The Office of the Appellate Defender (OAD) seeks a paralegal, 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.
OAD seeks a Paralegal to assist with OAD’s client intake process, including collecting, gathering and organizing documents; maintaining office databases and client files; and obtaining records from courts, attorneys, and correction facilities. 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, and 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.
- Performing administrative intake tasks from case initiation:
- Creating and maintaining client database entries and opening case folders for new cases assigned in the appellate and trial courts;
- Searching New York databases and other resources to locate clients and collect information relating to cases;
- Assisting with cataloguing and organizing case and client databases;
- Preparing and sending affidavits to clients and drafting motions;
- Corresponding with court and prosecuting agencies and corrections staff;
- Assisting with preparation of regular administrative reports.
- Supporting attorneys in preparation for litigation:
- Collecting and organizing records for OAD’s Sex Offender Registration Act (“SORA”) practice, Domestic Violence Survivors’ Justice Act (“DVSJA”) practice, Non-Citizen Client Practice, and Reinvestigation Project;
- Filing Freedom of Information Law (“FOIL”) requests;
- Securing, copying and scanning court files, files from trial attorneys, files from immigration counsel, and corrections officials;
- Assisting with management of digital and corporeal case files, including cataloging and scanning;
- Collaborating with attorneys as needed to assist with client engagement and communication;
- Preparing documents for electronic filing in New York appellate and trial courts and performing electronic filing;
- Performing proofreading and legal research;
- Helping attorneys with scheduling.
- Facilitating implementation of and updates to office manuals, handbooks, and other resource materials.
- Supporting other OAD staff, including backing up administrative, reception, and client support staff as needed.
- Bachelor’s Degree or two years of prior paralegal experience;
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills;
- Talent for managing multiple tasks simultaneously and efficiently;
- Ability to work on a team and independently;
- Computer literacy, including competency with Windows, Microsoft Office Suite, and basic internet research is required;
- Spanish fluency is highly preferred;
Salary and Benefits:
Entry level salary is $48,000, with excellent benefits and a flexible work schedule
Application Deadline: June 24, 2022
Please submit substantive resume and cover letter by email to email@example.com. The subject line in the email should state: "Paralegal 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.