THE NEIGHBORHOOD DEFENDER SERVICE is building a community-based, client-centered, holistic public defense office in Wayne County and we invite you to join our team as we represent our clients with excellence. Building on 30 years of experience of providing high quality representation, we are expanding our efforts to bring the same caliber of representation to the communities of Wayne County. We are seeking a team of highly organized, self-driven, and resilient individuals dedicated to our mission. The Criminal Defense Practice at NDS Detroit will represent residents of Wayne County who are charged with felony crimes and cannot afford to hire a lawyer. Clients are represented by teams composed of lawyers, investigators, social workers, client advocates, and team administrators. NDS adheres to a client-centered approach to representation that emphasizes a heightened responsiveness to clients’ needs prior to arrest, while a case is pending, and after the case concludes.  NDS is committed to addressing the comprehensive legal and social service needs of clients while treating each client with dignity and respect.

The Assistant to Managing Director is an integral part of the defense team who demonstrates a commitment to serving marginalized persons and communities. As a member of the inaugural staff at the organization, the Assistant to Managing Director will help shape our present and future—contributing to a collaborative environment and culture of excellence in alignment with our values. At NDS Detroit, how we represent our clients is as important as individual case outcomes and our ideal Assistant to Managing Director approaches the cultivation of a positive office culture and the representation of indigent clients with equal rigor and commitment.


  1. Embrace NDS’ philosophy of client-centered, community-based, holistic representation and commitment to excellence by providing vigorous representation with energy and enthusiasm to the residents of Wayne County.
  2. Arrange, prepare and maintain all aspects of Managing Director’s calendar, travel, speaking engagements, meetings and calls.
  3. Organize regular meetings with the Managing Director, outlying daily/weekly tasks, as well as short term and long-term goals.
  4. Coordinate and participate in development, including fundraising activities and grant applications.
  5. Coordinate hiring efforts, including managing resumes, scheduling interviews and preparing follow-up correspondence to applicants.
  6. Act as liaison between Managing Director, leadership team, administrative team, and legal staff.
  7. Prepare correspondence, memos, presentations, and meeting materials.
  8. Maintain filing system, correspondence, and relevant documents.
  9. Schedule and attend Board meetings; record and transcribe minutes of the Board Meeting, prepare Board meeting materials.
  10. In coordination with office management, complete City and State contracts, and fiscal and operational reporting requirements.
  11. Support organizations’ training activities.
  12. Perform paralegal support and research, as needed.

QUALIFICATIONS: The ideal candidate will bring:

  1. A demonstrated commitment to criminal justice, indigent defense, racial equity and social justice issues and the Wayne County communities.
  2. Experience in a legal office setting, preferably at the executive level.
  3. Demonstrated customer service experience in managing a high volume of office visitors and continuous external and internal communications.
  4. High proficiency in Microsoft Office applications with knowledge of word processing systems and basic computer usage in a network environment.
  5. Doggedness and resilience combined with people and situation smarts.
  6. A deep commitment to punctuality and consistency.
  7. An ability to work with minimal supervision.
  8. An ability to quickly build relationships across varying identities, income levels, races and ethnicities.
  9. A high level of organizational and administrative skills to multi-task in a very fast-paced environment.
  10. Clear and effective communication skills, both orally and in writing.
  11. An associates or bachelor’s degree.

Compensation: Compensation is commensurate with experience. Full medical and dental benefits, as well as other benefits, are provided.

How to Apply:

Interested applicants should email a cover letter, resume, and writing sample to with the subject line, “Detroit Assistant to Managing Director.”  Please send your application as one document, preferably PDF. For more information about NDS, please visit our website at

The Neighborhood Defender Service is committed to creating a diverse environment that reflects the community we serve. NDS is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status. NDS encourages people with incarcerated loved ones, formerly incarcerated people, people of color, women, queer, transgender, gender non-conforming, and gender fluid people to apply.