• Full Time
  • New York, NY
  • July 31, 2021

Website Appellate Advocates

Appellate Advocates is a nonprofit public defender organization, based in New York City, which for over 25 years has been providing superior representation of individuals convicted of crimes in Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island who cannot afford private counsel. Our attorneys, from a variety of diverse backgrounds, believe in a holistic, client-centered approach to vindicating every client’s constitutional rights and working to overturn unjust convictions and sentences. While our main work is criminal appeals, we have extensive experience providing other post-conviction services.

Position Description: Appellate Advocates has an immediate opening for a highly motivated attorney to litigate claims for resentencing under New York’s recently enacted Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act (“DVSJA”). With support from supervising attorneys, paralegals, and a social worker, DVSJA staff attorneys are responsible for interviewing clients who are typically serving lengthy prison sentences after experiencing varying degrees of trauma; reviewing underlying case files and various records; and consulting appropriate experts. DVSJA attorneys will draft motions, negotiate with the District Attorney’s Office, represent clients in court, and pursue DVSJA claims on appeal.


  • Consult with DVSJA supervising attorneys to discuss case strategy;
  • Interview clients, by video conference, telephone, and in person at state prisons, when possible,  to identify instances of domestic violence and any other mitigating factors to support an application for a reduced sentence;
  • Interview clients’ family and/or friends and obtain affidavits or letters of support;
  • Collaborate with paralegals and review all documentation relating to client’s incarceration, legal history, and medical/mental health history , to identify mitigation evidence and corroboration of domestic violence;
  • Identify when additional documents or expert testimony is appropriate;
  • Draft and file DVSJA resentencing applications;
  • Communicate and negotiate with District Attorney’s Office, in consultation with DVSJA supervising attorneys;
  • Represent clients in any related court conferences, and DVSJA hearings which may require presenting and/or cross-examining witnesses and providing oral argument;
  • Litigate DVSJA claims on appeal to the Appellate Division, Second Department, which includes filing an appellate brief and presenting oral argument.


  • Admission to the New York State Bar or imminent plans for admission by applicant from another jurisdiction;
  • 2 years of litigation experience, with significant experience in contested motion practice resulting in hearings or significant trial experience;
  • Experience representing or providing advocacy services to survivors of domestic violence or family trauma strongly preferred;
  • Sensitivity to medical and mental health issues;
  • A demonstrated commitment to public defense or serving under-resourced communities;
  • Strong analytical skills, including, but not limited to, effectively organizing facts and legal arguments, recognizing gaps and weaknesses in presentation of facts and law, and bringing creativity to the entire process of developing the arguments raised;
  • Excellent writing ability including clearly, accurately, and persuasively presenting a factual narrative and legal arguments;
  • Excellent organizational skills with ability to manage responsibilities and work independently;
  • Desire and ability to collaborate with paralegals and Social Work & Re-Entry Team to strengthen DVSJA applications and offer counseling and re-entry services to clients as needed;

Appellate Advocates is deeply committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce. To this end, we seek to:

  • Hire staff that reflect the full range of racial, ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic identities of the communities we represent, particularly those communities disproportionately impacted by the criminal legal system;
  • Ensure a workplace where diversity and inclusion is fostered and different perspectives are valued and freely exchanged; and
  • Ensure that all staff members, including interns, feel welcome, respected, and have equal opportunities to thrive and advance within the organization.

Salary and Benefits: Appellate Advocates offers a generous benefits package, including health and vision insurance, a 401(k), flexible spending and transit account, and paid sick and vacation time. Salary is dependent on experience.

To Apply: Please submit a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and list of references as a single PDF to apply@appad.org, referencing “DV Staff Attorney Position” in the subject line. Applicants with disabilities may contact Kim Cardoso via telephone (212-693-0085ext.274) or e-mail apply@appad.org to request and arrange for accommodations for submitting an application.

Appellate Advocates is an Equal Opportunity Employer and provides equal employment opportunities without regard to race, creed, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, marital status, age, veteran status, disability, or genetic information. Appellate Advocates is deeply committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce, and seeks to hire staff that reflect the full range of racial, ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic identities of the communities we represent, particularly those communities disproportionately affected by the criminal legal system. We strongly encourage people historically underrepresented in the practice of law to apply.

To apply for this job email your details to apply@appad.org