The Bronx Defenders (BxD) an innovative, progressive, holistic indigent defense office in the South Bronx seeks an energetic advocate with a commitment to social justice to fill a staff attorney opening in its Civil Action Practice.
BxD 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 350 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 pioneered a groundbreaking, nationally-recognized model of representation called holistic defense that achieves better outcomes for our clients.
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 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.
Our Civil Action Practice provides comprehensive legal services to our clients and their families by fully integrating civil representation with our criminal and family defense practices. Our goal is to minimize the severe and often unforeseen fallout from criminal and family court proceedings and facilitate the seamless reintegration of our clients into the community. The current Civil Action Practice attorneys and legal advocates represent clients in every forum in New York City administrative, state, and federal to address these problems. Our civil staff attorneys and advocates provide comprehensive representation to assist our clients 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.
The Civil Action Practice seeks a staff attorney to provide comprehensive advocacy and representation to help our clients resolve a broad range of civil legal problems, which includes:
- Defending individuals navigating proceedings related to barriers to obtaining housing, eviction from housing, loss of employment licenses, correcting criminal record errors, loss of public and disability benefits, forfeiture of property and government misconduct
- Collaborating with immigration, criminal and family defense attorneys, advocates and social workers to assess and address client needs
- Representing individuals in negotiations, administrative and judicial proceedings and trials, with a particular concentration in housing, employment, public benefits and forfeiture proceedings
- Participating in community training and public education
- Applicants should be
- law graduates who will sit for the New York State Bar Exam in July, or
- admitted to practice in New York, with litigation experience
- Experience working in and with racially and socioeconomically marginalized communities
- Commitment to social justice, racial justice, and housing justice issues
- Ability to think critically and quickly on their feet
- Excellent organizational and time management skills
- Ability to work well independently and collaboratively with an interdisciplinary team of lawyers and non-lawyers in criminal, immigration, and family practices
- Excellent oral and written advocacy skills
- Great interpersonal communication skills
- Ability to effectively and respectfully communicate, collaborate and connect with people from various backgrounds, identities and experiences
- Excellent organization and time management skills
- Ability to think critically and creatively under pressure
- Ability to receive critical feedback constructively, reflect, and shift behavior accordingly
- Meticulous attention to detail
- Ability to exercise excellent judgment, discretion, and confidentiality around sensitive issues
Preferred but not required
- Ability to speak Spanish proficiently
Salary is commensurate with experience. For candidates with 1-10 years of directly relevant experience, the salary range for this position would be approximately $61,000 to $92,500. 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; and a professional development fund. More specific information about salary and benefits will be provided when and if an offer is extended.
To apply, please click APPLY FOR THIS JOB ONLINE and upload both a cover letter and resume as a single document when prompted. Applications missing any components or not submitted in the requested manner will not be considered.
Applications will be considered on a rolling basis and decisions will be made as soon as an appropriate candidate is identified. Please contact Runa Rajagopal, Managing Director, Civil Action Practice, via email at runarbronxdefenders.org with any questions regarding the position.
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.