JOBS

STAFF ATTORNEY

(Immediate Openings)

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.

OAD is devoted to recruiting, hiring, and retaining a staff of lawyers from different cultures, races, educational backgrounds, life experiences, socio-economic classes, sexual orientations, ages, genders, and physical abilities, especially lawyers from those groups that 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. 

For these lateral positions, we are seeking both attorneys with appellate experience and lawyers who may not have appellate experience, but have strong motion and brief writing skills transferable to the appellate context. 

During the interview process, we are excited to share more about our “double-teaming” supervision model, team discussion groups and one-on-one mentoring, decarceration advocacy, and racial justice in the appellate process.  Our current staff attorney model is a three-year fellowship with the possibility of a one- or two- year extension.

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, with a strong preference for at least two years of criminal defense experience;
  • Admission to the New York Bar, ability to promptly secure such admission, or registration for February 2022 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;

Salary and Benefits:

Salary for OAD staff attorneys is based on years of experience, and currently starts at $71,436 for law graduates and increases based upon the number of years post-law school. OAD offers an excellent benefits package and work/life balance.

Application Process:

Applications will be considered and interviews will be scheduled 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 Margaret Knight, Recruitment Director, and sent by email to jobs@oadnyc.org. The subject line in the email should state: Staff Attorney - Immediate Openings. If necessary, questions may be directed to the same email address, with Question in the subject line.

STAFF ATTORNEY

(Starting in September 2022)

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 maintaining a staff of lawyers from various cultures, races, educational backgrounds, life experiences, socio-economic classes, sexual orientations, age, gender, and physical abilities. 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 2022 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 $71,436 for law graduates. OAD offers an excellent benefits package.

Application Process:

Applications will be considered and interviews will be scheduled 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 Margaret Knight, Recruitment Director, and sent by email to jobs@oadnyc.org. The subject line in the email should state: Staff Attorney Position 2022. If necessary, questions may be directed to the same email address, with Question in the subject line.

LEGAL INTERN

(Summer 2022)

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 maintaining a staff from various cultures, races, educational backgrounds, life experiences, socio-economic classes, sexual orientations, age, gender, and physical abilities. 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 addressed to Margaret Knight, Recruitment Director, and sent by email to jobs@oadnyc.org, with a subject line in the email stating: Summer Internship 2022. If necessary, questions may be directed to the same email address, with Question in the subject line.

Human Resources & Operations Manager

(Immediate Opening)

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 staff 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 directly to the President and Attorney-in-Charge, the Human Resources and Operations Manager is responsible for strategic human resource planning to include hiring, evaluation processes, and other best practices in the non-profit legal sector.

The Human Resources and Operations Manager also leads administrative operations, manages the office and facilities and assists with operations projects and coordination. The ideal candidate interacts with all staff and volunteers and requires the exercise of independent judgment, management of multiple tasks, and effective time management.

Human Resources Responsibilities (30%):

  • Oversee all people functions of 30+ employees in accordance with internal policies and practices, state and federal laws, regulations and administrative rulings, and the CBA with our unionized staff
  • Oversee processes for review and resolution of employee grievances
  • Coordinate union-management committees to ensure compliance with the collective bargaining agreement.
  • Collaborates with leadership to understand and implement the organization’s goals related to recruitment, hiring, and retention.
  • Onboard new employees and offboard departing employees, including completion of relevant personnel forms, benefits, seating, email, keycard, exit interviews, benefits/COBRA, and other processes
  • Lead work with carriers to design benefit plans, all aspects of the open enrollment process, ensuring filings and other required reporting deadlines are met.
  • Provide guidance, counsel, and training on personnel matters such as work performance challenges, evaluations, policy interpretation, and compliance.
  • Approve time cards and run biweekly payroll in Paychex
  • Collaborate with external benefits consultants, manage OAD’s benefits package, including paid time off, pre-taxed commuter benefits program, HRA, FSA, DCA, 401K, including open enrollment, new employee set up, and departing employee processes.
  • 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.
  • Develop and maintain information systems that meet OAD’s personnel information needs
  • Supervises human resources staff, if any.

