JOBS

President and Attorney-in-Charge

The President and Attorney-in-Charge of the Office of the Appellate Defender will serve as the executive director, overseeing the organization's programs and services, administrative operations, resource development, internal and external communications, and Board relations. Partnering with the staff and Board of Directors, the President and Attorney-in-Charge will maintain fidelity to OAD's mission while ensuring sound business principles and leading a vision for greater impact in the coming years.

Position Responsibilities

Ideal candidates for the President and Attorney-in-Charge will bring a passion for appellate representation of indigent defendants and leadership experience in legal organizations or offices. With comfort in fundraising and a love of relationship-building, top candidates will have experience mobilizing resources for an organization or cause and will be skilled as an external spokesperson. They will be naturally drawn to partnership and collaboration, with the ability to envision and leverage opportunities for learning and growth. As OAD continues its interest in building diversity and inclusion internally, top candidates will be committed to leading and growing these values.

This is a full-time role, based in New York City. At the time of this writing OAD's operations are remote due to the impact and policies of COVID-19. Leadership and organizational sustainability in the context of COVID-19 will be a core responsibility of the President and Attorney-in-Charge going forward.

Additional responsibilities of the President and Attorney-in-Charge include, but are not limited to:

External Relations

  • Serve as chief fundraiser and spokesperson for OAD, overseeing relationships with City and State government and corporate funders, as well as private donors, including foundations and high-net-worth individuals
  • Identify and diversify funding streams for OAD to leverage new opportunities and build on existing partnerships with law firms and other funders
  • Represent OAD in the media, increase public awareness, and broaden the organization's reputation with constituents
  • Build and strengthen relationships with partner organizations and other stakeholders to support criminal justice practice and reform
  • Establish and implement a vision for OAD's continued growth, while staying true to OAD's core mission.

General Management, Finance and Administration, and Progam

  • Apply effective management and leadership to ensure that day-to-day operations are professionally and efficiently organized and administered
  • Direct legal work and supervision, in partnership with current senior staff
  • Oversee the organization's financial operations, including the budgetary process, and ensure that sound financial security and controls are in place
  • Lead, coach, recruit, and retain a cohesive, diverse, and committed staff, ensuring strong internal communication and coordination within a supportive environment
  • Use and strengthen technology to facilitate organizational management, fundraising, and legal work

Board Relations

  • Actively engage and energize the Board around OAD programming and fundraising
  • Work with the Board to identify and help recruit new Board members who will add diversity of background and thought to further OAD's mission
  • Regularly brief the Board on the status of the organization
  • Engage the Board in meaningful participation to further the organization's goals

Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate will have the following professional skills, qualities, and competencies: 

  • Demonstrated commitment to and expertise in criminal justice and public defense; litigation and/or appellate experience and admittance in the New York Bar are required
  • Proven fundraising, managerial, and financial management experience in the private, not-for-profit, or public sectors
  • Experience connecting organizations to resources and external opportunities; a successful track record of raising funds from a variety of sources
  • Collaborative and transparent style of management
  • Exceptional communication skills; ability to rapidly build and maintain meaningful relationships with staff, partner organizations, donors, Board members, clients, and press
  • Ambitious, creative and visionary approach in all areas, from organizational goal-setting and planning to individual case management to organization infrastructure
  • A track record of commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, including race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, family status, and disability

Contact:

Koya Leadership partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Melissa Madzel and Molly Brennan are leading this search. To make recommendations or to express your interest in this role, please click here

All nominations, inquiries, and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

Staff Attorney

The Office of the Appellate Defender (OAD) seeks a Staff Attorney, for a three-year position starting in September 2021, 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.


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.

Responsibilities

  • Representing poor people 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 2021 New York Bar Examination;
  • Outstanding legal research, writing, and oral advocacy skills;
  • Demonstrated commitment to representing poor people 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 $70,000 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 staffattorney2021@oadnyc.org.  The subject line in the email should state: Staff Attorney Position 2021. If necessary, questions may be directed to the same email address, with Question in the subject line.

Legal Intern (Summer 2021)

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.

Our 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 an internship program made up of students with diverse backgrounds and experiences. Our interns and our staff share a profound commitment to public service and to defending the disadvantaged.

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 specifically 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: Summer Internship 2021.  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.