strong belief in the value and importance of communication with and respect for clients;
      • Ability to work both collaboratively and independently;
      • Spanish speaking is a plus;
      • Proficient in Microsoft Office and knowledge of or the ability to learn other database systems, such as PDCMS (client management).

Salary and Benefits:

Starting salary is $62,000, with excellent benefits. 

  • All newly hired employees must be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, unless they have been granted a reasonable accommodation for religion or disability. This requirement must be met by the date of hire, unless a reasonable accommodation for exemption is received and approved at the time of the onboarding process.

Application Process:

Applications will be considered and interviews will be scheduled on a rolling basis. Interested applicants should submit a resume and cover letter to the attention of Caprice R. Jenerson, President and Attorney-in-Charge, by email to jobs@oadnyc.org. The subject line in the email should state: "Office Manager 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.

 

Legal Intern
(Summer 2023)

The Office of the Appellate Defender 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 interns will have the opportunity to work on a direct appeal under the supervision of an OAD attorney. This will involve reading the entire appellate record and working closely with the OAD attorney to identify appellate issues and develop a theory of the case. The internship includes the potential to draft a legal brief and present the case at oral argument before the Appellate Division, First Department. In addition, our interns will work on discrete research projects in cutting-edge areas of the criminal law and criminal procedure. Opportunities to assist our clients in collateral advocacy may also be available.

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.

This is an unpaid internship. OAD encourages its interns to seek external sources of funding and will sponsor students in their efforts to seek such funding.

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 sent by email to jobs@oadnyc.org, with the subject line in the email stating: “Summer Internship 2023.” 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.

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.