The Bronx Defenders

  • Undergraduate Summer Internship, 2019

    Posted Date 1 week ago(12/3/2018 10:15 AM)
    Job ID
  • Overview

    The Bronx Defenders – an innovative, progressive, holistic indigent defense office in the South Bronx – seeks energetic undergraduate students committed to public service and social justice to join our Summer Internship Program.


    The Bronx Defenders (BxD) is a public defender non-profit that is radically transforming how low-income people in the Bronx are represented in the justice system, and, in doing so, is transforming the system itself. BxD seeks thoughtful, creative, energetic individuals with a strong commitment to social justice to join our dynamic staff.


    Our diverse staff of over 300 includes interdisciplinary teams made up of criminal, civil, immigration, and family defense attorneys, as well as social workers, benefits specialists, legal advocates, parent advocates, investigators, and team administrators, all of whom collaborate to provide holistic legal and social service advocacy. Through this integrated team-based structure, we have pioneered a groundbreaking, nationally recognized model of representation called holistic defense that achieves better outcomes for our clients.


    Each year, we defend 27,000 low-income Bronx residents in criminal, civil, child welfare, and immigration cases, and reach thousands more through our community intake, youth mentoring, and outreach programs. Through impact litigation, policy advocacy, and community organizing, we push for systemic reform at the local, state, and national level. We take what we learn from the clients and communities that we serve, and launch innovative initiatives designed to bring about real and lasting change.


    Over a period of 10 weeks, The Bronx Defenders Summer Internship Program provides a unique opportunity for interns to have the opportunity to immerse in various practice areas and play an integral role in holistic defense. Summer interns participate in comprehensive orientation, gain invaluable experience with clients and community members, and develop critical professional skills.


    Please see available undergraduate internship opportunities below:


    PARENT ADVOCATE INTERNSHIP: Parent Advocates are a vital part of an interdisciplinary legal team advocating for parents whose parental rights are in peril and whose children are at risk of being removed into foster care.  As part of this interdisciplinary team, Parent Advocates work collaboratively with social workers, legal advocates, and lawyers with the goal of reunifying parents and their children. Parent Advocates work with social service programs and the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) to garner the necessary resources to support the stability of families in the Bronx. The majority of Parent Advocates’ work does not take place in the office but is carried out in the community and Family Court, as well as at various social service agencies throughout New York City.

    Practice Specific Qualifications

    • Must have interest in and be committed to defending low-income parents charged with abuse and neglect in the Bronx community


    INVESTIGATIVE INTERNSHIP: Investigators are a vital part of an interdisciplinary legal team representing Bronx residents charged with misdemeanor and felony offenses in Bronx County Criminal Court. The majority of Investigators’ work does not take place in the office but is carried out in the field: at private homes, on the street, in local businesses, and in the Bronx community. Investigators may also be asked to interview individuals who are incarcerated at both New York City and New York State correctional facilities.  Ideal applicants for the Investigator internship will be comfortable working in the Bronx community and possess the personality to engage with individuals from diverse backgrounds, gather evidence and interview reluctant witnesses. The ability to speak Spanish is incredibly helpful in that regard. The schedule of Investigators often varies according to the availability of the witnesses, so flexibility is a plus.

    Practice Specific Qualifications

    • Must be comfortable working in the Bronx community and able to engage with individuals from diverse backgrounds
    • Must be able to transcribe important conversations
    • Must be high energy, creative and solution oriented
    • Schedule flexibility is a plus


    COMMUNITY ORGANIZING INTERNSHIP: Our Community Organizing Project is a vital part of our work here at The Bronx Defenders, fighting for systemic reform, informed by the expressed needs of the Bronx community. Interns will support the Organizing Project in engaging Bronx residents in community organizing efforts around immigration, criminal justice reform, family reunification, education, housing, police accountability and more. Responsibilities will include extensive community outreach, such as phone banking, flyering, door knocking, street outreach, and digital outreach, assisting with training and general membership meetings, and engaging with stakeholders such as educators, elected officials, and organizational leaders in the social justice field. Additionally, interns will assist with programming for our holistic mentoring program for Bronx youth. Interns will also have opportunities to learn about our Criminal Defense, Family Defense, Immigration and Civil Action Practices.

