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This is a current listing of jobs in public defense as well as internships. Employers interested in placing a job advertisement on the NYSDA web site, please contact Susan Bryant by email (, phone (518) 465-3524 or fax (518) 465-3249. NYSDA reserves the exclusive right to decide which job advertisements will be posted.

Dutchess County, NY: Arraignment Attorney, Dutchess County Public Defender's Office
Dutchess County Public Defender is hiring a nighttime and weekend Arraignment Attorney. The attorney will handle after-hour arraignments throughout Dutchess County. This is an entry level position. This is a full-time position with an excellent fringe benefit package. Salary: $59,805.

Dutchess County is in the heart of the scenic Hudson Valley. It has two cities, suburban communities and many picturesque rural towns. New York City, less than 100 miles away, is easily accessible by train. The Public Defender's office has a staff of approximately 50, a little more than 1/2 are attorneys. The office is committed to providing holistic and client centered representation in criminal, family, parole and appellate matters. The office invests heavily in professional development of its staff and provides multiple avenues for advancement.

To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to Thomas N.N. Angell, Esq., Dutchess County Public Defender, Public Defender Office, 22 Market Street, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601. Application deadline: August 25, 2017.

New York, NY: Supervising Attorney, Office of the Appellate Defender
The Office of the Appellate Defender (OAD) currently seeks a Supervising Attorney to join its talented staff. OAD is New York City’s oldest provider of appellate representation to poor people convicted of felonies, and the City’s second oldest institutional indigent defense office. Since its founding in 1988, OAD has maintained a national reputation for superb appellate advocacy and innovation, as well as a holistic, client-centered, approach to representation. OAD has been repeatedly recognized by the New York State Bar Association, and the appellate courts, for excellent representation.


  • J.D. degree, with at least 5 years of appellate litigation experience.
  • Admission to the New York Bar, or ability to secure immediate admission to the New York Bar pursuant to 22 NYCRR § 520.10.
  • 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 both collaboratively and independently.
  • Supervisory and case management experience strongly preferred, with an interest in and commitment to the professional development, training and support of attorneys, legal interns, and administrative staff.
  • Experience in trial court, particularly in post-conviction proceedings, is a plus.
To apply, please submit your resume, cover letter, and writing sample to, with a subject line in the email stating: Supervising Attorney Position. For more information, click here.

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.

Mercedes, TX: Executive Director, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid
Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) is one of the nation’s largest and most effective providers of legal services to low-income communities. After enjoying stable leadership for more than forty years, TRLA now seeks a new Executive Director. TRLA provides free, comprehensive civil legal services to the low-income residents of 68 counties in Southwest Texas, from Austin to the Rio Grande River, and to migrant and seasonal farm workers throughout Texas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas. In addition, TRLA is the provider of civil legal assistance to survivors of sexual assault and harassment in 114 counties in Northwest Texas. TRLA also operates a regional public defender program in several rural counties in South Texas, providing representation, including appeals, to persons accused of felonies, misdemeanors, and juvenile cases. TRLA represents 20,000 clients annually, including individuals, families, and organizations.

To qualify, applicants must: (a) be admitted or meet all requirements to be admitted to the Texas Bar; (b) have substantial experience in poverty law, with strong emphasis on serving as lead counsel in relevant litigation; (c) have demonstrated capacity to lead and inspire staff who believe in the mission of justice for the poor. In sum, the Executive Director must represent TRLA publicly, maintaining TRLA’s stature in both the legal and client communities as a diligent defender of the rights of the poor as they seek equal access to justice. For more information, click here. Submission deadline: October 15, 2017.

Austin, TX: Executive Director, Texas Indigent Defense Commission
The Texas Indigent Defense Commission (Commission) is seeking an Executive Director. The Executive Director is appointed by the 13 members of the board of the Commission and performs highly advanced (senior-level) managerial work providing direction and guidance in strategic operations and planning for the Commission, which is a permanent standing committee of the Texas Judicial Council and is administratively attached to the Office of Court Administration. Work involves administering a statewide system of standards and grants to counties for criminal defendants unable to hire attorneys; establishing a strategic plan and goals and objectives; developing policies; reviewing guidelines, procedures, rules, and regulations; establishing priorities, standards, and measurement tools for determining progress in meeting goals; coordinating and evaluating program activities; and reviewing and approving budgets. Plans, assigns, and supervises the work of 11 full-time staff members. Works under minimal supervision, with extensive latitude for the use of initiative and independent judgment. For more information about the position and how to apply, click here. Closing date: September 1, 2017.

