The Bronx Defenders

New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP) Supervising Attorney

Posted Date 2 months ago(1/26/2023 4:48 PM)
Job ID


The Bronx Defenders (BxD) – an innovative, progressive, holistic indigent defense office in the South Bronx – seeks an experienced attorney with a commitment to immigrants’ rights to work as a supervisor for the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP) detained removal defense program.  


The Bronx Defenders is a public defender non-profit that is radically transforming how low-income people in the Bronx are represented in the legal 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 and diverse staff. Our staff of over 500 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, who collaborate to provide holistic advocacy to address the causes and consequences of legal system involvement. Through this integrated team-based structure, we have developed a groundbreaking, nationally-recognized model of representation called holistic defense that achieves better outcomes for the people we defend. 


Each year, we defend more than 20,000 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 change at the local, state, and national levels. We take what we learn from the people we represent and communities that we work with and launch innovative initiatives designed to bring about real and lasting change. 


Immigration Practice 


Twenty years ago, The Bronx Defenders developed the model of integrated criminal defense and immigration representation. Our Immigration attorneys and advocates work closely with people ensnared in the immigration legal system throughout the pendency of their cases in both Criminal and Family Court to avoid and mitigate negative immigration consequences that may arise from those cases. Our Immigration staff represent people in deportation proceedings in both detained and non-detained settings, provide affirmative immigration services, and pursue community-based litigation and advocacy aimed at transforming unforgiving anti-immigrant federal laws and policy. The Immigration Practice consists of approximately 60 staff members including attorneys, social workers, legal advocates, and administrators.  


Since 2013, our immigration attorneys have also worked as assigned counsel at the Varick Street Immigration Court under the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP), the first-ever universal representation project in immigration court. 


Reporting directly to the Deputy Director of the Immigration Practice, the NYIFUP Supervising Attorney will be responsible for the following 


Client Representation  

  • Represent a reduced caseload of non-citizens facing deportation in removal proceedings and ancillary immigration matters  


Liaison in Court  


  • Represent the interest of the office and be available as a point of contact for the judiciary and adversaries 
  • Advocate in judiciary and adversary spaces on behalf of attorneys and the people we represent 


Advocate Supervision 


  • Provide equitable, culturally conscious supervision and support marginalized supervisees in navigating experiences of oppression in their work 
  • Assist with preparation for hearings and provide support in litigation 
  • Observe in-court advocacy of supervisees and provide timely and constructive support and feedback  
  • Provide in-court supervision for all appearances by unadmitted law graduates 
  • Approve time sheets and time off requests 
  • Conference cases with supervisees in the NYIFUP practice and hold weekly, individual check-in meetings 
  • Review and provide substantive feedback on written work 
  • Mentor and support advocates representing NYIFUP clients in applications for relief ancillary to their removal proceedings, such as affirmative benefit applications before United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Family Court proceedings in furtherance of Special Immigrant Juvenile Status 
  • Monitor supervisees workload and docket to ensure it is equitable and manageable  
  • Monitor entries into our case management system to ensure that data and outcomes are accurately recorded 
  • Monitor referrals to advocates across the team and in other practices to ensure holistic representation 
  • Supervise and encourage collaboration with other advocates and colleagues through case conferencing, coverage, and mooting litigation 
  • Encourage cross-practice collaboration and holistic, client-centered defense  
  • Encourage and support the professional development of supervisees 
  • Equitably support supervisees in meeting the expectations of their job responsibilities and notify the Deputy Director when additional support is necessary  


Practice Leadership 


  • Attend Immigration Practice Leadership Team Meetings to discuss and develop strategies to address ongoing issues impacting the practice  
  • Assist in the development of best practices, new trainings, projects and initiatives in the Immigration practice 
  • Lead and assist with external and internal trainings and presentations regarding immigration law and policy, and immigrant’s rights  
  • Assist in the evaluation of attorneys and advocates every 12 months 
  • Demonstrate a commitment to anti-oppression in the practice and office, and support directly impacted supervisees in challenging oppressive patterns 


We are specifically seeking applications from candidates with Spanish language skills and/or those from racially/ethnically marginalized communities disproportionately impacted by systemic injustice whose lived experiences contribute to more culturally conscious client representation. 


