The Bronx Defenders

The Bronx Defenders 2025 Fall Training Team

Posted Date 3 months ago(4/5/2024 11:10 AM)
Job ID
2024-1780
Category
Legal

Overview

The Bronx Defenders (BxD) – an innovative, progressive, holistic indigent defense office in the South Bronx – seeks passionate law graduates and entry-level attorneys with a commitment to public defense to join our Family Defense, Criminal Defense, Immigration and Civil Action Practices beginning Fall 2025.

 

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 individuals with a strong commitment to social justice to join our dynamic and diverse staff. Our staff of over 400 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 represent.

 

Each year, we defend nearly 20,000 low-income Bronx residents in criminal, civil, family, 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 partner with the people we represent and communities we work to launch innovative initiatives designed to bring about real and lasting change.

 

Training Team

 

Training Team attorneys participate in several weeks of intensive, interdisciplinary training to learn about all aspects of holistic representation, including litigation skills and client and community engagement through an anti-oppressive lens that analyzes how the legal system impacts marginalized communities and the community we work with. Following this training period, staff participate in trainings to sharpen their advocacy skills, raise their cultural consciousness, and enhance their collaboration with colleagues and the people we represent. For the 2025 Training Team, BxD will be hiring law graduates and attorneys to join the Criminal Defense, Family Defense, Immigration and Civil Action Practices. More information regarding the specific practice areas can be found below.

Responsibilities

  • Engage in intensive interviewing, counseling, research, writing, oral advocacy, and negotiations as part of legal representation
  • Provide comprehensive, team-based representation collaborating with an interdisciplinary team of attorneys and advocates to avoid and mitigate further legal system involvement, support the people we represent during their cases, and consequences that may arise out of contact with the court system
  • Effectively litigate, confidently negotiate and skillfully advocate for the people we represent in hearings and trials both orally and in writing
  • Effectively communicate and negotiate with judges, adversaries including law enforcement and child protective services, as well other attorneys on behalf of the people we represent
  • Co-counsel cases in Criminal, Family, Immigration and Civil courts
  • Help identify systemic problems facing the people we represent and creative solutions to mitigate or eliminate these issues by advocating for systemic change
  • Enter and maintain accurate client data, files, and notes regarding advocacy and representation
  • Participate in holistic advocacy within the practice and in the office
  • Participate in internal working groups to develop best practices
  • Participate in trainings within the office as well as community events, conferences and trainings 

 Civil Action Practice (CAP)

 

The Civil Action Practice (CAP), a team of over 40 staff members, provides comprehensive legal services to the people we represent and their families by fully integrating civil representation with our criminal, immigration, and family defense practices. Our goal is to minimize the severe and often unforeseen fallout from legal system involvement and facilitate the seamless reintegration of the people we represent into their communities. 

 

Our Civil Action Practice attorneys and legal advocates represent clients in every forum in New York City – administrative, state, and federal – and provide comprehensive representation to assist people in overcoming civil legal barriers to housing, eviction, employment, and public benefits, as well as addressing instances of police misconduct, criminal record errors, and civil forfeiture.  

 

Responsibilities (CAP) 

  • Civil Holistic Defense Team: Zealously defend against the civil consequences of and advocate for the general civil legal needs of individuals facing criminal charges, parents facing child protective proceedings and for non-citizens experiencing immigration consequences 
  • RTC Housing Team: Zealously defend individuals under threat of eviction and navigating housing court and related proceedings through Housing Court intake, community intake, and the community housing helpline 

Criminal Defense Practice

 

The Criminal Defense Practice (CDP) consists of over 150 staff members who provide comprehensive defense representation to people in the Bronx facing police and criminal legal system involvement. Through a client-centered approach, our CDP teams strive to gain a deeper understanding of the circumstances and priorities of the people we represent. Armed with that understanding, we fight for the people we represent by employing effective case strategy and raising individualized, persuasive arguments in mitigation, negotiations, and litigation.

 

Responsibilities (CDP) 

  • Zealously advocate for individuals facing criminal charges in Bronx, as well as related administrative and civil proceedings such as Department of Motor Vehicle hearings 

Family Defense Practice

 

The Family Defense Practice (FDP) provides legal representation and social work support to parents charged with child abuse and neglect who are at risk of losing custody of their children. Our Family Defense Practice, which consists of more than 70 staff members, is at the forefront of a movement to provide holistic representation to parents in the Bronx while creating long-term solutions for the reunification and stability of families. Family Defense Practice Attorneys primarily litigate abuse and neglect cases, but occasionally appear in concurrent matters including custody, visitation, and termination of parental rights.

 

Responsibilities (FDP) 

  • Zealously advocate for parents facing child protective proceedings in Bronx Family Court and concurrent matters including custody, visitation, paternity, family offense, and termination of parental rights cases 

Immigration Practice

 

Twenty years ago, The Bronx Defenders developed the model of integrated criminal defense and immigration representation. Our immigration teams work to avoid and mitigate negative immigration consequences that may arise from criminal and family court 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 racist anti-immigrant local, state, and federal laws and policy. The Immigration Practice consists of approximately 60 staff members.

 

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.

 

We specifically seek applications from candidates with Spanish language skills and/or those from racially and ethnically marginalized communities disproportionately impacted by the immigration system whose lived experiences contribute to culturally conscious client representation

 

Responsibilities (IMM) 

  • Zealously advocate for detained and non-detained non-citizens including advising about the immigration consequences of contacts with other legal systems, advocacy mitigating negative consequences, and full representation in affirmative and defensive immigration matters at the trial and appellate level

Qualifications

To be eligible, candidates must be: 

  • Third-year (3L) students or recent graduates of an American Bar Association-accredited law school, or
  • An attorney with less than three years of relevant legal practice 

Applicants must demonstrate: 

  • Commitment to directly defending people ensnared in criminal, family, immigration, and civil legal systems
  • Commitment to challenging systemic injustice and carceral systems
  • Experience working in and with racially and ethnically marginalized communities of color targeted by systemic injustice
  • Ability to effectively and respectfully communicate, collaborate and connect with people from various backgrounds and experiences
  • Ability to work 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 to support the people we represent
  • 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 setting, finding innovative solutions to unique obstacles
  • Ability to receive constructive feedback, demonstrate introspection, and shift behavior accordingly
  • Ability to exercise good judgment, discretion, and confidentiality around sensitive issues
  • Commitment to raising one’s cultural consciousness and challenging oppressive practices on an interpersonal and institutional level 

Additional Immigration Practice Qualification: 

  • A valid driver’s license--or the ability to obtain one--is required as the role sometimes requires travel to detention facilities outside of NYC where clients are held. Vehicles provided. 

If hired, applicants must: 

  • Sit for the New York State Bar Examination, or
  • Submit the appropriate materials necessary for Pro Hac Vice admission or waiver 

This is an in-person position.

 

Salary is commensurate with experience. This is an entry level Law Graduate/Attorney Position with a salary of $74,000. 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 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. If selected for the position, your resume will be used to determine your salary based on your number of years of directly relevant professional experience; we therefore encourage you to make sure it’s up to date. Please remember that you may submit a written cover letter or an audio/video statement, but not both, and applications without a cover letter—in either written or video form—will not be considered. The start date for this position is Fall 2025.

 

The application deadline is October 15th, 2024, but applications will be considered on a rolling basis. Interviews will be held from May to October and offers will be made throughout the course of several months until all positions are filled. Please contact Thanisha Pariage, Recruiting and Hiring Director, via email at thanishap@bronxdefenders.org 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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