    Practice Specific Qualifications

    • Must have knowledge and understanding of the systemic issues facing our client population and the Bronx community at large
    • Must have strong communication skills and meticulous attention to detail
    • Familiarity with the Bronx community and/or experience collaborating with individuals from low-income communities of color
    • Must be high energy and creative


    ROBERT P. PATTERSON JR. YOUTH MENTORING PROGRAM INTERNSHIP: The Robert P. Patterson Jr. Youth Mentoring Program (RPP) is an innovative holistic mentoring program in which young people ages 14-18 are paired with a legal mentor, community mentor, social work support, and enriching restorative programming. RPP interns will assist Co-Directors in developing curriculum, planning and executing events and activities, facilitating restorative circles, engaging in community outreach, and more.

    Practice Specific Qualifications

    • Must have interest in and experience with mentoring, either as a mentor or mentee
    • Must demonstrate excellent patience, communication, and de-escalation skills
    • Familiarity with the Bronx community and/or experience collaborating with youth from low-income communities of color
    • Must be high energy and creative


    CIVIL LEGAL ADVOCATE INTERNSHIP: Civil Legal Advocates are a vital part of our interdisciplinary teams, operating in a variety of venues and providing a myriad of services to our clients. Civil Legal Advocate interns will support advocates in holding the New York City Police Department accountable for misconduct, as well as defending our clients’ property rights and access to housing and public benefits. Intern responsibilities will include various projects such as developing materials for our Know Your Rights guides, participating in our Notice of Claim Clinic to challenge police misconduct, working on our Criminal Record Project by correcting rap sheet errors and assisting clients with applications for Certificates of Relief from Disabilities. Interns will also help to gather documentation to prepare for clients’ hearings, provide support to our community intake program, and work with our Legal Advocates to recover clients’ property confiscated in criminal proceedings.

    Practice Specific Qualifications

    • Must have interest in and be committed to defending indigent individuals in civil proceedings in the Bronx community


    General Qualifications


    • Must be currently enrolled in and attending a college or university; high school seniors/rising first-years are not yet eligible to apply
    • Interest in and commitment to social justice issues
    • Interest and experience in supporting individuals navigating the criminal, family, immigration and civil legal court systems
    • Genuine interest in serving and collaborating with racially and socio-economically marginalized communities
    • Strong communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to relate effectively to a diverse group of clients, staff, and partner organizations
    • Ability to work well independently and collaboratively
    • Excellent time management and organization skills
    • Ability to communicate effectively in Spanish is a plus!

    The summer internship will begin on Tuesday, May 28th, 2019 and end on Friday, August 2nd, 2019.

    To apply, please click APPLY FOR THIS JOB ONLINE and upload a cover letter and resume in one document when prompted. Applications without a cover letter will not be considered. Please specify in your cover letter for which internship(s) you would like to be considered.

    Applications will be accepted through Friday, January 18th, 2018. You will be contacted by Friday, January 25th if you are to be invited to interview. Only candidates who are selected to interview will be contacted. For local candidates, interviews will take place on The Bronx Defenders Justice Campus located at 360 E. 161st St., Bronx, NY. Otherwise, interviews will be conducted via telephone or Skype. If you have any further questions, please contact Lecelott Rosario at No phone calls, please.


    The Bronx Defenders is proud to be an equal opportunity employer, committed to inclusive hiring, and dedicated to diversity in our work and staff.  We strongly encourage candidates of all identities, orientations, experiences, and communities to apply.



    Sorry the Share function is not working properly at this moment. Please refresh the page and try again later.
    Share on your newsfeed