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, and the City’s second oldest institutional indigent defense office. Since its founding in 1988, OAD has maintained a national reputation for superb appellate advocacy and innovation, as well as a holistic approach to representation. OAD has been repeatedly recognized by the New York State Bar Association, and the appellate courts, for excellent representation. 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 seeks a Client Services Coordinator to assist with OAD’s client intake process, including collecting, gathering and organizing documents; 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.
- Supporting attorneys in preparation for litigation:
- Securing, copying and scanning court files, files from trial attorneys, and files from immigration counsel;
- Creating and maintaining database entries for new cases;
- Sending affidavits and drafting motions;
- Corresponding with court staff;
- Assisting with cataloguing and organizing office databases including discovery, grants, etc.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
Competitive salary with excellent benefits.
Please send substantive cover letter and resume by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, with a subject line in the email stating: Client Services Coordinator. Application materials should be addressed to David Bernstein, Managing Attorney. If necessary, questions may be directed to the same email address, with "Question" in the subject line.
The Office of the Appellate Defender (OAD) is New York City’s oldest provider of appellate representation to poor people convicted of felonies, and the City’s second oldest institutional indigent defense office. Since its founding in 1988, OAD has maintained a national reputation for superb appellate advocacy and innovation, as well as a holistic approach to representation. OAD has been repeatedly recognized by the New York State Bar Association, and the appellate courts, for excellent representation.
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. In furtherance of this goal, we employ a unique “double-teaming” method that pairs a Supervising Attorney with a Staff Attorney to closely collaborate in the client’s representation in every case. 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 of lawyers with diverse backgrounds and experiences. Every OAD staff member shares a profound commitment to public service and to defending the disadvantaged.
- Providing holistic, post-conviction representation to indigent persons convicted of felonies in Manhattan and the Bronx, including but not limited to:
- Direct appeals in the Appellate Division and the New York Court of Appeals, including assisting with intake evaluation of cases;
- 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;
- Post-conviction motions and hearings challenging the lawfulness of convictions and sentences pursuant to Article 440 of the New York Criminal Procedure Law, as well as engaging in reinvestigation efforts as necessary;
- Hearings to determine classification level pursuant to the Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA);
- Federal habeas corpus challenges to state court convictions; and
- Parole proceedings and reentry preparation.
- 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:
- Development of case theory: familiarity with case records, issue conferencing, and strategy development;
- Drafting of pleadings: editing and framing of briefs, leave applications, post-conviction motions;
- Oral argument: mooting and issue selection; and
- The attorney-client relationship: client communication, legal visits, and issues of race, gender, mental health, and the trauma of incarceration.
- 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.
- Participate in office leadership and decision-making, including but not limited to:
- Give 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;
- Recruitment and selection of staff;
- Supervision and management of caseloads for staff attorneys; and
- Supporting the development of an inclusive office culture that centers racial equity.
- 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.
- 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 immigration and collateral consequences is a plus, as is experience in trial court, particularly in post-conviction proceedings.
- 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.
Please submit your resume, cover letter, and writing sample by email to: email@example.com, with a subject line in the email stating: Supervising Attorney Position. Application materials should be addressed to Margaret Knight, Recruitment Director. If necessary, questions may be directed to the same email address, with "Question" in the subject line.