Operations Responsibilities (70%):

  • Supervise operations staff, if any, including, but not limited to, IT administrators, interpreters, and other administrative personnel.
  • 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
  • Manage office supplies: ordering, inventory, and budget tracking.
  • Supervise incoming and outgoing mail processes and procedures
  • Review invoices and submit to billing platform
  • Manage relationships with a variety of vendors
  • Responsible for scanning of closed or old files.
  • Lead COVID Health and Safety policy and procedure implementation
  • Coordinate return to work policies – capacity limits, seating, PPE
  • Draft, circulate, and ensure compliance with standard operating procedures and office-wide policies
  • Identify opportunities for process and office management improvements
  • Coordinate insurance compliance for the organization – certificates of insurance, worker’s compensation, liability, etc.
  • Organize interpretation/translation services for all staff
  • Plan and implement office meetings and events

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s Degree required coupled with at least 7 years’ experience in human resources, office management, and/or operations role.
  • Professional certification (SHRM-CP or PHR) highly desired
  • Knowledgeable in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging best practices and implementation strategies
  • Strong problem-solving skills and analytical abilities
  • Highly organized with ability to keep track of multiple competing demands; strong ability to prioritize
  • 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 collaboratively and independently.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office, payroll software, and other database systems.

Salary and Benefits:

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. OAD offers an excellent benefits package and work/life balance.

Application Process:

Applications will be considered and interviews will be scheduled on a rolling basis. Interested applicants should submit a resume 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 Caprice Jenerson, President and Attorney-in-Charge, and sent by email to jobs@oadnyc.org. The subject line in the email should state: Human Resources and Operations Manager. If necessary, questions may be directed to the same email address, with Question in the subject line.

Administrative Assistant/Translator

(Immediate Opening)

The Office of the Appellate Defender (OAD) seeks an Administrative Assistant/Translator 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 maintaining a staff from various cultures, races, educational backgrounds, life experiences, socio-economic classes, sexual orientations, ages, genders, and physical abilities. Every OAD staff member shares a profound commitment to public service and to defending people who have been disadvantaged by legal and economic systems.

The Administrative Assistant is the first point of contact the public has with OAD.  The ideal candidate is professional, uses good judgment, and is dedicated to social justice and OAD’s mission.  This role requires a wide range of skills to support all aspects of the office – the legal practice, administration, and client services.

Responsibilities:

  • Answer telephones and make appropriate transfers of calls
  • Meet and greet client, guests, and vendors
  • Professional interaction with clients, families, court officials, and attorneys
  • General clerical duties, including but not limited to, sorting and scanning mail, photocopying, faxing, etc.
  • Maintain electronic and hard-copy filing system
  • Collaborate on time-sensitive projects with attorneys and/or client services
  • Assist with client intake
  • General administrative assistance with fundraising and office events
  • Spanish/English translation in-person, via telephone, and/or written translation of correspondence and other client related materials
  • Open the office suite no later than 9:00 AM – Monday through Friday

Qualifications:

  • Fluent in Spanish – oral and written
  • Excellent computer skills including but not limited to Microsoft Office Suite, Adobe, and databases generally
  • Attention to detail and organization
  • Demonstrated time and task management skills
  • Ability to learn new skills quickly
  • Able to handle a high volume of telephone calls
  • Strong belief in the value and importance of communication with and respect for clients
  • Ability to work collaboratively and independently

Salary and Benefits:

Salary for this role will begin in the mid-$40k range, commensurate with experience, and with excellent benefits, including ample paid time off, holidays, and affordable health benefits.

Application Process:

Applications will be considered and interviews will be scheduled on a rolling basis.  Interested applicants should submit a resume 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 Caprice Jenerson, President and Attorney in Charge, and sent by email to jobs@oadnyc.org.  The subject line in the email should state: Administrative Assistant/Translator.

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.