To be eligible, candidates must have: 

  • License to practice law in New York or eligibility to become licensed to practice in New York 
  • At least three (3) years of immigration law experience, preferably in a criminal-immigration practice, or relevant/equivalent experience 


Candidates must demonstrate: 


  • Commitment to directly defending people with limited financial resources placed in removal proceedings or facing immigration consequences based on contact with the family regulation and/or criminal legal system 
  • Passion for holistic, client-centered representation  
  • Experience working in and with immigrant and/or low-income communities targeted by carceral systems  
  • Ability to effectively and respectfully communicate, collaborate and connect with people with various backgrounds, identities and experiences 
  • Ability to work well independently as well as collaboratively with an interdisciplinary team of lawyers and non-lawyers  
  • Commitment to fierce advocacy, and willingness to strategically challenge authority in defense of the people we represent 
  • Effective research, writing and courtroom advocacy skills  
  • Strong legal analytical skills and capacity to employ non-legal resources in cases  
  • Supervisory and mentoring skills, including  
  • Interest in and commitment to developing and mentoring supervisees  
  • Ability to provide intentional and constructive feedback  
  • Flexibility in balancing needs of supervisees against their own caseload   
  • Ability to multitask, maintain order and meet deadlines in a fast-paced, high-stakes environment 
  • Meticulous attention to detail  
  • Ability to think critically and creatively in fast-paced settings, finding innovative solutions to unique obstacles  
  • Ability to receive constructive feedback, demonstrate introspection and shift behavior accordingly  
  • Ability to exercise excellent judgment, discretion, and confidentiality with sensitive matters  
  • Commitment to raising one’s cultural consciousness and challenging oppressive practices on an interpersonal and institutional level  
  • A valid driver’s license--or the ability to obtain one--is required as the role sometimes requires travel to visit people we represent in detention facilities outside of New York City. Vehicles are provided. 


This is a hybrid position that will require in-person work and contact with staff and community members. 


Salary is commensurate with experience. For candidates with 3-10 years of directly relevant experience, the salary range for this position would be approximately $85,466-$101,290. Full-time employees are also eligible for a comprehensive benefits package including but not limited to medical, dental and vision coverage; a 403(b) plan with employer contribution; a generous vacation, sick leave, and parental leave policy. More specific information about salary and benefits will be provided when and if an offer is extended. 


Approximately 70% of The Bronx Defenders' staff, including attorneys and non-attorneys, are represented by UAW Local 2325 - Association of Legal Aid Attorneys (AFL-CIO). This position is not within the bargaining unit. 


This position is exempt. By law, non-exempt employees are compensated hourly based on their annual rate and therefore are entitled to over-time, whereas exempt employees are not.   


To apply, please click APPLY TO THIS JOB ONLINE and upload your resume and a cover letter in one document when prompted. If you would prefer to send in a video or audio statement in lieu of a cover letter, you may upload your resume as a document and separately upload a video or audio statement instead of a cover letter. Your cover letter or video/audio statement should share why you want to do this work at our office, some key lived and/or professional experiences that have prepared you for this position, and any additional information you would like for us to consider. Your cover letter may be up to one page if written or up to 3 minutes if an audio/video statement. This information allows us to understand your distinct perspective, experience and potential beyond the work history summarized on your resume. Please remember that you may submit a written cover letter or an audio/video statement, but not both, and applications without either will not be considered. The start date for this position is immediate or as soon as possible. 


Applications will be considered on a rolling basis and decisions will be made as soon as an appropriate candidate is identified. Please contact Karla Marie Ostolaza, Managing Director of Immigration Practice, via email at with any questions regarding the position. 



The Bronx Defenders is an equal opportunity employer and is cultivating an anti-oppressive workplace that embraces staff with a diversity of backgrounds, identities and experiences. We acknowledge the ways in which systemic oppression and injustice can undermine access to professional opportunities and are committed to conducting hiring and promotion processes that are equitable and accessible to those commonly excluded from the workforce. We do not discriminate against and in fact specifically encourage applicants from marginalized communities to apply, including those who identify as Black, Indigenous, people of color, queer, transgender, gender non-conforming, disabled, neurodivergent and those directly impacted by criminal, civil, family and immigration legal systems. We value lived as well as professional experience and particularly welcome applications from the Bronx community that we work with. 


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