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Join the New York State Defenders Association Team!


Albany, NY: Staff Attorney, Veterans Defense Program
The New York State Defenders Association (NYSDA) is accepting applications from experienced attorneys for a full-time Staff Attorney position with the Veterans Defense Program (VDP). Our mission is to provide training, support, and legal assistance to promote trauma-informed, client-centered representation of veterans and service members involved in New York State’s criminal and family court systems. The program’s primary work is to comprehensively assist defense attorneys in defending veterans facing criminal charges. As a prerequisite, the successful candidate must believe in the core values of the VDP and be driven by the mission of the VDP. The values of the VDP are that every justice involved veteran receives legal representation from an attorney who understands their military experience and culture, the effects of such experiences and culture, and who can present this information to the court in support of therapeutic outcomes.

Duties include working strategically to enhance public defender capacity; educating defenders about military culture and mindset; assisting attorneys in preventing incarceration or mitigating sentences of veteran clients suffering the invisible wounds of war such as Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); assisting, training, and consulting with defense attorneys, particularly those involved in public defense.

The Staff Attorney is responsible for providing assistance to defense teams whose veteran clients are facing criminal prosecution, and facilitates justice system diversion for affected veterans.

The candidate should have significant litigation experience, be self-motivated, and possess strong organizational skills, self-motivated and excellent research and writing skills. Sentencing mitigation experience is a plus. Experience with military and veteran issues is a plus. Knowledge regarding the latest developments in PTSD, TBI, and other combat-related stressors is a plus. The successful candidate will possess substantial criminal defense experience, the ability to engage in collaborative decision-making, and a commitment to seeking a reduction in the prosecution, conviction, and incarceration of veterans.

The position will be located in Albany, NY, with the possibility of working remotely. The successful candidate must be willing to travel statewide. Applicants must be licensed to practice law in New York. Proficiency in Spanish is a plus.

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, resume, three references, and a writing sample to Dmiller@nysda.org, Attention: Gary Horton, Esq., Director, New York State Defenders Association Veterans Defense Program, 23 Jackson Street, Suite 101, Batavia, NY 14020.

NYSDA offers a generous benefit package, including paid vacation, personal, and sick time, health, dental, and vision insurance, FSA, and 403(b). NYSDA is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages candidates of all identities, orientations, experiences, and communities to apply.

Albany, NY: Training Coordinator, Public Defense Backup Center
The New York State Defenders Association (NYSDA) is seeking a Training Coordinator for its Public Defense Backup Center. The Training Coordinator is responsible for organizing the training and Continuing Legal Education programs and meetings of the New York State Defenders Association. The Training Coordinator works closely with the members of the Legal Staff to support their development of NYSDA’s criminal defense and family defense training programs, as well as the Business Manager, Executive Assistant, and Office Coordinator.

The New York State Defenders Association, a not-for-profit, membership organization, has been providing support to New York’s public defense community since 1967. Its mission is to improve the quality and scope of publicly supported legal representation to low income people. NYSDA operates the state’s Public Defense Backup Center, which provides legal support services, training programs, its Public Defense Case Management System, and other services to public defense offices and assigned counsel attorneys throughout the state. NYSDA offers high quality training to public defense attorneys, investigators, social workers, and other members of the public defense team.

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Minimum of 2 years’ experience with professional continuing education training coordination and planning
  • Exceptional organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office suite, including Excel, PowerPoint, Word, and Outlook, and Adobe Acrobat
  • Ability to manage multiple projects from beginning to end, ensuring all timelines are met
  • Experience writing professional memos, preparing correspondence, and taking notes
  • Strong sense of ownership and responsibility
  • Ability to work well both independently and as a team member; willingness to pitch in where needed
  • Ability to travel to training programs throughout New York State and work on weekends
  • Experience with membership databases
  • Ability to set priorities and meet deadlines
  • Ability to lift and/or move up to 50 pounds and manipulate hand carts/trucks
Preferred Qualifications
  • Knowledge of NYS Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) rules and experience with MCLE compliance
  • Interest in and demonstrable commitment to NYSDA’s mission

