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Join the New York State Defenders Association Team!

Public Defense Backup Center Position

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.


  • 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
  • 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.

To apply, please send a cover letter, résumé, and writing sample to Susan C. Bryant, Acting Director, at (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.

Veterans Defense Program Position

Central Islip, 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). The office is expected to be located at the Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center, 225 Eastview Drive, Central Islip. 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 the supervision of all Long Island office employees, as well as 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 and possess strong leadership skills 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 positive. 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 successful candidate will be based in Long Island but some statewide travel will be required. 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, Attention: Gary Horton, Esq., Director, New York State Defenders Association, Veterans Defense Program, 23 Jackson Street, Suite 101, Batavia, NY 14020. NYSDA is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages candidates of all identities, orientations, experiences, and communities to apply.

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