St. Lawrence County, NY: Assistant Conflict Defender, St. Lawrence County Conflict Defender's Office
The St. Lawrence County Conflict Defender's Office is in search of an Assistant Conflict Defender. The Assistant Conflict Defender is responsible for providing legal representation to assigned indigent clients in criminal court and family court matters throughout every stage of the proceedings (except most appeals which are handled by assigned appellate counsel). In addition to providing legal representation and appearing in various courts throughout the county, the Assistant Conflict Defender will assist the Conflict Defender in the investigation, preparation, research, writing, and related work as required.

Minimum Qualifications: Must be duly admitted to the New York State Bar and licensed to practice as an attorney in the State of New York. Trial experience, criminal defense and/or family law experience preferred, but not required. Must have a valid drivers license and reside in St. Lawrence County at the start of employment.

Salary Range $62,764 (base) - $81,293. Would like to fill position immediately. Applications will be accepted until the position has been filled. Send your application, resume, cover letter and a list of references to: Amy L. Dona, Esq., Conflict Defender, St. Lawrence County Conflict Defender’s Office, Public Safety Building, 2nd Floor, 48 Court Street, Canton, New York 13617. You may fax your information to our office at (315) 379-2300 or send via email to the attention of Margaret Green at Please indicate Assistant Conflict Defender Application in the subject line of your email. Applications can be obtained by contacting the Human Resources Office at (315) 379-2210 or from the county’s website at: St. Lawrence County is an equal opportunity employer and complies with the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Baton Rouge, LA: Two Openings, Louisiana Public Defender Board

Washington, DC: VP for Defender Legal Services & Chief of Integrated Programs, NLADA
The National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA), founded in 1911, is America’s oldest and largest nonprofit association devoted to excellence in the delivery of legal services to those who cannot afford counsel. We provide advocacy, guidance, information, training, and technical assistance for members of the equal justice community, especially those working in public defense and civil legal aid. The Vice President for Defender Legal Services, Chief of Integrated Programs (DLS VP), reports to the President and CEO of NLADA. The DLS VP is part of the Executive Team, and is critical to the development and implementation of the Association’s mission and vision as operationalized through its strategic plan. In this dual domain role, as Vice President, the DLS VP plays a leadership role in the overall vision, program and fund development for Defender Legal Services (DLS). As Chief of Integrated Programs, the DLS VP leads cross-divisional programmatic initiatives including implementation of training and professional development plan to support programmatic objectives. The DLS VP is responsible for supervision and coordination of defender and training division staff, and for collaboration within the Association and in the national/local criminal justice and defender communities. For more information, click here Expiration date: October 31, 2017.

Cattaraugus County, NY: Assistant Public Defender, Cattaraugus County Public Defender's Office
The Public Defender of Cattaraugus County is seeking a full-time Assistant Public Defender for an immediate opening. Candidates must be admitted and be in good standing to practice law in NYS with commitment to undertake cases before Cattaraugus County Family Court and various local criminal courts. The office engages in “Client Centered” representation. The position also requires a commitment to providing Counsel at First Appearance and includes periodic “On-Call” work to ensure staffing for arraignments. A valid driver’s license and vehicle is a necessity. Strong research and writing skills and a commitment to the representation of individuals who are financially unable to retain counsel required. The right candidate is able to work collaboratively with other lawyers and staff. Starting salary $2,040 bi-weekly. Excellent health insurance and other benefits. EOE. Send cover letter expressing interest with application and/or resume to: Mark S. Williams, Esq., Cattaraugus County Public Defender, 175 North Union Street, Blue Bird Square, Olean NY 14760; tel (716)373-0004; fax (716)373-3462 or email at Located in the picturesque Enchanted Mountains of Southwestern New York, one hour drive from Buffalo. Application for employment can be found at

Syracuse, NY: Staff Attorney- Appeals Program, Hiscock Legal Aid Society
Hiscock Legal Aid Society, Syracuse, New York seeks attorney with commitment to indigent defense for its Appeals Program. The Society is the appellate defender for Onondaga County, providing representation in criminal and family court appeals to the Fourth Department and Court of Appeals. Excellent analytical, research, writing & oral advocacy skills required. Admission to New York State Bar and appellate experience preferred; recent law graduates with strong writing backgrounds may be considered. Salary: DOE. Excellent Benefits. Applicants should send cover letter, law school transcript and resume, including three references to Linda Gehron, President/CEO at

Wyoming County, NY: Assistant Public Defender, Wyoming County Public Defender's Office
The Wyoming County Public Defender's Office is now accepting applications for a full-time Assistant Public Defender at our office in Warsaw, New York. All applicants must be admitted to the New York State Bar and in good standing. An Assistant Public Defender represents clients in local criminal courts, County Courts, and appellate proceedings. Applicants must possess strong advocacy skills, strong writing and communication skills, and ability to multi-task. It is desirous that the applicant have felony trial experience. Night court appearances will be required. To apply, forward letter of interest and resume to the Wyoming County Public Defender, 18 Linwood Avenue, Warsaw, New York 14569. This position is a county position subject to a satisfactory background investigation. No phone calls. The Wyoming County Public Defender's Office is an equal opportunity employer.