Job Duties
The Training Coordinator is primarily responsible for organizing and executing NYSDA’s various training programs and meetings. Our programs and meetings vary in length and complexity. Most are full-day or half-day programs, but we also have a three-day annual meeting in July and a seven-day trial skills training program in June. Duties include:
  • Formatting and proofreading training brochures, meeting agendas, registration forms, program evaluation forms, and signage
  • Conducting email and telephone outreach to public defenders and Association members for training programs
  • Corresponding with training presenters regarding program details, deadlines, and logistics
  • Working with venues, A/V and catering vendors, hotels, and transportation providers
  • Assembling course materials for CLE and other training programs and other meeting materials
  • Making travel arrangements for staff and conference presenters
  • Entering registration information into NYSDA’s membership database
  • Responding to inquiries and questions about programs
  • Traveling to training programs and meetings
  • Managing onsite logistics of programs and meetings, including registration, materials set up and distribution, room set up, catering, technology and A/V requirements, and greeting and assisting presenters and attendees
  • Processing CLE certificates for attendees and presenters
  • Compiling program evaluation responses
  • Working with staff to ensure NYSDA’s internal and online training calendars are accurate and current
  • Working with the Business Manager on billing and payments for training programs
  • Maintaining records needed for MCLE compliance and audits

Office Support
The Training Coordinator also provides assistance with a variety of general office support as needed. Other tasks and projects as assigned by the Executive Director and Deputy Director.

To apply, please send a cover letter and résumé to Diane DuBois, Executive Assistant, at ddubois@nysda.org (subject line: Training Coordinator). Salary: $48,000 + DOE. NYSDA offers a generous benefit package, including paid vacation, personal, and sick time, health, dental, and vision insurance, FSA, and 403(b). NYSDA is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages candidates of all identities, orientations, experiences, and communities to apply.


Albany, NY: Staff Attorney, Public Defense Backup Center
The New York State Defenders Association (NYSDA) is seeking a Staff Attorney for its Public Defense Backup Center. NYSDA, a not-for-profit, membership organization, has been providing support to New York's public defense community since 1967. NYSDA’s mission is to improve the quality and scope of publicly supported legal representation to low income people.

The staff attorney will provide consultation and legal research support to lawyers statewide who are representing individuals who are entitled to representation in criminal and family court proceedings under County Law article 18-b. The staff attorney will also work on Backup Center publications, prepare legal updates and practice guides, assist with planning training programs, analyze legislation and regulatory materials, and provide technical assistance to public defense providers around the state.

Qualifications:

  • Admitted to practice in New York
  • At least five years’ experience in criminal defense and/or adult family court representation (10+ years’ experience preferred)
  • Demonstrated commitment to public defense and NYSDA’s mission
  • Extensive knowledge of NYS Penal Law and Criminal Procedure Law and/or NYS Family Court Act and Social Services Law
  • Excellent writing and editing skills
  • Strong research skills
  • Technology and social media proficiency
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Strong time management and organizational skills and ability to manage varied workload and meet deadlines

The position involves some weekend and evening hours and travel to training events across the state. Salary: DOE. NYSDA offers a generous benefit package, including paid vacation, personal, and sick time, health, dental, and vision insurance, FSA, and 403(b).

To apply, please send a cover letter, résumé, and writing sample to Susan C. Bryant, Executive Director, at sbryant@nysda.org (subject line: Backup Center Staff Attorney). NYSDA is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages candidates of all identities, orientations, experiences, and communities to apply. For more information about NYSDA, click here.






NYSDA Internship Opportunities

Law Internship Program in Albany, NY
NYSDA considers internship applications from 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:

Susan C. Bryant
Executive Director
New York State Defenders Association
194 Washington Ave, Suite 500
Albany, NY 12210
Email: sbryant@nysda.org
Phone: (518) 465-3524
Fax: (518) 465-3249

Criminal Justice Internship
NYSDA considers applications from 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 another 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 Deputy Director to fulfill the office's social science research needs. Send a cover letter, resume, and writing sample to:

Susan C. Bryant
Executive Director
New York State Defenders Association
194 Washington Ave, Suite 500
Albany, NY 12210
Email: sbryant@nysda.org
Phone: (518) 465-3524
Fax: (518) 465-3249

Library Internships
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 another participating library science 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 our Legal Research Librarian, 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. Email a cover letter and resume to:

Susan Bryant
Executive Director
Email: sbryant@nysda.org.

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