Washington: Managing Attorney, Washington Defender Association
The Washington Defender Association (WDA) is recruiting for a new position of Managing Attorney. The position is primarily responsible for supervision of and resource support for WDA’s program staff; oversight of our training program; development of resource publications; and coordinating amicus work. For more information, click here.

Orange County, NY: Staff Attorney, Criminal Defense, The Legal Aid Society of Orange County, Inc.
The Legal Aid Society of Orange County, Inc. sees a criminal defense staff attorney. Salary: $55,000-$70,000, excellent benefits and work environment. Requirements: (1) admission to the New York bar or a confirmed date to be sworn in; (2) a minimum of one year of criminal defense experience either as as law school intern or, preferably, as a lawyer at a criminal defense firm or agency. Applicants meeting these requirements will also be considered for projected opening(s) late this year resulting from state mandates regarding arraignments. Submit resume to the chief attorney, Gary Abramson at

New York City: Director of Policy and Advocacy, NYC Civilian Complaint Review Board
The Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) seeks a Director of Policy and Advocacy. The CCRB is charged with investigating, mediating and prosecuting complaints from members of the public against New York City police officers involving the use of force, abuse of authority, discourtesy or offensive language. The CCRB maintains a Policy Unit that, in addition to the Director, is comprised of a six-member team of policy, data and legal analysts. This team is dedicated to tracking and analyzing policies and legislation related to policing, gathering data and developing data-driven and qualitative solutions to policy needs and challenges that impact transparency and accountability. This Policy Unit has a dual focus on improving NYPD policies and internal CCRB procedures related to the Agency’s mission. For more information, click here. The City of New York is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Albany, NY: Immigration Managing Attorney, Prisoners' Legal Services of New York
Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York (PLS) is a statewide program providing civil legal services to people incarcerated in New York State prisons with regional offices in Albany, Buffalo, Ithaca and Plattsburgh. PLS is seeking an attorney to manage and supervise PLS’ Immigration Unit which provides legal representation to over 250 immigrants incarcerated in New York State prisons who are facing deportation. We seek to minimize the harsh and disproportionate immigration consequences of contact with the criminal justice system by providing highly qualified and competent representation to immigrants facing deportation. The ideal candidate should have a minimum of 3 years’ experience in immigration and preferably crimmigration law; a demonstrable interest in practicing immigration law; experience in Deportation/Removal Defense; supervisory or management experience, and be fluent in Spanish. The applicant should also be detailed oriented, organized, a team player, passionate about immigration and dedicated to the job.

PLS offers a salary that is competitive with other public interest law firms in the area, and will be set depending on experience. PLS offers a comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, short and long term disability, life insurance, and a 401(k) retirement plan. We encourage people of color, women, and people with disabilities to apply. All qualified applicants will be afforded equal employment opportunities without discrimination because of sex, race, color, age, national origin, religion, disability, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, citizenship, pregnancy or veteran status, or any other status protected by applicable law. For more information, click here.

Batavia, NY: Immigration Staff Attorneys, Erie County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project
We are seeking to fill several full-time positions based in the Batavia, NY office of the Immigration Program of the Erie County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP) to handle our work under the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP) contract at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility in Batavia, and some WNY county jails which hold immigrant women.

The ideal candidates will be admitted to practice law, have at least one year experience in litigation, preferably in immigration removal proceedings, and want a career in litigation defending low-income immigrants detained at the Batavia Federal Detention Facility who are subject to removal for a variety of reasons including criminal convictions, unlawful entry and visa overstays. The ability to speak both Spanish and English fluently is very highly preferred. In the alternative, fluency in French and Mandarin are also very desirable. If the potential candidate possesses two or more years of immigration litigation experience but does not speak a language other than English, s/he is also encouraged to apply.

Also required are strong organizational skills to track and report required data about the work in a timely and accurate manner; an ability to work cooperatively with fellow staff and supervisors; the means and willingness to travel between the Buffalo office and the Batavia office, and to county jails in the eight counties of Western New York, as needed (a driver’s license is required); strong oral and written advocacy skills; a willingness to work independently while also taking direction and operating as part of a team; the organizational ability required to juggle many cases efficiently; and the flexibility to handle other tasks which the attorney may be called upon to handle at VLP, such as community outreach and education.

This position will be under the direct supervision of the VLP Immigration Program Supervising Attorney and the program’s Director, Sophie Feal. Please send a resume, a cover letter clearly explaining your interest and qualifications for this position, and contact information for 3 references to: Sophie Feal, Esq., ECBA Volunteer Lawyers Project, Inc. 237 Main St, Suite 1000 Buffalo, NY 14203 or

For information on VLP, see

VLP is an equal opportunity employer. Salary is based on experience. VLP is a non-profit agency with excellent fringe benefits including fully paid health insurance, a cafeteria plan for dependent care and parking costs, long term disability insurance, life insurance, and generous leave time. The work atmosphere is congenial, respectful and flexible.

Broome County, NY: Assistant Public Defender, Broome County Public Defender's Office
Assistant Public Defender sought for Broome County Public Defender Office. Required: admitted in New York; experienced in criminal defense; willing to work as an assistant public defender; and ability to handle criminal trial work, administrative proceedings, parole and appellate proceedings. Salary $52,000+. Send resume to: Jay L. Wilber, Broome County Public Defender, P.O. Box 1766, Binghamton, NY 13902.

Monroe County: Public Defender's Office

The Monroe County Public Defender is accepting resumes for an entry-level position as an assistant public defender in the Town Court Bureau. In this position the attorney would be responsible for representing persons charged with misdemeanors or violations in town courts throughout Monroe County. Starting salary is $51,154 with excellent benefits, including full health insurance, dental, vacation, sick time, compensatory time, and membership in the NYS Retirement System. Applicants must be admitted to practice in New York and have a valid driver's license. All employees of Monroe County are required to reside within Monroe County. Interested applicants should submit a resume to the Monroe County Public Defender's Office, 10 N. Fitzhugh Street, Rochester, NY 14614. 



NYSDA Internship Programs Public Interest Employment

Law Internship Program in Albany, NY
Internships are available for law students who want to gain experience in legal research and criminal law. Students can earn academic credit through Albany Law School or any participating institution. Law students work on a variety of criminal defense research projects, and participate in the preparation of case summaries for NYSDA's publications and databases. During the summer, law student interns are eligible to work along with staff and observe NYSDA's Basic Trial Skills Program for new attorneys. Send a cover letter, resume and writing sample to:

Charles F. O'Brien
Executive Director
New York State Defenders Association
194 Washington Ave, Suite 500
Albany, NY 12210
Phone: (518) 465-3524
Fax: (518) 465-3249

Criminal Justice Internship Program in Albany, NY
Internships are available for students who want to gain experience in criminal justice research. Students can earn academic credit through the SUNY School of Criminal Justice in Albany or any participating institution. Among its many responsibilities, NYSDA engages in the following activities: providing technical assistance to public defense providers and local, state and government officials; reviewing and analyzing public defense and relevant criminal justice research studies, reports and literature; assisting in evaluation of county public defense systems; undertaking public defense data collection, including caseload, budget and expenditure data; designing survey instruments; and assisting in reviewing and analyzing public defense legislation. The criminal justice intern works under the supervision of the Executive Director and Managing Attorney to fulfill the office's social science research needs. Send a cover letter, resume and writing sample to:

Charles F. O'Brien
Executive Director
New York State Defenders Association
194 Washington Ave, Suite 500
Albany, NY 12210
Phone: (518) 465-3524
Fax: (518) 465-3249

Library Internship Program in Albany, NY
Internships are available for students who want to gain experience in librarianship or information science. Students can earn academic credit through the School of Information Science and Policy, University at Albany or any participating library school. The Backup Center Library plays a key role in NYSDA's mission by providing research and support services to staff lawyers, public defense attorneys and government officials. Library Interns, working under the supervision of Director of Legal Information Services, will have the opportunity to interact with professional staff, government agencies, vendors and publishers. Interns will work in any or all of the following areas: reference and research, collection development, cataloging, indexing and database management, records management and space planning. Send a cover letter and resume (preferably by email) to:

Ken Strutin
Director of Legal Information Services
New York State Defenders Association
194 Washington Ave, Suite 500
Albany, NY 12210
Phone: (518) 465-3524
Fax: (518) 465-3249






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